Your weekly money scoop: December 2, 2016

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Your weekly money scoop: December 2, 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 people donated $100,000 to dig a hole and how Zimbabwe is trying out a new currency to boost its economy.

A Hatchimal costs how much? Holiday shopping has taken off, and many major retailers have already sold out of Hatchimals, this year's hottest gift. A Hatchimal is an animated plushy that hatches from a toy egg and retails between $50 to $60. If you're trying in vain to get one, all is not lost: Some consumers caught wind of the coming Hatchimal craze, stocked up and are now reselling them on sites such as Amazon and eBay. But this year's hottest toy doesn't come cheap: sellers are charging around four times the retail value. One eBay listing sold for a cool $25,000.

Going to college is an investment in your future, so why not treat paying tuition the same way? Instead of paying for college tuition with high-interest loans, students at Purdue can now offer investors a percentage of their earnings after college in exchange for funding. In this scenario, the risk falls on the investors who might not make their money back if a student doesn't find a well-paying career after graduation.

New York City officials say the city spends a million dollars for every day that Trump's in town. Freedom isn't free, and neither is security. Local police departments are required to keep the president and his family safe when they leave the White House, and as president-elect, Trump is currently receiving protection as well. If Trump chooses to work more from home and less from the White House, it will continue to cost the city. And as long as his wife Melania chooses to stay in New York, which might be long-term, she'll require protection as well. Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City, said he will seek reimbursement from the federal government, which means some of the cost could be coming out of taxpayers' pockets.

You've heard of throwing your money down the drain, but what about throwing your money down a gigantic hole in the ground? On Black Friday, the people behind the cheeky and controversial party game Cards Against Humanity asked for donations to dig a huge hole in the ground -- just because. As long as the money kept pouring in, they kept digging. By the end of the day, they raised over $100,000. And no, Cards Against Humanity hasn't stated its plan for what it'll do with the money so donors really may have just thrown their money away.

Zimbabwe is introducing new currency in hopes of boosting its economy. In 2009, Zimbabwe's currency was practically worthless due to inflation and over-printing paper money. Citizens started trading and bartering with foreign tender to keep the economy moving, and the country has had to rely heavily on imports, which doesn't help strengthen the local economy either. On Monday, the government introduced bond notes that are only useable within the country and have no international value. Some economists and locals are worried this new currency will only hurt their economy more: Many citizens started stashing foreign bills, including U.S. dollars, before ATMs switched to the bond notes, and some Zimbabwe businesses refuse to accept the new cash.

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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