If money grew on trees, there would be more joy in the world

By Nick Cook | Web Editor

As the old saying goes, “money can’t buy happiness” — but those who say this either have enough money to not have to worry about the small things or don’t realize the power of money.

Going through my day, I realize how much happier I would be with more money. It’s not just because I want more money, and I’m not ungrateful for what I have. I’m truly grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had in my life and the position I’m in in my career.

However, after waking up early for work every morning and staying in class until 6 or 7 p.m. — with another three to four hours of homework and studying every night — the fatigue starts to set in, and you realize how much time would be saved if you just had more money.

I think about how much more time and freedom I would have with more money. Money can buy a lot, including happiness. It may not be directly related, but it makes a difference.

Sarah Gervais, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Nebraska, said in a published piece that having a higher income can give people access to better health care, living situations and leisure time. Gervais said buying material items increases short-term happiness, but the excitement tends to fade over time.

“In the long term, however, we habituate to new things, and even though they may have made us excited and happy at first, eventually the item becomes the new normal and fades into the background,” Gervais said. “The happiness that comes from purchasing experiences, however, tends to increase over time.”

Money is able to buy experiences, and those experiences can make you happy through the culture you explore, the people you meet and the activities you do in the places you visit.

The most important thing money can buy is time. Time is versatile; it gives you the chance to take trips, do your favorite hobbies and work on skills to advance your career. Time is the best thing money can buy. I think this is what most people underestimate about money: the amount of time it can buy.

When you do have the money to get out and go on trips, do it. Start a new hobby. Do whatever makes you happy, and use your money to buy time.