last year I was unemployed for a few months - after working for a start up that didn't pay me steadily, and that folded owing me money, and after leaving a job that I had taken, knowing that I was taking a 50% cut in gross salary for a chance to move to the states. so, by last may, I had burned up all of my savings, and was living pretty tight.
I was on the way to a job interview in virginia when my car died. not only did I not have enough money to replace the car, I wasn't sure I had enough money to rent a car to drive down to the interview.
this weekend, I had a flat tire, in a rental car in Orlando, where I had taken my family for a short vacation, staying in a hotel suite, hitting 3 parks in 3 days, and basically feeling no worries about blowing a nice little chunk of money on a small family vacation.
I had to contrast this to the last time I had to wait for a tow truck, this year I was annoyed that my rental car didn't have a working jack, and that I wasted 2 hours waiting, but the experience wasn't all that bad. last year, I was sweating blood over it.
so, while money doesn't buy happiness, it can take away a lot of stress.