21 Things Money Can’t Buy (That You Can Have For Free)

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The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money

— Unknown

Having lots of money should be a priority for all of us so that we can create freedom, be able to help those in need, and easily take care of our basic necessities.

Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that money is the root of all evil.

Sure it can bring unwanted attention your way, but it an also can also give you the freedom to spend your time as you please.

That being said, there are certain things that all the billionaires in the world combined cannot buy.

Below is a list of 23 things that money can’t buy:

#1. Time

Time can't be purchased with money

Guess how much time Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Jeff Bezos have in a day?

24 Hours.

That’s the same amount of time you have so don’t for a second think that money is going to buy you more time.

Money can buy expensive watches and give you the freedom to chose what to do with your 24 hours, but it’s still 24 hours — not a second more.

Make your 24 hours count.

#2. Family

I have met people who have no relationship with their family.

Some have even told me that they wish to have been given the option to choose their family.

At its core a family consists of a father, mother, and children, so let’s look at each individual element.

I personally have no real relationship with my biological father. However, I was blessed with a great stepfather whom I consider my real dad.

A father is only a father as a result of the relationship between him and his kids.

Money cannot buy that relationship.

The same concept applies to a mother — Money cannot buy a real mother and son relationship.

Regardless of who you consider to be your family. Money cannot buy that connection.

Families are built through relationships, not money.

Money can buy you nice family vacations, but no matter what, it doesn’t have the power to buy you a family.

#3. Real Friends

A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.

— Walter Winchell

The number of people you hang out with doesn’t signify the amount of real friends that you have.

Most friends are actually acquaintances that you hang out with from time to time.

A real friend is someone that sticks by you through thick and thin.

Real friends are the ones that you call not only to go out, but to get advice when you’re going through tough situations.

Acquaintances are easy to make, real friends aren’t.

Money can’t buy real friends. However, it can buy you plenty of acquaintances that want to be part of your world.

Real friends don’t look at your net worth, they look at your real worth.

#4. Happiness

Do a Google search for the happiest man in the world and see what you come up with.

I don’t know all the science behind it but many scientists consider Matthieu Ricard, a Tibetan Buddhist monk, to be the happiest man in the world.

I just started reading his book titled “Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill.”

Hoping to publish a review of the book in the coming weeks.

Back to the topic… The reason why I mentioned this is for you to see that money doesn’t equal happiness.

Our society tries to sell us the idea that money will bring happiness into our lives.

And to some extent, it’s correct.

I believe that because of the world that we live in, money is a key ingredient to being happy.

However, money is only part of the equation.

If money equaled happiness the following people would still be with us:

  • Heath Ledger
  • Michael Jackson
  • Amy Winehouse
  • Chris Benoit
  • Kate Spade
  • Anthony Bourdain
  • Jose Fernandez

I could continue with the list, but as you can see the above list is composed of people from many different walks of life.

Some committed suicide, while others “unintentionally” killed themselves trying to get away from who knows what.

This list just goes to show that money can’t buy happiness.

Have you ever met a happy person who wanted to commit suicide?

#5. Self-love

I wanted to put this one right next to “happiness” because the same thing applies here.

Money can buy you plenty of things that can make you feel good about yourself, but it can’t buy self-love.

You can drive the fanciest car and own the largest mansion on your block, but if you feel empty on the inside then it’s all for show.

Self-love is the ability to love yourself no matter what.

This doesn’t mean being satisfied with your current situation. Demanding more of yourself is part of self-love.

Self-love is what allows you to enjoy the journey to your ultimate destination.

#6. Health

While certainly true that money can put you in the hands of the best doctors in the world and purchase medicine. Money can’t buy health.

Steve Jobs and Paul Allen were both among the richest men in the world at the time of their death.

They both had access to the best medical treatments money could buy and perhaps because of it, they were able to extend their life.

However, in the end, they both fell to cancer.

Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer which has a 10-year survival rate of less than 2%. He lived 8 years after his diagnosis.

Paul Allen, on the other hand, survived 36 years with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma which is a form of cancer that is often curable.

These two examples might be on the extreme side, but it goes to show that no amount of money in the world can buy health.

Eating well, exercising often, and having a good mindset are the best forms of staying healthy.

#7. Home

If you go anywhere, even paradise, you will miss your home.

— Malala Yousafzai

That right there is why money can’t buy you a home.

Money can buy you an awe inspiring house where you can host lavish parties and become the envy of those around you, but it cannot make it a home.

A home is a refuge from the world. It is your sanctuary, filled with joy and comfort.

A home is where you wear your coziest clothing regardless of what the fashionista inside of you thinks.

Home is relaxing, it’s where your kids leave their marks on the wall and where every isle has its own story to tell.

Money can’t buy any of that.

#8. Knowlege

Money can buy books and provide you access to some of the best minds in the world, but it can’t buy knowledge, wisdom, and experience.

I remember back in high school having to read plays by famous writers such as William Shakespeare and Edgar Allen Poe.

I had no interest in that kind of stuff at the time, so even though I had a great teacher, access to the writings, and a class that contained many enthusiastic students I learned nothing.

And that my friend is why money can’t buy knowledge.

You can have everything needed to learn something at your fingertips, but if you don’t put any effort into it, you won’t retain anything.

#9. Determination

A determined soul will do more with a rusty monkey wrench than a loafer will accomplish with all the tools in a machine shop.

Robert Hughes

Determination and passion go hand in hand.

I don’t think you can have one without the other and neither can be purchased with money.

You can be passionate about becoming a chef, but if you’re not determined to do whatever it takes to become one, you probably won’t get very far.

