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Joshua Rush from Disney’s Andi Mack – Interview!

joshua rush andi mack1Photo: Amy Pogue

Have you caught the buzz surrounding The Disney Channel’s brand new show, Andi Mack? [Spoiler ahead from 1st episode] The show, which stars newcomer Peyton Elizabeth Lee, is about a 13-year-old whose “older sister” Bex returns home with the hope of getting her life together. However, in a crazy plot twist, the first episode reveals that Bex is not really her older sister, but is actually Andi’s mother…which understandably causes Andi to question everthing she has ever known.

The show premieres April 7th at 8:30 p.m. Supporting cast members include Asher Angel who plays love interest Jonah (read our interview with Asher here), Sofia Wylie who plays bestie Buffy, Lilan Bowden as Bex, and Joshua Rush, who plays Andi’s buddy Cyrus.

Joshua is only 15 but has plenty of credits under his belt, including notable voice roles in “Family Guy,” “Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas,” “Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” “The Adventures of Puss in Boots,” and “The Lion Guard.” You can see him act on “Chuck,” “Heroes,” “CSI: NY,” “Criminal Minds,” “Medium,” “Children’s Hospital,” “Private Practice,” “See Dad Run,” “Medium” and the motion picture “Parental Guidance” alongside Billy Crystal, Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei.

Here is a brief Q & A we did with Joshua…enjoy!

Hi Joshua, nice to e-meet you! Before we start talking about your new role on the upcoming Disney Channel show ‘Andi Mack,’ tell our readers a little about yourself?
Sure! So, I’m Josh(ua) and I’m an actor. I’ve done it my whole life, but my first theatrical audition was when I was four. It was for “How To Eat Fried Worms” and I bombed it! But since then I’ve gotten better (apparently), and I am on Disney’s “The Lion Guard” and now “Andi Mack”!

Tell us about your character Cyrus?
Cyrus is one of Andi’s two best friends. He’s quirky, not athletic, and generally just a little awkward. He’s got a sense of humor that can make just about anyone laugh. Cyrus doesn’t fit in with anyone but Andi and Buffy…and he wouldn’t want to anyway.

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What is the best thing about playing this character?
I think the best thing about playing Cyrus is being able to play his sense of humor and his kindness! He’s such a joy!

Why do you think people should watch the show? How is it different from other shows?
I think the show is great because it’s very new for kids’ television to have a show that is so real. Kids and adults alike are going to love it!

Keep reading for the rest of the interview. But first, here is a pic from Josh’s Instagram, showing what he did when he found out he booked the role!

What’s been the weirdest or funniest thing to happen on the ‘Andi Mack’ set so far?
We all got obsessed with arm wrestling! It was really fun, even though I lost to everyone!

What else are you are working on right now besides ‘Andi Mack’?
I’m working on “The Lion Guard” (we were recently picked up for our third season), which I love!

Do you have a favorite YouTuber? If so, why are they your favorite?
I like educational YouTubers like Wendover Productions and CGP Grey. I’m boring, but I really like their videos!

If you could re-do ONE embarrassing thing in your life so far, what would it be?
I would probably try and never drop bread into my shoe again. Don’t ask. So many crumbs. *shudder*

What has been your favorite thing to work on as an actor, and what made it so special?
I don’t like to pick between my projects, but I sure have loved “Andi Mack”!

What has been the most difficult thing you have had to do as an actor so far?
It is hard whenever I have to turn down a part offered to me. Luckily I’ve only had to do it twice, but it’s never fun to turn down work!

What do you like to do most when you have spare time?
I love to read the news online!

Who is your favorite musical artist?
I love Alt-J! Something about that sweet, chill sound makes me love it!

Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you.
I speak Spanish and I want to go into politics when I grow up!

Where can all your new fans follow you?
I’m @JoshuaRush on Twitter and Instagram!

joshua rush andi mack3Photo: Amy Pogue

Check out our earlier interview with Joshua…boy was he young!


How To Look Fabulous for Prom and Have a Great Time Without Spending a Fortune

Prom is just around the corner and it will be one of the most memorable and fun nights as a high school student. We get it, some of you want to wear the perfect dress (and the perfect guy)! A gown, shoes, a makeup artist, a hair dresser and a limo can definitely burn your wallet. You also want to continue the fun afterwards, even if its just to get something to eat.

