OPINION | Money can buy you happiness

Money can indeed buy happiness just not in the ways we might think. Elissa Aguayo | Sun News Daily

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Whoever said money can’t buy happiness didn’t know how to spend it. 

As a full-time college student working a part-time job, life itself is just stressful. I worry about money all of the time. Whether it’s how I’m going to afford the soaring gas prices or if eating out is within my budget, I’ve found that many of my stresses and worries are related to money. 

I hear stories that involve lucky contestants winning the lottery and students earning big scholarships. Oftentimes I think to myself how happy I would be if I was placed in one of these situations that resulted in money overflowing my bank account. 

Understanding that money is the backbone to all things in this world has led me to believe that money truly can buy happiness. 

In order to survive, we need water, food and shelter. All these necessities cost money. What happens when we don’t have the money to buy clean water, healthy food and reliable shelter? We essentially lack the ability to survive, and those are just the necessities. 

Other things recommended for our day-to-day living include clothes, insurance, transportation and education. These cost even more than the necessities but are equally as important. 

The expense most relevant to the time period in my life right now is education. Education is not cheap, especially without financial aid. Not only do I have to pay for the education itself, I also have to pay for living expenses, transportation, food, fees and school supplies. 

As a first generation, non-resident college student, I remember feeling very anxious about attending college because I did not know how I was going to afford it. Due to this worry, I didn’t look forward to furthering my education, and I noticed my happiness decreased as I got closer to beginning my freshman year. 

Thinking back, if money wasn’t an issue, I definitely would have been more excited to attend college. I wouldn’t have had to worry about finding a job right away or filling out numerous scholarships throughout high school. I would have been able to relax knowing that I had the expenses of college taken care of without all the stress. 

Stress plays a big role in determining what makes people happy. Having the money to pay for unexpected inconveniences such as a popped tire or a cracked phone screen allows us to ride smoothly over the bumps of life. When individuals have more money, it doesn’t mean they have less problems. It just means that they can pay to get out of those problems quicker and easier which makes having money a lot more desirable.

Besides the important things in life, having more money also allows individuals to buy the things that they want. Whether that includes fancy cars, trendy clothes or the newest iPhone, materialistic items that people desire are often the things that make them happy.

Other things proven to make people happy are being able to give to others. Whether it’s food to the homeless, gifts to our friends or money to charities, people feel good and successful when they have the ability to lend a helping hand.

Feeling successful also leads to happiness. A common factor in success is determined by how much money an individual makes. When a big salary is presented, feelings of accomplishment allow people to feel happy because they know they have more control and financial flexibility over their life.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to the facts. A recent study found that there was no specific value at which money stopped affecting an individual’s happiness. The study showed that rising income resulted in higher well-being for participants.

Whether we choose to spend our money wisely or in a way that best suits our desired lifestyle, money can and will buy us happiness.