Category: s

7 Steps for How to Save a Lot of Money and Not Spend it on Useless Things

Wondering how to save a lot of money? Are you’re a big spender, with too many things that you bought for almost no good reason?

You’re not alone!

It’s normal for an average teen to spend a lot compared with what they make. It’s not bad to want things, but it is bad to buy things “just to have it” and with no purpose.

The good news is that you CAN control your spending habits. Follow these steps below for how to save a lot of money not spend it on useless things!

save money teenagers

Step 1. Put money aside FIRST

Putting money aside sounds pretty easy and it can be if you know how to let go and pretend it’s not there. When I say “put money aside,” I don’t mean to use for later. Keep it in a safe place and let it grow! Put away a dollar a day or 10-20% or more of your earnings somewhere safe in your home or in a savings account. It’s never too late to start saving! The earlier the better, and you won’t regret it.

One trick for how to save a lot of money is to “pay yourself first,” which means that before you spend money on anything else, make sure you put money aside or in your savings first.

Step 2. Set goals

Set reasonable goals for yourself on how much money you want to save. If you need a laptop for school, save money and set a goal to reach the amount you need to have. With that said, I’m sure you’ll still want to spend — but think carefully about what you want to spend your money on.

The worst thing is walking into a store and automatically thinking you need everything you lay your eyes on. Make sure you purchase something that’s worth having! If it’s just a phone case you want but yours is still in perfect condition, you’re fine without another one – resist and use discipline. You can do it!

goal setting teens

Step 3. Be realistic!

Be realistic about your goals and what you want to buy. You see a beautiful pair of shoes and you want them so badly! Do you need those shoes so much that you’ll die for them? If your answer is yes, then you’re going to need to change your mindset, because nothing in any store is worth having that much.

Remind yourself of all the times you bought the little things you just had to have – a new shirt, electronics, an expensive meal, a collector’s toy and the list goes on….those little things all add up!. Be realistic as to whether they were worth it in the long run. Probably NOT.

Step 4. Track your expenses

The next step for how to save a lot of money is to track your expenses. When you’re young, you don’t care about saving. I get it. You want the best and only the best, regardless if you can really afford it. One way to curb your temptations is to track your expenses.

Keep track of what you buy either on paper, a spreadsheet, or on a budgeting app. You might think you’re not spending a lot but wait until you see the big picture. If your parents give you an allowance, show them you know how to save and maybe they’ll give you a credit card. Maybe, maybe not.

Step 5. Ask yourself these 3 basic questions

  • Why do I want this? If it’s something reasonable like you need a sweater for the cold weather, then sure, get it.
  • How often will I use it? A sweater can be used all year round, so still a reasonable purchase.
  • Can I live without it? If you have a lot of sweaters already then maybe you can live without it. But if you need a good sweater and it’s affordable then yes, get it.

Be smart about it. Have more reasonable answers than just “it’s cute” and “it’s in.”

Step 6. Learn to appreciate what you already have

Nowadays, it’s easy to become materialistic with everyone wanting the latest trends or hottest gadgets. We always want the best of things in life and that’s fine. But as soon as you grasp the concept that you ALREADY have great things, especially when compared with teens elsewhere in the world, you will learn to appreciate your current possessions more rather than be obsessed with every new thing.

If you can discipline yourself to live without upgrading your iPhone, buying the similar shirt you already own just in a different color, or eating at the Cheesecake Factory every Friday night, then you’ll live happily with what you currently already have.

Now, I’m not saying avoid buying things you absolutely need like a new toothbrush, or shampoo and body wash! This step in how to save a lot of money requires that you distinguish your needs and wants.

appreciate what i have

Step 7. Last but not least, train your brain to wait

Train your brain to wait when buying. When we shop around, we make impulse purchases. Stores are designed to make us buy junk. It’s not fair; they really know what they are doing!

If you walk by something you want, remember to ask yourself the 3 basic questions from Step 5 above and also see how long you can go without it. Try to force yourself to walk out of the store, even if you know you are going to buy it no matter what. After a while you might realize that you don’t want what you thought you needed so badly.

Keep it up, and soon you’ll be sitting on some fat stacks or a nice balance on your bank statement thanks to your improved spending habits!


Kristen_MarquezKristen Marquez graduated with a B.A. in Cinema & Television Arts from California State, University Northridge with an emphasis in Television Production. She is a social media coordinator by day and a content creator by night. With her great imagination, she knows she will create the next big thing whether it’s a script, a product or a simple idea that will fill people’s hearts with joy and entertainment. She blogs for a hobby and loves spending time with her golden retriever Lily.

Instagram: @lexikris
Twitter: @krisiza10

Emily Keener Interview – Voice Star Talks Breakfast, Second Breakfast, and More!

She stunned the judges at her blind audition on the 2016 season of the hit show The Voice, with all four spinning their chairs and Blake Shelton declaring “Your voice, its like nothing I’ve ever heard before. Its just a completely new sound — unbelievable!”

Since her run on the show, singer-songwriter Emily Keener has been busy working on her new album, Breakfast, now available on iTunes and streaming on Spotify. The LP highlights her powerful voice with a blend of ethereal and indie-pop sensibilities.

We got the chance to connect with Emily via email and get to know her a bit better. Scroll down for the Q & A with this lovely and talented person!

emilykeener_lafamos_2

Hi Emily, nice to e-meet you! First off, for those out there who are unfamiliar with you, tell us a little about yourself.

Nice to e-meet you, too! I’m an 18-year-old singer/songwriter from Wakeman, Ohio, and I’ve been performing and writing music for six years. I’ve always been drawn to music, and when I started to learn how to write lyrics and chord progressions, it instantly turned into my passion and center.

Tell us about your new record, Breakfast. First, why the title? And what makes it different from your earlier records?

