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How to Read a Plant Tag

Posted on May 19th, 2017 in Budgeting, Community, General, Seasonal by vgmforbin |

How to Read Plant Tags

At Security State Bank we love to get to know our customers and the passions they enjoy. This month it’s our turn to share some helpful information and tips on one of our favorite passions – gardening!

Whether you’ve been gardening for 20 years or two weeks, it never hurts to learn more about the plants in your landscape. One of the most valuable tools to gain insight about your developing flowers and shrubs is the plant tag that comes with them. While they each come in different shapes and sizes there are some key points to take note of!

SOURCE: www.provenwinners.com/learn/planting/how-to-read-a-plant-tag

Proven Winners Tag Description

Proven Winners Tag Description

 

Proven Winners provides in-depth tags to give you the most information possible, however, we’d love to showcase the top five areas you’ll want to be sure to take a look at!

Amount of Sun (LIGHT): This section typically indicates one of three options; full sun, part shade, shade. For plants requiring full sun, this generally means they need 8 hours of sun each day. For plants needing part shade, this indicates the plant does best when exposed to 4-6 hours of  sun per day. For the select few shade plants, 4 hours of sun is their maximum, and any additional sun could potentially harm the plant.

Size (HEIGHT/SPACING): When planting shrubs or a growing garden, it’s important to know the approximate size each plant will reach. Shrubs that climb over 6 feet have the potential to block windows of your home, and herbs such as mint may stay low but could spread across the entire garden if you let it. As you can see, understanding the growth potential of your varieties can make a big impact on where you place them.

Time (ZONE): This area does require some slight research, but it well worth the effort. Here in Iowa, we are between zones 4b and 6a. These zones span across the U.S.A. and indicate where plants can thrive year-round, and where/when they give way to the cold for hardy and tender annuals. The information on the plant tag will typically state whether it is an annual or perennial and if it’s an annual which zones it can thrive in year round. For colder climates like us, it also states what temperature the plant can withstand, so you know when you clear out your landscapes come winter.

Season (BLOOM TIME): While structuring your landscape, you’ll want to choose shrubs and other perennials which showcase their colors throughout the year. Some may bloom in early spring, others in late summer, and still more that reach their prime at the start of fall. By taking advantage of a plant’s best season, you can ensure your garden catch the eye of passersby all year long.

Care Tips (FERTILIZE/WATER/FEATURES/USES/CARE): Each of these sections can provide helpful insight into the best practices when caring for a particular plant. For everything from water requirements, fertilizing frequency, and drought tolerance, these simple tips can help turn an average plant into some extraordinary!

We can’t wait to get our garden growing, but we’re even more enthused to see all of yours! If you have a landscape or flower patch worth sharing, be sure to post it on our Facebook page and share the tip or trick that helped you achieve it! We’d love to see our newsfeed full of colorful annuals and perennials!

If you’re still looking for additional information for your 2017 garden, Garden Answer is a great resource to peruse! Their video on plant tags can fill in any gaps we missed, and the videos throughout her channel offer great additional insight for the inspiring garden amateur or professional.

Well what are you waiting for – it’s time to get gardening!

The Basics Behind New Business

Posted on April 26th, 2017 in Budgeting, Business Banking, Community by vgmforbin |

Title

A mouthwatering dish your grandmother made you, a leaf falling across the park, or one of the endless questions your preschooler has begun to ask you; the truth is great ideas can come from anywhere. If you have a concept you are itching to turn into a reality, there are some key components you’ll need to make it happen. At Security State Bank, we were founded upon our commitment to small and medium sized business, and we are thrilled to help you transform your inspiration into a live entity.

 

To complete the process from conceptualization to implementation, there are ten key components to ensure your business has all the legal qualifications necessary. Simply follow these helpful prompts, and if there are any components you’d like further clarification on, never hesitate to reach out! Our experienced team of commercial lenders is here to answer any questions or inquiries you or your business partners may have.

 

Register Your Business Name

Your company’s business plan should detail the purpose and differentiators associated with your business. SBA.gov is an informative resource to help you determine all the required components for your proposed document.

Register as an LLC or Corp.

