SSB Blog

minus plus

Iowa Hay by Numbers

Posted on June 15th, 2016 in Agriculture, Community, Seasonal by vgmforbin |

ag finance

Agriculture is the back bone of Iowa. Made up of honest, hard-working men and women, the farmers of today have incredible challenges to overcome. Luckily 2016 is predicted to sustain plenty of rain and sun in these beginning summer months. Lookout this season for growing hay and alfalfa as the temperatures continue to climb!

With over 3.9 million cattle, and 175,000 sheep in the state of Iowa, there’s a lot of food that needs to be grown. Hay is eaten by both cattle and sheep, in addition to the state’s equestrian population. This vital nutrient is constant dietary staple for the majority of Iowa livestock, but how much does it take?

The average farm in the state of Iowa is approximately 345 acres. If a farm this size grew only hay, they would yield approximately 1,725,000 pounds of hay per year, with two cuttings. Considering these figures, the average Iowa farmer can feed 236 horses, 196 cattle, or 945 sheep with their crop each year!

This summer, as you pass by fields of hay and alfalfa, think about all that can be accomplished with these important plants. Check out these important hay facts and see what you learn:

  • Hay is sold by the pound, and typically comes in three sizes; round bales, square bales, and small square bales.
  • Harvesting hay is a three part process that consists of mowing, raking, and baling the hay.
  • Hay must be dried before baling, so an unexpected rain storm can throw off your timeline by days on end.
  • Hay can be stored for six months to two years depending on moisture and other factors.

Whether you’re looking to finance land, equipment, or real estate, Security State Bank is here for all your ag lending needs! Stop by and share a cup of coffee with us, and we’ll work to help you gain the financing you need.

Budgeting for Your Big Day

Posted on June 3rd, 2016 in Budgeting, Savings by vgmforbin |

budgeting

After the question has been popped, answered, and celebrated, it’s time to get into planning mode! Coordinating everything from table seating, gift registries, food, and more – putting together an exciting wedding celebration is no easy task! See how to get the most out of your big day, with these helpful budgeting tips courtesy of Security State Bank.

 

  1. Have the Money Talk with Your Family

One of the great parts about a wedding is that fact that it symbolizes two people, and two families, joining together. Likeminded, the budget is a joint effort as well. Sit down with your parents, spouse, and his/her parents to discuss what can be contributed by each. Once you have decided on a reasonable budget you can begin to look into venues and vendor options.

Be sure to also ask relatives with talents to help with various wedding activities. Whether its photography, floral arrangements, or simply singing during the ceremony, you’d be surprised how many talented family members are more than happy to help!

 

  1. Pick Three

The golden rule to budgeting the perfect wedding is to choose your top three priorities. Whether that’s the food, venue, photographer, or other wedding elements, choose which components you want to put the bulk of your budget in. After these top three that doesn’t mean you can’t spend money – it simply allows you the freedom to save money in the areas that aren’t the main focus.

For the average wedding the top three expenses are the venue, dining, and entertainment, followed closely by the photographer, floral arrangements, and wedding dress.

 

  1. Staying Under Budget

Like any good budget, staying on top of your numbers is a huge advantage! Be sure to keep all your receipts associated with the event to help track expenses and create a paper trail with your various vendors. Just like your personal finances, it’s a good idea to leave some cushion for the unexpected. Whatever your overall budget is for the event, be sure to leave 5% of it unused for various unplanned changes. This way if extra flowers or drinks are needed, the money is already set aside, headache free!

Many couples are opting to use apps like HoneyFund to take the expense of a honeymoon out of their budget. With apps like this relatives and guests are able to choose an item on your honeymoon wish list to give instead of a traditionally wrapped present.

 

Setting the date is simply the start of your wedding planning adventure! If you need help structuring your big day’s budget, stop by Security State Bank or give us a call at (319) 334-7035, we’d love to help make your wedding a success!

The First Time Home Buyers Guide to Owning a Home

Posted on May 18th, 2016 in Mortgages, Savings by vgmforbin |

Route To Ownership

The journey to becoming a first time owner is an exciting and personal process. With questions ranging from price, commodities, to neighborhoods and more, the task of finding your ideal property can seem daunting. At Security State Bank we want to help you make the most of your home buying experience with our guided route to home ownership. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the view as we take you step by step through the first time home buying process.

