Your weekly money scoop: December 16, 2016

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Your weekly money scoop: December 16, 2016

By JENNIFER WILLIAMS

We're serving you our weekly bite-sized roundup of the stories you need to know. This week, read about America's most expensive ZIP code to live in and why you should pull that piggy bank out of storage.

After spending $5,000 on a bike, one man recommends shelling out for quality items you love. He knew which bike he wanted, but he kept shopping around for something cheaper. Eventually, though, Carl Richards went for the handmade titanium bike of his dreams. He initially had some buyer's remorse, but eleven years later he says it is the best purchase he has ever made. He believes that if you buy a product you love, you're more likely to use it regularly. And if it's expensive and well-made, that's more incentive to take good care of it so you can use it for years to come.

Manalapan, Florida is most expensive ZIP code in the U.S. to buy a home, according to Forbes. There, homes have had an average asking price of $7.86 million over the last three months. Runners up include the Upper East Side in New York City and Atherton in Northern California. Also, almost half of the 25 most expensive ZIP codes to buy a home are in New York. However, the market for such luxury homes seems to be slowing down, especially in Silicon Valley.

Online shopping can shape, and invigorate, the way we shop in person. Although online shopping has grown increasingly popular, it hasn't eclipsed consumers' desire for brick-and-mortar shops. In fact, some businesses that got their start online or through social media are now opening up their own shops. One executive thinks this may be because consumers find the brand online and want to experience the product in person. According to Forrester Research, retail sales influenced by the web are expected to account for about 38 percent of all retail sales.

Small change can lead to big savings. Many of us were taught to save money by depositing one coin at a time into a piggy bank. Jeffrey Schwartz, a financial expert, says we have a lot to learn from these childhood memories, and should be using the same tactic as adults. First of all, those coins can quickly add up -- when I filled a small jar with loose coins I had laying around, for example, it totaled a little over $60. But what's even more important about this fun strategy is that it shows us how easy it can be to save without feeling like we are making daily sacrifices to put money away. The money you save can be used to pay off debt or buy holiday gifts. Or, put it in a savings account to gather interest.

The Japanese government is expected to pass a new bill to legalize gambling in an effort boost its economy -- although citizens are concerned. Gambling is still illegal in Japan, except for betting on horse races controlled by the government and pachinko, which awards non-cash prizes that players can later sell for cash. While analysts say Japan could rake in more than $30 billion a year from casinos, only 12 percent of citizens supported the bill. Many are wary of the social consequences of gambling, as Japan already has a high rate of gambling addiction compared to other countries, according to campaign group Society Concerned about Gambling Addiction.

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. 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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