I decided to call it “Breakfast” as a nod to the last line in the last track, “The Things I Do” that goes: “…until then, there is breakfast again/and I’ll stare out of the window and wonder when.” I liked the imagery of a monotonous thing like a meal paired with the existential leanings of the rest of the song. Funny enough, I didn’t even realize that I mention the word “Breakfast” two other times on the record!

The whole thing is very fresh and intricately arranged. I find it very exciting to listen to the production choices and the way my songs live and breathe with the full-band vibe. Previously, my records have been a little more simplistic and acoustic. I think Breakfast provides a nice contrast to that, and shows that I am comfortable with shifting my musical focus and experimenting.

Which song on it is the most personal for you and why?

So many of the tracks are based heavily on my personal experiences and my perspectives. I try to be as vulnerable as possible with my lyrics and subject matter, so there are large pieces of my heart in all the emotional songs, especially.

I would have to say “Fire & Brimstone” and “The Castle” are the most personal. The former specifically talks about the feeling of being 17, a struggle with the reality of aging and time, and a search for truth in a very confusing world. The latter is a raw look at depression and inner demons that so many of us face for the first time at this stage in life. My hope in writing them was that they would resonate and help others feel less alone.

You called the bonus tracks ‘Second Breakfast’ — Are you a Lord of the Rings Fan?

I am! I love that you got the reference!

The bonus acoustic EP isn’t set in Middle Earth (although, the song “Unburdened” has some similar imagery). The name was just too good to pass up!

emily_keener2

What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself through your Voice experience?

I learned that I could handle a lot more than I thought. Yeah, I may have been terrified every time I stepped on that stage, but by the time I walked off, I would be thinking: “Oh, okay. I’m alive, I got through that performance in front of millions of people, and now I’m going to go get an acai bowl and sleep for 12 hours. I’m still a normal person, and this is my life.” Getting in the groove of things in such an intense environment takes a lot, but I managed to do it, and that’s extremely empowering!

What was the most valuable thing you gained from working with Pharell Williams, your mentor on The Voice?

I think I gained a greater sense of my own musical abilities and intuition. He’s a feeler, like me, and we had a lot of good conversations about trusting yourself and trusting the spirit of the music. He often insisted that I know a lot more than I think I do, and that has stuck with me.

What is the sweetest thing a fan has said to you/done for you?

I could never pick one thing, because so many sweet things have been done for me over the years. My favorite experiences are when I get pictures drawn for me, when fans give me super thoughtful gifts, or when people drive from Florida to Ohio for one of my shows. (yes, that has happened!) The kindness of my supporters is unbelievable!

Who would you most like to collaborate with as a singer/songwriter (besides Pharell haha)?

I would love to collaborate with Norah Jones. I’m a huge fan of her work, and she is one of the best singer/songwriters out there! Opening for her or performing with her is a dream of mine. I would also die of joy if I could collab with Paul Simon, because he is my favorite writer of all time, but he has retired from performing.

You seem pretty grounded and well-supported by your family. However, many teens suffer from bullying even though everything seems okay on the surface. Have you experienced bullying, and if so, how did you get through it?

Because I’ve been homeschooled and surrounded by mostly older friends, I have not experienced a lot of bullying from my peers. Sure, there were some negative comments on my Voice performances, and that never feels nice, but the responses were 90% positive. I was pretty good at shaking the rest off.

I think some of the hardest “bullying” that many of us face is the stuff we say to ourselves. The stuff that other people say that we validate and see as true. So, yes, I’ve struggled with that negative self-talk, and I address it in my lyrics now and then.

What’s the biggest challenge you have had to overcome in your career so far?

I’ve never questioned my desire to do this for the rest of my life. But, at times, it’s hard to know if I’m focusing on the right things or going in a good direction. There are a lot of different approaches to take in this business, so it’s not easy to know what’s best or what makes the most sense. The underlying challenge is a fear of “messing up” or “not being good enough”. I’m grateful for The Voice, because my time on the show really helped me face that.

emily-keener-breakfast

What role does your family play in your success?

My family has been extremely supportive from the beginning. I grew up listening to my Dad play guitar, and I was mesmerized by it. He always had music playing around the house, and it instilled a love in me that hasn’t faded in the least. I started teaching myself to play at 11, because I wanted to be just like him.

Soon after, my Mom got me working with a local songwriter named Chris Castle, and he taught me about chord theory and song forms. Because she saw something in me and the silly country covers I was playing at the time, I was able to start at a really young age. I’m super grateful for that! My siblings have put up with my late night practice sessions, and the rest of my family comes to every show they possibly can.

Most embarrassing moment ever?

I was asked to sing the American and Canadian National Anthems at a Cavaliers watch party in Cleveland this year. It was for one of the Conference Finals games, so it was a big deal, and the stadium was packed even though it was just a watch party.

I got up to sing. Music started. First line or two of the Canadian anthem: just fine! Then… nothing. My mind went blank. I had completely forgotten every lyric ever. Instead of staying silent, I said with wide eyes, “I’m not from Canada.” Everyone started cracking up. Thank God we were playing against Canada that night. I still felt disrespectful and wanted to apologize to every Canadian on earth!

What are you most grateful for?

I’m grateful for all the amazing opportunities that 2016 has held. I feel very lucky to be diving into my life-long musical journey at such a young age, and it makes me excited for the future. I get even happier when I think of the friends and family that have lifted me up!

Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you.

Lots of people know that I live in the middle of nowhere, but I also used to be quite the farm girl. I showed pigs in the county fair (no joke!), rode horses all the time, and have fed my fair share of chickens. Also, I love photography and want to travel the whole world with a camera. I guess that last thing isn’t entirely unique, but still!

What is your New Year’s Resolution?

