Submitted by BlarkinsYeah t3_zryjzq in BuyItForLife

Like title says, I have 1500 I have to spend on goods/services related to health+hobbies. It can’t be used to by stock or save/convert to cash. This is a perk/benefit for some work I do.

I’m looking for tips on the best things to purchase with this. I can buy used as well. I can’t use it to buy kitchen appliances.

Current things I’m considering that will add to my quality of life are:

A Concept 2 Rower or Ski Erg/Assault bike

A teenage engineering OP-1 synthesizer

A pottery wheel to get into throwing pots

Please let me know if you know of anything that would make more sense that what I have listed, or just ideas in general. Thanks!



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Isernogwattesnacken t1_j15h0ya wrote

Theragun and compression boots will get you there. Lifesavers.


BlarkinsYeah OP t1_j15hijq wrote

Tell me more about the compression boots. I’ve been interested in those for running and weightlifting recovery.


Isernogwattesnacken t1_j15ldhg wrote

They're like an everyday powemassage. They push the fatigue out of your legs (or arms if you buy a model that has that add-on). There are many brands with all different specs and possibilities. Best massage tech on YouTube has a number of reviews and comparisons.


insertcleverthought t1_j15m4i7 wrote

I go to a place that charges $20 per session. Can you find a place and try them out? I personally think it's a glorious way to spend $20 every now and then but with space constraints I am not sure I would want to store my own compression equipment.

Or can you spend it on services like a massage package?


BlarkinsYeah OP t1_j15mb18 wrote

Nice - yeah I can spend it on massages! I like the idea of going to a place to try it out every so often. Do you do it at a massage studio?


insertcleverthought t1_j15mw52 wrote

There's a place near me that has a bunch of health/ wellness services like cryotherapy, infrared sauna, red light therapy, compression therapy, etc. Where you can either pay per service, buy a package, or buy an unlimited membership. I enjoy it.


BlorpBlarp t1_j15cb67 wrote

Do you frequently need tools around the house? Get a very nice toolkit with all the Alan wrenches, socket wrenches, pliers, regular wrenches, drill bits, and a ratchet screw driver with changeable heads (which I also use in my drill)


reindeerlichenwoman t1_j15qqqy wrote

Oh please get the pottery wheel and then let me live vicariously thru you


BlarkinsYeah OP t1_j15hdf9 wrote

Heck yes, great call. I already have a squat rack and weights. Best decision ever.


GreenCheckRedX t1_j15ux57 wrote

I feel like you're on the right track with the rower/assault bike. If you already have a squat rack and weights, how about a bench, adjustable dumbbells, kettle bells, etc? I can provide recommendations if you're interested in going down that path.


BlarkinsYeah OP t1_j15w8og wrote

Thank you! Yeah I’m super torn between what type of cardio thing to get. I used to have a rower and I liked it. Sold it for what I bought it for. People are saying the Ski Erg is great. The assault bikes look good, but I’m worried that they are too niche for just CrossFit style workouts. Any suggestions welcome. Thank you


FckMitch t1_j18f2pc wrote

I have a rowing machine and it’s great exercise machine. I also have a Bowflex adjustable dumbbells, a weight bench w dumbbells, theragun and a Bowflex bike. But what I really love is the morning yoga. It really helps keep the body limber and ache free. So maybe do a yoga room.


GreenCheckRedX t1_j15yf0e wrote

I don't have personal experience with rowers, so I can't speak to that other than to say the concept2 is what everybody recommends.

Regarding indoor bikes, personally I think they are great. The two that are generally recommended are Schwinn Airdynes and the Assault Bike. I have an AirDyne (model AD6 if you care) that I am happy enough with considering I bought it used for $200 off FB marketplace. If I were to buy new, I would go with the Assault Bike, hands down. I have used both and the AirDyne is fine, but the Assault Bike is truly BIFL. It is a tank. I do not do CrossFit, and think an indoor bike is a great cardio staple for a variety of goals.

