I decided to write this after hearing the news that Bill and Melinda Gates ended their marriage soon after their youngest daughter left the house. I was not surprised by the divorce and I was not surprised by its timing. At the same time, it drives me nuts to hear people say things like, “Money doesn’t matter.”

I am a financial adviser to multi-millionaires, an accountant to entrepreneurs and middle-class professionals, and as a pastor I work with the incarcerated and the homeless. I am one of the few people you will ever encounter who has financial experience with the very poor, the very rich, and everyone in between.

Money does matter, but it doesn’t matter in the way most people think.

Here are the things money CANNOT do:

Money cannot buy happiness.

Money can’t save your marriage.

Actually, money can’t save any relationship with anyone.

Money cannot make you proud of yourself.

Money can’t save you from your own narcissism and the isolation it creates.

Money won’t help you deal with conflicts.

Money won’t help you understand who you are and what your values are.

Money cannot fix your past mistakes.

Now here are the things money CAN do:

Money solves problems (nearly all of them.)

Money eliminates stress.

Money can improve your health.

Money can improve your confidence.

Money absolutely can buy you love (Sorry, the Beatles were dead wrong.)

Money can buy you the freedom to live out your values.

Money can buy you access (to pretty much anything.)

Sometimes money can buy power (but only sometimes.)

Money can buy you tons of clout, prestige or status, if you care about such things.

There you have it. Do with this information as you will. A lot of people have an almost mystical attitude towards money. Hopefully this post provides some clarity.