Like everything in life, obsessing over money requires a fine balance.
On the one hand, if you don't put any thought toward it, then you can be reckless and unprepared for what life throws at you.
On the other hand, if you obsess over it constantly, you're going to miss out on some really important things life has to offer.
Life is short, unpredictable and essentially chaotic. No matter how we imagine our lives or how defined of a path we try to take, life always throws you a curveball.
If you spend all your time spending and saving and not enough time living, you will inevitably regret it.
It's important to know the difference between being practical and being overly cautious.
Here are four signs you've begun to obsess too much over saving money:
1. You turn down an opportunity that is extremely significant to you.
We all have bucket lists, dreams and situations that we fantasize about.
We all have one concert we've always wanted to attend or that one place we've always dreamed of visiting.
Opportunities for us to knock off one of the items on our list don't come often; some might never come.
If you get the opportunity to make it happen, then don't turn it down because you're afraid of spending the money.
That decision is one you will end up deeply regretting.
2. You never treat yourself.
Money is important, and it makes the world go round. We work our asses off to earn it and then give most of it away just to survive.
However, we need to do more than just survive; we need to live.
Why work so hard if you don't receive anything in return? It's important to treat yourself once in a while and to remind yourself why you work so hard every single day.
The second you stop allowing yourself to indulge, even if it's only once a month, you are telling yourself that after all the hard work, you haven't earned anything.
That simply isn't right.
3. You stop taking chances.
Life is made up of many scary decisions: where we choose to go to school or work, whom we choose to marry, if we choose to have children, etc.
Each one of these decisions is a risk: an emotional risk and a financial risk.
Yet, if you tell yourself to wait and wait for a better time to come, for a time when the risk is smaller and you'll feel more comfortable, life is going to slip by you.
There is never going to stop being reasons why you shouldn't do things, so at some point, you just have stopped listening to those reasons.
4. You listen to your head before your heart.
There are times in life when listening to your head seems like the practical thing to do, and perhaps occasionally, it is.
If you learn to rely on it entirely, though, then you begin to lose sight of what is most important to you.
When it comes to spending money, it's a difficult line to decipher. That is, at what point you should be realistic, and at what point you should take that leap of faith?
In order to determine where to draw this line, you have to look to your heart and figure out what risks are worth taking and what aren't.
If you forget to decipher between the two, you will either end up risking everything or risking nothing. Once again, that balance is crucial.
I grew up with one parent on either side. One liked to risk everything, while the other risked nothing, and I never could figure out which was better.
I fell somewhere closer to the safe side, and over time, I became more and more unwilling to take chances and grasp opportunities.
It took getting hurt multiple times because I chose to stay where I was most comfortable before I figured it out.
One day, though, I flew halfway across the world on my own money, money I'd worked hard for and never would have risked before.
My life changed for the better because of that decision.
Now I know it's OK to reward myself. I know that some risks are worth taking, and some people are worth making risks for.
I learned that life is short and occasionally even painful, and that sometimes, we make the wrong choices and that's OK, too.
However, the second you stop allowing yourself to indulge in what life has to offer, you're choosing merely to survive and not to thrive, and that simply won't do.
This article was originally published on Unwritten.