An LLC is the most common choice for new business because the Corporation classification does mandate a $10,000,000 revenue requirement.

Finance Your New Business

There are a variety of ways to finance your business. Whether debt or equity based, our dedicated team can help you determine which route is best suited for your business.

 Determine Your Business Location

Keeping your budget in mind, purchase or lease the space you’ll be using for your location. If you’ll be working from home be sure to take advantage of the associated tax benefits.

Register for EIN...

Before you hire any employees, you’ll need to register for your Employer Identification Number for federal taxation purposes.

Register Your Business Name

You can choose to register your business as a DBA, or Doing Business As, or you can choose to register your company name and/or logo as a trademark. Both options will allow you to operate under your desired business name.

Open a Designated Banking...

Separating your personal finances from your business is imperative in keeping accurate accounting records. Additional tools such as Quickbooks Self Employed can help you manage all aspects of your finances at home or on the go.

Complete Registration

Business taxes are set up differently than your personal taxes. Be sure you’re accounting for all the variables before you open the doors.

Receive Business Licenses

If you plan to sell alcohol or firearms, you may need federal licenses in addition to the various state requirements.

Structure & Start a Mktg

Marketing is an ongoing effort, but to get customers in the door, they’ll need to know you’re an option. Get the word out with a strategic marketing initiative, and make a yearly plan to keep new clients coming in.

5 Financially Savvy Ways to Use Your Tax Refund

Posted on April 7th, 2017 in Savings, Taxes by vgmforbin |

Taxes

Getting your taxes done early not only takes one more thing off your to-do list but further allows you to start planning for the future. Working with your tax professional, determine how much your family may receive this year from a tax refund. No matter the amount, we recommend putting it towards your financial goals for the year. Here are some great strategies we’ve tried to get the best bang for our buck:

 

  1. Max out your 401(k) or Traditional IRA contributions. If you aren’t taking advantage of one of these two accounts, we highly suggest opening one! These tax-beneficial accounts help holders accumulate and grow their funds without the burden of tax at the time of deposit. Each account, however, is limited by how much you cancontribute. By allocating funds into these account types it may not only help you save for retirement, but also allow your money to mature throughout the years, with no additional effort.
  2. Make an extra payment on your mortgage or student loan. Paying down your loan is always a great option when selecting financial goals. In the case of a mortgage, you earn more equity as you pay, while with student loans, you gain more momentum towards financial freedom. Instead of adding money to each monthly installment, we recommend creating one lump payment. By doing this you can create a single but large decrease in your principal amount owed, drastically reducing your associated interest as well.
  3. Save for the 2017 holiday season. While holiday events, family gatherings, and memories are held dear, the burden of the season can pose potential problems for your personal finances. If you struggled saving last year, now is the perfect time to set aside funds for the holidays. Determine how much you need to pay for each aspect of your seasonal activities, and save as much as possible in a separate account from your tax refund. If additional funds are needed, automate your savings to transfer a specific dollar amount into this account each month.
  4. Pay off outstanding credit card debt. With one of thehighest interest rates, credit cards are notorious for taking years to pay off. If you want to make a dent in your debt, we recommend tackling one card at a time.  Using your tax refund, see if you can eliminate smaller debts first, then with the remaining funds, begin paying down each additional credit card. By paying off the card with the least amount of debt first, you can begin tosnowball your way to financial freedom!
  5. Start saving for a vacation. Whether it’s aspring break, a summeradventure, or a fallfestival, it’s never too early to start saving. Once you have determined a destination, you can then create a rough budget of the expected expenses. Depending on your refund you may be able to pay for the whole trip outright, or you may need to supplement the funds with some additional monthly savings. No matter how you choose to save, we recommend keeping your vacation funds in a separate deposit account so you’re not tempted to use them throughout the year.

 

If you still have questions on how to best use your tax refund, our personal bankers would love to help. At Security State Bank, we can assist you in coordinating all your accounts to help make the most of your money. Stop in and see us today!

