Is money necessary for living a happy life?

Emmanuel Rodriguez, Reporter

It’s the age-old question. Maybe your parents or grandparents have said “money does not buy you happiness.”But, are your elders sure about that?

I asked 54 people a simple yes or no question: “Does money make you happy?” As for the results, I received an even split. 27 people said yes, money does in fact buy them happiness. 27 people said no, money does not buy them happiness.

Let me be the 55th person to answer this question. Does money make me happy? I will answer that question with a rhetorical question: Is the sky blue?

Of course money makes me happy! Whoever said money doesn’t buy happiness is a huge liar.

I recently received my tax return and was so euphoric. When I see that my father put money in my bank account, I grin from ear to ear. Receiving a paycheck at the end of the week is the best feeling in the universe.

I will never forget the day I got my first paycheck. I had just turned 14 and graduated from middle school. It was a long first week, but I was so excited to receive my first check that when I ripped open the envelope, I almost ripped the check as well. When I saw the check, it felt like I just received a gift from God.

It’s all about the money.

Of the people I asked, the ones who said money does not buy happiness explained that money can buy things that make one happy, but what someone really needs is love. Well, a lot of things have broken my heart, and money isn’t one of them.

But, of course the first sentence is true. With my money, I can buy whatever makes me happy. I can go ahead and buy myself a new pair of shoes, or a nice shirt, or buy tickets to a sporting event, or buy food. But if someone is buying these things to make them happy, isn’t that technically buying happiness?

One day, my family and I were stuck in traffic on a hot, humid day in the Bronx and there was a homeless man on the shoulder near the center median on Interstate 95. When we got closer to the man, my father generously gave him $50. The man smiled, and was incredibly grateful, the $50 clearly made the man happy.

Have you ever been so hungry or thirsty that you’re miserable? Then you go to the vending machine and buy that bag of chips or bottle of water and suddenly, you’re no longer miserable. Money bought you that happiness.

Do you remember when you bought your phone? Do you remember buying your favorite pair of high heels or brand new Retro Jordan sneakers? Do you remember going on vacation? Do you remember buying your car? Do you remember finding money in your jeans? I bet you were happy.

Money bought you that happiness.

Students on campus are starting to reach the point where they want to go home, relax, hang out with their friends and family, and hope their guardians give them some cash. Money is starting to become scarce.

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