I’ve decided to do yoga four times a week, and answer every message I receive within 24 hours. As an Olympian of procrastination and the worst texter ever, I know which one will be most difficult!

What do you have coming up next?

I have two shows in January, and more details and ticket links can be found at www.emilykeener.com/events! I’m also currently booking some out of state shows, so follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to see if I’ll be coming your way!

Could we please get a selfie of you right now, doing whatever it is you are doing at the moment?

“Just relaxing in my room, listening to Norah, and enjoying the snowy day!”

emily_keener_selfie

Follow Emily:

https://www.youtube.com/user/EmilyKeenerMusic/

http://instagram.com/emilykeenermusic

https://www.facebook.com/EmilyKeenerMusic

https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/emily-keener/id449765399

Website: http://emilykeener.com

Cool Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas PLUS GIVEAWAY!

Okay procrastinators, you have about 10 days until Christmas and still have no idea what to get your friends, your little brother, or even a teacher? Well, we have put together a few ideas for you. Most are super affordable, with a few premium items thrown in the mix for those who can splurge.

To spice things up, we are doing a giveaway as part of this post (all the way at the bottom of the page) and also provide some tips to avoid getting scammed when shopping online. Let’s get right to it!

Shades by Sunglass Warehouse

Its the middle of winter. A perfect time for new shades, I say.

Sunglass Warehouse has some fresh styles for very reasonable prices. Actually, REALLY REALLY REALLY reasonable prices. We are talking TONS under $10 (look at their sale section) and most under $20. With funky designs and UV protection to match or beat Ray-Bans, these make amazing last minute stocking stuffers.

cheap sunglasses

affordable sunglasses

 

FUNimation Anime Subscription

Is your boyfriend or girlfriend an otaku, or otherwise a deep fan of Japanese anime?

If so, consider signing him or her up for a Premium subscription at FUNimation, the premier distributor of anime in the United States. For only $5.99 per month, bae can stream the latest anime simulcasts, English dubs, series, movies and extras to their heart’s content.

gifts for teens

anime-for-teens

Marsee ZeroX Bluetooth Speaker

For about $25, the Marsee ZeroX is a waterproof, shock-proof Blue-tooth connected portable speaker that turns your phone or tablet into a stereo system, with a surprisingly loud volume and rich bass. Clarity at the top end of the sound spectrum is not quite bright, but it is sufficient for most listeners.

Check out our quick video review here:

adidas Originals Grey Ultraboost Uncaged Sneakers

Hard to find, but if you can get your hands on them your significant other will love you forever. Okay, at least you will probably get a sincere “thank you!”

Low-top Primeknit slip-on sneakers knit in tones of ‘dark solid’ grey and black. Coated striping at round toe. Lacing in grey at vamp. Rib knit elasticized collar. Rubber accent at heel featuring rubberized logo in black at outer side. Textured boost™ midsole in black. STRETCHWEB rubber sole in black. Tonal stitching. Upper: textile, rubber. Sole: rubber. Imported.Any Sharp Knife Sharpener

For aspiring cooks out there, the Any Sharp Knife Sharpener is going to make your lives much easier. It is the easiest way to sharpen a blade we have ever tried and doesn’t take up much space in the kitchen at only about 3″ high and wide.

All you have to do is place the knife in the Any Sharp and draw the blade towards you 3 or 4 times using light pressure. Your blade will be super sharp!

  • Strong suction keeps it in place and safe for even clumsy people to use
  • Needs only light pressure to sharpen. Less chance of accidents!
  • The optimum angle to sharpen a good quality steel knife is 20 degrees. AnySharp is pre-set at 20 degrees to give a perfect edge every time.

Costs between $22 and $30 on Amazon.

cooking tool for teens

Bazooka Sugar Free

Bazooka Candy Brands (‘memba the Bazooka Joe comics?) continues its legacy by introducing a new take on classic bubble gum with Bazooka Sugar Free in two exciting flavors – Original and Blue Razz.

Bazooka also introduced the new sugar free varieties with some Disney Frozen and Avengers branding, as well as new gummy candy branded with the anime sensation Yo-Kai Watch!

Cost: Cheep!

bazooka gum

teen candy favorites

 

Bean Boozled Spinner Jelly Bean Gift Box

Everyone’s favorite YouTube challenge candy, Bean Boozled, is on its 4th edition and features 2 new flavors — Spoiled Milk and Dead Fish. Yumma!

Spin the wheel and pick the bean indicated. Each flavor pair looks identical…so will you end up eating the Tutti-Fruitti or the Stinky Socks bean? Only luck can tell when you play Beanboozled!

  • 4TH EDITION of Jelly Belly’s world famous 3.5 ounce Bean Boozled Spinner Wheel Game
  • BRAND NEW FLAVORS: Spoiled Milk / Coconut and Dead Fish / Strawberry Banana Smoothie
  • 20 FLAVORS TOTAL with 10 classic and delicious flavors, and 10 weird and wild flavors
  • PERFECT FOR EVERYONE, Kosher, Gluten-Free, Peanut-Free, Vegetarian

Flavors:

  • Spoiled Milk* – Coconut
  • Stinky Socks – Tutti-Fruitti
  • Lawn Clippings – Lime
  • Rotten Egg – Buttered Popcorn
  • Canned Dog Food – Chocolate Pudding
  • Dead Fish* – Strawberry Banana Smoothie
  • Booger – Juicy Pear
  • Moldy Cheese – Caramel Corn
  • Barf – Peach
  • Toothpaste – Berry Blue
Only costs about $6-$9 depending on the store!

beanboozled sale

600 Questions on Art: Beginner to Expert Game

For those soon-to-be Art History majors or anyone else interested in the subject, 600 Questions on Art is sure to challenge them and expand their knowledge. Billed as the “Trivial Pursuit” for art lovers, the questions ranges from easy ones like “Who painted Guernica?” [Picasso] and “How many arms has the Venus de Milo?” [none] to the more esoteric “What was the name of Paul Claudel’s sister who became a skilled sculptress?” [Camille]

Each box comes with 150 question cards with 4 questions on each, 1 die, and 1 rulebook.