All of this can add up money-wise! But don’t fret; I have some helpful tips for how to look fabulous and have fun without breaking the bank!

prom tips

Go shopping as early as possible

Dress shopping early and on off-season months will help reduce stress and anxiety compared to if you waited last minute to shop around. Don’t wait until a month before the big night to find your dress because you might not find your size or, even worse, you might end up with the same dress as another last-minute shopper.

You don’t need to shop at expensive stores like Jovani or Mia Bella Couture to find the perfect dress. You can still look like a million bucks by shopping at department stores like Macy’s or other dress stores like Windsor. Check sale item items and find coupons to use. Macy’s has great discounts and usually a 20% off coupon to go on top of it. Don’t forget to try stores like Nordstrom Rack and TJ Max as well.

Some California girls like to shop at Santee Alley, the famous open-air market in Downtown Los Angeles. If you decide to go that route, make sure you go months before and go on a weekday. It gets extremely packed on Saturdays and you will find yourself in crowds of girls fighting for the same dress. The great thing about getting a dress there is that you can haggle prices – if you pay cash, they might be more willing to accept your offer. If you find your dress in Santee Alley, make sure you LOVE it because most stores have a no return policy! You can probably snag some great inexpensive heels here too, but don’t expect them to last a long time.

L.A. guys can also find affordable tuxedos at Santee Alley, as well as department stores. Head over to your nearest JCPenny, Macy’s, or Sears. If you don’t want to purchase a tuxedo, there’s always the option of renting one. Another alternative is either borrowing one from someone you know that shares your measurements or you can head over to thrift stores such as Good Will. Who knows, you might find great brands hiding in those racks.

prom book

Watch Prom Make Up/Hair Tutorials

Getting your makeup done can be very expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. You can learn how to do your own prom makeup by watching YouTube tutorials. It takes practice to create the perfect look, so start practicing early. YouTube Beauty Vloggers such as Michelle Phan and Kandee Johnson have many easy makeup tutorials that will help you achieve the look you’re going for.

Another thing you can do is head over to make up stores such as Benefit, MakeUp Forever, Mac, Sephora etc.. and ask for offers that they’re doing. Most of the time you can make a purchase for a certain amount and get your makeup done for free. This way you will get your makeup done by a professional for free by stocking up on products that you were going to buy anyway.

For hair, you can also look up YouTube tutorials of hairstyles you can recreate. Hairstyle vloggers such as Lilith Moon have easy to follow tutorials whether you have short, medium or long hair. There’s also step by step tutorials on Pinterest. If you really want to go to a salon to get your hair done, try looking on sites such as Groupon to find salon deals. Also, going to a local cosmetology school could save money as well since it will be a lot cheaper than going to an actual salon. Manicures and pedicures are also great finds on Groupon!

One line of products you might want to check out to look and smell your best is GLOW for a cause. The company creates a variety of beauty products using natural, high quality ingredients rather than the synthetic glop found in most cosmetics. The products are reasonably priced, smell great, and support charities. Glow for a cause donates to one of the following causes with every purchase you make:

  • Cowgirls vs. Cancer
  • Boston Firefighter’s Burn Foundation
  • The Red Sox Foundation
  • MaxFund Animal Adoption Center
  • The Gathering Place
  • Berni’s Journey

glow body butter

Share Costs (limo, Uber, dinner, prom pics)

Sharing costs with your prom date and friends is a great way to save money.

First, consider reducing ride costs. Have your parents drop you off or take an Uber (TRY CODE: UBERFREEFORYOU for a free ride if its your first time). For those who really want to make an entrance and drive in style riding in a limo, share the cost between a group of friends.

For prom photos, split the expense with your date. Or, skip the formal shots which can be pricey. You live in an age where you have the technology and high resolution on your electronic devices, so you can even take your own photos and selfies to record your memories.

Post-prom, most students like to head to places to eat dinner and hang out after hours. You and your friends can share desserts and have pancakes at inexpensive 24 hour diners such as Denny’s, Norm’s, Bob’s Big Boy etc.power bank

And, since you are going to be taking a lot of selfies and videos, you need some backup power. Nothing worse than running out of juice when the night is still young (and with no way of letting your parents know you are safe).

To solve this, carry along a Cheero Power Plus portable battery, DANBOARD version. Available in seven flower inspired colors and with an adorable face, Cheero is ready to charge Apple and Android phones and tablets. The 10050mAh battery is equipped with an AUTO-IC function, allowing the external battery to automatically recognize if a device is connected. The external battery optimizes the supplied power best suited for each device. Complete with two port outputs, there’s even room to charge more than one device at a time.

