How Closing Accounts Can Kill Your Credit Score

One of the major factors of how your credit score is calculated is your capacity. This is the ratio of credit used to the amount of credit that is available. This accounts for 30 percent (almost a third!) of your credit score. For example if you have 5 credit cards with a $1000 limit and you have 3 of them maxed out and 2 of them inactive your capacity would be at 60 percent, $3000 of your $5000 total credit limit. This is not good in the eyes of the lenders and your credit score would suffer because its ideal to be at 10 percent of your capacity.

Remember a credit score is a formula measuring your ability to pay back your debts and obligations. If you have a high capacity and little room left for your maximum then your ability to pay back your obligations is viewed as more limited.

So in the example above, lets say you decide to close the 2 inactive cards for whatever reason. Nowadays, the credit card companies will charge a fee to inactive cards so a lot of people are now closing their inactive accounts. Well unfortunately, they are killing their credit score. If you are maxed out on three cards and you close the other 2, guess what, you are now at 100 percent capacity because your total credit limit is now $3000 instead of $5000. I know from personal experience this will cause your credit score to plummet.

My advice? Don’t close your inactive cards. Use them once a month, maybe for gas, or treat yourself to a latte from Starbucks. Then pay them off immediately so you don’t incur any interest. Do what you can to pay off the cards that are maxed out, or at least get them down to where your balance is under 10 percent of the limit. If you can, try to transfer the balance to a lower interest card, so it can save you a few bucks on the interest. This strategy is sure to improve your credit score because capacity is a major factor, and if your capacity improves, your score improves.

Asking your bank for a credit limit increase on some of your cards isn’t suggested nowadays, this is a strategy that old credit repair people recommended but in today’s economy with the credit crunch, it prompts an account review, which for some quirky reason, may cause the banks to LOWER your credit limit. This would damage your capacity as well.

You are already disciplined enough to not spend on two cards. You are unique in today’s credit crunch world, use your discipline to your advantage, don’t close your accounts. You will be doing more harm to your credit score than good.

Teenage Weight Loss – How Teenagers Can Safely Lose Weight

Teenagers with body mass measures between 25 and 30 require immediate medical attention. The internal stress caused from so much weight almost guarantees the premature development of medical problems such as diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and stroke.

There's no question that aggressive weight loss methods are necessary and these teenagers need to be followed by medical experts for years to come. But what about teenagers with body mass measures just below 25? Is it safe for this group of overweight and mildly obese teenagers to lose weight?

The verdict is still out – the weight loss community continues to wait for more evidence supporting aggressive weight loss methods for overweight teens. I say while we wait, let's lose some weight.

But we do not need to be so aggressive with this group. Overweight teens need to lose weight, but in a slow, gradual process. Lasting weight loss and the development of positive habits should replace the push for immediate weight loss in adolescents with body mass measures between 22 and 25.

The there's the teenager wanting to lose weight for purely cosmetic reasons. How do we approach this fragile situation as parents and professionals? We can not just say no to her for fear she might turn to unhealthy means to lose weight. But we can not just give him a green light and say go for it, either.

The rest of this article focuses on the cosmetic teenage weight loss dilemma. The best thing I can do is at least provide some ground rules for teenagers with body mass indices less than 22 who insist on losing weight.

Cosmetic Teenage Weight Loss – The Ground Rules

Here's a simple, straight forward list of ground rules for teenagers wanting to lose weight for cosmetic reasons:

  1. Losing weight with a body mass index less than 19 is not recommended and might even be harmful. Things like eating disorders, endocrine abnormalities, stunted growth, and anorexia are all well documented consequences from unnecessary teenage weight loss.
  2. Teenagers with body mass measures between 20 and 22, can lose 5 to 10 pounds in a safe and effective manner.
  3. The primary mechanism for teenage weight loss is always the "burning" of excess calories through increased physical activity. A combination of aerobic exercises and resistance training works fast and produces the best results.
  4. Teenage weight loss by restricting calories should be kept to a minimum. A slow, gradual, and controlled restriction of calories is key. I recommend starting with a 5% reduction of calories from baseline for two weeks. This is followed by a 10% reduction for one week and then a 15% reduction (if necessary) for one week.
  5. Dedication to a consistent exercise program typically produces the weight loss desired without any changes to the caloric intake. A more natural way to reduce calories comes from eating a more balanced and nutritious diet, including more servings of fruits and vegetables.
  6. Emphasizing consistent exercise and a nutritious diet is often all that is needed for a teenager to drop some weight, firm and tone muscle, and achieve her "cosmetic" goals.

For the actual steps to safe and effective teenage weight loss, additional information on resistance training, and guidelines for restricting calories, use this link …

Teenage Weight Loss Plan

To Healthy Living!

Michael A. Smith, MD

Chief Medical Consultant

Diet Basics Website

How to Write a Best Man Wedding Speech Toast

Best Man Wedding Speech

Trust me, many calm and collected people who are great at public speaking, get nervous when they are asked to speak at their friends wedding. As the spokes person for the guests of honor, there are many expectations placed on you. So, how do you write a best man wedding speech?

Well, if you are here, then you have been requested to make the best man wedding speech for the wedding day. This is not just any day, but THE day that these two special people (including all their family and friends) will look back on for years to come. After all, when you have been deemed the Best Man, this wedding speech is even more crucial. This means that you know the groom best, and will toast the newlyweds as well at their wedding.

