10 Best Purchases of 2020 & 2021 That Actually Changed My Life

Best purchases

Written by Agatha

February 22, 2022

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A week ago, a friend asked me to share photos of my home workspace as she needed help deciding which work desk and chair to buy. She shared… 

“I really agonize before I make purchases because I’ve had bad buys before…”

Apart from sending her the photos, I also shared my previous article on the 16 purchases you shouldn’t feel guilty about. A comfortable workspace is in the list:

Getting a comfortable workspace shouldn’t be debatable. An uncomfortable chair will lead to back  & neck aches, cramping, stiffness, extreme fatigue and interrupted workflow

Seeing that adulting equals work, you shouldn’t have to spend so many hours sitting in an uncomfortable workspace. 

Having a comfortable desk and chair will help you get more work done in a short period of time and also avoid the long-term medical effects an uncomfortable chair causes.

I’m sure this struggle isn’t unique to my friend. Do you agonize over certain purchases? 

Spending money is often accompanied by feelings of guilt. This is referred to as buyer’s remorse: that feeling of regret you experience after making a purchase. 

It takes time to get to a place where buyer’s remorse is not your constant companion. It takes deliberate work to get over all the negative money emotions you have accumulated so far.

Experiencing buyers remorse gets worse when you remember that adulting demands that we have multiple financial goals such as:

This, therefore, means every spending decision counts.

Understanding the difference between your needs and wants is helpful but over the past 2 years, I’ve been using a different hack to reduce my feelings of buyers remorse: 

 

The Cost Per Use formula

 

A great way to know what brings you the most value so you don’t waste money is by applying the “Cost Per Use” formula.

Simply divide the total cost of the item by the frequency you’ll use it. 

For example, if you buy a $1,500 laptop and use it every day for 1 year, the cost per use is $ 4.12. 

$1,500/365 days.

If you use it every day for another year, the cost per use goes down to $2.05! Does this sound like a bad deal? It’s something I’d buy without guilt! I work entirely online so to me, this isn’t an expensive purchase. Plus, the return on investment for this one item will be seen in the quality of work that you produce and your efficiency at work.

If you own a pair of shoes that cost you $100 and a designer handbag that cost you $500, which one is the cheaper purchase?

At first glance, it seems the shoes are.

But if you’ve only won the shoes once since you bought them, the cost per use is $100. If you take the handbag to work every day for a month, the cost per use is ~$16. 

In reality, the handbag is the cheaper and more valuable purchase!

By applying the cost per use formula before making any purchase, you’ll realize that the value of any item is directly related to how much use you would get out of the purchase. 

This formula has taught me to think of all (or rather most!) of my purchases as an investment — and you should too!! The concept of quality vs. quantity also comes into play here.

This formula will also help you while decluttering as it’ll help you decide if you need to keep the item or get rid of it.

 

The best purchases of 2020 & 2021 that actually changed my life

 

Before we dive into the list of these purchases that changed my life, I have to remind you that the first step is always to have a financial plan. Having a plan, a financial roadmap that is aligned with your life goals will significantly reduce your feelings of guilt when you spend your money.

It will also make you aware of your ability to afford stuff without feeling like it’ll affect your ability to afford your next meal or jeopardize your future.

The quality of your life matters. Everyone deserves to live a dignified life. This life is not a rehearsal, you have just this one life. Life is for the living!

 

I have divided my list into 3:

 

  • Purchases for my business
  • Personal development purchases (will publish next week)
  • Other items (lookout for this one next week)

 

Best purchases for my business

 

1. ConvertKit

 

This one deserves a whole 2,000-word review! When I think of how much I spend on this email marketing software, what comes to mind is BEST 👏🏾 .DECISION 👏🏾.EVER👏🏾! I pay for ConvertKit with so much pride you’d think I’m the CEO or part of their software development team. 