Cost: $14.99, available for a bit less from some sellers on Amazon.

art gift for teens

 

Yellowberry

Yellowberry founder Megan Grassell was appalled when she took her younger sister to the mall to buy her first bra. There simply wasn’t a simple, comfortable option which was marketed in an age-appropriate way. Padding, push-up and underwire bras pitched in an overly sexy manner was not what she had in mind.

So she took matters into her own hands and started her own company to revolutionize the bra industry for girls — all while still a junior in high school! Today, the brand not only sells bras, but also underwear, lounge and athletic-inspired apparel exclusively for girls. Also unique is the decision to photograph all models in bras from the back, to emphasize that the important feature is how the bra feels to each girl, rather than the observer.

Costs: items are moderately priced and the samples we were sent (see photos below) feel very high-quality.

bras-for-tweens

 

ZeroWater Stainless Steel Water Filtration Pitcher

ZeroWater offers fresh and pure tasting water with the sleek and modern 8-Cup Stainless Steel Pitcher with free TDS Meter (Total Dissolved Solids).

Constructed of stainless steel and black plastic, this looks like Darth Vader’s personal water pitcher but there is nothing Dark-Sided about it. This BPA free pitcher comes with a laboratory-grade water testing meter that indicates precisely when it’s time to change the filter while demonstrating how ZeroWater leaves virtually zero dissolved solids in water. Its uses five sophisticated technologies that work together to remove virtually all dissolved solids from tap water, including chromium-3, chromium-6 and lead.

Pros: Water tastes phenomenal. Filters works very well. Water tester stores right in the lid and is very useful.

Cons: The pitcher is HEAVY when the filter is in place and filled with water. Filter and filling container take up a lot of the pitcher’s real estate, so you have to refill this quite often — and the filtration process takes a while.

Cost: $39.99. Replacement filters cost about $15 each, less if bought in bulk. Each filter is rated for 15 gallons, making it about 1 dollar per gallon proposition, depending on the initial water quality and how much you drink (we used our filter for much longer and the water still tasted great). Great for athletes and other health-conscious people!

best tasting water

Magic Opener

When we first received a sample of the Magic Opener to try we were like, really? Is this product really needed?

However, once we stuck it to our fridge using our built-in magnet (note, its not a very strong magnet and slides down our refrigerator sometimes) and started using it, we realized how much better it was to use it rather then our teeth, fingernails, knives, spoons or whatever else happened to be lying around the kitchen.

It opens soda cans and other cans with pull-tabs, as well as bottles (both plastic and the old school metal-capped ones) but does NOT open sealed cans which you normally need a can opener for (like soup cans).

Costs only about $20

teen kitchen

Mohawkz, Camera Roll Game, Shower Wow, Wraps Headphones, Vivitar DVR-786HD and Bubi Bottle

Watch our correspondent Barbara Sandifor provide her honest opinion on the last six of our items:

Need even more ideas? Find more info here on some epic guitar picks…

Now that you are all excited about the things you are going to buy, its time to learn a few tips for staying safe when shopping online.

How to Avoid Shopping Scams During the Holidays

Tips by the team at DealsPlus (www.dealsplus.com )

Finding out you have fallen victim to an online hoax can take the fun out of one of the most joyful times of the year. Keep guard with this list of scams that you should watch out for during the holidays.

Fake Apps

Apps are supposed to help us out in our daily lives. But now is the time to beware of fake apps, which are designed to do the exact opposite. These apps are often disguised as games and are offered for free. Once you download them, they steal personal information from your device. Be watchful for fake retailer apps as well. They mimic well-known brands and stores such as Dollar Tree, Foot Locker, Nordstrom, Zappos.com, Polyvore, and Christian Dior. In additional to your personal information, they will steal credit card information if you use the app to make a purchase.

Before downloading any new app to your device, read third-party reviews, and look for typos and run on sentences. All are indicators that the app could be a scam.

Online Shopping Scams

It seems like every store is offering the best deal around. During these holidays, be leery of any deals being offered by unfamiliar sites that sound too good to be true such as outrageously low prices or unrealistic discounts on popular products. Any information you give to make a purchase will be compromised. And avoid online merchants offering gift cards in exchange for a purchase, and do not click any unsolicited emails or links. Signs of a fake site include a suspicious URL, sketchy contact info, and an unclear refund policy. Visit Complex for more about red flags exposing fake shopping sites.

Social Media Scams

You know how social media works. Someone makes a post, a few shares and clicks, and all of sudden it is viral. This goes for posts for fake coupons and gift cards. DO NOT CLICK even if a friend is sharing them. Inc.com notes that links may direct you to phishing sites that try to steal your information, or sites with advertisements and malware. And NEVER share your information if asked.

Product Review Scams

We rely on product reviews to make informed decisions while shopping online. Unfortunately, fake reviews are becoming a serious problem with companies actually paying people to write positive reviews on Amazon and Yelp about their products. Don’t be fooled by review scams with the Fakespot browser extension, which allows you to analyze reviews of a product to find out if they are authentic or not.

Phishing Emails from Fake Stores and Brands

During the holiday, you can expect an inflated inbox of emails from the stores you shop at often along with order status and confirmation emails for products purchased online. It can get chaotic, which is why fake retailers choose this time to target consumers with phishing emails. While they look legit, keep a keen eye out for emails claiming there is a problem with your order or offering discounts, deals, and coupons. Clicking links could result in unintentionally downloading malware or providing personal information. Safeguard yourself. Instead of clicking links, only visit vendor websites by entering their URL in the web browser. And never download attachments.