Money can put you in the right place, but it cannot instill passion and determination into our soul.

#10. Love

Money can't buy love.

I consider people who believe money can buy love to be completely clueless on this subject.

Money can buy you sex, leisure, and even companionship but it cannot buy you love.

Love can never be taught for it is to be learned; love can never be bought for it is to be given; love can never be kept for it is to be free; love can never be old for it lives to last a lifetime.

— Anonymous

Anyone who has experienced love of any kind in their life knows that it can’t be purchased.

Money can probably give you more opportunities to find love by putting you in front of people from a position of power.

Money can make someone feel more secure around you which can lead to to love, but security alone won’t make anyone fall in love with you.

Love is a genuine action with real emotions that develops between people who know each other to a certain extent.

Money may buy you attraction and attention, but love? Never.

#11. Courage

Courage is the ability to do something that frightens you.

Money can put you in frighting situations, but it can’t buy you the courage to triumph over them.

Money can give you certain levels of confidence which some people might confuse with courage.

However, they are two very different things.

Confidence is a faith or certainty in your ability to do something. In other words, fear doesn’t exist.

Confidence can get you past many situations, but when fear creeps in you need courage.

And that’s something money can’t buy.

#12. Purpose

Many people buy books, hire a coach, or attend conferences and seminars to help them discover their purpose in life.

But no matter how much money you spend on trying to find your purpose it’s something that resides within you.

Money might give you the means to find your purpose, but you must put in the effort in orer to actually find it.

When it comes to money, many poor people discover their purpose and leverage it to become rich.

Money can guy you the GPS — it’s up to you to find the route to your purpose.

#13. Talent

Regardless of how rich you are, you cannot buy talent.

While talent can be nurture, it can’t be purchased with money.

You can spend money to attend school and improve your skills, but what truly develops your skills is your effort, not the money you spend.

Other people can’t run for you, you must do it yourself.

The same goes for talent. If you want to develop talent, you must put in the time and effort required for doing so.

Money can certainly make the process smoother by putting you in front of the right people to help guide you, but ultimately, you still need to put in the time and effort required to develop talent.

#14. Respect

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t respect teachers, fire fighters, police officers, and nurses.

You’d also be hard press find someone who became a millionaire by dedicating their life to those professions.

In other words, money cannot buy you respect.

Money can buy adulation and envy, but it cannot buy you an once of respect.

Respect is too grand a notion to fit in a wallet, trust fund, bank account, inheritance, or hedge account.

#15. Loyalty

Loyalty isn’t grey. It’s black and white. You’re either loyal completely, or not loyal at all.

— Sharnay

Money is capable of buying you toadies and foot soldiers who will leave you the moment a better offer appears.

Loyalty cannot be purchased with money. Loyalty comes from respect of character, not financial transactions.

Loyalty exists at work, in romantic relationships, and friendships.

It is something that you must earn through the relationships you build with people.

Loyalty is priceless.

#16. Inner Peace

Money can buy you distractions, but it can’t buy you serenity and inner peace.

You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.

Eckhart Tolle

You could argue that inner peace and happiness are one and the same, but I like separating the two.

I believe inner peace can lead to happiness, but true happiness cannot exist without inner peace.

You can use money to hire someone to guide you on your search for inner peace, but they can only give you guidelines for finding it.

Only you can find inner peace as it resides within you.

#17. Manners

Money can’t buy you manners. But good manners can buy you refuge from an embarrassing moment.

Having good manners can even lead to financial success, but not the other way around.

That being said, money CAN buy you fancy $500 per place setting china, as well as etiquette lessons so you know which fork to use when, but it can’t buy you good manners.

Good manners are learned and it’s up to you to used them. Money cannot force you to be well mannered.

#18. Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment.

Awareness is something that cannot be exchanged for money.

Would be nice to be able to purchase awareness on isle seven at Walmart, but China hasn’t gotten around to manufacturing it yet.

Money can buy experiences, but it can’t buy the mindfulness that is necessary to be present, and enjoy whatever it is that you’re doing in the moment.

#19. Integrity

The Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett once said “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

Without integrity, you’re bound to ruin your reputation.

Integrity is a character trait that you must practice and live by. It’s not something you can buy with money.

Integrity is a virtue that most people lack, yet they crave it.

What would you do if someone dropped $100 in front of you without noticing and walked away? Your level of integrity will show, especially when there is no one watching.

#20. Sense of humor

Sense of humor cannot be purchased with money.

Who doesn’t love being around funny people?

Seems like some individuals are born with the gift to make others laugh.

Many comedians build wealth as a result of being able to make people laugh.

Never heard of one that became funny because of the money they had.

Simply put, having a sense of humor cannot be purchased with money.

#21. Acceptance

True, money can buy you memberships to exclusive associations that can make you feel like you belong to something.

However, your money is not going to make people accept you.

Your character, actions, and the way you carry yourself is the only thing that will provide you with real acceptance from others.

Money can’t buy that.


The list of things that money can buy is immense.

Amazon alone sells more than 600 million products which can be delivered to your door steps for a price.

Money can buy just about anything you can think of. However, there are invaluable things that no amount of money can buy.

All the money in the world can’t buy you the 21 things mentioned above.

Useful Resources

Happiness by Matthieu Ricard

Let the happiest man in the world guide you in developing life’s most important skill.

What Money Can’t Buy by Michael J. Sandel

This books looks at the moral limits of markets. It tackles the question of whether there is something wrong with a world in which everything seems to be for sale.

13 Things Every Self-Help Book Will Tell You

Learn from the best, just be sure to avoid becoming a self-help junkie.

What is the one thing that you wish money could buy which it can’t?

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