Your weekly money scoop: November 18, 2016

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Your weekly money scoop: November 18, 2016

By JENNIFER WILLIAMS

We're serving you our weekly bite-sized roundup of the stories you need to know. This week, learn how to save money on holiday spending and read about how one bank in India is sending an ATM bus into cities and rural communities.

Plan ahead to carve the cost of Thanksgiving dinner. According to the American Farm Bureau, families spent an average of $50.11 on Thanksgiving dinner last year. But by planning ahead and being savvy, you don't have to spend that much. You can collect coupons, check local grocery store deals and buy produce that's on sale. Some stores even throw the bird in for free if you spend a certain amount.

When the ATM comes to you... In an effort to crack down on black-market spending, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discontinued the two largest rupee denominations, the 500 and 1,000 notes. Many citizens have had to wait in excruciatingly long lines to exchange their big notes for smaller ones at their local ATMs, only to find that the machines have run out of bills. To appease frustrated bank customers, Canara Bank sent out an ATM bus to reach rural areas that need working ATMs the most.

Are college degrees still a good investment? While a four-year undergraduate degree could cost you at least $30,000 at a public college, or even $100,000 at a private college, graduates tend to earn more per week than workers with just a high-school diploma -- $459 more according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2015. It's better news if you have a math and science degree: You may earn even more.

10 ways to save on holiday spending. According to Society of Grownups, games such as Secret Santa and White Elephant offer a fun way to buy just one present for one person -- potentially saving you lots of money. And they recommend making your own gifts as a cheaper and more personal way to spread holiday cheer. Or why not shop all year round? Just make sure not to ruin the surprise while you collect gifts in the off-season.

Need help making sense of your money? Our partner Earnest says it might be time to seek help from a financial planner if you are juggling multiple debts, navigating job benefits or having trouble managing your credit score, among many other life situations. Although they'll typically charge a fee or expect an hourly pay, Earnest notes, a certified professional can help explain the fine print, and even find you ways to save and plan for your future.

And that's the scoop this week -- see you next week for more.

About the Author: Jennifer Williams is a QA Specialist in Member Support at Credit Karma. She has her MFA in Fiction, and puts her skills to use helping members and training new hires. When she's off the clock, she can be found editing her novel, playing guitar, or hiking with her dog in the hills.

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