Fake Delivery Service Emails

Waiting to receive your online purchase is stressful enough. Now you have to worry about fake-delivery service emails? Yes, unfortunately. Pretending to be major carriers like UPS, FedEx, and the US Postal Service, scammers send emails and text messages that deliver malware via attachments and direct you to phishing websites. But there are ways to avoid this holiday scam. If you have any questions, or receive a text or email, go straight to carrier’s website by entering their URL into the browser.

Charity Scams

It’s horrible to think, but there are scammers who make a profit by preying on peoples’ charitable spirit during the holidays. If you are considering a small and unfamiliar charity, check its rating and performance at Charity Navigator before making a donation. Inc.com notes you should always give payment and credit card information by contacting the charity through its website. Don’t ever give payment information to someone claiming to be a representative of the charity who contacts you by phone or email.

The effects of holiday shopping scams range from annoying advertisements to being cheated out of money to complete identity theft. By knowing which red flags to look for and shopping with caution this season, you’ll beat the scammers at their own game.

Giveaway!

We are giving away a Christmas prize pack featuring some of the items above and a few other goodies.

  • Funimation Prize Pack including “Shonen Hollywood: Season Two DVD,” several mini-posters, a High School DxD illustrated pillowcase and cel phone charm, a copy of “The Boy and the Beast” soundtrack, and more!
  • Your very own copy of 600 Questions on Art: Beginner to Expert game.
  • One package each of Bazooka Sugar Free Classic Flavor (60 pieces), Disney Frozen-themed Sugar Free Razz-Berry flavor (22 pieces), Avengers-themed Classic Flavor (22 pieces), and Yo-Kai Watch! gummies.
  • One Camera Roll smartphone card game!

To enter, just:

1. Screenshot or snap a pic of this graphic below:

 

gifts-for-teens

 

2. Post it to either Twitter or Instagram and mention @teenswannaknow in your post so we see it. If you post to both Twitter and Instagram, you double your chances of winning!

3. If you haven’t already, follow us from whichever accounts you post the pic on.

We will pick one random winner (must live in the continental U.S.) and announce the winner on Twitter and Instagram by Friday, December 16th 2016!

How Teens Can Save Money on Sales, Deals and Clearance Items

So you want to find the best deals and get more from your hard-earned cash? Who doesn’t, right? Well, you’ve come to the right place for some quick and easy tips on how to save money the next time you go shopping.

First, we’ll start with the most important thing to understand: if you figure out when sales are happening and wait for the right time to buy, you can stretch your purchasing dollars by a huge factor. You can even make it a game to try to get the same item your friends rushed to buy the first day it came out for a whole lot less.

Read this step-by-step guide on how to shop for sale items in only 5 Steps!

Step 1. Do your RESEARCH!

Shopping for sale items requires some work unless you just happen to walk into a store with luck and find all these remarkable deals. Depending what kind of stuff you’re looking for, the best bet is to check store websites and use store apps to find the best sales. Many stores will post their weekly ads and flyers right online, so you don’t have to depend on newspaper inserts to find your deals.

I am a lover of the Flipp app.  You can do searches on what you’re looking for and circle them directly on your mobile device. You can compare prices and it will compile a list of everything you circled in any ad. This is especially helpful if you’re trying to find deals on groceries!

flipp-app-save-money-coupons

Step 2. Find out their mark down schedule

Every retailer has a markdown policy, even if it’s not revealed to the public. For example, Target fans have identified an unofficial mark down schedule which seems to hold true for a lot of stores, including specific days where certain types of items go on sale. Things will be on clearance for about a week or two and most of the time the price will go down again, and the clearance sticker seems to hold clues as to whether the price will drop again or not.

Macy’s works in a similar way. It’ll start off with 25% off and then 50% off. The best thing to do for the best deals at Macy’s is to wait until their One Day Sale, which happens every month. If you absolutely can’t wait to purchase something at your local Macy’s, find out if they do price adjustments or accept competitor’s coupons.

Be careful when researching markdown policies, as some vary from store to store within the same brand, and there is inaccurate data on the Internet about some of them.

Step 3.  USE COUPONS!

I don’t know why some people are ashamed to use coupons – ­they are your best friends when looking for the best deals! Of course, read the exclusions and use them wisely.

I’ve found coupon apps to be very useful, including RetailMeNot, SnipSnap, Groupon, Cartwheel (which is a Target Coupon app) and others.

Here is another trick regarding coupons: many stores will MATCH competitor coupons and special deals. They have got to be the same type of store — think Walmart and Target and Sears for instance, rather than some obscure website — but some will even price match Amazon prices…insane!

retailmenot-save-money-deals

Step 4. Subscribe to Retailers’ Newsletters

Subscribing to retailer newsletters or “special offer” emails can save you lots of money with exclusive deals as well. Often, you will receive a coupon or code that won’t appear anywhere else this way.

These emails can get kind of out of hand, so I would recommend creating a separate email account for these kinds of things so they don’t clutter your inbox with tons of spam.

If you don’t feel like going through all the steps to create a new email address, you can always use Mailinator.com.

Step 5. Be REALISTIC and PATIENT.

This is the most important step of them all. Be realistic about what you buy and whether you need it or not. Teens buy a lot of stuff we really don’t need, so to save your money is a better choice most the time.

However, if you are going to buy, be patient and do so when items go on clearance or by using the tools above. It is understandable to feel like you have to buy something for fear of it being gone if you wait any longer (FOMO), but learn to play the sales game wisely. You’ll end up saving more and being happier at the end!

