Money has its limits.
While no one can argue money is essential, everyone would agree that it’s not the end-all goal. Ultimately, people want happiness and satisfaction in their lives. And while money can help you live more comfortably, there are plenty of important things money can’t buy.
That’s the basis of Jack Raines’ recent article on his personal finance blog, Young Money: 87 Things Money Can’t Buy.
Jack is a personal finance writer, touching on topics like how to avoid regretting your career in ten years, understanding price anchoring, and the consequences of taking too much risk in your financial plan.
After reviewing Jack’s list, here are ten important things money can’t buy.
10 Important Things Money Can’t Buy
1. “The embrace of an old friend you haven’t seen in years.”
One of the best predictors of happiness and satisfaction is the strength of your social connections. And while money can put you in a position to reconnect with old friends, it’s up to you to keep the connection strong.
2. “A loving marriage.”
And of all your social connections, your relationship with your spouse is by far the most important. Cultivating a loving marriage takes time, effort, sacrifice, and compromise. It’s about meeting your partner where they are, loving them without condition, and accepting their love in return. And none of those things come with a price tag.
3. “Good health.”
Although money and health are connected, all the money in the world can’t buy your way out of poor health.
4. “Additional time with your parents and grandparents.”
There’s an interesting relationship between time and money. When you’re young and have time, you’re willing to trade it for money. But, when faced with a shortage of time, you would trade large amounts of money just to have a little bit more time, especially with the ones you love.
5. “Laughter that brings tears to your eyes as you exchange stories and jokes with good friends for hours and hours.”
There’s nothing better than laughing with good friends for hours and hours until your stomach hurts and your eyes tear up.
6. “A scratch golf game.”
Becoming a scratch golfer is the ultimate goal for many golfers. It means you can successfully manage every aspect of your game, navigating all courses successfully. Money can buy you the gear, but hard work and dedication buy you the skill.
7. “A sense of fulfillment in your work.”
A sense of fulfillment in your work comes from working hard at something that’s important to you. It’s a great feeling that adds a sense of worth to all the work. If fulfillment is lacking, consider reassessing whether your current job or career is the right fit for you, and don’t be afraid to pivot.
8. “Admiration from your peers.”
Genuine admiration comes from a sense of respect others have for your talent or skill in a particular area. Money can’t buy talent or abilities. But instead, you develop them from hard work and consistency over long periods.
9. “A loving relationship with your children.”
Perhaps one of the most valuable relationships of all is the one you have with your children. No amount of money can cultivate the love that your children feel. In fact, too much time spent focusing on money or work can detract from the time you get with your kids. And often, your kids don’t want your money; they want you — specifically, time with you.
10. “Enough confidence to laugh at yourself.”
The ability to laugh at yourself takes confidence, humility, and above all else: a good sense of humor. “It’s one of the hardest humor skills,” says Jennifer Hofmann, a researcher at the University of Zurich who studies laughter and emotional expression. But it can be important, as studies show that the ability to laugh at yourself predicts many positive character traits, such as self-awareness and humility.
In the end, money isn’t bad, but it has limits.
The goal should be to manage your money in a way that offers you the option and ability to do the things you love. Don’t let money become the end goal. But instead, use money as a tool to do “what you want, when you want, with the people you want, for as long as you want,” which, as best-selling personal finance writer Morgan Housel writes, “is the highest dividend that money can provide.”
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