I have been going into Task Manager every time I use the phone and closing all apps. I read somewhere that if you leave them open they will drain your battery in no time. Is this true or am I doing this needlessly?
If you use Fascinate native task manager, you may have noticed that bar's color on left of the active application counter is changing color yellow to green to red. Yellow color indicates that whatever applications are running they are not affecting (too much) RAM load and not causing battery extensive usage. The green indicate that application is in active stage and consume RAM and battery. The red color indicate that application are actively using RAM and draining battery at extensive rate.
In order to save yourself a hustle to go to task manager, download Advanced Task killer, choose application that you don't care about (like all of the VZW bloatware) and then install Advanced Task Killer widget on your desktop. One press on that widget will cleanup unwanted application from the memory and will save your battery. Although, I need to mention not to use autokill function in Advanced Task killer as it may be killing some of the essential OS processes which would result in phone reboot.
If you need more info/help, please don't hesitate to drop a line.