  1. Assess your personal finances. Take a good hard look at your current sources of income, in addition to the underlying expenses you have each month. Determine if your funds can support the cost of a monthly mortgage, property taxes, home insurance, and all the other associated costs of home ownership.
  2. Mortgage Pre-Approval. Once you’ve decided to make the jump into home ownership it’s time to determine what your ideal purchase price will look like. Work with your mortgage lender to decide on the best price range for you and your family. After determining your financing needs together, the bank will evaluate your credit history award you with a pre-approval letter for the amount they will agree to finance.
  3. Find “The House.” Here comes the fun part – house hunting! Pair up with a reputable realtor from the area to look at houses that do not exceed the approved purchase price. You may look at six homes, or thirteen, but once you find the right property you’ll know it’s the one!
  4. Get an approved offer. After touring the property and checking for any major repairs, speak with your realtor about putting in an offer on the house at price within your budget. The seller may counter with a different price point, and negotiations for the offer can be discussed with your realtor. When you and the seller have agreed to a purchase price and a finalized offer is signed you officially have an accepted offer to purchase your future home!
  5. Speak with your mortgage lender. Now that you’ve found your new place, your mortgage lender can gather accurate tax information and further specifics for your mortgage financing. Reach out to confirm the terms of the loan prior to closing to help ensure a smooth transition.
  6. Home Inspection. Since you and the buyer now have an accepted agreement it’s time to fully inspect the property you intend on buying. Speak with your realtor for recommended home inspectors in the area, and set up a time when both you and the realtor can be present. The home inspector will detail notes about the property concerning safety hazards and other important repairs that be taken care of at the sellers expense.
  7. Close the offer. After all the paperwork is finalized, and you complete the final walk through of the home, it’s finally time receive your mortgage financing and close the home offer.
  8. The House is yours. All your hard work has paid off and you are now a home owner! Celebrate this monumental achievement by inviting family and friends over for a moving or house warming party!

Whether you’re looking for a farmhouse in the country, new construction in your dream location, or your happy hideaway in town, Security State Bank can help you with all your financing needs. Stop by the bank or give us a call at (319) 334-7035 and get started on your home buying journey today!

 

Ultimate Guide to Garage and Yard Sales

Posted on May 11th, 2016 in Community, General, Savings, Seasonal by vgmforbin |

Guide to Garage Sales

With pockets full of dollar bills and a list of dream finds in hand, serious garage sale goers are perking up for the upcoming season. Become a pro deal-spotter by harnessing some of their top tricks of the trade!

  • Check for warranties: Even if they’re dinged or damaged, goods by brands like Craftsman and Chaco may offer lifetime warranties if you send them in for repair. Avoid: Electronic-based gadgets – everything from blenders to tablets – as they’re likely past warranty and cost more to repair than buy new.
  • Snap up fun novelty items: Infrequently used finds like wedding accessories, costume sets, and kitchen appliances can be pricey when purchased brand new. You can buy these gently-used finds for a fraction of the original cost! Avoid: Holiday-themed wares that you’ll use once, store for the year, and toss out at your own yard sale.
  • Think a few seasons ahead: A summer yard sale will be loaded with wintertime treasures. Scope out pricier outerwear like parkas and boots, while keeping your eye out for cross-country skis, durable metal shovels, and other seasonal goods marked at a steep discount. Avoid: Cold weather apparel worn close to the skin, such as hats and long underwear. Also, be wary of major items like snow blowers and snowmobiles, which may require costly repairs that outweigh the price of a newer model.
  • Shop for the kids: When they’re set to outgrow clothes every few months, garage sales are a treasure trove of inexpensive apparel for infants through teens. Be on the lookout for limited-use clothing like costumes and formalwear to save big during special occasions. Avoid: Cribs and car seats which are frequently recalled, soft toys that can’t be easily washed or sterilized, and truly vintage toys which may pose the risk of lead-based paint.
  • See Beyond the Paint: Furniture can be a phenomenal find if you’re willing to pin some extra effort. A new finish or a fresh coat of paint can make all the difference on wood & metal furniture. Avoid: Mattresses and upholstered items which may have unknown stains or trapped in odors.

Saving dollars here and there add up to big returns in the long run. For assistance creating a long-term savings plan, call us today to set up an appointment with one of our financial advisers.

10 Must-Try Tips for Every Spring Cleaner

Posted on April 18th, 2016 in Community, General, Home Improvement, Seasonal by vgmforbin |

Household Hacks

You’ve decluttered your closets, rearranged the furniture, and thrown open the windows, and yet – you know your spring cleaning can go even deeper. With just a couple of simple tools you already have around your house, you can take your cleaning to the next level. Get your spring cleaning on with these easy hacks courtesy of Security State Bank.