If you follow all the tips above and REALLY do your research, you’ll find what you’re looking for — with the best possible price tag on it.

Now that’s a sweet deal!

A few other things to try:

  • Install the Ebates browser extensions, which helps you get cash back on online purchases.
  • Use Honey browser extension to find the lowest price on Amazon and automatically apply coupon codes at checkout at many online retailer.

Kristen_MarquezKristen Marquez  graduated with a B.A. in Cinema & Television Arts from California State, University Northridge with an emphasis in Television Production. She is a social media coordinator by day and a content creator by night. With her great imagination, she knows she will create the next big thing whether it’s a script, a product or a simple idea that will fill people’s hearts with joy and entertainment. She blogs for a hobby and loves spending time with her golden retriever Lily.

Instagram: @lexikris
Twitter: @krisiza10

Things to Do Before Moving Into an Off-Campus Apartment for School

If you decide to live off campus at a college or university, there are factors many students fail to consider before signing an apartment lease for school and moving in. In the end, these considerations can wind up costing you a great deal of money and aggravation.

Here are some tips for your first college apartment rental.

off-campus-apartrment

Talk with the Neighbors

Before you sign a lease for an off-campus apartment, talk with nearby neighbors. You may see some people coming and going from the building when you are visiting, or simply knock on some doors. This is a great way to gain information about the area, the apartment building and your potential new home. You will also find out pretty quickly whether your neighbors are the helpful and friendly sort or not!

Check Yelp reviews as well. You will sometimes find that there are serious maintenance issues or problems with rowdy residents which are never disclosed on the slick apartment websites.

Read the Fine Print

A lease is a legal document. This means you can be evicted and/or sued if you violate what is written its clauses. Most of the clauses are there to protect the property, but many are in place so the renters themselves can enjoy living there without undue disturbance.

Expect restrictions on noise, pets, use of common areas (schedules), trash disposal, number of days guests may stay — things which you might have taken for granted when living with mom and dad. Now that you are in college, expect to be treated like a responsible adult (and act like one!)

college-apartment-lease

Document the Flaws

When you move into an apartment, before you unload any boxes, hang any pictures or take your first shower, you need to go around with your camera, turn on all of the lights in the apartment and begin looking for damage. This is the time that you need to be OCD about every single flaw that is present, no matter how tiny it may be. Both video and stills should be taken and stored on a site such as Google Photos which handily keeps things organized by date.

Each stain, crack, hole, dent and scratch should be recorded and documented. Just because the landlord seems to be a nice person, it does not mean that they will not charge you for any issues that are present when you move out. If you have documentation of its presence when you moved in, you can avoid the sometimes huge fees that go along with these problems.

Be Sure Everything Works

Light switches, garbage disposals, toilets – it is important to go around the apartment and be certain that every single fixture and feature works, and works well. Take something with you that you can plug into every electrical outlet as well, because if many of them do not work when you move in, it can create a seriously frustrating problem, such as not being able to charge your phone while lying in bed.

Turn in a written report and keep a copy (just take a picture of the form with your form). Again, video and still pictures should be taken of any issues to avoid your landlord charging you for “broken electrical outlets” or other nonsense.

Check Inside the Cabinets

It is important to check inside the cabinets, but probably not for the reasons that you are thinking. While you need to ensure that there is plenty of room for your food and cups, it is also important to determine if there are any unwelcome guests residing inside of these cabinets. In addition to looking for the actual critters themselves, you should also look for signs that they have been there – droppings, spider webs or any other issues.

Report anything you find to the landlord in order to schedule a fumigation.

college-apartment-tips

Renting your first apartment is not something to be taken lightly. Take time to consider the factors here to ensure that you find a clean, healthy and safe place to live.

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Rubbermaid 3H89 Configurations 4-to-8-Foot Deluxe Custom Closet Organizer System Kit, Titanium

10 Cheap Ways to Revamp Your Wardrobe

You’ve just been invited to the party of the year. All of your friends – including your longtime crush – will be there!

Excitedly, you run to your closet, but your heart sinks. What will you wear? Everything you see is either outdated, worn too often, or ugly. The panic sets in as you come to the realization that you have nothing to wear. It gets worse: you don’t have enough money to buy new clothes.

We’ve all been there, feeling hopeless as we stare at our dismal outfit choices. Luckily, there are ways to revamp your wardrobe, without breaking the bank.

Here are 10 cheap ways to revamp your wardrobe!

1. Throw out clothes that you’ll never, ever wear again. Remember that lime green sweater that your grandmother bought you 3 years ago? It’s time to throw it out, along with the stained jeans that you wore in middle school. Make some room in your closet for clothes that inspire you!

2. Buy a fashionable belt. It seems simple, but applying an interesting belt to a sweater or dress can make it look more stylish. Guys can add a funky belt and make even a white t-shirt and jeans look dope!

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3. Find your signature necklace. Look for something bold, perhaps a chunky, flashy necklace in your favorite color. Layer this necklace with others, making even the simplest tops look exciting!

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4. Capitalize on coupons and promotions. Certain clothing websites, like Boden and Topshop, have the most fashionable outfits for Fall and are offering coupons and promo codes! It’s time to take advantage of them! See mamma.com for coupons for Bodens.

5. Use your skills. Do you know how to use a sewing machine? You can sew different buttons and badges to your clothes to add some intrigue to your tired pieces! If you don’t know how, reach out to your handy family or friends.

6. Swap with your friends. Unbeknownst to you, your friends are probably going through the same fashion crisis. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure! Organize an event where your friends can trade jeans, sweaters, dresses, and accessories; plus, it’s a fun way to spend time with your friends.

7. Wear fun tights. Pair bright-colored, trendy tights with one of your old dresses. The unexpected pairing will make your style more interesting and authentic.

