Well, it’s almost summertime! Only a couple more weeks of school and then… what are you going to do with all your free time? Luckily, some of your favorite artists like Pitbull, Ke$ha, T.I., Lil Wayne, Brad Paisley and tons of other groups are coming to Tampa, Florida this summer!
And guess where they’re all playing…
THE MIDFLORIDA CREDIT UNION AMPHITHEATRE
That’s right. MIDFLORIDA just bought the naming rights to the amphitheatre on I-4, which is also connected to the Florida State Fairgrounds. MIDFLORIDA President, Kevin Jones, said, “Obviously, we want to attract younger customers. Now that we can associate with the amphitheatre and offer ticket giveaways, it does.”
So you know what that means – RT4T fans will have some chances to win tickets to upcoming concerts at the Amp! Plus, MIDFLORIDA will offer its customers pre-sale opportunities so you can be one of the first to buy tickets to your favorite concert before the general public. Rock on!
The best way to stay in the know about future giveaways and pre-sales is to like our Facebook page at facebook.com/RT4Teen or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/RT4T. Or visit midflorida.com/amphitheatre.
the day my heart broke
Well, it’s time again for another movie review! I have been stoked to see Gatsby. I mean soooo excited! I just read the book for the first time (somehow I missed it in school) and absolutely loved it. After seeing the various commercials for it over the past few months, and hearing the soundtrack – which is awesome - I was dying in anticipation. And, well…
The Great Gatsby
Let me start by breaking down the story for you. The book is almost a hundred years old, so I don’t think I have to say, “spoiler alert.” But just in case, Nick Carraway, played by Tobey Maguire, moves to a suburb of New York called, West Egg. His shack of a house is surrounded by the biggest mansions imaginable. It’s the 1920′s and everyone is going crazy – tons of parties, dancing, and good times. But, all of this is a little shallow to Nick. The only man he meets that he respects is his neighbor, Jay Gatsby.
Gatsby is played by the excellent, Leonardo DiCaprio. He really does embody Gatsby. But, that’s where the good in this movie ends. I hate to say it, it kills me to say it, but The Great Gatsby is not what I would call a good movie. There are some good points. The first twenty minutes is incredible, everything is so fast paced and exciting. Like I said, the soundtrack is great. Jay-Z, Jack White, and Florence+ The Machine are surprisingly great in the 1920’s atmosphere. But, that’s where the awesome stops.
Remember when I said the first twenty minutes was great? Yeah, well the movie is two hours long… At that 21st minute, it stops. It slllllooooooowwwwwsss down, a lot. I mean drags. Then, there’s the story. The Great Gatsby is one of the best books, ever. But seeing this movie makes the story seem unimportant. Any plot is lost in the busy art direction. So much is thrown at you. I mean 3-D!?! Not necessary. Most of the dialogue isn’t very good, and the ending, which in the book is incredible, comes and goes.
The Curse of Gatsby
But, this isn’t the first time Gatsby has been attempted by Hollywood. It’s not even the second. It’s the sixth. And to be honest, this is the best version. That makes me sad. When this movie is good, it’s pretty good, but when it’s bad, it’s really bad.
Eat more greens, save more green!
Today, I’m hitting the pool, but before that I need to get in pool shape. Working out is great, but more important than how much you sweat is the food you put in your mouth. We all know that eating at McKing or Burger Donalds is fast and convenient, but it doesn’t do your body any favors. “But, Mattttttt!!!! Eating food that’s good for you is expensive!” That’s what the burger joints of the world want you to think. Eating healthy can be easy, affordable and delicious! Take a look at these helpful tips I found at Stronglifts.com.
Simple Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget
Buy Frozen Fruits & Veggies. Many times, frozen vegetables are cheaper than the fresh stuff you’ll find in the produce section. Plus, frozen fruits and veggies are already pre-washed and pre-cut saving you valuable time when preparing meals. And, frozen veggies are often flash frozen soon after they’ve been picked which means they contain more nutrients than the fresh versions that have been picked for days or even weeks.
Buy Generic Food. Frozen peas aren’t going to taste any better just because they have a certain brand name on them. Try the store brand of raw foods. They’ll taste just as good and you’ll save so much.
Buy in Bulk. Foods like pasta, rice and oats are easy to stockpile. If they’re on sale, buy as much as you can afford & store to last you until the next sale.
Buy In-Season Fruits & Veggies. Food grown in season tastes better and is cheaper. Root vegetables in the winter. Apples & squash in the fall. Broccoli & berries in the summer.
Buy Calorie Dense Foods. Whole milk, potatoes, rice, pasta & oats are filling, healthy and easy to stockpile. They’ll help you get your daily caloric needs fast & cheap, and make gaining weight for skinny guys easier.
