Michelle Singletary
Michelle Singletary
Columnist

Super Bowl, super spending

Video: Watch and rewatch the ads from Super Bowl XLVII because you can’t get Volkswagen’s ‘Get Happy’ mantra out of your head and because you missed the E*Trade talking baby commercial while you were getting a second helping of nachos.

Yes, I’m joining the many who plan on doing a little extra spending for the Super Bowl matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers.

Gearing up for the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XLVII is just a few days away. What do you plan to spend most of your money on as you prepare for the showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens?

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The Ravens are my 12-year-old daughter’s favorite team. Jillian says she likes the NFL team because many of our family members hail from Baltimore. Both my husband and I were born in Baltimore (personally, I’m a Philadelphia Eagles fan but I’ll still root for my hometown team). I suspect a lot of my daughter’s enthusiasm for the Ravens is because the team’s dominant color is purple. My baby loves purple.

So, I want to buy her a Ravens shirt for the game. I’m also going to cook the chili my husband likes. That’s another expense because two of my three kids don’t like chili, meaning I’ll have to fix something else for them. I’m thinking some oven-baked chicken wings.

Not everyone can afford the insane prices for actual tickets to the Super Bowl, but lots of consumers will do their share to boost the economy by buying for the big game.

“As one of the biggest weekends of the year for sports fanatics, we expect to see a variety of promotions in the coming days surrounding appetizers and drinks at restaurants, football decor, athletic apparel and of course, new TVs,” said Bill Thorne, senior vice president for the National Retail Federation.

A survey by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, a division of the NRF, found that 17 million football fans will buy team apparel or accessories for game day, up from 14.8 million last year. Close to 4 million households will buy new furniture, such as entertainment centers, chairs and couches. More than 7.5 million households will buy a new television, compared with 5.1 million last year.

Writing for US News & World Report, Matthew Ong, a retail analyst for the personal finance Web site NerdWallet, says you could get a good TV deal this weekend -- the price for the highly popular 32-inch TV has dropped to an all-time low.

So, with Super Bowl XLVII just a few days away, what do you plan to spend most of your money on as you prepare for the showdown between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers?

__ Food

__ Team apparel

__ New TV

__ Decorations

__ Alcohol

__ Nothing. It’s just another day.

Click here to vote.

Plan on buying chicken wings, too? Well, for those you can expect higher prices.

“Last summer’s drought has come home to roost in the price you’ll be paying for those Super Bowl party chicken wings,” writes Allison Linn for Today.com.

For example, in the Northeast, the wholesale price of wings is at $2.06 a pound compared to $1.86 a pound last year and $1.21 a pound in 2011, reports USA Today.

In Georgia, two men were arrested and charged with stealing $65,000 worth of chicken wings from a local cold storage business where they worked, reports Fran Jeffries of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

The two men allegedly backed up an Enterprise rental truck to a bay door at the business and loaded the truck with 10 pallets of Tyson frozen wings.

While the men were arrested, the chicken wings have not been found.

Live Chat Today

Join me today at noon ET for my live discussion about money. Helaine Olen, author of “Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry” will be my guest today. Olen’s book was the selection for this month’s Color of Money Book Club pick.

If you can’t join the chat live, send your questions in early.

Love and money

On the heels of Super Bowl spending comes the annual test of love and money for some folks. Will you or won’t you join the many who will be spending for Valentine’s Day?

Chances are you will.

The average consumer celebrating Valentine’s Day spent $126.03 last year, an increase of 8.5 percent from 2011 and the highest in the survey’s 10-year history, reports Anne D’Innocenzio of the Huffington Post.

D’Innocenzio offers some tips on how to express your love without breaking the bank:

-- Buy now. The Christmas holiday rush is over, but the deep discounts are not.

-- Buy online. Web sites such as www.thefind.com offer shoppers deals and help them search for the best prices.

-- Don’t buy your love. Skip the store and celebrate with a home-cooked meal.

I’m not really feeling that last tip since I would probably be the one who would have to cook! And even if my husband did the cooking, the kids would still be around yelling “yuck” when we tried to kiss.

But let me ask you this, for this week’s Color of Money Question: What was the best Valentine’s Day gift you ever received? Send your responses to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Be sure to include your full name, city and state. Put “Love and Money” in the subject line.

2013 Tax Season

What’s your number?

Wednesday opened the tax season, and, of course, because it’s taxes, there are a lot of numbers to consider.

The Associated Press produced a great feature with some key numbers you should know about when filing your 2012 tax returns. For example:

-- Each personal or dependent exemption is worth $3,800.

-- The standard deduction is $11,900 for married couples filing a joint return and for qualifying widows and widowers; $5,950 for singles and married individuals filing separate returns; $8,700 for heads of household. Those 65 or older or blind may be eligible for a higher standard deduction.

There are a lot more numbers you need to know, so take a look at the list.

Family Financial Fights

If money troubles are taking a toll on your family, I would like to hear from you. Maybe I can give you some advice on how to work through your problem. Send your story to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Put “Family Financial Fights” in the subject line, and be sure to include your full name, city and state.

Multitasking Costly Mistakes

In last week’s eletter, I told you about a story on multitasking. In an interview with Julie Morgenstern, a productivity expert, Forbes.com contributor Jessica Kleiman asked if multitasking was good for the workplace.

“It has been scientifically demonstrated that the brain cannot effectively or efficiently switch between tasks, so you lose time,” Morgenstern said. You also lose time because you often make mistakes.”

So, I asked: What was your most troubling or embarrassing multitasking mistake?

Sue Becker, founder and owner of From Piles to Smiles, an organizing and productivity service in Illinois, shared a story we all can learn from.

“I was coaching a time management client by phone, and she asked me to look at an email she’d sent me,” Becker wrote. “After I read her email, I unwittingly just kept on reading emails while my client chatted away. Soon I noticed that she had stopped talking and was waiting for my reply – unfortunately, I was absorbed in email and didn’t have a clue what she’d said. As someone who coaches clients about the dangers of multitasking it was a humbling (and eventually humorous) lesson.”

Tia Lewis contributed to this report.

You are welcome to e-mail comments and questions to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Please include your name and hometown; your comments may be used in a future column or newsletter unless otherwise requested.

 
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