8.Visit a thrift shop. Look through the clothes at a consignment or vintage shop for some inexpensive, great finds. Meanwhile, sell some of your old clothes for extra cash!

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9. Layer, layer, layer! Try wearing a short-sleeved shirt over a long-sleeved shirt, or a sweater over a collared shirt. Layering adds new visual dimensions to your look, making old outfits feel new.

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10. Try garage sales. Look to see if you can get accessories, or even clothes, cheaply at garage sales. Don’t feel nervous to bargain for even lower prices!

You should feel inspired while looking through your closet; your style is an expression of your unique, authentic personality. These 10 cheap ways to revamp your wardrobe will give you the confidence to conquer that party, without draining all of your funds!

cheap-fashion

 

Hollywood Walk of Fame Honors Red Carpet with Louis Gossett Jr, Penn & Teller, BC Jean, Gabrielle Ruiz & More

The Inaugural Hollywood Walk of Fame Honors show airs November 23rd on the CW Network. Correspondent Gianella Ghiglino hit the red carpet to talk to a few of the attendees, including Gabrielle Ruiz, BC Jean, Eddie Money, Penn & Teller, Louis Gossett Jr. and Isaac C. SIngleton Jr.

Follow Gianella Ghiglino:
https://www.instagram.com/gianellaghiglino/

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Tips For Making Better Choices Throughout High School

Adolescence is a challenging and confusing time of life that often leads to bad decision making. Many factors contribute to this including peer pressure, the need to achieve good grades and added responsibilities. Use these tips to help make better choices as you journey through your high school career in order to achieve greater success in higher education, as well as in adulthood.

Be Careful With Social Media Posts

Think twice before posting on any social media portals, especially if these posts contain pictures related to alcohol, drugs, sex, guns or contain vulgar language. This can affect your ability to be gainfully employed in the future. In fact, statistics reveal that over 90% of recruitment agencies investigate social media posts before placing prospective candidates.

Your future employer is not interested in your privacy or whether you were just having some fun. They will make use of the public nature of the internet to help determine whether you are of the character and dignity of a person they would like their business associated with. It is best to avoid any posts that may be considered to be embarrassing by a future employer.

Also keep in mind that social media posts have a way of going viral, even if you aren’t the one who created the original post or shared it. There are dozens of stories on the internet about individuals who lost their jobs and are now finding it difficult to be employed due to dodgy social media posts that were submitted years ago. So it’s best to behave in a manner that doesn’t attract posting from peers.

social-media

Your Grades Matter

The pressure from parents, teachers and even peers is greater than ever to achieve good grades. This pressure, no matter how challenging to deal with, is however justified. Your grades can influence your ability to get into a good college, receive a scholarship and could affect your future employment.

The need for self-expression and finding individuality has led to the general belief that your grades don’t define you. While this may be true to a certain extent, your grades are still important, relative to how they may impact your future.

Even if you feel that the grading system is outdated and flawed, the numbers still matter at the end of the day. Especially to prospective colleges and employers who tend to be old-fashioned in their approach for selecting candidates.

Work hard at achieving the best grades you are able and maintaining these grades. You don’t always have to be a straight-A student, but must always show an effort at doing your best.

However, it is important to recognize other factors that could affect your future and not let the need to achieve affect these or your overall quality of life. The pressure and stress of being the top of your class should never affect your ability to enjoy the full high school experience.

schoolwork

You Can Say No

We are all taught from a young age to be amiable and agreeable which is a good skill to develop. However, you should never feel obligated or pressured into saying “yes,” whether this pressure is being applied by parents, teachers, peers or any other person. Saying “yes” when you should have said “no” is the greatest factor that influences bad choices.

Legislation and your parents provide you with laws and rules to follow that should dictate what is acceptable and suitable for you to do at your specific age. But at the end of the day, it is up to you to make the decisions that will affect your future when no one is watching. Always keep in mind these laws and rules, most were created to protect you. Never be afraid to say “no” if you feel that entering into a certain activity is wrong.

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Protect Your Identity

Identity theft is a part of modern life that people of all ages need to learn protect themselves against. Teenagers and young adults often think that they are not targets for this type of crime. Having your personal information available to criminals may result in criminal activity that may be associated with you.

In fact, teens make great targets for identity theft due to the time they spend on unsecured networks and their tendency to leave electronic devices accessible to others and unprotected.

Just a few basic security measures can prevent this from happening to you.

  • Keep your electronic devices on your person or locked away at all times.
  • Make sure that all your devices, computers and laptops are password protected. Choose a complicated password and never share it with anyone.
  • Log out of your personal accounts, including email after use.
  • Never leave documents containing account information or your social security number where others may have access.
  • Pay attention to any activity on your accounts that you did not perform.

identity

Learning to make good decisions in high school will set you up to make even better decisions as you move into adulthood. Never underestimate the impact that one small mistake or bad decision can have on your future. If in doubt, sleep on a decision or find a mentor or person whose advice you trust and talk to them before making a choice. School is a place of learning and you should take this time to educate yourself in all aspects of life, including how to make better choices.


Beatrice Quany is the Marketing Director for ILoveCopperJewelry.com, a website displaying unique creations by award winning designer John S. Brana. Visit the site to view their stylish collection of beautiful copper jewelry.

Olga Noskova Interview – The Mirror Glaze Cake Wizard!

Many people are familiar with Olga Noskova’s work by now. She is the pastry artist whose incredible mirror glaze cakes took the internet by storm starting earlier this year.

Her creations, which seem other-worldy and impossible to create without the use of CGI, have garnered her worldwide fame and an ever increasing fan base — especially on Instagram where she has over 600,000 followers on her @olganoskovaa account.