Buy From Local Farmers. Farmer’s Markets are great. You’ll find produce that has been picked at peak-ripeness unlike some produce that has been picked before it was even ripe and then artificially ripened later. Yuck. Plus, food at farmer’s markets have been grown locally so you’ll be eco-friendly as well as supportive of your local community.
But wait, there’s more!
Haven’t gotten enough money-saving, vegetable-munching tips? Check out some more here! It may be a little more work to eat healthy, but you won’t regret it. Just last week I started making simple salads for myself: lettuce, olive oil, vinegar and frozen chicken, and I got four meals for the price of one! Saving money and feeling great. Nothing is better!
In an internet age, should you buy online?
Most people buy stuff online these days, or have bought something online in the past. But I find online shopping to be totally different from in-store shopping. With just one click you can buy something and have it on its way to your house in no time. I can’t be the only one who is freaked out by that. Amazon. Ebay. These sites, along with thousands of clothing, music, and take-out restaurants have been thrust into our brains. It’s so easy to buy things now. Shopping online is more spontaneous and almost brainless.
Tips on becoming an online shopping tycoon!
1. Be Secure
First and foremost – ensure all your online shopping is carried out only on secure sites. To be certain the page you’re on is secure, look for a tiny padlock icon, usually found in the top right corner of your browser’s URL bar. You can also tell if the site is secure by looking for an “s” in the URL address. While non secure sites and pages begin with http://, secure sites begin with https://.
2. Credit or Debit?
Shopping online is easiest with plastic, but some plastic is better than others. It’s advisable only to use credit cards, rather than debit cards, for online shopping. Credit cards represent an extension of credit, while debit cards draw directly from your bank account. Once in possession of your banking information, hackers can do much more damage to your finances than with your credit card number. Some credit card companies now offer single-use credit card numbers for online shopping. These expire after one purchase and only your credit card company knows which account it’s linked to.
3. Beware of Restocking Fees
Until robots take their jobs, warehouse employees will require salaries for the work they perform. Paying a person for retrieving, packaging and shipping an item that you’ve purchased online is already built into a retailer’s costs. But if you return the item, it still has to be repackaged and replaced, although the company hasn’t made any money from the return. As a result, online retailers have begun to charge restocking fees on returned items.
It’s a reasonable requirement, but some restocking fees are easier to swallow than others. While some retailers charge up to 25 percent or more, a fee of 15 percent of the price you paid for the returned item has become customary for intensively packaged products, like electronics. Before proceeding to checkout, familiarize yourself with the retailer’s return policies, which should be explicitly stated somewhere on its Web site.
4. Bargain Hunting
Search discount sites like Overstock.com for the item you want before buying it elsewhere. These retailers purchase excess items that manufacturers couldn’t unload on other retailers at a discount and generally pass the savings onto customers. Don’t be afraid of purchasing refurbished items either, this is often just another word for surplus inventory.
5. Plan your Purchase
If there’s one big drawback to online shopping, it’s the agony of waiting for your order to be shipped. The earlier you make your purchases, the greater chance they’ll arrive on time. Under federal law, retailers must ship items within the dates specified (for example, three to five days for standard shipping), or within 30 days if no shipping date is specified in the transaction.
To cut down on shipping fees, try to order many items at once from a single retailer. Your purchases should be lumped together into one large package with one shipping fee attached.
The Mall is so overrated
Out with the store, in with the site. If you want some more online shopping tips check HowStuffWorks.com! Now you’re ready to hit the web and find all the best deals. But, like I said, be weary. Just because you’re not at the mall, doesn’t mean anything is cheaper. A few clicks of that mouse can lead to an empty bank account.
This one hits close to home
Good day ladies and gentlemen. I trust that things are running smoothly as the school year is finishing. Today’s blog is something that I’ve been struggling with for months now…buying a car. You think it would be just as easy as going to the store and buying a shirt, but it’s not! There are things like credit scores, loans, interest rates, car values and tons and tons of research. It’s enough to make me want to save all the hassle and just buy a bike. But, I will soldier on, and so will you.
Buying a car, done right!
Before you go in to buy:
Do some online “window shopping” first to get an idea of what you’re looking for. Or stop by a dealership when they are closed so you can look around without anyone stalking you. You don’t want to be talked into buying something that you’ll regret later so make sure you research and know what you want before talking with a salesman.
This is one of the most important steps because one, you don’t want to end up paying way more than the car is worth, and two, you don’t want to go to the dealership with no idea of what you want. Those sales people can be vicious. Make sure you check out safety features, gas mileage, and whatever else is important to you in a car.
Make sure you compare prices on similar makes and models and get a good idea of what they sell for. Kelley Blue Book is a good resource for finding out how much a car is worth. Then, make sure you have at least 20% of the cost of the vehicle before even thinking about buying it. If you don’t, you will end up paying more than it’s worth. Also, shoot for being able to pay off the car in at most 48 months. The sooner the better!