 

  1. Dust blinds in a jiffy. To remove a winter’s build-up of dust and grime that’s settled on horizontal blinds, roll an old tube sock over your hand and spray it with a blast of vinegar before running it over the surface.
  2. Get streak-free windows. Clean smudged windows inside and out with an even mixture of vinegar, water, and dish soap. After scrubbing with a soft cloth, buff and remove streaks in a final once-over with a wadded piece of newspaper.
  3. Banish hard water build-up. To prevent unsightly water streaks on glass shower doors, rub a teaspoon of lemon oil over the surface twice a month and watch drops roll right off.
  4. Remove scratches naturally. To repair dinged or scratched wooden furniture, remove a walnut from its shell and rub it along the scratch. After rubbing the nut’s oils into the wood with your finger, let it sit for five minutes and buff it over with a soft cloth.
  5. De-gunk kitchen cabinets. Remove oil splatters and grime accumulation on kitchen cabinets with a simple scrub of one part vegetable oil to two parts baking soda. Scrub with an old tooth brush to reach extra-fine lines that make cabinetry look dark and dull.
  6. Sterilize Toys. By throwing fabric toys in a mesh laundry bag, you can disinfect and shine armfuls of plush toys in just one spin through the washing machine. Try this same trick in your dishwasher with those tough plastic toys!
  7. Remove pet hair. Grossed out by pet hair in the carpet the vacuum can’t seem to pick up? Run a window squeegee over your carpet by hand – the rubberized edge will pull up and collect hair in one easy-to-grab clump.
  8. Revamp your garbage disposal. Fill an ice cube tray with a mixture that’s eight parts water and one part vinegar, and drop a sliver of lemon rind in each slot. Drop a few frozen cubes down the drain to clean, deodorize, and sharpen your garbage disposal in one fell swoop.
  9. Rid grout of scum. With ¾ cup of baking soda and ¼ cup bleach, create a paste that you can apply between mildewed tile on showers and oven backsplashes. After 10 minutes, gently scrub off with a toothbrush and a damp rag to reveal clean and clear grout.
  10. Sanitize everything. From windows to tubs, hit areas in need of deep disinfectant easily by screwing a spray bottle head onto a bottle of hydrogen peroxide for an instant, even spray. Hydrogen peroxide is the perfect remedy to get tough stains out.

Is your spending plan in need of some spring cleaning? Our financial experts can help you clean up your expenses and make the most of your budget. Give us a call at (319) 334-7035 and learn how today!

 

Puppy Proofing Your Home in 5 Simple Steps

Posted on April 8th, 2016 in Community, General, Pet Gifts by vgmforbin |

Puppy Training

Sit. Stay. Go potty! Mastering these common phrases can mean only one thing – you’ve got a new puppy! Adding this furry faced addition to your family is an exciting event that comes with lots of new experiences. If you’re lost in the array of training tutorials and home preparation advice, let Security State Bank help you make sense of it all!

To prepare your home for your new puppy there are some things to look out for!

 

  1. Keep your trash hidden. Curious pups will try to find new scents along the floor and into the waste basket. Maintain a clean kitchen by keeping your bin out of reach.
  2. Some plants may be poisonous to pets so check your household greenery and move any potentially harmful pots above where you new companion might reach.
  3. Growing puppies are hungry puppies, be sure to put away any food from tables or counters that might cause an unwary nose to go looking.
  4. House training doesn’t happen overnight, in order to prevent accidents in areas that are hard to clean up, keep your pup in a specific area using baby gates while you’re away.
  5. Chewing is common way puppies deal with teething, and while a stray sock or shoe might meet their grasps, electrical cords or other wires should not be left on the floor for them to attempt to bite.

Play time with your puppy is an activity that you both will grow to love. Before getting invested in too much extra training, be sure your puppy is learning these basic lessons!

 

  1. Walking – Help them learn to keep pace by having your pup walk next to you or behind you, allowing you to be the leader of the pack.
  2. Potty Outdoors – Learning to go to the bathroom outside takes time. Each time you see your pup going in the house simply startle them and move them outside as soon as you can.
  3. Following a Schedule – Maintaining a daily schedule helps both you and your dog get used to the various times to eat, exercise, and break for the bathroom.
  4. Understanding Keywords – Using phrases like “good”, “bad”, and “no” repetitively can help your pup to understand the individual meanings. Try using specific voice influxes to help them understand the difference, speaking in a higher pitch emphasis when praising for good, and a lower tone when disciplining for bad.
  5. Have Fun – The reason you have this new companion is to enjoy their company as they add a valuable personality to your family. Be sure to make time for games, walks, and other activities to enjoy with your new pup.

Whether this is your first puppy, or your fifth, there are always new tips and tricks to learn! Let us know how our training tutorial has helped you and your furry friend by sharing a photo of your pet with us on of our Facebook page.

How-To Grow a Bountiful Garden in 7 Easy Steps

Posted on March 25th, 2016 in Agriculture, Being Thankful, Community, General, Seasonal by vgmforbin |

garden

Spring is almost here! Dust the rust off your gardening gear and get ready to start planting some perennials! With so many fun and colorful ways to spruce up your landscape, try some of these helpful gardening tips to help you get started courtesy of Security State Bank!

