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5 Things to Know: Minimum Wage Increase and Year-End Tax Breaks

Here are some interesting and important things to know for the coming week.

Demonstrators in support of fast food workers protest outside a McDonald's as they demand a minimum wage increase and better benefits. Credit: AP
Demonstrators in support of fast food workers protest outside a McDonald's as they demand a minimum wage increase and better benefits. Credit: AP

From how to max out your tax deductions before the end of the year to how Americans really feel about 2013, here are five things you need to know for the coming week: 

1. About 2.5 million minimum wage workers will see a bump in their paychecks starting Jan. 1. Thirteen states and four cities are increasing their minimum wage. As many as 11 states and Washington, D.C. are expected to consider increases in 2014, according to the National Employment Law Project.  

2. There’s still time to max out your tax breaks. Turbo Tax’s blog features the top 8 year-end tax tips to save money on your taxes. It’s not too late to donate to charity, contribute to retirement accounts or, in some cases, defer income until 2014. Go here for the full list.  

3. Lose weight. Quit smoking. Save more money. Sound familiar? 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but only 8 percent actually achieve them. (And 24 percent of people don’t make it past the first week.) Psychology Today gives you 7 science-proven ways to make sure your 2014 resolution sticks.  

4. A new AP poll revealed that 46 percent of people feel 2013 was about the same for them as 2012, 20 percent said it was worse, and 32 percent said it was better. But the outlook for the new year is positive: 49 percent think their fortunes will improve in 2014.

5. ‘Tis the most dangerous season for heart attacks. Studies show heart troubles spike this time of year, possibly because of cold weather (and strenuous snow shoveling), stress and hitting the bottle too hard at parties. With New Year’s Eve parties fast approaching, here’s how to be heart smart over the holidays.

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