Since the day I decided that I would be spending a semester in another country, I have saved and saved as much money as I possibly could (while still being able to survive and hang out with friends in the States prior to leaving). I worked almost every day of my summer while also living at home, rather than being independent like my friends who were still living it up in our college town.
And yet, after being abroad for only a month, I have noticed myself in a constant panic about spending everything that I have saved by the end of this trip. And it keeps me from being present and happy for every second I'm here. It stops me from saying yes to opportunities with new friends. And it will cause me to come home empty-handed of memorabilia from my time living here.
But the other night after a reflective and peaceful yoga session (that I said YES to, despite the cost) I realized that I needed to not let money control me while I'm here. Yes, I should still be mindful of what I am spending it on, but I worked hard so that I would be capable of paying for these things.
To me, it's similar to hoarding money in life. You get older and older, while the sum of your money may get greater, but then your life is up. You can't take it to the grave! Yet you could have spent it (respectfully) to enhance your life experiences. For me, when I go back to America, I want to have used my hard-earned money to its full extent. Whether this means traveling on the weekends, signing up for experiences, eating good food with new people, or buying gifts for my loved ones and I, I want to look back and know that I was not restricted in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Not only this, but the amount of stress that worrying about money induces is unreal. It can hold your mind and heart captive, not allowing them to be happy and take in the world that you are living in. So basically, I have realized that if you saved money for your future self, then use it when the past YOU intended. Because in a few months you will not have to ability to spend it on the things that matter most to you.
So do your past self a favor, and use the money you worked so hard for you to have. Don't let it keep you tied down when you should be becoming enriched by the opportunities that surround you.