  1. Don’t be a Plunker.

Have you ever gone to a gardening store, randomly picked out some plants, gone home and plunked them in the ground? Then you my friend may be a plunker. To optimize your garden, and ensure it lasts through the season, make a strategic plan to where each plant will go – and stick to it!

  1. Create a Layout

Once you’ve selected what types of plants you want to compliment your home, take photos of your flower beds, and map out what will go where. This helps in planning what plants may grow better together, while others might grow best apart.

  1. Start Small

If you’re not careful a small garden can become a full time job! A good place to start is 6’x6’plot. This manageable size offers plenty of space for several varieties of plants and gives you ample room to test your green thumb, without letting the growth get carried away.

  1. Make Sure Your Eyes Aren’t Bigger Than Your Space

Different flowers and vegetables can take up different ranges of space. Be sure not to overextend your soil with crowded garden.

  1. Water is Important

Before starting any major gardening undertaking be sure that water is close by, otherwise you’ll be hauling buckets of H20 once a heat spell hits.

  1. Beware of Animals

Unfortunately you are not Snow White, and the adorable looking animals are not your garden’s friend. Your lovely garden is now their favorite salad bar, so be sure to invest in some sound fencing to help keep them out.

  1. Start with the Basics

If you’re a first time gardener be sure to enjoy the fruits of your labor with these quick growing producers; tomatoes, radishes, onions, green beans, peas, and lettuce.

Whether this is your first year gardening or your 30th, there are always new tips and tricks to learn! Try out these helpful gardening tips, and let us know how it goes! Be sure to share you results with us on our Facebook page.

 

Celebrating Our 75th Anniversary: Things Older Than Security State Bank

Posted on March 10th, 2016 in Being Thankful, Community, General by vgmforbin |

75th Anniversary

 

Over the past 75 years Security State Bank has seen history be made, witnessed incredible new inventions, and paved the way through decades of financial changes. As we begin to celebrate our 75th Anniversary we want to take a look into the past, and share the pinnacle moments in history leading up to the beginning of Security State Bank.

1931: U.S. National Anthem is created.

1932: Air Conditioning is invented.

1933: Prohibition officially ends.

1935: Monopoly is born.

1936: Jessie Owens wins 4 Gold Medals at the Berlin Summer Olympics.

1937: J.R.R. Tolkien releases the book The Hobbit.

1938: Snow White premiers as the first animated film.

1939: The first Helicopter takes flight.

1940: Neil Diamond is born.

1941: Security State Bank opens its doors.

Each of these events signifies a new change and impact to the United States, and the communities it is comprised of. At Security State Bank we work to make a positive impact within Independence, and surrounding areas, each and every day. We value the incredible customers we work with, and their unique insight in how to create a better future. Everyone has the potential to be a part of greatness; greatness in innovation, greatness in creation, greatness in invention, and greatness in compassion.  Let the events of the past inspire you to look forward to find your dreams for the future.

Getting your idea off the ground is the first step to creating your own page in the history books. Surrounding yourself with knowledgeable and motivating people is one of the greatest tools to help propel you into success. Whether you’re looking for strategic business financing, a hassle free way to manage your finances online, or simply looking to establish a structured business checking account, Security State Bank is here to help guide you along the road to financial success.

Stop by your nearest location and learn how to get started on your new idea today!

Make Someone’s Day with These Easy Random Acts of Kindness

Posted on February 3rd, 2016 in Being Thankful, Casual for a Cause, Community, General by vgmforbin |

Random Acts Kindness

At Security State Bank, we love the incredible customers that are a part of our every day! Each of our customers bring an added sunshine to our day. Create a little extra light in someone’s day with these easy random acts of kindness. You’ll be glad you did!

1. Pay for the person’s food or beverage behind you in line.

2. Write a letter to a soldier.

3. Donate new and used toys to daycares or children’s hospitals.

4. Cook a meal for a family who may be without.

5. Give a good server the largest tip you can afford.

6. Scoop snow or do other yard work for your neighbor.

7. Pick up trash at an area park.

8. Offer assistance to a charitable organization with your time and skills.

9. Bake treats for your area school’s teachers.

10. Visit a nursing home and spend time with the residents.

11. Next hunting season donate your deer to the Iowa HUSH program to help feed Iowa citizens in need.

With so many opportunities to make a difference, this list will help you get started! Add your own acts of kindness and see what you can do to better the lives of others this year. It may be as simple as opening the door for someone, or as complex as planning a fundraiser for a family in need. No matter what you choose to do, we’re here to help you along the way! We can assist you in remaining anonymous through donations, arrange monthly transfers, dispense cash for personal giving, and more!

For more information call us at (319) 334-7035 or shoot us an email on our website!