Small But Spectacular Things I Bought Over the Last 6 Months to Elevate My Life

a woman in a denim jacket

(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

I have a shopping rule: Any fashionable under-$50 item is what I consider a green-light purchase. I don't need to stress over it; I can simply buy it. For a long time, budgeting was a task that got my heart racing with anxiety. As a card-carrying Capricorn, I was able to save responsibly, but while some people (cough: Virgos) swear by a rigorously organized breakdown of their spending habits, I panicked less when I thought about my monthly budget holistically. I would limit pricier purchases—whether it be dinner with friends, a flight, or a pair of flats. But affordable items had more leeway. If it was clothing, a beauty purchase, or something for my home that offered utility and would stick around for a while, it was okay to impulse-buy without doing mental math or moving money between categories to justify.

This hands-off way of managing my budget may not work for everyone, but it helped me to put into perspective what I was willing to spend on a new face cream or beauty utensil. Often, when challenged to find an affordable option, I was pleasantly surprised with my success. Over the last six months or so, I've picked out several under-$50 items that I've found to be transformative additions to my home and wardrobe. I've shared them here with you in the hopes that something might catch your eye as worth adding to your shopping list, no matter your zodiac sign or saving habits.

This post was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Aemilia Madden