You’ve heard it all your life – save as much money as you can because you’ll need it for retirement. Saving money is important, but do you need to save every penny? How many years are you willing to put off taking a Caribbean cruise, or visiting Italy, all in the name of your future retirement?

Life is short. Even if you live to be 100 years old, you won’t be able to enjoy an international trip like you would in your 20s. If you’ve saved up some cash, there’s no reason to hoard all of it until you retire. Money is a medium for exchanging value, and if you’ve been avoiding spending it out of guilt, here’s how to break past that:

Detach from the compulsion to save every penny

If you’re like most people, when you get your paycheck, you save ten percent or more in a separate savings account. If you’re extremely frugal, you might also transfer unused funds at the end of each pay period.

Saving money is healthy. Saving every penny without giving yourself the opportunity to spend it on something worthwhile is not. 

You’ll regret not taking a vacation more than you’ll regret paying for plane tickets. The regret of missed opportunity is intense. The Week reports, “Opportunity breeds regret. Feelings of dissatisfaction and disappointment are strongest where the chances for corrective reaction are clearest.” In other words, if you have the money to spend on something you find worthwhile, but don’t, you’ll feel the sting of regret.

Saving too much money can be a disorder

A pattern of behavior is considered a disorder when it impairs your ability to function healthily. Just as there are anxiety and alcohol disorders, there are also money disorders. 

Psychology Today describes several categories of money disorders. The first disorder involves underspending and excessive risk aversion, while the second involves hoarding to gain a sense of security. Both types of disorders center on the fear of spending money and cause great suffering.

Studies show that money is the top reason for an early divorce and a frequent conflict between couples. Three-quarters of Americans report money as the number one source of stress in their lives. Many people have a money disorder without realizing it.

Realistically assess what’s going to benefit your retirement

You can save all the money in the world, but it won’t better your retirement experience unless you spend it. If you wait decades to spend your money, inflation will have significantly decreased its purchasing power.

Instead of saving only for a rainy day, ask yourself what you can do right now to make your life happy, safe, and comfortable for retirement. If there’s something you can do now, that’s what you should spend your money on first. For instance, some people buy a custom designed house so they don’t have to worry about buying a new home later on. You can design a custom home to work for you now and decades into the future. If you’re worried about your retirement, buying the right home while you can is going to benefit you more than saving every penny.

When you buy a home, you’re going to live in it for many years to come. It makes sense to invest in creating a comfortable environment that also considers the future. Cabinets you can reach without stretching, shades you can control with a remote, and stairs you can turn into a lift, if necessary, are all worth considering.

The ability to remotely control motorized shades, for example, makes a home office cozy and keeps kids and pets safe from the dangers of cords. They’re also a good investment when you have multiple windows or windows you can’t reach. 

Find ways to save money on necessities

Saving money on purchases you can’t avoid, like groceries, will free up extra cash. Saving money by not spending it is one thing, but finding ways to save while making purchases is a skill. Most people go to the grocery store with a few coupons and save fifty cents here and a dollar there. People known as “Extreme Couponers” save hundreds or thousands of dollars, sometimes paying just forty-nine cents for $1,500 in groceries.

You don’t need to go to the extreme, but it does help to search the paper for valuable coupons.

Redefine what you consider worthwhile

Not seeing specific purchases as worthwhile can be a problem. For example, it’s inconvenient to ride your bike six miles to and from work each day when you could easily buy a used car. If your life is difficult and strenuous, chances are, there’s something you can purchase to make things easier.