Your weekly money scoop: February 24, 2017

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Your weekly money scoop: February 24, 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 much money U.S. drivers wasted by sitting in traffic last year and how to score some free ice cream this month.

As if traffic weren't frustrating enough: It also cost U.S. drivers nearly $300 billion last year in wasted time and fuel, according to a new report by INRIX, a transportation analytics firm. Los Angeles suffered the worst congestion in the whole world, with the average driver spending 104 peak hours last year in the stop-and-go, which amounted to $2,408 of lost productivity and extra gas money per person for the year. With major cities like San Francisco and New York City losing billions of dollars through traffic congestion, some are improving public transit, adding bike lanes and more.

Delta is rolling out free meals on select flights. It's been years since most US airlines offered free meals to passengers on domestic flights, and this spring Delta is starting to bring them back. But how free is free when you may have already paid for the meal in the price of your plane ticket? Guess there's still no such thing as a free lunch...

America's debt is close to recession levels. In 2008 Q3, total household debt hit a peak at $12.68 trillion and at the end of 2016, we got a little too close for comfort with debt growing to $12.58 trillion, according to the latest Federal Reserve Bank of New York quarterly report on Household Debt and Credit. While mortgages still make up most of the overall household debt, other forms of debt play a key part as well: Student loan, credit card and auto loan debt rose significantly in the last quarter of 2016.

Tips to help make sure a new job will benefit your bank before making the switch. For example, if you have outstanding debt and your proposed new salary is higher than your current one, consider using your extra dollars to pay it off faster. Or put those dollars towards a savings account to slowly build interest. It's also a good idea to consider the entirety of your new benefits package; would you be making more money per month, but also shelling out more for doctor's bills and prescriptions? If so, consider asking your new employer for a total compensation package -- which can include your salary and benefits such as health insurance and paid time off -- that matches or exceeds what you had before.

Coldstone is giving away free ice cream, because kindness is priceless. Random Acts of Kindness Day was February 17th and Coldstone Creamery is celebrating all month long. The company is sending out cardboard cut-out ice cream trucks to surprise locations and handing out free ice cream. How can you get your hands on a scoop of this sweet, sweet kindness? Look for pictures of the truck on Coldstone's social media pages to see if it ends up in your neighborhood.

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.

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The coldstone article is old.

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