Its rated to charge an iPhone up to 3.5 times. We tested it with a Samsung Galaxy S6 and got two full charges plus a little extra. So this is plenty of juice to bring with you to prom — should last the whole night! And, its pretty small!

Available at select Nordstrom and at Amazon Prime for $39.99 at

Enjoy Prom night knowing that you didn’t break your wallet!

p.s. Stay safe…check out this article about the X-Plan and talk to your parents or guardians about it.

Kristen_MarquezThis post was a collaboration between Kristen Marquez and Willie Pena (Editor in Chief)

Kristen 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

Elizabeth Stanton Talks New Series on PopTV “This Just In”

You might have seen Elizabeth Stanton on her travel show Elizabeth Stanton’s Great Big World where she has traveled from Vietnam to Nicaragua to Russia to explore other cultures, along with a few celebrity friends in tow.

Or, you might have seen her co-hosting the Hollywood Christmas Parade with her pal, Teen Beach Movie and Hairspray Live! star Garrett Clayton.

Now, she stars in the new Pop TV show called This Just In. Keep scrolling to catch our exclusive interview with Elizabeth, but first…here is a bit about the show:

this just in stanton

“THIS JUST IN is a quirky comedy about a socially awkward girl, Liz, who arrives at a new school and falls quickly into a group of eclectic friends, each with their own issues.  She’s been called ‘nerd’, ‘goody two-shoes’ and the ‘ultimate study-buddy,’ but she’s the new kid at Sunnybrook High School, and she’s ready to take on the world.  Liz and her new friends find that they have a unique bond all centering around the school’s television channel.  With an open heart and a positive attitude, Liz might just make a difference after all.”

“Co-stars of THIS JUST IN include:  Jennifer Veal (Disney Channel’s “Descendants: Wicked World”), Rob Pinkston (Nickelodeon’s “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide”), Kristos Andrews (Daytime Emmy Award-winning “The Bay”), Bryant Wood (“America’s Next Top Model”), Montel Williams’ daughter Wyntergrace Williams, and more!”

Check out This Just In here:    Website | Instagram | Trailer

And now, let’s meet Elizabeth!

elizabeth stanton interview1

Hi Elizabeth, nice to e-meet you! Before we start talking about your role on This Just In, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into show biz.

My mom hosted a travel show when I was young and my dad also worked in the industry. I was never really interested in show biz, nor did my parents want me to go into it, until I traveled to Africa. I wanted to bring a visual back to kids to show them what’s really going on in the world.

So I did a TV special called “Great Big World” and it got picked up. It was just a special and it wasn’t supposed to be a TV series, but it did so well. I did that since I was 13 and I’m now 21.

Thanks. Okay let’s get into your new role. First, what is “This Just In” about?

It’s a high school based series about a bunch of kids coming together that wouldn’t normally be friends, to work for the schools news system. My character is the nerdy, new kid in school and she ends up taking up the news team and flipping it around to make it something great. She’s just quirky and fun. I really relate to her.

Liz really wants to do everything right and make everything great. She likes everyone. I feel a lot of people can really relate to her. If you’ve ever been the new kid in school, it can feel awkward in many ways.

Tell us about your character, ‘Liz’.

The character was written for me by Rob Pinkston. He did one of the first episodes of “Great Big World.” I was always kind of weird and socially awkward in high school, with quirky mannerisms. Liz is so similar to how I was in high school. He based the character on me. She is an exaggerated version of myself.

What do you personally relate to most with your character?

Liz is really an exaggerated version of myself and this is my first real acting job. So it feels like two shows done in one. I get to bring out the hosting aspect of “Great Big World” into this show. Liz hosts the news network in “This Just In” which is a parallel to my hosting the travel show.

I am familiar with your mom as a host and as a producer. Are you following in her footsteps and involved in the production of “This Just In,” or are you strictly talent? If just talent, are you interested in producing some day?

I went to film school with the intent to become a producer or something along those lines, but I feel my heart is all about acting these days. My mom has been a huge influence on me and I feel so comfortable in front of camera because of my mom. She’s been my mentor.

Why do you think teens should watch “This Just In?”

I think there is so much a teen in high school can relate to in the show. There are so many messages that are positive like bullying, etc. A lot of kids have a hard time in high school.

I feel like Liz is kind of the guiding light of how to deal with their problems and face their fears. And not to be afraid to make new friends if you are the new kid. She makes it seem that everything is going to be OK. I had a hard time in high school and wish I had something to relate to in a show. It’s a good inspiration to be kind to others.