And because I saw Bowflex adjustable dumbbells mentioned elsewhere, I will throw out my 2 cents there - I recommend ironmaster. For adjustable dumbbells, the most common recommendations are Bowflex, Power blocks, and Ironmaster. Ironmaster is by far the most durable, but also take the longest to change weights and have the largest footprint. Since you are in r/BIFL, I would recommend the Ironmasters. I've had mine for about 4 years, and the only issue I've had is the paint can chip off the weights if you clank them together too hard.


Idgie-Threadgoode t1_j15requ wrote

Can you use it on lessons or a trainer? If so, perhaps a personal trainer, classes for whatever fitness activity you enjoy, or lessons for hobbies you enjoy or want to try out. For example, the art center near me has pottery and glass blowing lessons which would be a good starting point for a new hobby.


MonsterByDay t1_j15tfdp wrote

A jacuzzi? The hot tub for people who don’t want to have to deal with a hot tub.


daisyup t1_j16egc0 wrote

Unless you already have experience with throwing pottery on a wheel, I wouldn't recommend getting that. I thought I'd love it, but I found it really physically uncomfortable to use the wheel. I still love making pottery, I just do it by hand, no wheel needed. If you haven't set up a pottery studio at home, there's a long list of non-wheel stuff that would be good for that.


BlarkinsYeah OP t1_j16fxwz wrote

Ok, good perspective. I have something that I wanted to commercialize that requires a wheel. But, I guess I can cross that bridge when I come to it. Actually making it at a pottery studio to test the market before investing in my own machine makes more sense.


Quail-a-lot t1_j15kxf2 wrote

Depends what hobbies you do! I could easily use that up upgrading my backpacking gear and maybe a few nice to haves on my weightlifting stuff like nicer plates. They are very much BIFL items, but the bigger ones add up fast, esp for oly sizes.


BlarkinsYeah OP t1_j15ltv6 wrote

Definitely! Thankfully I already have a full backpacking set up for my partner and myself, and just got a squat rack and a full set of Rogue bumper plates and barbell. Super lucky.

I want to spend on hobbies, but I’m afraid of spending it on something that collects dust if I don’t use it, so that’s why I’m on the fence about instrument stuff.


Quail-a-lot t1_j15o5cs wrote

Sooo jealous! We have a mishmash, but most of our 45s are just Yorks and their grab handles suck. Our bumper plates just live on the bars since they are such a pain. Ah well, they do the thing. Myself I would likely pick up an e-bike conversion kit and a cargo trailer for my Surly since that would be a sweet combo and we have some real steep hills here.


BlarkinsYeah OP t1_j15pxu5 wrote

Nice I like that idea! I also have a Surly bike and I really like it but I need to change the gearing since she’s a bit of a slowpoke.


javaavril t1_j16k0bi wrote

If you're looking at the concept2, consider a WaterRower S4 or the Ergatta upgrade, they are far quieter and feel sturdier to me. It's very meditative to hear the water lapping while rowing.

Join a co-op pottery studio before investing in a wheel. Unless you already have a kiln at home that you haven't mentioned, a wheel won't be very practical.


VermicelliNo6108 t1_j15el9v wrote

Go op1! Id love one of those if i had the money


BlarkinsYeah OP t1_j15hg7p wrote

For sure! It seems so cool. I’m worried about the learning curve and having it be an expensive deadweight though.


hagcel t1_j15hunz wrote

Keep the box, they don't seem to depreciate much.


hulihuli t1_j16rv0y wrote

I bought a used one for $900, used it for a year, then sold it for $1100, didn't need the box for a more-than-healthy resale.


Substantial_City4618 t1_j15toxl wrote

Depending on where you are I have a concept 2 to sell you. It’s really good, I just don’t use it.


