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The Sandy Spring Way

Watching the Super Bowl this Year?

February 1st, 2013 | By Beau Mercer

Tips to Follow While Spending Money to Enjoy the Game

You may already be planning to watch or attend Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday, February 3rd in New Orleans, LA. It is estimated that over 179 million people will tune into one of the nation’s most watched events on television, according to a survey by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, a division of the National Retail Federation, conducted by BIGinsight. In addition to the enormous number of people that will watch the game, fans are also planning to spend big! Below are some statistics from the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association about expected consumer spending habits surrounding the Super Bowl this year:

  • Of all people intending to see the game, over 7.5 million households will purchase a new television
  • 3.9 million households will purchase new furniture for themselves and guests
  • 17 million fans will spend money on team clothing and accessories to show support for the Baltimore Ravens or the San Francisco 49ers
  • 74 percent of people who plan to view the game will buy food and drink
  • 7.5 million will buy decorations to celebrate
  • Total spending on Super Bowl activities is estimated to reach close to $12.3 billion

While you’re shopping for items to help you enjoy the game, keep the following tips in mind for managing and saving your money, and safeguarding your information.

Conveniently manage your finances with mobile banking

Mobile banking allows you to monitor your accounts carefully when you’re on the go. If you’re shopping or traveling for the big game, it’s helpful to be able to monitor credits and debits to your account in real-time and obtain up-to-the-minute account balances – and best of all, it can be free!

Additionally, mobile banking allows consumers to take advantage of a number of benefits, including the convenience of checking their balances instantly and the ability to pay bills or to make account transfers without having to log on via the Web. By entering a password and making a few clicks, you can take care of basic banking transactions regardless of where you are located.

Mobile banking can also be a more immediate and interactive experience than online or in-person banking. Some banks offer text banking and mobile browser banking. Text banking may allow you to view account balances and recent activity on the go. Mobile banking can offer those features in addition to searching for transactions, paying bills, transferring funds, and locating the nearest branch or ATM. In most instances, logging onto your bank’s Web site over a cellular network loads a mobile-specific version of the site designed to load quickly and efficiently over your wireless connection.

Consumers traveling for the game can also schedule future payments ahead of time so they can enjoy their trips without having to remember to access their account.

To provide a faster experience and greater security, a number of banks have developed mobile banking applications designed to run on smartphones. These bank-sponsored applications allow customers to log on and check their balances, make payments or transfer funds between accounts over cellular networks or Wi-Fi connections. Because the applications match the banks’ interfaces and offer a number of security features, customers can be assured they are interacting with their banks and conducting transactions safely.

Opt for debit over credit

As of January 27th, merchants can tack on a processing fee to the purchase price for credit card transactions in most states. Maryland and Virginia currently do not have a ban on surcharges, but fortunately, the fee cannot be added to the purchase price of debit card transactions. Whenever possible, use your debit card instead of your credit card to avoid paying extra when you shop for food, drink, decorations and entertainment systems for the game.

Keep security in mind while shopping online

Many fans like to purchase apparel and accessories sporting their favorite team. When shopping online, always check site security to protect your information. Secure websites use encryption technology to transfer information back and forth from your computer to the website’s server. Encryption scrambles the information you send so it cannot be intercepted and stolen. Here are a few ways to know if a site is secure and using encryption technology:

  • Check out the site URL. A site that starts with the letters “https” indicates the site is secure. (A URL for a site that is not secure will start with “http”.) Keep in mind that the average site does not need to be secure, since confidential information is not transmitted or received. Also keep in mind that “https” may not appear in the URL until you access a page on a particular site where information needs to be encrypted (like a shopping cart checkout page, for example).
  • Look for the “padlock” icon at the bottom right of your browser window or next to the address bar. If the “lock” is open, the site is not secure.
  • There are companies that evaluate websites for protecting online privacy and give ‘seals’ of approval for safe sites. Look out for TRUSTe seals or Norton Secured seals on websites, for example.

Keep in mind that transferring data to and from a secure site may not protect you if you are accessing the Internet through an unprotected network. Only transfer personal or confidential data when you are sure the network you are using is protected and safe.

No matter what you’re planning for Super Bowl Sunday, you can still effectively manage your finances, stay on budget and protect your information while getting what you need for the exciting event. For more information on mobile banking with Sandy Spring Bank, visit https://www.sandyspringbank.com/personal-banking/mobilebanking.aspx.