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How-to Enjoy Thanksgiving on a Budget in 2015

Posted on November 13th, 2015 in Being Thankful, Holiday Shopping, Savings by SSBblogger |


When they sit around the table on Turkey Day, all Grandma and Cousin Katie see is a beautiful, bountiful spread. All you can see, however, are dishes layered with a generous dose of your cold, hard cash.

The annual Thanksgiving dinner costs a hefty $50 average each year with prices slowly creeping upwards. At Security State Bank, we want to help you prepare Big Meal flavors without Big Budget prices with these money-saving food hacks:

Spread the wealth: Many hands make light work – and full wallets. If you’re playing Hostess with the Mostest, feel free to supply that centerpiece turkey. However, ask your guests to bring a side dish or dessert. Not only does this free up time that you or loved ones would have spent slaving away in the kitchen, but it lets everyone do one thing really well rather than creating an entire sub-par spread alone. If you have a competitive family, stoke the friendly fire by making members vote on the Dish of the Year, and add the recipe to an on-going family favorites recipe list.

Strategize your spending: Pull out your scissors and start clipping coupons sooner rather than later. The week before Thanksgiving is packed with last-minute sales on smaller items like canned goods and bread, but that draw for smaller sales means big-ticket items have been marked up in price. Pre-order your turkey at the beginning of the month, and load your shopping cart with all the trimmings when they go on sale.

Go generic: With so many sights and aromas filling your table, Aunt Ethel won’t notice if you use store-brand cream of mushroom soup in the green bean casserole. Go easy on yourself (and your wallet) if you don’t buy name brand ingredients for the annual feast. They taste similar to off-brands at a fraction of the cost.

Make from scratch: You pay more for pre-packaged or assembled foods not because of the ingredients, but the convenience. Carve an extra twenty minutes into your cook time by making items like piecrusts, breadcrumbs, and chicken stock from scratch for cheap. If you have little ones running around the event, let them blow off steam and make memories by giving you a hand.

Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to make it taste heavenly. As you shop smart, check that your budget is squared away on the run with our Mobile Banking option – and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Security State Bank, Equal Housing Lender, Member of the FDIC

Cold or Not Too Cold? Farmer’s Almanac Predictions for This Winter

Posted on November 6th, 2015 in Agriculture, Community by SSBblogger |


Sorry, New England. This winter just isn’t your winter… again.

Since 1818, Farmer’s Almanac has provided long-range weather predictions with surprising accuracy, thanks to a secret formula by founder Robert. B. Thomas. Evolving science and technology have helped the trusted weather forecaster increase in accuracy and fan following. This year, Almanac warns that Mother Nature is preparing to unleash her frozen fury across most of the United States, slamming regions and sparring few. Below, a breakdown of what to watch for:

Rockies and Pacific Northwest: Some people have all the luck. Milder than normal temperatures are expected for the Western United States, with moderately wet to dry conditions expected. Start booking your Spring Break getaway to these temperate climates now.

Central United States: After years of braving piercing winds and arctic temperatures, Central-Midwest states finally get a reprieve from odd weather. Western and central Great Lakes, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and most of the Great Plains can expect near-normal weather temperatures and typical snowfall, breathing a sigh of relief as surrounding states feel the frozen burn. (But don’t relax too deeply: “typical Midwest winter” still means snow, subzero temps, and chilly winds. Just maybe not so wild.)

Illinois, Wisconsin, and Ohio Region: Deemed “snow filled & frigid,” be especially kind to the residents of these states. If you enjoy snow, this is the perfect place to be, as it’s predicted to receive quite the blanket of it this winter.

Texas and South Central Region: Now’s a good time to invest in waterproof clothing, as this winter will be a wet one. An increase in rain will meet with the occasional shot of bitter cold temps, showering the Southern states in a handful of sleet storms and slush.

Florida, Tennessee, and the Southeastern U.S.: Pull your scarves a little tighter and your jackets a little closer, residents here are in for an unseasonably chilly season. Though relatively dry, temperatures will dip unexpectedly, mixing with the occasional blast of cold to create a White Christmas in some shape or form.

…and then there’s the east: Poor, poor New England. Last year, the region experienced the number one snowiest season in regional history, with Boston receiving 110 inches alone. 23 eastern states experienced top-ten coldest Februaries they’d ever scene, breaking freezing records left and right. Though snow is predicted to subside a bit this winter, residents are being prepped for a “super cold,” seeing further record-shattering subzero temperatures.

Rain, snow, or shine, Security State Bank is here to help you prepare and protect your financials to weather any of life’s storms. Give us a call to start your plan today!