OptimisticWhale2 t1_j164wqx wrote

Maybe use it to spend on a good quality pair of boots or shoes! Those are surprisingly expensive. Or a bike, a treadmill, some exercise equipment.


kspillan t1_j16zqc5 wrote

If you like coffee a nice espresso machine


GlitchRealm t1_j15cxo0 wrote

A indoor spin bike. A good quality one will last forever, can be used during bad weather, and will give you the gift of a healthier life.


BlarkinsYeah OP t1_j1610ln wrote

Right on - I’m leaning this way - at least for a portion of it.


GlitchRealm t1_j19k1gg wrote

I recommend the boflex c6 or the Schwinn ic4, which are the same bike.


FckMitch t1_j15t1zk wrote

Bowflex weights


BlarkinsYeah OP t1_j15ta5y wrote

Good call. Have been looking at those to augment my barbell set up.


laxxmann21 t1_j15yjke wrote

I would recommend a full set of dumbbells or powerblocks over the bowflex. Def more BIFL


coast22coast t1_j161m5m wrote

Schwinn ic4 spin bike & powerblock adjustable dumbbells (make sure they are the expandable versions)


Booomerz t1_j162f2q wrote

Could always buy something and then sell it for a slight loss but then have the cash at least.


spiderman22222 t1_j164yzu wrote

Buy massages or a gym membership. Hit the used market for exercise equipment.


Medium_Brood5095 t1_j16acu6 wrote

Wow I would use $1500 for new shoes + boots, maybe a new bed or chair if you need one, stuff you're going to use often. Or nice sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV. I can't imagine spending $1500 on a pottery wheel... and don't even know what the second thing is - a musical instrument?


BlarkinsYeah OP t1_j16bs0v wrote

Nice suggestions! yeah. I previously got some BIFL Nick’s boots made in the Pacific Northwest near me. They are the last boots I’ll ever have to buy probably. Incredibly happy with them. I use my insurance for eyeglasses. Thankfully browsed this subreddit and got an all metal bed frame that is going to last and the mattress still has 10 years in it.

Why? A pottery wheel is a tool - if you’re into pottery you want something that will last and help you throw better. I think it makes sense to buy BIFL tools. But, in my case I was hoping to find a pottery wheel for cheaper and possibly get an exercise bike.

And yes, the 3rd one is a very full featured synthesizer/keyboard.


harbinjer t1_j17ct7j wrote

You definitely want reasonable equipment when starting a new hobby, you don't want a toy or a "hobby killer".

You could get a nice camera and lens for that.

Another hobby: astronomy. Nice telescopes out there for that money. The nice thing is if you buy a high quality used one, you can resell it if you don't want it anymore for very close to the same money. Good quality binoculars same thing.

Also skis, downhill or cross country, or a snowboard. If you live in places to take advantage of that, its lots of fun.

Regarding the pottery wheel, the kiln is the just as hard to manage as the wheel(and glazes), and if you need a studio to help with one, you can join for both. Just a thought. Also classes make it much easier to start.


BlarkinsYeah OP t1_j17dhm1 wrote

Great comment. Yes, I agree! It’s more fun to use quality tools.

In full agreement about the pottery classes. Have been convinced to not buy a wheel. + it’s a social thing with a community aspect.

Have a snowboard but currently only have a fwd Corolla so haven’t been taking advantage. I’m interested in astronomy.


harbinjer t1_j18un1s wrote

Looking at your other comments, a telescope could definitely be something that gathers dust. The trick is to find one that's easy enough to use so that you'll use it, but also powerful enough to keep you interested. You might want to look at finding a local astronomy club first. That is a fantastic way to start, and mentor can really jump start your knowledge, and increase the excitement around it. Two telescope designs come to mind: the classic 8" Dobsonian, or a 4" Apo refractor. Neither are too bothersome for most people, and both powerful enough for many years of observing. The biggest point you need to know: nebulae and galaxies will NOT look like they do in pictures. The book "Turn Left at Orion" had great illustrations of what you'll see. Planets and the moon are a bit closer to pictures, and can be very exciting, but there 1000s of other things to see in the night sky, especially from dark sky sites.


