“Money is not required to buy one necessary of the soul.”
— Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Wrapped pennies

“However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names.  It is not so bad as you are.  It looks poorest when you are richest.”
— Henry David Thoreau, Walden

“For I don’t care too much for money
Cause money can’t buy me love.”
— John Lennon and Paul McCartney, “Can’t Buy Me Love”

When you are struggling with paying yet another bill and trying to save for your next car or retirement, it is easy to forget that money does not buy happiness.  When you do stop to think about what is important in life, it’s the intangibles like love, satisfying work, or communication that most improve the quality of your life.  And these “necessaries of the soul”  can accrue to even the poorer among us.

Here are a few of my favorite things that can be had for no money.  What would be on your list?

  • walking barefoot on a sandy beach where the waves lap the shore
  • a hot shower
  • listening to the gleeful giggles of children
  • getting lost in a good library book
  • finding a hand-written letter in the mailbox
  • spooning in bed
  • the smell of freshly baked bread
  • an unexpected snow day
  • a comfortable rocking chair
  • cradling a baby in your lap
  • beach combing for pretty shells
  • the scent of lilacs
  • birdwatching
  • tree watching
  • cloud watching
  • loving and supporting my family