Money Minute: Uber Cuts Fares; TGI Fridays' 'Endless' Deal

Uber is pressing the pedal to the metal to get your business.

Car service Uber is temporarily slashing its fares in New York City by 20 percent. The discount will apply to its UberX service, which is its cheapest category. It will make its fares cheaper than those of yellow cabs. If demand for the car service revs up, the discount could become permanent. Fares in other cities have also been lowered. Atlanta and San Francisco have seen a 25 percent drop for the summer. Boston and Chicago also had their fares lowered and Uber says demand went up as a result.

TGI Fridays is also offering a summer deal to those who like to binge on appetizers. The campaign is called "endless appetizers" and for $10 a person, you can order as many refills of your favorite appetizer as you like. There is a catch, though. Your refill has to be the same appetizer you already ordered and sharing isn't encouraged. The promotion comes at a challenging time for casual-dining restaurant chains such as TGI Fridays. They aren't very popular with millennials who tend to prefer local restaurants or fast-casual chains like Panera Bread (PNRA) and Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) that have lower prices. The all-you-can-eat appetizer promotion ends Aug. 24.

Here on Wall Street on Monday, stocks retreated a bit. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) lost 44 points, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) dropped 34 points and Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) fell 7 points.

Critics of raising the minimum wage have long argued that it kills jobs as companies are less likely to hire workers when their payroll costs go up. But a new study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research contradicts this theory. Its research finds that the 13 states that raised their minimum wage on Jan. 1 had stronger job growth than the 37 states that didn't. One explanation cited is that minimum wage workers tend to spend all of their income immediately giving a boost to the local economy, which in turn leads to more hiring.

And finally, could Facebook (FB) be bad for your marriage? That's a question being raised by a series of recent reports. The latest, which appeared in the journal, Computers in Human Behavior, says active use of Facebook is "positively correlated" with higher divorce rates. The authors of the study say they don't know if Facebook is causing more divorces or if divorcees are just more drawn to the social network. Another survey found that 1 in 3 divorce filings in the U.K. contained references to Facebook.

-Produced by Karina Huber.

The 7 Best Things to Buy in July
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Money Minute: Uber Cuts Fares; TGI Fridays' 'Endless' Deal
It's time to hit the thrift stores, consignment shops and furniture outlets. Now that most people have done their spring cleaning and renovating, their used furniture is on the market. That means a hefty supply, plus low prices since stores only have so much space. You can also find discounted new furniture in July, because the next year's models arrive in stores in early August. Don't be afraid to try to negotiate on prices. It often works.
Electronics -- computers and tablets specifically -- see decreases in price starting in early July. These prices continue to drop as the school year gets closer, and best way to stay on top of the hottest deals is to sign up for e-newsletters from retailers. Remember to take advantage of company and educational discounts that may be available to you, and to negotiate for free or discounted accessories.
Bottled water goes on sale throughout July as a lure to get you into stores. it also gets purchased more frequently throughout the summer -- the natural result of barbecue and picnic season, when people entertain and spend more time outdoors. So if you drink bottled water year-round, stock up now.
If you can manage, hold off purchasing your new grill until after the Fourth of July, when mark-downs approach 50 percent off. This applies to grilling accessories, too, including grill baskets and utensils. Also, check consignment shops and thrift stores. Many people buy new grills for the Fourth of July and donate or sell their old ones.
Speaking of grilling, among the hottest buys during July are condiments for burgers and hot dogs: mustard, ketchup, relish, sour cream, sauerkraut, mayonnaise and pickles, etc. Buy in bulk, and pair in-store specials with coupons for super-low prices on these summer must-haves.
If you're in the market for a sweet new pair of jeans, July is the best time to buy them. Few people buy jeans during one of the hottest months of the year, so retailers put them on sale to move them. Stores also get new jeans in the late summer in anticipation of fall shopping season, so they're eager to sell old ones to make room for new duds.
Formal suits are also seldom purchased during the middle of summer. Consequently, many suit retailers will hold sales to keep business moving. If you have an upcoming formal wedding to attend -- or if you simply need new suits for work and special occasions -- July is the best time to buy.
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