Teens Wanna Know got the chance to know her better via an email interview. Here is Olga in her own words! (with a few grammar tweaks as English is not her native tongue)

1. Hi Olga, nice to e-meet you! Before we get started talking about cakes, please tell us a little bit about yourself!

Hey! My name is Olga Noskova. I’m a famous cake-blogger and pastry artist. I’m from Russia and live in the beautiful city of Ufa. I have a wonderful little son.

Do you know the English saying: “Water dripping day by day wears the hardest rock away?” Every day I tried to create something beautiful and lovely. And thanks to my unbelievable mirror and delicious cakes my popularity started to grow. The stars smiled at me. In my case, the first star who rated my talent is Britney Spears 🙂

The British Independent wrote my cake is “absolutely impeccable.” BuzzFeed called my work “absolutely flawless” and wrote that they are “too good to be eaten.”

One day I woke up famous in the world. My Instagram increased to 613K followers. I could not believe what had happened to me! Their comments, admiration, love – that’s what makes me understand that this is not a hobby and not a job. This is my life!

My business for me – it’s pure “art”. I am a pastry chef – an artist. I paint my works in the soul, and reproduce them in reality. I do not do the work [only] for sale. And I strive to make each of my next cake better than the previous. I guess what my subscribers want, feel them and create for them. It is an energy-intensive way. But this is my way. My opinion. My art.

2. How did you get started as a dessert maker?

I was an economist but I wanted to find [something] that would bring me pleasure every day. And I decided to learn to cook French Macaroon cookies, and this process took an eternity.

3. What is your personal favorite dessert to eat?

I can’t [pick] one favorite cake. Each cake is unique and has a special meaning for me. In each I put my love, tenderness, emotions and a part of myself. No cake is like the previous one: even if you use the same “paint,” you’ll still get a different cake. It’s like art, I do not copy, I create each time.

Now I’m keen on the creation of special cake for my lovely city. On October 11 in my homeland is a celebrated holiday – Republic Day. Therefore, I wanted to create something special, a “Bashcake”, into which i put all the love for my homeland. The cake combines three colors [representing the] tricolor flag of the Republic of Bashkortostan, as a symbol of freedom, openness and virtue. And, of course, the main symbol of the republic – Salavat Yulaev (for local citizens this hero means the same as William Wallace from the movie “Braveheart” for Scots).

I made it and listened to Bashkir national music: the combination of exciting kurai [Bashkortostan national flower] and a unique kobyz [Kazahk national instrument].

This cake is my Bashkortostan. I am very proud of my republic and want to tell the world about my wonderful Bashkortostan.

4. What is your favorite non-dessert dish to cook and eat?

I like fish so much and different seafood. Often I cook salmon steaks. Sometimes I love to pamper my family with Bashkir’s national food: dumplings, balish.

5. Who taught you how to make those amazing glazed cakes…was that your invention or did you have a mentor?

I started to learn from a variety of incredibly talented chefs, like a sponge; absorbing all their knowledge and experience.

But it wasn’t enough. I realized that to become a master I needed at some point to dare and make something of myself. I decided to do better than my predecessors. Began to create, to experiment.

6. How do you feel about other bakers who are copying your mirror glaze technique and putting similar pictures on Instagram?

I don’t pay attention to it. I have my own style, my secret mirror glaze. Making a copy is difficult even for me. Every cake is unique and unrepeatable. I don’t stop; I’m always looking for something new and perfect.

7. What advice would you give a teen who wants to start becoming a dessert maker like you?

Try, take risks, make mistakes and try again. Never give up and believe in your dreams!

And maybe start with something like this : ) – TWK Admin

8. What is the hardest part about the baking business?

The hardest part is: don’t eat all the cakes alone, and maintain a great figure 🙂

9. What is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome in your career, and how did you do it?

I do not like the word “problem”. All that occurs during the creation of cakes – is an experiment: with color, shape, decoration. It can be successful or not, but in any case it will benefit, it will be a lesson.

I try till I reach perfection. I am a perfectionist in everything. I am very demanding on myself and my creations

10. How can someone in the Unites States order one of your cakes?

Unfortunately, for now it is impossible but I’m looking for partners in the US. In the near future I will open my brand boutique in the largest mall in Dubai. If you will come to Dubai, come to my boutique and try any cake!

11. Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you?

I believe in the power of the Universe. If you want something very much, you should ask the Universe, and the Universe will send it to you.

12. If you could travel back in time and give ONE piece of advice to yourself as a teenager, what would it be?

Don’t worry, you can do it!

13. What are you working on next?

I want cakes to not only be beautiful and delicious, but on par with the artists or musicians who are doing what they want — for people to admire cake as a work of art.

My dream is to hold an exhibition in conjunction with other works of modern art, such as the Piccadilly Circus in London, where I will present my best works, the most perfect of all. A place where people from all over the world can come see them.

For me it is important to not only take energy from the universe, I want to give it away, and I do it through my cakes. I want to share this with the entire world.

14. Could you please send us a selfie? It can be you with one of your cakes, or you just relaxing…whatever!

olga-noskova-selfie

We look forward to seeing what amazing desserts Olga comes up with next. Make sure you follow her on Instagram at @olganoskovaa!

 

Terrell Ransom Jr Interview & Challenges (Darwin on Amazing World of Gumball)

Keira Pena sits with Terrell Ransom Jr who plays Darwin Watterson on The Amazing World of Gumball to talk about his acting, Youtube channel, and new rap single Where You From https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/where-you-from-single/id1139942968 — PLUS the Blindfolded Blackwater Challenge and the Backwards Word Challenge (shoutout to Collins Key for the inspiration https://www.youtube.com/user/CollinsKey)

Follow Terrell:
Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXyfJnylfvWa06ZG6SZ2LSg
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/terrellransomjr
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerrellRansomJr

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