pineapple_table t1_j16ciqa wrote

Sleep Chilli (or other brand) matress pad cooler. Its like heated floors but for your bed, and you can control the temperature. Life changing for me, my sleep is better


BlarkinsYeah OP t1_j16fhj6 wrote

Awesome. Investing in sleep is worth it. Can you tell me more? I heard about it on podcasts but I wasn’t sure if it’s actually legit or not.


blergems t1_j16gxwz wrote

Massage sessions at the most highly rated massage clinic in your area. If you get a 5 or 10 pack, you'll usually get a discount and will be able to try some different therapists until you find one you like.


cherriediane t1_j16haqj wrote

Omg a pilates reformer! So expensive, but if I had the money to blow I would get one


BlarkinsYeah OP t1_j16hyat wrote

What is it!? Never head of it!


cherriediane t1_j16i9rt wrote

An exercise device but I read your post too fast and realized you are looking for yourself, not asking if we could just get anything. They are great strength training devices. But just cost a fortune and pilates lessons are pricey also. So having the equipment at home would be amazing. But as you can see, very pricey for the legit deal


FionaTheFierce t1_j16lfhg wrote


Regular bike, because you can never have too many


A really high quality luxury item that I might never otherwise buy for myself (e.g. designer bag or shoes that I love)


A ticket somewhere I want to hike - bucket list location (e.g. Paris, etc.)


A year+ gym membership


Road bike and stationary trainer


Possum968 t1_j16tgm7 wrote

If I had $1500 to spend on something right now, I would buy a '49 Plymouth.


sonyneha t1_j174gce wrote

espresso maker, massage chair, hypnosis sessions, nice vaccuum, dishwasher, washing machine, towards principle on mortgage or any debt, art work, charity/donation


BlarkinsYeah OP t1_j177cen wrote

I love the idea of the massage chair! I already refurbish espresso machines so I have a real nice one.

GF and I were thinking about learning how to do massage. Is it something that the average person can do effectively/safely?


jepeplin t1_j189jlg wrote

I got a practically brand new Concept 2 rowing machine off of Craigslist for $600 about five years ago. It’s easily worth that now. I don’t use it all the time but it looks great, rows perfectly, and it’s what all the crew clubs here use.


GeoSol t1_j18mt8w wrote

Maybe check out r/Metalfoundry and think about doing your own pours instead of the more common work with clay.

1500 should get you just about everything you need to start.


Kangaroo_80 t1_j1ccma6 wrote

The best $300 I’ve spent in the last year was on a far infrared mat. Me and husband use it daily. Google the benefits of far infrared - it’s amazing.


turnonmymike t1_j1dknh9 wrote

table saw, a set of chisels, maybe a an old drill press...


Gamer_Bread_Baker t1_j1et3dp wrote

This is the perfect opportunity to get some custom boots if you want them. r/Boots can help you out more than I can. Some nice boots will change you forever, and they’ll last too.


IamAJediMaster t1_j15jot1 wrote

Can you buy an item for $1500 and then return it for cash? That's what I would do if I was forced to buy something I didn't need.


BlarkinsYeah OP t1_j15ln4k wrote

Unfortunately no - there’s a restriction on that.


hulihuli t1_j16s16h wrote

My company also has these stipulations on our wellness benefit. If you're just getting it reimbursed, they really don't have a way to know if you returned or resold what you got. Personal choice on whether or not to keep the spirit of it, though.


kendoka-x t1_j1630k3 wrote

Can you buy gold coins? for your hobby of collecting coins, that you may later* resell.

*later can be measured in seconds


BlarkinsYeah OP t1_j163k3r wrote

Haha! Although most things can be considered a hobby, no unfortunately.


itisChaboy t1_j19qzvj wrote

Can you buy silver or gold on ebay? Is that a grey area? Otherwise fuel a hobby or side hustle