ConvertKit is a lead generation and email marketing automation software created for professional bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, course creators, and other content-driven business owners. It is designed to help users increase their email list and automate the email marketing process with custom opt-in forms, landing page templates, workflow automation rules, drag-and-drop email sequences, and more.

Back in 2017 when I started my first blog, I started using Mailchimp because it was both free and highly recommended by online business owners. I hated every minute of using it due to several reasons:

  • Too complex – they offered too many unnecessary features before ensuring the basics work! I wasted lots of time trying to figure out how to send emails to my blog subscribers. In the end, I gave up and hired a software developer to help me figure it out. Why would you hire someone to help you figure out how to send bulk emails? C’mon!

 

  • Poor customer service – The decision to hire a software developer was driven by the fact that I couldn’t reach their customer service team.

 

  • Hideous design – Completing even the smallest task would take hours.

 

  • Poor email deliverability – As a small business owner, nothing matters if my emails are not being delivered and read by my subscribers.

ConvertKit solved all these challenges and helped me build intimate relationships with my blog readers and potential clients. 

ConvertKit is the email marketing tool and automation you need to grow your blog and business. I use it for collecting subscribers, building sign up forms, and sending bulk emails.

To start collecting emails, build beautiful forms and landing pages, use ConvertKit. This is what I use for all the forms you might spot on this blog. Below is an example of an investing freebie form so you know what I mean!

You should start building intimate relationships with your potential clients from day one. In fact, you can start doing this even before you have a website by building a landing page using ConvertKit for FREE.

 

2. Bluehost

 

In my 6 years of blogging experience, I have used Bluehost for 2. For the first 4 years, I used Digital Ocean and I’m just going to be nice and spare you the rant about the multitude of problems I experienced with them. 

Think of the internet as a big piece of land. Just like you would need to buy a piece of land to build your house,  you need to buy a space on the internet for your business to be set up. A web host helps you buy and secure this plot!

Bluehost is one of the best web hosts due to the many benefits it provides, the best one being: 

  • AFFORDABILITY!

When you’re starting a business, one of your goals should be to keep your expenses as low as possible. Plus, you might not have all the money in the world to invest in the beginning. For all the great features it provides, Bluehost is the best WebHost for your business as it truly is affordable. 

You can get started at only $2.75 per month. This deal also includes a FREE domain name (which usually goes for at least $15), custom email address, and free daily backups for your website, at no extra cost to you!

*Your domain name is your website address. For example, my domain name is thewealthtribe.com.

 

  • You get unlimited websites

With the Bluehost Plus plan, you get unlimited websites. 

Yes, as many as you’d want! You may not think that this is a useful benefit if you’re a beginner blogger/business owner, but as your business grows, it becomes a necessity to have additional websites and domains.

  • Impeccable customer service

Bluehost has fast and impeccable 24/7 customer service, which is something you need because you’ll need reliable technical support once in a while. 

 

3. DIVI

 

I often receive such emails from my blog readers asking: 

How much on average can web design cost for a blog like yours?

Honestly, I don’t know! I designed this blog myself. I’m not a web designer, and this was my first attempt at building a website. I’m so happy with how it turned out.

The beautiful thing about designing your own blog is that you make it exactly how you want it.

The process was also made easier by using DIVI. With DIVI, which is the theme I used to build the blog, you don’t need to be a web developer. You’ll build your whole site without needing to touch a single line of code. It’s an all-in-one theme and the ultimate visual page builder. It’s as easy as drag and drop! 

A personal website, which can include the services or products you offer, is an extremely useful professional tool that you should invest in.

You can also read this article for my step by step guide on building a similar site. 

 

4. MacBook Pro

 

One of the issues I had with my previous laptop was how heavy it was. I’m tiny and lightweight 😂 Carrying heavy stuff hurts my back and shoulders, which is why I spent almost a year saving for my MacBook. I would rather preserve my energy for more important stuff, like creating more content for The Wealth Tribe!