Stay Warm with These Halloween Costumes

Posted on October 14th, 2015 in Financial Management by SSBblogger |


For those who are experienced with Halloween, you know there is nothing worse than an awesome Halloween costume that provides no warmth while trick-or-treating. This results in mismatched sweatpants under princess dresses.

The point of Halloween costumes to look scary, funny or downright ridiculous, but that doesn’t have to be sacrificed for staying warm when you and your kids are out trick-or-treating. We’ve assembled a short list of costume ideas that will help you look great while also keeping the late October cold from chilling you too much.


Tailgating Tips for Game Day Success

Posted on October 12th, 2015 in Financial Management by SSBblogger |


When you hear the “tailgate,” what do you think of? A grill, maybe a couple of coolers, a game of bags if you’re lucky. The fact is, football season is here, and being a fan requires dedication and passion. For game day, that starts with your tailgate, and a successful tailgate depends on planning and preparation.

The worst thing that can happen at a tailgate is for something not to work, or to forget something crucial. To help avoid those situations, it’s crucial to plan and prep the night before. Here are some things to consider doing on the eve of game day:


Start Reducing Your Debt Today

Posted on September 22nd, 2015 in Financial Management by SSBblogger |


It’s a word many Americans, perhaps even you, know too well. You may also know the weight debt brings to your life day after day, how it can seep into every part of your life. Living with credit card and loan debt can feel like a never ending spiral.

However, you can change that feeling starting today by creating a debt action plan. This plan will help you identify how much debt you have, how much money you can allocate toward paying it down and which debts to attack first. Give the following a read and start working your way out of debt today.

  1. Know how much you owe. Organize all of your credit card and loan statements – on paper or online – and add up the total amount you owe. Be sure to note interest rates and APRs (annual percentage rates) next to each debt.
  2. Know how much you have. How much income do you receive each month? Tally up all of your income so you know how much money you have to work with.
  3. Know your total monthly household expenses. Add up all of your expenses. Be sure to include a little wiggle room in case of emergency.
  4. Know how much you can afford to pay. Use the following formula to determine how much money you have to put toward debt payments: household income – household expenses = balance. Your balance is what you can use to start paying down your debt.


Which debt should you pay first?

Once you know what money you have to work with for debt repayment, you need to determine which debt to attack first. If you have credit card and various loan debts, it can be hard to know for sure. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Which debts have the highest interest rates? Starting with these debts mean you pay less over time in interest.
  • Which accounts are above 50 percent of their credit limit? Lower your credit usage per account can have a positive effect on your credit score.
  • Which debts are close to being paid off? If you need a quick win to give you motivation, attack the debts that are closest to being paid off to get them off your plate.


You don’t have to let debt hang over you and your family. By using the above tips to have a plan of attack for your credit card and loan debt, you can begin to take the burden debt carries off of your shoulders.

Don’t forget to reach out Security State Bank to see how we can help as well!


Security State Bank, Member FDIC

Unlock Your DIY Side this Fall

Posted on September 10th, 2015 in DIY Projects by SSBblogger |


Fall will soon be here. For do-it-yourselfers (DIY-ers), the beginning of fall may bring tears of job to their eyes. Why? Because fall home décor is often fairly easy to make because nature provides many of the ingredients you need.

Even if you aren’t an accomplished DIY-er, you can still bring fall inside your home. We’ve gathered a list of a few fall DIY projects that are easy on your wallet and your time. Take a look and give one or two a try.

Decorative Leaf Bowl- this one-day project uses something that is already in abundance in the fall: leaves. Grab the few other supplies and create a colorful decorative to add a splash of color to a dinner table or entry hall table.

Fall Mason Jar Vases- there was no way we were going to get through this list without using mason jars. This project is very simple and could be customized in so many different ways to better fit your home or office.

Ombre Wine Bottles- if you’re a wine lover, don’t throw away your empty bottles! Instead, use them for this very simple and quick fall décor project.

Cinnamon-Scented Pinecones- bring both the look and smell of fall into your home with this project.

Autumn Centerpiece- if you aren’t really a fan of fancy ornate centerpieces, you’ll love this simple centerpiece. All you need is a piece of wood, a drill and some tea lights.

Festive Fall Wreath- customize your fall wreath however you want! This wreath project can and should be hung proudly from your door so that everyone who drives by knows a DIY-master resides at your address.

Cinnamon Orange Air Freshener- who doesn’t love the smell of oranges and cinnamon? While this homemade air freshener may require a little online shopping for one of the ingredients, the result is a fantastic smelling home for September through November.

Of course, you don’ t have to stop with these DIY ideas. Login to Pinterest or simply search the web for other great ideas to bring the fall season in your home!


