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

Reader: 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.

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.

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Meghan in Indiana

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Meghan in Indiana: 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.

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

Amy R. in Pittsburgh: Nice job, and here’s to a healthier you!

Dear Heloise: I keep fit by walking the house, end to end and side to side. My husband recorded some songs that make me want to snap my fingers and tap my toes.

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I go happily through the house dancing and singing, and thoroughly enjoying my exercise. I've reliably met goals this way for many years. I add two 5-pound weights three days a week and use them while stepping side to side in time with the music.

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La Nelda H., Robinson, Tex.

Dear Heloise: I use wine bottles for "vases" to decorate with dried flowers. I have bottles from all the way back to 1919.

Rick T., Nipomo, Calif

Rick T.: Fresh flowers, too! Sounds lovely.

Dear Heloise: To celebrate my 80th birthday, I take a picture of myself each day. I've learned I like to take pictures, and they all don't have to be of the cat! I read your column every day in the (Youngstown, Ohio) Vindicator.

Marianne W., Youngstown, Ohio

Marianne W.: Happy birthday — celebrate you!

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at washingtonpost.com/advice. Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com.

2019, King Features Syndicate

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