This is one of the first things I bought, guilt-free, when I became aware of the Cost Per Use formula. Before then, I had endured electric shocks from my previous laptop and had agonized for years about how expensive laptops are.

How many hours do you spend working on your laptop in a day? I’m on my laptop for more than 10 hours a day. If you spend that much time on your laptop, then the last thing you need is a slow machine. It becomes a pain, a complete waste of time and hinders your productivity. Our laptops are our livelihoods, especially those of us who make money online.

The Apple MacBook Pro 2020 is also available on Jumia

 

5. Microphone

 

While researching how to create an online course and also how to launch a YouTube channel, I learnt that ‘the quality of your audio is more important than the quality of your videos! People are more tolerant to bad videos but not fuzzy audios.’

Since I pride myself on producing good quality work and giving my audience a premium experience, I went out hunting for a microphone. At first, I thought I’d have to settle those big ones that news anchors use. 

I stumbled upon this portable condenser microphone that is compatible with most Mac and PC based audio software that supports USB Audio. 

With the Samson Go Mic, big, quality sound can indeed come in a small package: it’s literally the size of my thumb in length. It’s also very easy to use: as simple as plug and play!

It’s one of the world’s smallest and most versatile USB condenser microphones. And yes, my audience loves the audio quality in my videos!

 

6. Blogging course

 

There are thousands, if not millions of blogging gurus on the internet. One of the reasons my first blog (bloomsandmsiles.com) failed was because I wasn’t ready to invest in it. Since I wasn’t ready to pay for most stuff, I dug the whole internet looking for free tips on how to start a successful blog.

Most times, I was looking for stuff that would help me make sense of why I wasn’t succeeding as fast as I had hoped. Why was I not anywhere close to making money from my blog? Why was there no one reading my articles even after I put in so much work? 

I wasted 3 years of my life wishing that something magical would happen overnight which would get me to a point where I would make money from my blog but of course, it didn’t happen. 

When I finally started this blog, I signed up for the Launch Your Blog Biz course by professional bloggers Lauren & Alex from Create & Go who make over $10,000 per month from their two blogs. 

Launch your blog biz

It changed my life by teaching me how to write in a way that I connect with my audience, gives me a platform to help people attain financial freedom while also allowing me to make money from my craft!

(Insert the recent Google badge)

The course is self-paced and will also ensure that you make your 1,000 dollars per month within 6 months (or less) of starting your blog. 

 

7. Makeup classes

 

I used to be that girl who has never owned foundation, powder, make-up brushes and also that girl who didn’t know what primer, blush, concealer, contouring etc is. For the longest time, all I did was fill out my eyebrows and use lipstick, and I was okay with that. 

And if I’m being honest, I also couldn’t afford to buy make-up, especially good quality makeup. 

I would sometimes binge on make-up videos on YouTube because I still had a deep appreciation for femininity but since I couldn’t afford to buy ‘all that stuff’ I made a mental note that:

  • I would never mess up my good skin with bad quality products.
  • I would wait until I could comfortably afford good quality products and also hire a professional to teach me how to work some magic on my face.

I won’t call it manifesting – because I don’t believe in it – but fast forward to November 2021, I was in a financial position to storm makeup shops and buy a beginner make-up kit and also pay my friend Pauline to teach me how to do it professionally.

I spent a total of roughly KES 40,000 on the make-up kit and 8,000 on the make-up classes. 

How has this investment changed my life? Feeling more put together makes me confident both when I show up at gatherings and also when recording videos for my YouTube channel

In the process, I have also learnt how to better care for my extremely dry skin which is something I never paid attention to before.

This new me feels proud because I didn’t have to get into debt to afford it and because I made it happen by budgeting and saving for it!

 

8. Tailwind 

 

When you’re a solopreneur, you’re everything for your business: content creator, accountant, marketer, social media manager, admin…you’ll always fall behind on some tasks. Social media management was it for me, I just couldn’t handle it all and stay sane. Since I also couldn’t afford to hire help, I gave Tailwind a shot. 