Used vs New
This is a tough choice. There are pros and cons to both. A new car is going to be in the best shape, but will cost a significant amount more. And the insurance is going to cost more. With a used car, you’re getting a better price, but you can’t always be sure about the condition. If you do go with a used car, make sure you get a Carfax report or something equivalent.
The worst part about buying a car…paying for it. Here are a few bullets on financing a car.
- Make sure you understand all the terms of the loan.
- Make sure you can pay it back and are comfortable with the monthly payments.
- Put as much money down as you can (you’ll get a lower interest rate, and have less to pay off).
- Get the shortest time period you can manage. Remember, no more than 48 months!
- If you get a rebate, use it as part of your down payment.
- If you make extra money, use it towards your loan—pay it off early if you can.
Did you know you can apply for a loan before you even find the car you want to buy? Just visit your local MIDFLORIDA branch. They’ll figure out how much they can loan you based on your credit and job history. Once you have financing lined up, not only will you know ahead of time how expensive of a car you can afford – you’ll also become a stronger player when it comes to negotiating for the car you want.
If you’d like to check out some more car buying tips then click… wait for it… here! For those who were lucky enough to get one of their parents old cars, take care of it. I know personally that if you wreck it, your life will be much less awesome.
Just as entertaining as cat videos, but way more educational
Have you ever had a question…about anything? Maybe you thought, “How much money is love worth?” Or, “What is it like inside a black hole?” Well, I have something totally cool to share with all of you, Vsauce! V-what?! Vsauce is a Youtube channel about science, information, and just things that are cool. But, what is cool? Well, check out Vsauce! They have a whole video just on cool!
Feed your inner nerd
Vsauce was created by Micheal Stevens in 2010, and to date has over 300 million views! He usually starts one of his videos with a seemingly unanswerable question. Let’s take for example, “Why are things cute?” He then tells you mind blowing facts and statistics about that topic. By the end of the video, your jaw is on the floor and your brain has hit the ceiling! His videos have literally infected my mind. With the way he speaks, he seems more like a politician than a science nerd.
But, he doesn’t stop with just science videos. He explores the Internet and finds some of the coolest things out there. From crazy and weird gift ideas to the coolest game on the web, Vsauce tells you about it all! The channel has become so incredibly popular that Micheal expanded to other channels - Vsauce2 and Vsauce3. Vsauce2 explores the latest in technology. It literally has a segment called Mindblow! Vsauce3 is for you video game fans. In these videos, the host explores the science behind video games, as well as how video games connect us to the real world.
Ever wonder how much a shadow weighs? You can find out!
Be sure to check out Vsauce! You can also follow Vsauce on Twitter and Facebook to learn about even more cool stuff! And as always, thanks for reading!
Where in the world do I start?
I posted a blog recently about looking for a job. Something that everyone, myself included, struggles a little bit with. The motivation to start hunting. The diligence to keep applying after countless no’s. The nerve racking interview process. It’s all a pain to deal with, but Matt’s going to try to make it a little easier for you.
One of the most important parts about job hunting is having a standout resume. What’s a resume, you ask? Well, a resume pretty much tells whoever is looking through the applications a little more about yourself. It goes into detail about your previous job experiences, as well as your accomplishments thus far. And it’s not just for adults - a teen coming in with a resume in hand can be very impressive.
But what do I put on there?
I found an article with 51 tips on how to build a great resume. Here are a few of their tips:
Use proper grammar, punctuation, and matching verb tenses:
Use your writing as a way to demonstrate you have quality communication skills. Consistent verb tense keeps your writing clear and understandable. Most resume building uses past and present tense only.
Use your resume to get the interview, not the job:
A quality resume is merely a foot in the door. Your resume will not get you a job but merely introduce you to perspective employers. Use this as the first chance to sell yourself to an employer. The interview itself will provide you with another opportunity to do so.
Do not personalize your resume:
Avoid the usage of, “I,” “me,” “my,” and other personalized language when resume writing. It is assumed you accomplished the things you listed on your resume.
Get a second opinion:
You should let trusted friends, relatives, professors, or coworkers proof your resume to ensure spelling and grammatical correctness.
Update your resume for fresh information, new contact numbers, and additional qualifications learned as well as tailoring your resume to fit new companies.
Call after submitting your resume:
Unless the job posting specifically requests no phone calls, it is encouraged to call the persons in charge of hiring between 3 and 7 days after they receive your resume.
Look for resume templates online
How are you feeling now? A little more confident? Ready to start that resume? It feels almost like a school project where you might put it off until the last possible moment. I know that feeling, but I’m getting started on mine today!
