Money Can Buy Happiness

Laura Tressel: Copy Editor
In a recent conversation with my roommate, I revealed that I believe so much more in the necessity of money than I did a few years ago. As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I almost regretted them, not wanting to seem greedy. However, she agreed with me, and I realized that I can’t be the only one who scorns the naive belief that money can’t buy happiness.

For me, the constant concern about money hit about a year ago when two major epiphanies struck: I was going to graduate college in a year and be thrown out into the real world, and I was deeply committed to a very long distance relationship. The issue of graduation is one that is constant but has yet to actually happen, so my financial concerns seem less looming. For now, I am able to push the thoughts of moving back home penniless out of my mind.

The second issue has been more of a struggle. I live 6,000 miles away from my boyfriend, which means a round-trip visit is worth anywhere from $1,200 to $1,700. I never thought I would get myself involved in a situation like this, but you can’t help who you love, right? The only problem is that I also can’t help my financial situation. Money doesn’t grow on trees, and when you’re already paying for books, bills, and nights out in PB, the travel fund doesn’t inflate very quickly.

My situation is surely not the same as others’, but I know my sentiments hit home with at least a few of my peers. For those of us not completely reliant on our parents’ generous support, figuring out how to be frugal is a difficult reality to face when college offers us so many options. Concerts, weekend trips, and endless dinners out tempt us constantly. One of the worst feelings is turning down an invitation to do something because all the fun is bleeding your bank account dry.

So, when people say that money doesn’t buy happiness, I have to disagree. If I had the money to go to every movie and meal my friends invited me to, or to jet off to Italy whenever I wanted to see my boyfriend face-to-face, I can guarantee that I would be in a happier state of mind than I am at this moment. Money allows us to spend time with the people we love and do the things that make us happy. It may seem selfish to want a few more zeros at the end of the number sitting in my personal account, but the reality is, there are things that we really can’t accomplish without that powerful green paper.