College students and students who just graduated from college often don’t have much money. They live on a diet of Ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese, and they keep their nights out to a minimum. This lifestyle is normal until graduation, and they find a good-paying job. For many kids at this stage, the struggle helps shape their future.
Friends and Roommates
A group of friends from New York knew all about money woes. Reese Werkhoven, Lara Russo, and Cally Guasti were going to be getting an apartment together, and they knew that money would be tight. Reese was in his third year studying Geology at SUNY. Lara had graduated from college the previous year, and Cally had just graduated from Mount Holyoke College.
The three friends found an apartment, and they were ready to move in. It took a few days of moving boxes in and decorating the apartment, and they were finally almost done. When they looked in their new living room, they realized that something was missing. They didn’t have a couch. They knew that they needed a place to sit outside of their rooms. They were going to need a place to sit on roommate movie nights, so they decided to find a couch.
Because the kids didn’t have much money, they weren’t going to be able to go to a furniture store and buy a brand new couch. They decided to see what they could find at the Salvation Army. They looked around at the store, and they found a couch. It wasn’t the nicest couch in the world, but it was the right dimensions to fit into their home, and the best part was that it was $20. They were happy with the purchase, and they took it home.
When the roommates moved the couch into their new apartment and sat down on it, they realized that it wasn’t comfortable at all. They noticed that it was lumpy, and not in just one section; it was lumpy all over. They figured that you get what you pay for. They thought that maybe they would be able to move the lumps around to make it a bit more comfortable. The first place they were going to start was the arm of the couch. While trying to fix the lumps, Reese found a zipper in the arm of the couch. When he opened the zipper, he couldn’t believe his eyes. The used sofa is uncomfortable. When they open it they realize why.
When Reese opened the zipper on the couch, he discovered a large envelope. Inside the envelope was bubble wrap. At first, he thought that maybe it was drugs. When he opened the bubble wrap, he discovered that it was filled with a stack of $50 bills and $100 bills. They couldn’t believe it. The kids got up and locked the doors, and started checking the couch for more lumps. Each area they found a lump, it was another envelope full of money. It took them quite a while to pull the envelopes from the couch, and they counted the money. When they were finally done removing the envelopes from the couch, they had a total of $41,000.
So Many Ideas
When they first found the money, they couldn’t believe their luck. Each of the kids had an idea for the money. Reese wanted to buy his mother a new car. They all thought it would be a good idea to use some of it to pay off their student loans. Lara suggested that they take a trip around the United States. While they were talking about all the ways they could spend the money, Cally went back to the couch, thinking that they missed something.
The Bank Statement
Cally’s second search paid off. After looking through the couch again, she found a bank statement. After looking at the bank statement, she realized that there was a name on it. This caused them to feel guilty. This money belonged to someone, and they knew who the rightful owner was. They could have either kept the money, hoping that the guilt would fade, or they could do the right thing.
Making the Call
The kids found the owner in the phone number, and they called. The person who answered was rude and abrupt with the kids, saying that she wanted her money back. The kids were pretty surprised that she was so short with them. They thought she would at least be thankful.
Returning the Money
When they got to the woman’s home, they realized that she might have needed the money more than they did. The property was disheveled and in a bad neighborhood. When the woman opened the door, she wasn’t at all what they expected. She burst into happy tears when they handed her the money. They found out that before she lost her husband, she had been stashing his savings into the couch for over 30 years. When the woman went to the hospital for surgery, her daughter cleaned up the house and got rid of the couch, not knowing that there was money inside. To thank the kids, she gave them each $1,000.