Mourinho's remarkable revelation only underlines the impact that UEFA's new rules are having, with a club that possess almost unlimited resources now forced to live within their means.
Mourinho still had a busy first transfer window after returning to Stamford Bridge, with Andre Schurrle, Marco van Ginkel and Willian all commanding big fees.
But the Portuguese stopped short of pushing for the likes of Falcao and Cavani, who ended up at Ligue 1 sides Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain respectively, because the outlays would have jeopardised Chelsea's standing when it comes to UEFA's new rules on spending.
Financial Fair Play began to apply from the 2011-12 season and essentially meant that clubs wishing to participate in European competition could make a maximum permitted loss of 45m euros (£37m) over a two-year monitoring period, with acceptable losses gradually reducing on a yearly basis from then on.
Chelsea announced a loss of £49.4m for the year ending June 2013 and have reined in their spending accordingly.
Mourinho's Chelsea are currently top of the Premier League and are still in the FA Cup and Champions League and, when asked if Financial Fair Play was the reason moves for Cavani and Falcao never got off the ground, he replied: "Correct. Because of transfer fees and salaries.
"Players are not just about transfer fees, but big wages. Of course there's a certain profile of player we don't go near."
Mourinho claimed to relish the challenge of the financial restraints, adding: "It's even better and even more enjoyable work, I think."
Chelsea have been synonymous with spending big on players since Roman Abramovich took over at the club more than a decade ago.
But now Mourinho is overseeing a change in philosophy, with over £20m profit taken throughout January as the signings of Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah were offset with the sales of Kevin De Bruyne and Juan Mata.
Former Internazionale and Real Madrid coach Mourinho praised the work done by his predecessors as he believes Chelsea will be in a strong position when financial restraints come into place that could see some of Europe's biggest sides fall foul and miss out on entering the Champions League.
"Chelsea made great investment in the past, and in some moments were also a bit criticised because we did so much," he added.
"But things change. Chelsea adapted well to the situation. When you see De Bruyne, who played three or four matches for Chelsea, gave us a big profit, there are other players who maybe don't play a single match for Chelsea and we will sell them at a profit.
"We had to organise ourselves in a different way. Before me, Chelsea did fantastic work in this level: (Romelu) Lukaku, De Bruyne, (Thibaut) Courtois, young (Thorgan) Hazard, Piazon. Not all of them will have a career at Chelsea, but all of them are important in this new financial organisation.
"So Chelsea worked very, very well and probably started doing that before other clubs. Because of that, even if Financial Fair Play comes into practice, I think Chelsea are advanced projecting that new situation and did very, very well. It was before me."