Your weekly money scoop: December 9, 2016

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Your weekly money scoop: December 9, 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 Obama spent his Small Business Saturday and why one Canadian woman is unsure how to spend her lottery winnings.

On Small Business Saturday, President Obama bought books. For the last two years, President Obama and his family have visited the independently-owned Washington D.C. bookstore Politics and Prose for post-Thanksgiving shopping. His outing drew attention to Small Business Saturday, a day in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday that's centered on supporting independent businesses. Although the White House won't share how much the president spent, we do know that he bought 17 books in all.

Flights to Cuba are as low as $60 right now. Last year, after President Obama made it easier for Americans to travel to Cuba, several airlines recently started offering the first commercial flights to the island in almost 50 years. But demand hasn't been as high as airlines had hoped, and they're now cutting prices as well as even some flights. Why aren't more Americans taking advantage? Some may believe that Cuba isn't prepared to support many American tourists, while others may fear their travel plans to visit Cuba could be adversely affected when the president-elect takes office: Donald Trump is a vocal critic of the United States' relationship with the communist country.

Nordstrom has sold out of both $85 and $65 leather-wrapped rocks. The retailer's online description suggests the rocks -- sourced and handstitched in L.A. -- could be used as a paperweight, piece of art - or, really, whatever you want. Nordstrom's new product proved so popular that both the large and small rock offerings sold out. That's not all: One person even created a @NordstromRock Twitter account, while others commented on the rock product page with jokes like, "I had to send it back because there weren't any doggone instructions. I don't even know how to turn the flippin' thing on." Nordstrom eventually disabled comments.

An 80-year-old from a small Canadian village claimed she was 'too old' to win the lottery. Lois Olsen, grandmother to nine children and great-grandmother to eight, says her $50 million Canadian dollar win is a little late to make a big difference in her life. Though her view is that "money doesn't mean a whole bunch to me," she's got a lot of it now. Olsen plans to use the money to help support her family and maybe buy herself a new SUV.

Feel like you might be spending more than you need to on holiday shopping? One writer shares five tips on curbing excess, though well-intentioned, spending during the holidays. One thing the author suggests keeping in mind is whether you're shopping from an emotional or analytical place: Are you buying out of a sense of obligation? The author also cautions that while some time on social media might help you find deals, seeing pictures of friends' and family's shopping hauls could also encourage you to spend more than you planned.

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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