My Favorite Purchases in 2019 Under $100

I like recommending products that contribute to healthier lifestyles, or make life easier and more enjoyable.

As I look back on purchases that I made in 2019, I wanted to share a few with my readers.

#1 Air Purifier

I see advertisements on Instragram for air purifiers all the time, and I’ve used one in my bedroom for years… But I never thought that having additional units placed around the home was necessary.

That is, until I moved into a new office, and experimented with this $99 model made by Levoit. I knew it was effective after I tested it out in a freshly painted room. To help accelerate the drying process and get rid of the paint smell, I plugged this in and within 5-10 minutes, the smell was gone. I decided to keep it at the office, and continue to be amazed at how noticeable of an impact it has on air quality.

Patients come and go throughout the day, but sometimes the scent of their perfume or cologne stays behind after they’ve left. That’s no longer an issue thanks to this air purifier. I value the impact this has on air quality so much that I purchased 2 more for home.

Now I’m sure there are a dozen or more alternative brands available that do comparable things. What I appreciated about this one was how easy it is to swap out the filters, and more importantly, how reasonably priced the replacement filters are in general. The larger unit I use in my bedroom at home requires three $40 filter swaps per year — that’s $120. The Levoit model, however, costs only $20 and needs to be replaced every 6-8 months.

The gift of clean air was definitely my favorite purchase of 2019.

#2 Smart Home Light Bulbs

Smart bulbs were one of those things that I thought sounded neat on paper, but never felt the need to buy. Especially when they used to cost $40-50 each! But when Amazon had a Cyber Monday sale on these smart bulbs from Wyze, I decided to give them a try.

I downloaded the app and synced the bulbs to WiFi — an easy process — and loved the result. The ability to set custom timers to turn lights on and off from wherever you are is a cool feeling. It’s a nice layer of security when you’re not at home.

You can also adjust the hue of these bulbs from the app. It can be bright and sterile, or soft and yellow, with everything in between. Other brands offer thousands of colors to choose from with their LED bulbs.

At $9.50 each, these smart bulbs were definitely one of my favorite purchases for 2019.

#3 Bluetooth Mini Speaker

In addition to jazz music, I love listening to podcasts and periscopes. But playing these through generic laptop or desktop speakers limits you to reduced sound quality. That’s why I’ve used small bluetooth speakers for the past several years. In 2019, however, I bought Anker’s newest model — the Soundcore Mini — and am loving it.

At just $22, these tiny speakers have a 15-hour battery life and surprisingly good sound. I’m not sure how they’re able to pack so much base into a device the size of half a soda can, but hats off to the engineers for this design. The portability is great too, as it allows me to carry the speaker into whichever room I’m in without having to change devices.

#4 Favorite Book: Atomic Habits

What’s it about? Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. The most practical way to change who you are is to change what you do.

The quality of our lives often depends on the quality of our habits. These habits are the building blocks of results. Recognizing the difference between outcome-based habits and identity-based habits will forever change how you approach personal improvement in your life.

Understanding the difference between “I’m the type of person who wants this” versus “I’m the type of person who is this” is a powerful realization. Example: The goal is not to run a marathon; the goal is to become a runner.

If this is your first time hearing about the book, it won’t be the last. Every single person I’ve recommended this to has called or thanked me in person for the suggestion.