The great debate of our time
Good day RT4T, today’s topic is a serious one. I hope not to step on too many toes today and I will try to be aware of everyone’s different beliefs on this topic. But, I just had to bring it up. Apple’s iPhone or the many various Android Smartphones? I was once team Android all the way. I had the first generation Evo, but I recently went with the new iPhone. Both have their pluses and maybe you could save a buck or two by switching. Or, if you’re lucky, like me, you can upgrade for free!!
iPhone vs Android
Let’s start things off with what I think is the most important. Apps are great and all, but I want a phone that doesn’t die every hour if it isn’t at a constant charge. That’s why I have to go with the iPhone. My dad and I both have iPhones and they last almost a whole day longer than my mom’s Android. Battery life was one of the biggest reasons that led me to Apple.
The Iphone is great. It’s easy to use, and almost everyone knows what one looks like. If you love the look and feel of the iPhone, then great! But, if you aren’t in love with the design, then you really have to go with Android. There are, what seem to be, hundreds of different options – one for every type of user. For instance, if you have long nails, a qwerty board is much easier to type with. Or maybe you view documents on your phone and need a larger screen – which the Galaxy Note is awesome for.
Plus, you have to consider the diversity of service providers. Androids are available with many more providers than iPhone. So, if there’s a certain provider that you want to stick with, Android phones may be the answer.
With me, cost is always important. But, this one is tricky. It’s different depending on what phone provider you have. Sometimes, if you’re upgrading, you can get some money off an iPhone or an Android. You should really consult someone at your provider’s store. I was able to get the iPhone 4 for free just by asking someone. The iPhone 5 was going to be $200 and the Galaxy was around the same price. But, the great thing about the two competing companies is that you can find something that’s in your price range. And free is in everyone’s price range!
It’s not a phone, it’s a war
The great Apple/Android debate may never be over. Like Team Edward vs Team Jacob, this battle could rage on forever. Which do you prefer? Also, check out this hilarious song about the Iphone/Andriod War!
The Job Hunt!
Now that spring break is over, I was thinking. The summer will be here before you know it! And summer means a few things. First, it’s going to be really hot, we all know that. Second, the parents will be breathing down our necks to get a summer job. I’m joining the job hunt soon so I thought some tips were in order! As you may have noticed, I like tips – they’re great. But, searching for a job isn’t. I get interview anxiety. I even get anxiety just from going in and asking for an application. If you’re like me, check these out!
Tips, Tips, Tips
1. Network like crazy: Who says networking is just for old people?! Here’s the secret – use the adults you know to help you get a job. Maybe one of your family members knows someone who wants to hire teens. Or ask friends’ parents or adults you know at church or anywhere. It’s worth a shot and it could land you your first job!
2. Go seasonal: You know,…summer camps, clothing stores, amusement parks. Tons of places need extra employees during their peak seasons like summer. If you do a good job, maybe you could get on during the year. Malls are a big go-to!
3. Keep an open mind: No one likes working. Especially doing dishes. But a job is a job, and money is money. Don’t think of yourself as too good to do anything. Just have a positive attitude. Sometimes, you have to start at the bottom to work to the top!
4. Look your best: This one should be obvious. No jeans. No shorts. Wear a collar. Tuck in your shirt. Dress to impress. If you have the looks to kill, then you are one step closer to killing it at your interview!
5. Resume: A resume is a must! Even if you don’t have much experience. You must have done something so far in your life? Throw it on there. Clubs, volunteer work, GPA, all of it. But, don’t waste their time. They don’t need to know that you trained your dog to do a flip. Unless, you are applying at the SPCA!
It may not be the job of your dreams, but it’s money!
Looking for a job may take a while, but one of the most important things to remember is, don’t give up. I must have put fifteen applications in when I was applying for my first job. But, I found something. Was it luxurious? No. I was a balloon artist at a restaurant. But, when I got that paycheck, it made everything worth it!
Who needs Easter eggs when you can have records?!
Well, Easter is officially gone for the year. Over. Done. But my favorite holiday is just around the corner. Record Store Day!! If you don’t know, Record Store Day is a day celebrating local record stores. This year it falls on Saturday, April 20. Over the past few years, it’s been gaining more and more attention through the re-popularization of vinyl records. In celebration, many artists re-release albums, or even put out new material just for Record Store Day! But, that’s not all…
Celebrate Record Store Day at Evolution Records.
Evolution Records is a record store and music venue in downtown Lakeland, only steps away from the huge MIDFLORIDA office! This year, Evolution is throwing a huge shindig for Record Store Day! If you love music, but don’t collect vinyl, you can still come out and enjoy some great music. Indie acoustic artists will be playing in the store throughout the day. So, while you shop, stop and listen to the tunes. If you’re into something a little more adrenaline pumping, check out Evolution that night - their main stage will be showcasing a ton of awesome bands! Any and all music fans are welcome!
Like Christmas, but better.
Learn more about Record Store Day and check out the entire list of new releases on CD, cassette and vinyl. I have my list ready. Do you have yours?