Your weekly money scoop: November 23, 2016

We generally make money when you get a product (like a credit card or loan) through our platform, but we don’t let that cloud our editorial opinions. Learn more about how we keep this compensation from affecting our editorial views.

Your weekly money scoop: November 23, 2016

By JENNIFER WILLIAMS

We're serving you our weekly bite-sized roundup of the stories you need to know. This week, read about how to manage the costs of hosting Thanksgiving dinner and learn how food stamps are spent.

What kinds of food do Americans spend their food stamps on? The same as everyone else. While some critics claim that people who benefit from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) make unhealthy food choices, they're buying the same food as their non-SNAP counterparts. According to a survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, both types of households spend 40 cents of every dollar on staples like meat, fruit, vegetables, grains and milk. And soft drinks are still a top commodity for both.

Thanksgiving dinner could be cheaper this year thanks to deflation. Last year, the average cost of Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people rose to just over $50, the highest it's been in over 30 years, according to a survey from the American Farm Bureau Federation. But this year, the cost has dropped 24 cents. That might not sound like a lot, but adjusted for inflation, it's the cheapest turkey day dinner has cost since 2010.

Changes to the federal financial aid process are generally proving a success. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as FAFSA, was made available October 1st this year-- three months earlier than before -- to allow college students more time to search for funding. This October, 21 percent more graduating high school seniors completed the application compared to the first month last year's application was available, which was in January. Though the change in dates has caused confusion for some, the uptake in early applications is a positive sign, according to the National College Access Network.

Could Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday overshadow Black Friday? With the popularity and convenience of online shopping, the rise of new shopping days and holiday sales spreading earlier into the season, the Black Friday frenzy might soon be a thing of the past. In a spending survey by Deloitte, less than one tenth of consumers reported that they plan to shop on Black Friday. This could spell good news for small businesses, some of which are reaping the benefits of an extended holiday shopping season.

Budget for more than just food when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner. One writer reminds us that the holiday costs can go beyond just buying the food - it can include decorations, alcohol and serving plates. So how can you have Thanksgiving on the cheap? Consider picking classic decorations that you can use for years to come, and be mindful of how large of a crowd you and your home can handle. If you're on a tighter budget, a potluck might be the way to go. Plus that way, you can be thankful for the generosity of your loved ones too.

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.

Editorial Note: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. While compensation may affect which companies we write about and products we review, our marketing partners don't review, approve or endorse our editorial content. Our content is accurate (to the best of our knowledge) when we initially post it, but we don't guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. You can visit the company's website to get complete details about a product. See an error in an article? Use this form to report it to our editorial team. For questions about your Credit Karma account, please submit a help request to our support team.

Advertiser Disclosure: We think it's important for you to understand how we make money. It's pretty simple, actually. The offers for financial products you see on our platform come from companies who pay us. The money we make helps us give you access to free credit scores and reports and helps us create our other great tools and educational materials.

Compensation may factor into how and where products appear on our platform (and in what order). But since we generally make money when you find an offer you like and get, we try to show you offers we think are a good match for you. That's why we provide features like your Approval Odds and savings estimates.

Of course, the offers on our platform don't represent all financial products out there, but our goal is to show you as many great options as we can.


Comment on this Article

Write your comment:
Enter Your Comments