You Know You’re a Farmer When…

Posted on March 21st, 2017 in Agriculture, Being Thankful, Community by vgmforbin |

Ag Lending

Farming is a lifestyle, and with that, comes little twists that make those in the Ag industry a bit different from the rest of the world.  At Security State Bank, we would like to honor the 44th National Agriculture Day and the incredible individuals that make it possible, by sharing our favorite farm-style quirks.

 

You know you’re a farmer when:

  • Your dog rides in the truck more than your wife.
  • You wave every time you see a combine.
  • Waking up at 8:00 AM is sleeping in.
  • You break your finger moving hogs but say you’ll fix it later.
  • You’re leaving for Sunday church, and you have to get a bull back in the pen, still in your dress clothes.
  • You do the finger wave.
  • Family weddings and special events are planned around spring planting and fall harvest.
  • Your animals live in a more expensive building than you.
  • Your excuse for getting out of school is that the cows got out.
  • Your closest neighbor is in the next section, and that’s at least a mile away.
  • Your whole world changed depending on who the summer help was.
  • Hay bale jumping was the most exciting activity of all time as a child.
  • You see a good looking person in a truck and only check out the truck.
  • You’ve driven off the road while examining the neighbors’ crops.
  • Your first driving lesson was in a cornfield.
  • Picking up rocks is just another chore.
  • Your cupboards and fridge are full of syringes and livestock medicines.
  • Your four wheel drive actually goes off road.
  • The first vehicle you learned to drive was a tractor at seven years old.
  • Your idea of four seasons is calving, planting, haying, and harvesting.
  • It rains for a week and you haven’t turned a wheel.

 

These are just a few things that remind us why agriculture is near and dear to our heart.  Security State Bank is proud to celebrate National Agriculture Day and all that farmers do!  The roads, fields, and industries wouldn’t be the same without you.  Contact us today for professional guidance when choosing your operation’s next financing solution.

Agriculture: The Backbone of Iowa

Posted on March 7th, 2017 in Agriculture, Being Thankful, Seasonal by vgmforbin |

Ag Lending

Football by the Numbers

Posted on February 7th, 2017 in Community, General, Seasonal by vgmforbin |

The Big Game

5 Financially Savvy Ways to Use Your Tax Refund

Posted on January 25th, 2017 in Budgeting, General, Savings by vgmforbin |

Tax Refund Tips

 

Getting your taxes done early not only takes one more thing off your to-do list but further allows you to start planning for the future. Working with your tax professional, determine how much your family may receive this year from a tax refund. No matter the amount, we recommend putting it towards your financial goals for the year. Here are some great strategies we’ve tried to get the best bang for our buck:

 

  1. Max out your 401(k) or Traditional IRA contributions. If you aren’t taking advantage of one of these two accounts, we highly suggest opening one soon! These tax-beneficial accounts help holders accumulate and grow their funds without the burden of tax at the time of deposit. Each account however, is limited by how much you can contribute. By allocating funds into these account types it may not only help you save for retirement but also allow your money mature throughout the years, with no additional effort.
  2. Make an extra payment on your mortgage or student loan. Paying down your loan is always a great option when selecting financial goals. In the case of a mortgage, you earn more equity as you pay, while with student loans, you gain more momentum towards financial freedom. Instead of adding money to each monthly installment, we recommend creating one lump payment. By doing this you can you create a single but large decrease in your principal amount owed, drastically reducing your associated interest as well.
  3. Save for the 2017 holiday season. While holiday events, family gatherings, and memories are held dear, the burden of the season can pose potential problems for your personal finances. If you struggled saving last year, now is the perfect time to set aside funds for the holidays. Determine how much you need to pay for each aspect of your seasonal activities, and save as much as possible in a separate account for your tax refund. If additional funds are needed, automate your savings to transfer a specific dollar amount to this account each month.
  4. Pay off outstanding credit card debt. With one of the highest interest rates, credit cards are notorious for taking years to pay off. If you want to make a dent in your debt, we recommend tackling one card at a time.  Using your tax refund, see if you can eliminate smaller debts first. Then with the remaining funds, begin paying down each additional credit card. By paying off the card with the least amount of debt first, you can begin to snowball your way to financial freedom!
  5. Start saving for a vacation. Whether it’s a spring break, a summer adventure, or a fall festival, it’s never too early to start saving. Once you have determined a destination, then create a rough budget of the expected expense. Depending on your refund you may be able to pay for the whole trip outright, or you may need to couple the funds with some additional monthly savings. No matter how you choose to save, we recommend keeping your vacation funds in a separate deposit account so you’re not tempted to use them throughout the year.

