When it comes to getting rid of debt, it seems like the best option is to pay it off as quickly as possible.

This is especially true of credit card debt. The interest is insanely high, so you should just pay off what you can, as quickly as you can, right?

Not so fast.

It’s actually possible to pay off your credit cards too fast. What?!? Here are three reasons to take a step back and evaluate whether or not you should pay off your credit cards immediately.
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Father & son

Elizabeth picks up the paper and tries to read it. Again. Frustration tears her heart open. The words are no longer clear, just like the numbers on the stove and the labels on the bottles.

“Hi, Mom!” Jane bounds in, but notices the grimace on her aging mother’s face and hides her concern. Her mother’s deterioration is heartbreaking. Yet, every day, she comes over to hug and kiss her, just to let her know she’s going to be okay.

The facts gnaw at her more with each visit. She and her husband stress and struggle with their finances, because they know there’s little alternative for Elizabeth – but they just don’t know how to handle the financial burden that comes with caring for the elderly.

Caring for the Elderly: The Numbers

According to AssistedLivingToday.com, the average cost of a shared room in a nursing home is $93,072 per year. Per year! Most people don’t have that sort of money just lying around. Yet, with family demands growing each year, there are fewer hours available to take care of our aging parents ourselves.
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delay gratification
One of the keys to saving money is cultivating the ability to delay gratification. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done for many of us. Putting off pleasure today in anticipation of tomorrow’s needs doesn’t come naturally to many people. However, there are ways to overcome your natural inclinations and develop more thoughtful spending habits. Here are a few you should try.

1. Have a clear vision of yourself in the future. It’s much easier to want to take care of the future you if you have a picture in your head of what you’ll be doing in 5, 10, 15 years, and beyond as well as a firm plan for getting there.

Knowing what you want and how you’ll get it makes the reasons for resisting temptation seem much more clear and real than having just vague ideas.
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automating finances
A financial strategy that works really well is automation. The idea behind automating your finances is that you can set up your finances to mostly manage themselves. This works especially true today because the Internet made everything so much easier to set up automatic payments and transfers.

My finances are mostly automated and I prefer it that way. Not having to think about the mundane tasks makes it easier to ensure that my bills are paid when I’m out of town. It also means that I don’t have to think about setting aside money for my retirement account or for other savings accounts.

If you want to automate your personal finances, carefully consider the situation before moving forward. While automation can be great, it doesn’t always work in your favor. If you aren’t careful, you could end up overdrawing your account. Before you automate, here are a few things you should consider:
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car crash
Car accidents are never planned, but they are definitely expensive. While it’s obvious that your insurance rates will increase if you are found at fault, there are many other costs to consider too.

My husband just totaled our Toyota Yaris in May. There were a lot of costs that I did not even realize I should’ve planned for. Here are a few costs you should be aware of the next time you are involved in a fender-bender.

1. Chiropractic Care and Healthcare

Car accidents can do a number on your body. Thankfully my husband was not hurt during the crash, but it was still important for him to receive chiropractic care the next day. If your car insurance or health insurance covers this cost, then be thankful you won’t have to worry about co-pays and deductibles.
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Boys with soccer ball

Extracurricular activities used to be the domain of the child prodigies. Little ones who were training for the Olympics or the children’s orchestra were the only kids you saw going to gymnastics or violin lessons after school. For the rest of the kid population, doing homework and riding bikes was more than enough activity.

Times have certainly changed. Younger and younger children are going from school to music lessons to sports practice to scouts. Not only do all the extra activities take up a lot of time in the car, but they can also be difficult for parents to afford. In addition to the clear registration, activity, and equipment fees, there can also be unexpected fees for things like team photos or group snacks.

Here are four ways to reduce the costs of your children’s extracurricular activities without giving up the fun:
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