Dear Heloise: My credit card was charging me a $39 annual fee. I spoke to a representative, but they wouldn't waive the fee, so I closed the card. Did I do the right thing?—A Reader, via email
That depends. Closing a credit card could negatively affect your credit score. It might lower the amount of "available credit" you have, and could hinder your chance of getting a car loan or a mortgage. However, eliminating consumer debt is not a bad thing overall.—Heloise
'9 P.M. ROUTINE'
Dear Heloise: My sheriff's department has a new program: "The 9 P.M. Routine."
To lower the chance that my car will get broken into, the program recommends that before going to bed, I should remove valuables, lock the car and take the keys with me. Sounds obvious, but it's a good reminder for everyone, as we are all so busy nowadays.—Meghan in Indiana
Meghan, this is a national campaign, fueled by social media, to remind people to protect not only their vehicles, but also their homes. The hashtag #9PMRoutine is trending.—Heloise
Dear Heloise: I wanted to lose 20 pounds in the new year, so I got two glass jars and 20 marbles. I put all the marbles in one jar, and for each pound I lose, I transfer one marble into the second jar.
It's a good visual so I can see my progress!—Amy R. in Pittsburgh
Nice job, and here's to a healthier you!—Heloise