If that is not enough, you are also one of the main coordinators for the wedding reception. You will help organize the details for the wedding and reception to make sure that everything runs smoothly. You are also expected to look after the groom (make sure his breath smells fresh and that he is not drinking excessively). Also as a host you must ensure that guests are having a good time. This means removing any stress or dealing with people that might interrupt the wedding reception. Lastly, there are other people running around with a list of responsibilities. You need to make sure these people are on top of things while enjoying themselves.

So when are you allowed to you have a good time?

I have a feeling that you are beginning to understand why many best man candidates can not handle the tasks required. I am sure that you are flattered to be given the honor as best man to prepare the best man wedding toast, but many find it hard to juggle the direction under all this stress and responsibility.

How to Write a Best Man Wedding Toast

Writing your wedding speech is not what is time consuming. It is making sure everything blends together. Your best man wedding toast will need a theme and the necessary personal, witty, emotional, and meaningful ideas, jokes, and one-liners that make a wedding speech memorable for all the right reasons.

Even for those that are used to writing and delivering speeches alone, this can still be a challenge – and for those not accustomed to public speech etiquette (more so writing the perfectly balanced wedding speech for the big day), just the thought of standing in front of hundreds of strangers with all the focus on your every word is enough to make anyone’s creative juices come to a grinding halt.

Luckily, there is an easier way in the form of an extremely well written and simple to read book by author Tom Haibeck, professional speech-writer.

This book is considered the Bible of Wedding Toasts in the wedding realm. Regis Philbin referred to this book when toasting his daughters wedding and it will help you too. I have checked it out, and this book lays out you need to know about being an incomparable Best Man. This means more than just how to write and deliver the best man wedding speech, but also gives you insight into possible themes, wedding toasts 101, the correct use of humor, how to eliminate your fear of public speaking, how to hold their attention… all this, as well as TONS of written speeches and wedding speech templates.

Would not you like to get the job done quickly and efficiently?

Get Wedding Speech Samples

The main attraction of this package is, of course, the handwritten exquisitely crafted, witty professional wedding speeches (did I mention that there is are easy to use, step-by-step templates, a checklist, and Tom’s top 10 Do’s and Don’ts).

That is not it, there are also tasteful jokes and famous quotes that will help you personalize your best man wedding toast without sounding insincere. That is the difference between this book and all the other canned speeches that I have seen. This one will not make you look fake. Trust me, as a wedding professional I have heard many terribly delivered toasts and few had the natural well versed touch that the bride and groom deserve.

Best Man Wedding Speeches is it Worth It?

Altogether, this is a pretty impressive package. Toms got all the bases covered here, an intense variety of useful info on every single aspect of being a Best Man, from the speech-writing and delivery itself to handling problematic guests to wedding etiquette.

In short: literally everything you will ever need to pull off your responsibilities as Best Man with style and panache are included here.

But do not just take my word for it, feel free to check it out for yourself (and have a look at a couple of those testimonials while you are there, if they do not convince you, then nothing will!)

The verdict? Two thumbs up for Tom Haibeck’s Best Man Speeches; it really is the Best Mans ultimate resource!

Wedding First Dance – The First Dance at Your Wedding With a Great Wedding Band

Most couples have a song that is special to them and it is traditional for the bride and groom to start the wedding evening’s party by dancing to their chosen song (although this is not set in stone!).  Although this is not compulsory, it is a nice way to start the evening as all the wedding guests (including those who have just arrived for the evening) get to see the embarrassed couple gaze lovingly into each others eyes as they smooch around the dance floor to the flash of cameras.  In actual fact it’s not that embarrassing; a good wedding band will let the couple dance alone and then after a minute or so will invite everyone else up to join the bride and groom.  With the dance floor full of smooching couples it is then easy to go straight into a party or dance song and so the evening’s entertainment begins.   

Whether or not the first song if played live by the band or from the original CD will depend on a number of things; does the band already have the song in their set-list?  If not, are they prepared to learn it (assuming they have time)? If they are willing to learn it will they do it justice (a three-piece band that does pubs every weekend may be able to do a version of your special song, but will you be happy with their interpretation as your first dance)?

Ultimately the answer to this question is to talk to the band.  If you can arrange to see them play live you will get a good idea of their abilities based on how they cover the songs they already do.  Good bands always try to learn a couple’s first song if it is not already in their set-list, especially if it is a song that we can be used again. Good bands will also, however, have no hesitation in recommending that the original CD version be played if they thought that they could not learn it in time or not do it justice!  Beware of copyright issues though; bands will have this covered for live performances but if you want to play a CD, speak to the venue first to see if they are covered. You are unlikely to experience a problem with the publisher, but you never know!

 

I can’t think of a worse way to start someone’s special wedding evening than a band playing a very lame version of a song that should have special meaning to the bride and groom.  If you want to do that crazy killer-dance that is so often seen on YouTube, you’ll need a good quality dance band. Please note; the sooner you let the band know what you want then the more chance you have of getting it – don’t be disappointed if you ask the band 2 days before your wedding to learn a specific song only to be told that it is not going to happen! So plan ahead, think about what song both you and your partner would like that first dance to be, then find a good band and speak to them; they will generally have great advice for you.

 

Most of all? Just relax on the night, stare into your partners eyes and get everyone in the room gushing and weeping at the lovely romantic sight of you both dancing for the first time as husband and wife.