Security State Bank, member FDIC

Identity Protection Tips for the End of summer

Posted on August 28th, 2015 in General by SSBblogger |

The month of August brings last minute summer getaways before classes are back in session. The summer vacations and road trips bring new adventures to your life, but you are also at a higher risk for identity theft. Not only are you at a higher risk for identity theft while on vacation, this is also the case during the summer for a lot of reasons. Today’s Security State Bank blog has identity protection tips for the end of summer.

Identity protection tips:

While on vacation:

  1. At your hotel while connected to Wi-Fi, do not access your bank information with the unsecure Wi-Fi connection because a hacker could potentially get your information.
  2. While away from your phone whether you’re swimming, at a theme park or any other time, put a password protection code on your phone to avoid theft.
  3. Whenever your card is swiped for payment, be sure the clerk or cashier is not taking note of your card number.

After vacation or anytime at home:

  1. Watch the transactions on your account to make sure nothing out of the ordinary is happening. Look for transactions from your vacation destination just in case your card could have been compromised while on the trip.
  2. Talk to your children about email phishing scams and other forms of identity theft. While they use the internet, make sure they know not to click on out of the ordinary emails or messages that come from friends’ accounts because it could be hacked.
  3. If you feel your card may have been compromised on vacation or otherwise, contact Security State Bank immediately so we are able to watch your account and cancel your card if unusual spending occurs.

Security State Bank wishes you well on your end of summer vacation and we hope you feel protected with our financial services and with these tips.

Top 10 Things to Eat on a Stick at the Iowa State Fair

Posted on August 5th, 2015 in Community, General by SSBblogger |

State fair


The Iowa State Fair begin in 1854 in Fairfield, Iowa and still exists at the fairgrounds in the state’s capital city today. Not only does the state fair bring great musical acts, Iowa pride and fun rides, the food is also a highlight of the 10 day event. Today’s Security State Bank blog will give you the top 10 things to eat on a stick at the Iowa State Fair.

Top 10 Things on a Stick:

  1. Apple Pie on-a-Stick- This classic favorite is comprised of sliced apples dipped in a funnel cake batter and apple pie spice, deep fried and topped with cinnamon sugar. Served with a side of caramel and three apple wedges.
  2. Golden Fried Peanut Butter and Jelly on a Stick- Add peanut butter, jelly and delicious bread dipped in batter. This fried delight puts a twist on this childhood lunch special. Available at Veggie Table on the north side of The Varied Industries Building, west of the main entrance.
  3. Gluten Free Corndog- Available at Campbell’s Concessions at the northwest corner of The Varied Industries building.
  4. Caprese Salad On-a-Stick- This favorite was brought to the fair in 2014. Available at the Salad Bowl in the Agriculture Building and Cultural Center Courtyard.
  5. Mexican Grilled Corn On-the-cob- Available at Steak & Shakeup on the southwest corner of the Livestock Pavilion and the east end of the Varied Industries Building.
  6. Tater Dog On-a-stick- Available at Brenda Smith Concessions west of the Riley Stage.
  7. Funnel Cake Sticks- Available at Arnold’s Concessions on Grand Avenue across from Hy-Vee Health and First Aid.
  8. Chocolate Covered Chunky Bacon Maple Nougat On-a-stick- Available at Dipped in Chocolate on the southwest side of the Livestock Pavilion.
  9. Chocolate Covered Cookies N Cream On-a-stick- Available at Dipped in Chocolate on the southwest side of the Livestock Pavilion.

The top 10 things on a stick at the Iowa State Fair will be available August 13-23rd. Fair admission can be purchased in advanced at $8 for adults and $4 for children. Security State Bank hopes you take advantage of all the food and fun the Iowa State Fair this August.


Sweet Corn Recipes and the Impact of Local Agriculture in Eastern Iowa

Posted on July 29th, 2015 in Agriculture by SSBblogger |
Enjoy some delicious local sweet corn this summer and thank the dedicated farmers of Eastern Iowa for their hard work this season.

Enjoy some delicious local sweet corn this summer and thank the dedicated farmers of Eastern Iowa for their hard work this season.


Close your eyes and think back to your childhood summers spent on the farm. Those days included playing outside all day and coming inside for dinner with a side of golden, Iowa sweet corn. There’s nothing like summer meals filled with sweet corn. (more…)

Home Improvement Ideas for Summer

Posted on July 15th, 2015 in Home Improvement by SSBblogger |
The summer season is ideal for doing home improvement projects that cannot be done in any other season.

The summer season is ideal for doing home improvement projects that cannot be done in any other season.


Summertime brings warm weather, sunshine and endless to-do lists. If you’re a home owner, you know the summer season is ideal for doing home improvement projects that cannot be done in any other season. Security State Bank is bringing you four home improvement ideas for summer in today’s blog. (more…)