I feel my favorite thing about Liz is that she is never afraid to be herself. I feel a lot of kids try to be something they are not in order to fit in, and she’s always 100% herself no matter the consequences.

elizabeth stanton interview2

You also have a show called “Elizabeth Stanton’s Great Big World.” What’s the weirdest or funniest thing to happen while travelling for the show?

My cameraman James, who is one of my best friends, is constantly funny and amusing. When you travel to Third World countries you ‘re not supposed to drink the water and you need to be careful of food. He doesn’t abide by this. 30% of the time he gets sick, so now he’s become a guinea pig for us to know what to drink or eat. No matter where we are, he will always eat or drink anything.

You have to laugh as we’ve told him 5 million times not to do this. We’re going to India and we told him you can’t eat drink anything from the streets. Lets see if he listens.

Any scary moments?

It’s always thrilling when you go into a completely new place and culture where you don’t know anyone or anything. I love to travel and experience new cultures. I get stir crazy if I stay in one place too long.

“This Just In” is on Pop TV. For those unfamiliar with Pop TV, how can they get this channel?

I’m pretty sure if you go on the website you can check your local listings.

Hollywood has its share of negativity, from drug abuse to scandals among young performers. How do you plan to stay grounded and not get caught up all that drama?

I surround myself with great people and my parents have always been a great influence on me. I’ve seen what’s happened and it’s so easy to get caught up in that. I feel the consequences have over-ruled everything so I would steer clear of that and never get involved. Most of my friends aren’t even in show business. I’m really down to earth and my night out is usually at the movies.

I think the biggest thing for me when I got into this industry, is that I didn’t change my group of friends. I’ve kept my same group of friends that has been with me since day 1.

Who are your role models?

Definitely my parents. I try to follow in their footsteps and have a great relationship with them. I’m an only child. They’ve kept me grounded. What ever I do in life they’ve told me to always be kind.

Anything else you are working on?

I just started a new project that I can’t talk about too much, but it’s completely different from anything I’ve done before. I’m really excited to see where it goes.

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

I feel like people are always surprised by how laid back and down to earth I am. I’ve traveled so much and I’ve done all kinds of crazy things, but when people get to know me, I always go with the flow. I don’t need to do crazy things to have fun. My fun is having friends over to watch movies. I’m happiest when I’m with the people I love literally doing nothing.

Where can all your new fans follow you? (social media)

My instagram and twitter is @lizmstanton

Can you please send a selfie of whatever it is you are doing now?

I’m on set in the wardrobe room.


How To Get Over A Breakup and a Broken Heart

Dealing with a breakup and a broken heart is not easy. It’s normal to feel heartbroken and lost, but it’s important to give yourself time to heal. Ever heard of, “no feeling is final?” It’s TRUE. The next few weeks  of your life will feel like they’re going by so slowly and every song you hear will remind you of your ex. After a while, your life will feel normal again. Just know that everything will be fine and YOU will always find your happiness, because it really doesn’t depend on anybody else.

Below are a few healthy tips to help you with how to get over a break up and a broken heart.

how to get over a breakup and broken heart

Disconnect from your ex

I know this might seem crazy and impossible, but you have to try. Unfollow/block them from your social media accounts because you will find yourself stalking their profile to see what they’ve been up to. Don’t call or text them! Even if you’ve deleted their number, there’s no doubt that you have that number memorized. If you’ve ended on bad terms and are seeking closure, the early stages of a break up may not be the right time to talk to them about it. Let your broken heart heal first.

Vent to the right people

This is the time to call your loved ones and your closest friends to vent without being judged. Try not to talk trash about the other person; focus on how you feel and remember the good times. I know it may seem easier to think of the bad times you’ve had and their bad qualities because you think you’ll hate them faster and get over them easier, but that’s not always the case. Use this time to bond with your friends for some comfort food and romcoms. Bring out those tubs of ice cream! (Just don’t over do it…one of the best tips for how to get over a breakup and broken heart is to look your best).

Do NOT find a rebound

This is not the time to start dating again. Even though the days and nights feel so lonely, you don’t need to start talking to someone to help you heal. You are vulnerable at this time. Hooking up can potentially hurt you and the other person, and worsen your broken heart. This is not a time to play with feelings just because you want to fill that empty space or get revenge.

how to get over a break up and broken heart

Take care of yourself

Taking care of yourself is crucial! It’s easy to let yourself go and not care about anything. Avoid alcohol and drugs. Reinvent and rediscover yourself by doings things you love. Spend quality time with yourself and the people you care about. Exercise to release endorphins and reduce stress. Fuel yourself by eating healthy and happily. Know that you are loved by many. Love yourself too.

