BBQ, Bitcoin, Brazil and the other top stories that could hit you in the wallet

Money in a Minute: BBQs, Bitcoin & Brazil

We know you're busy and, these days, it feels like there's more news than ever to keep up with. Well, we've got you covered.

Here's a preview the week's biggest money stories to watch for and a quick rundown of how they may affect you.

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Planning your road trip

What's happening: Memorial Day kicks off the unofficial start to summer, and that means America is getting ready to hit the beach … and the gas pumps
Why it matters: Gas prices are low-ish, which is great news for U.S. consumers: That trip to the Hamptons just got a little cheaper

According to Bespoke Group, gas prices are currently trading 22 percent below their historical average. In laymen's terms: Gas isn't as expensive as it typically is around this time of the year. Great news as we all plan out our summer and find great places to swim, tan and party.

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Beef will set you back

What's happening: Memorial Day also marks the start of grilling season, when Americans tend to buy more meat
Why it matters: Buying hot dogs could lighten your wallet

A Nielsen 2016 study shows that, within the meat category, beef topped sales with more than $778 million spent in the two weeks that ended June 4, 2016, followed by chicken. Seafood was in third place. Keep this mind as your visit the grocery store this summer. Demand drives up prices on the most sought after meats, which can drive down the amount in your accounts.

Here's something to wash that down: In the two weeks around Memorial Day last year, 16 percent more beer was sold than in an average two weeks in 2016, according to Nielsen. Bottoms up.

Haobtc's bitcoin mine site manager, Guo-hua, checks mining equipment inside their bitcoin mine near Kongyuxiang, Sichuan, China.
The Washington Post | Getty Images

Bitcoin gets high

What's happening: Bitcoin, the virtual currency, has been soaring: It went up over 400 percent in the past year
Why it matters: While the cryptocurrency is viewed by many in America as a speculative bet, it's also increasingly seen by some in Asia as a legitimate investment

Bitcoin is getting lit! Recently it surpassed $2400. Why? Experts say that's thanks to strong demand from Asia, where there is a high degree of political and economic uncertainty. Plus, Japan recently recognized bitcoin as a legal payment method.

But not everyone is joining the Bitcoin party. Many experts still say be cautious as there is currently no regulatory body, like the U.S. Treasury, backing it. Plus, it's super volatile. Bottom line: Proceed with caution.

he LanzhouXinjiang High-Speed Railway, also known as Lanxin Railway, a high-speed rail in northwestern China from Lanzhou in Gansu Province to Urumqi along the new Silk road, has been seen as the foundation for the One Belt One Road initiative.
Zhang Peng | Getty Images

China tries to connect with Europe

What's happening: EU leaders meet with Chinese leaders in a summit
Why it matters: As the rest of world questions its relationship with the U.S., China is trying to take the lead and make new friends

European and Chinese leaders meet up in Brussels on Thursday to explore how the two regions can work better together. This comes as China tries to strengthen its international role, economically and politically.

China is in the process of getting buy-in for its Silk Road initiative — an effort to accelerate trade buy building massive infrastructure routes between China and Europe. Many countries like India have opposed China's efforts.

Brazilian President Michel Temer
Igo Estrela | Getty Images

Brazil in crisis

What's happening: The Supreme Court has launched a formal investigation into President Temer on allegations of bribery and that he tried to quiet a key witness with money
Why it matters: Corruption and dirty politics continues to embroil Brazil's government, resulting in investors hitting the sell button on Brazil's stocks

About 10 months in as President, after the previous president Dilma Rousseff was impeached for corruption, there are allegations that Temer too was involved in a bribery scandal. Think tank Eurasia says there is a 70 percent chance Temer will be impeached.

Bottom line: More political uncertainty for Brazil will likely stop the government from implementing the economic reforms it desperately needs. On Thursday, Brazil's monetary policy committee will meet and will likely unveil new measures to show their support. Will it be enough?

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