 

If you still have questions on how to best use your tax refund, our personal bankers would love to help. At Security State Bank, we can assist you in using all your savings options to help make the most of your money. Stop in and see us today!

Save $3,500 this Year by Removing These 6 Things

Posted on January 11th, 2017 in Budgeting, Financial Management, Savings by vgmforbin |

Save Money

Saving money is sometimes easier than it looks. Only after true dedication, can you look into your account and see the difference saving can make. At Security State Bank we’re excited to help you achieve this new financial goal! If you’re aiming to save more in the New Year, we offer these valuable tips to help you save $3,500 towards your retirement, vacation, or other savings venture.

 

  1. $720 Cut the Cable: At over $70 a month this common expense can eat up your budget in a hurry! Opt for a more affordable option and stream your favorite shows using Netflix or Hulu for less than $10 a month.
  2. $600 Brew Your Own Java: Instead of grabbing a latte on your way to work make your own cup of joe to save an extra $4 a day. Great products from Keurig now offer the option to make a latte without any special tools, so you should be able to get the same great taste at a fraction of the cost.
  3. $1,000 Plan Your Meals: The two rules for grocery shopping; never shop hungry, and never shop without a list. Every week make a dedicated menu of what you’d like to cook each night of the week. This can then turn transition into your grocery list, and ensure you never buy an ingredient you don’t need.
  4. $468 Workout at Home: The average gym membership runs approximately $39 a month. This year, try online workout videos and routines to avoid paying for this untouched monthly expense.
  5. $712 Pack Your Lunch: With many afternoon lunches running close to $10, this seemingly harmless cost could be stealing your budget one sandwich at a time. Work to pack a lunch from home each morning to avoid this expensive dining option. Preparing an additional six sack lunches each month could save you more than seven hundred dollars throughout the year.

 

Get started saving with a designated deposit account from Security State Bank. We have several options to fit your specific needs, and our new mobile account opening process is simple and hassle-free. Begin working on your New Year’s resolution and stop in to see us today!

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Buy

Posted on December 10th, 2016 in Budgeting, Holiday Shopping, Seasonal by vgmforbin |

Holiday Shopping

The holiday season is filled with glad tidings, seasonal dishes, family get togethers, AND seemingly endless expenses. Don’t let the price of the holidays bog you down. Keep the holiday spirit alive by spending your money wisely throughout the winter season. Instead of purchasing unwanted gifts that may end up back at the store, Security State Bank recommends asking yourself the following 3 questions before you buy:

 

  1. Why are you buying the present?

If it is for a family member or close friend, you may be purchasing it for your annual gift exchange. If it’s for a co-worker or continuous service provider, it may not necessarily be warranted. Often times if you give someone a gift who may not have been expecting one, the awkward condition of reciprocity may arise. Instead of gifting store bought goods, consider a card or homemade treat to say thank you.

 

  1. Is this gift appropriate?

While Aunt Lynda loves gourmet chocolates, a child’s chocolate baking set may not be the most compatible gift. Before you check out, take a minute to think how your loved one may use this gift. Try to remember any discussions you had about things they may need or want during the holiday season. Even if the gift comes at a great price, it may be wasted if the person whom you purchase it for, has no use for it.

 

  1. Does this fit into my budget?

Keeping an accurate monthly budget is helpful in many aspects of your personal finances. The same applies when planning your holiday spending. After allocating a specific dollar amount to each person on your list, stick within these guidelines to remain in budget. If you happen to find the perfect shade of lipstick for your sister-in-law, but it’s $20 more than you want to spend, it may be time to consider other gift options.

 

Whether you’re searching for the perfect holiday gift, or just a simple thank you, these 3 questions can help you find the best present for your person! Remember to get started with a holiday budget, and if you have questions on how to begin planning for your holiday expenses, stop in and see us today!