Learn from the power of love

Finally accepting that the relationship is over is hard. The truth is that this will make you stronger and that this is a part of life and falling in love. It is okay to cry, but not forever. Your heart should only get stronger from here. There’s always a lesson learned from every relationship. You learn how to give your heart to someone, you learn to better communicate and when things fall apart, you will learn to stand up on your own two feet again.

Remember, how to get over a breakup depends on your attitude and the feelings you allow yourself to feel. Choose wisely!

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

Andi Mack’s Asher Angel – Upcoming Disney Star’s Interview with Teens Wanna Know!

Everyone is bummed out that Disney cancelled Girl Meets World after only three seasons. But they may soon have another show to look forward to: Andi Mack.

andi mack cast

The show, created by Lizzie McGuire creator Terri Minksy, deals with a 13-year-old girl who has to adjust when her older sister unexpectedly returns home. Asher Angel, who has appeared in an episode of Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn, plays the role of teen Jonah Beck. We got the chance to ask him a few questions about the show and about himself so that you get to know him a little better (before he gets SUPER FAMOUS and BUSY once the show starts airing!)

Read the interview below!

Asher Ange Andi Mack2

Photo by King Lawrence

Hi Asher, nice to e-meet you! Before we start talking about your new role on the upcoming Disney Channel show ‘Andi Mack,’ tell us a little about yourself.

I am 14 years old and currently live in Arizona.  I really love acting, playing the guitar, hanging with my friends and being with my family.

Thanks. Okay let’s get into your new role. First, what is Andi Mack all about?

Andi Mack is about a 13 year old girl who is trying to make sense of her life. It really is a coming of age story and I think people will enjoy the show because they will be able to relate to the stories being told.

Tell us about your character, ‘Jonah’.

Jonah Beck is popular Middle School Frisbee team captain and also Andi’s secret crush. He is a thoughtful and sensitive guy. I actually have a lot in common with him and he is a blast to play!

What do you personally relate to most with your character?

His kindness and caring for other people.

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When does it premiere?

It is set to premiere on Disney Channel this year!

Tell us what your fellow actors on the show are like (who is the quiet one, who is the loud one, etc.)…and which cast member do you get along with best?

All of the actors are so much fun to work with. I have so many great connections with each and every one of them. They are amazing and I very much look up to them not just as action but also as friends.

What was it like the first day on the set of Andi Mack– was it like you expected?

My first day on set was exactly what I hoped it would be. The opportunity to be around all these amazing and talented people that I admire and now have the opportunity to learn from. I am really grateful for the opportunity!

Asher Angel Andi Mack

Photo by King Lawrence

What’s the weirdest or funniest thing to happen on the set?

We have a lot of interesting things that happen on set. I remember I went to the Jazz v Rockets game with one of my fellow cast mates and we were the only ones rooting for the Rockets. It was pretty funny and luckily everyone was a good sport about it.

Once the show airs, you will start getting a lot of attention in both the press (from journalists) and social media (from fans). Some attention will be good, but some will be bad – how does that make you feel? Are you prepared for what’s coming?

I hope I am prepared. I plan to be me and to stand up for what I believe in. I know there are always those that want to tear you down. I have already experienced that and plan to ignore that negativity. It surprises me that people choose that behavior…it is so much easier to be nice!

How do you plan to stay grounded and “yourself” and not get caught up in the negative side of show business?

I have a great family. We all love each other very much and my parents are always around. They have taught us the difference between right and wrong and how to respect ourselves and others. I plan to make my family proud of me and to do that requires respect, dignity, patience and kindness.

Who are your role models?

My parents. I could not be where I am without their support and their sacrifices. I am so thankful for everything they do for me.

Anything else you are working on besides Andi Mack?

Andi Mack is my most recent production, but I just finished filming an independent film too.

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

I think people would be surprised to know that I never want to be told I cannot do something. Never say can’t. Always try.

Where can all your new fans follow you? (social media)

They can find me on Instragram @asherdovangel; at Asherdov; twitter @Asherdovangel and Facebook at OfficialAsherAngel.

Can you please send a selfie of whatever it is you are doing now?

Asher Angel Selfie

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!


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!


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.


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! 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!”


Follow Emily:


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


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


  • 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 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.



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 ( )

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,, 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. 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. 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.


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:




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!


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.


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!


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


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.


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!)


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.


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.

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