Tailwind is the tool you need when you don’t have a marketing team. It will help you understand what’s working for your brand across every post, every Pin, and every moment you’re on social media. 

This toolautomates the most difficult parts of your social media marketing so you can grow smarter and faster.” 

How Tailwind changed my life? It schedules my Pinterest and Instagram posts so that I have more time to do what I love: content creation!

The best part? It allows me to plan ahead by scheduling over 6-months worth of social media content which ensures my business is running smoothly whether I’m sleeping, travelling, busy with other stuff or just plain demotivated!

Try them out for FREE here.

 

9. Echo Dot 4th Generation

 

Just like you, I have always wished I had an assistant to help me with little tasks such as:

  • Creating my to-do list
  • Reminding me when I have meetings or other important tasks
  • Scheduling meetings
  • Adding items to my shopping list
  • Switch off the lights when you’re too lazy or when away from home
  • Set 1 hour times to boost my productivity while also reminding you to take breaks
  • I could go on…

Hiring an assistant to do all that and more isn’t budget-friendly, right? Wrong!

With the Echo Dot 4th Generation, Alexa is doing that and MORE for me!

When the Echo Dot detects my movement when I wake up, she immediately starts playing a podcast. I no longer have to remember to listen to my favourite podcasts in the morning, this makes the habit automatic.

Turning my home from basic to a smart home is on my to-do list this year, with my first 3 buys being:

I also use the Echo Dot to play my fav jams from Spotify by simply saying…

“Alexa, play party music.”

It has crisp sound quality which is great for listening to podcasts, audiobooks on Audible, or simply using it as a Bluetooth speaker.

How has this changed my life? For someone who struggles with planning, the Echo Dot takes the stress out of daily life tasks which leaves time for things I really enjoy. Need I remind you of my fav mantra? Life is for the living!

 

10. Mi Wifi Repeater

 

The first thing I do when I move into a new neighbourhood is to check how strong my neighbour’s WiFi is from my house so that I can ask them if they’re comfortable with sharing and splitting the bill! 

When I moved into my current home, I did the same and my neighbour was super glad to have someone to split the bill with. To retain the WiFi strength, I bought the Mi WiFi repeater/extender

It’s also available on Amazon.

A WiFi repeater basically rebroadcasts an existing signal from a wireless router or access point and also creates a second WiFi network. Repeaters improve signal range and strength within homes and small offices.

How has this changed my life? I only pay KES 1,119 per month for WiFi as opposed to KES 2,999 – the cheapest Safaricom home fibre package. I get to save KES 1,880 which is a tidy sum especially if you’ve already read our previous article on the 9 best ways to invest 1,000 shillings.

You can reuse a WiFi repeater as many times as you move houses, which makes it a great savings hack!

Most of these investments either:

  • Allow me to earn passive income
  • Create more time to do what I love: which is mostly content creation, sleeping, reading and taking cappuccinos and… 
  • Allow me to rest more because fatigue is not my portion

Are you still playing for the ‘money doesn’t buy happiness’ team? Here at The Wealth Tribe, it does. 

Money is a powerful tool: it can buy us the things we need and give us access to experiences we want to have. Money provides freedom, relief from stress, and a profound sense of autonomy. 

Cheers to doing better with your money which will allow you to afford the life you desire. As always, I’m rooting for you!

Which purchases actually changed your life the most? Please share in the comments below 👇🏾

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2 Comments

  1. Angela Wanja

    Thank you for this piece, Agatha. Profound and insightful.
    I especially appreciate The Cost Per Use formula, and your reviews on the tools that have made your blogging business easier.
    I look forward to reading about the other two items on your list.

    Reply
    • Agatha

      Thank you Angela! I’ll send you a link to the two when I publish!

      Reply

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