Your weekly money scoop: January 27, 2017

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Your weekly money scoop: January 27, 2017

By JENNIFER WILLIAMS

We're serving you our weekly bite-sized roundup of the stories you need to know. This week, read about how one couple saved to travel continuously for the past two years, and how you can get your hands on a free bottle of McDonald's iconic Big Mac Special Sauce.

This couple saved $50,000 and traveled the world. Two weeks after they met, Natasha Alden and Cameron Seagle left for a backpacking trip together. Three years later they've been to about 50 countries and are now driving across the African continent, which will take about a year to traverse. So how did they save for all this travel? They took second jobs, cooked at home and gave up nights out on the town and used rewards cards to gain points to use toward traveling. Without goals, Alden says, "you might never get [to where you want]".

Big Mac fan? It's your lucky day. McDonald's is giving away 10,000 free bottles of Big Mac Special Sauce starting today. It comes after the fast food's introduction of two new burgers, the Mac Jr. and Grand Mac. Find out about how you might be able to score the freebie here.

Check out this reading list to help you with all your money goals this year. It's still January, so why not cash in on your leftover New Year's energy by educating yourself on money matters? Whether you're just starting to learn about finances, paying off debt or just want some inspiration, this list has a little bit of everything.

Learn these money lessons in your 20s, and then stick to them at every age. Like many of our parents taught us, money doesn't grow on trees. And so we should remember that saving money, paying off debt and making major financial choices requires intention and attention on our part -- not just a little water and sunshine, as much as we might like. Taking inspiration from New York Times columnist Carl Richards, this list includes important advice like paying yourself first when payday comes around, expecting the unexpected when it comes to spending and reining in mindless spending.

Sometimes discounts don't pay off. Though spending less money is usually a recommended behavior, it can occasionally backfire. One woman's story includes buying marked down chocolate bars that later resulted in a cocoa worm infestation -- yes, really. If that hasn't chased you away, check out the full story and other money confessions from people whose efforts to save went awry.

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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