SSB Blog

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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…)

Budget-Friendly Grill Out

Posted on June 17th, 2015 in Financial Management by SSBblogger |

Flame grilled beefburgers on a BBQ

There’s a sense of pride being able to host a grill out at your own home. You can show friends and family your pride and joy, the place you call home. Although hosting people at your home is exciting, it can get expensive especially if you plan to feed a crowd. Today, Security State Bank is bringing you ideas on how to plan a budget friendly grill out.

Budget friendly grill out ideas:

Make the grill out a potluck. By asking everyone to bring a side dish or their own meat, you will save yourself from breaking the bank. Typically, others are more than willing to help with bringing food, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. If someone doesn’t want to cook food, you could have them bring the buns or condiments for the meat.

Avoid expensive meat. Meat will likely be the most expensive part of a grill out which could be the reason your budget is busted. You could let your guests know what you will be providing and if they want anything else, they can bring it with. You could offer to buy the burgers, brats and hot dogs because these food items are typically cheaper than steak or chicken.

Make easy side dishes. A batch of macaroni salad or a side of potatoes can go a long way when feeding a large group of people. As long as you make a side dish that is well liked by a majority of people, you won’t have to put too much money into making the food. You could also ask if others are willing to bring side dishes or appetizer like foods.

Security State Bank hopes you are able to have a budget friendly grill out this summer. If you need help with financing to buy a home where you can host your very own summer grill outs, contact us today about our mortgage options.

Top 5 Places to Visit this Summer in Iowa

Posted on June 3rd, 2015 in Savings, Travel by SSBblogger |

Top 5

Iowa is a beautiful place to be, especially in the summer months. Summer is a time to celebrate the cold winter we left behind and move forward to finding ways to cool off in the summer heat. Security State Bank is proud to be a part of the great state of Iowa, so we are bringing you the top five places to visit this summer in Iowa.

Top 5 places to visit this summer in Iowa:

Lake MacBride State Park- Located within an hour from most of our branches, Lake MacBride is a hidden gem in Iowa. Whether you’re looking for a great fishing spot or need a new place to take the family camping, Lake MacBride is the perfect location.

The Amana Colonies- Immerse yourself in a great piece of Iowa history at the Amana Colonies. Be sure to head to the area hungry because the German food options are endless. The area offers many little shops to cool off in and a museum to help you understand the history.

Backbone State Park- Pack a lunch and spend the afternoon hiking the trails of Backbone State Park. There’s a popular trout stream for fishing and canoe rentals are available if you’re an avid adventurous.

Downtown Iowa City- If you’re looking for an afternoon of fun shopping and culture, visit the Iowa City downtown district. Located within the University of Iowa campus, Iowa City is a great cultural getaway, especially in the month of June with all of the festivals happening.

The Iowa State Fair- Although later on in the summer, start planning your trip now to head to the Iowa State Fair in August. From delicious fair food to famous performing acts, it’s an experience every Iowan should embrace.

Security State Bank hopes you get the opportunity now to explore the top destinations in Iowa. Contact us today if you want to learn more about our savings accounts so you can head to all of these exciting destinations.

Renting vs. Buying

Posted on May 20th, 2015 in Low interest rates, Mortgages, Savings by SSBblogger |

House with twenty dollar bills background and calculator

Renting vs. buying; the ultimate question many people ask before they move to a new area or start a family. Which is better for your family? Well, the answer depends on where you are in your life and how long you plan to stay in a certain area. Security State Bank is bringing you a comparison of renting vs. buying so you can decide for yourself which will be best.

Pros of Renting:

  • You don’t have an obligation to stay in the neighborhood or the town you are currently renting in.
  • No maintenance is required if an appliance breaks of the furnace goes out. The landlord is obligated to fix the problem and finance the services required for repair.
  • Test the waters with different types of properties. Maybe for one year you can rent a ranch style home and when you move on, you can try a two story property. This will help you decide what type of property you would want to buy.

Cons of Renting:

  • Rent money is not building you equity. Although there are many benefits to renting, you are not building your money in any way.
  • Cannot make changes to the property. Most landlords are fairly strict about changing paint colors or updating older areas of the home.
  • If you want to get out of the rental agreement, there is typically a loss of deposit or penalty fee for breaking the lease.

Pros of Buying:

  • You will build equity in a home by buying. Instead of putting money into someone else’s pocket through renting, you are building your own money.
  • You can remodel, paint and change virtually any area of your own home. Buying brings the perks of creative freedom when it comes to designing the interior.
  • You can settle into a community. If you plan to stay awhile, you can build relationships with the neighbors and community without the possibility of a lease ending.

Cons of Buying:

  • You may be stuck for a while. When you buy a home, you make a commitment to stay in that house for at least a few years if you don’t want to lose money.
  • If an appliance breaks down or the AC unit goes out, you have to fork out the money to fix it. Before buying a house, see what condition the appliances are in so you can be prepared for the future.

Security State Bank hopes these pros and cons lists help you decide if buying or renting is better for you. If you plan to buy, talk to the mortgage experts at Security State Bank to get started with the process.

Debit Card Travel Safety

Posted on May 12th, 2015 in Cash, Community, Financial Management, General, Savings by SSBblogger |

Learn how to travel safely with your debit card.

Do you have plans to travel this summer? Family trips and relaxing getaways are always a good idea, but be sure to protect your debit card while you travel. Security State Bank is bringing you debit card travel safety tips in this month’s blog.

Debit card travel safety:

  1. Lighten up your wallet. When you plan to travel, withdrawing a lot of cash may seem like a good idea, but it is best to only bring the credit cards and debit card that is necessary for the trip. Even if you need to withdraw money from an ATM that has a fee, it is better than losing hundreds of dollars by theft.
  2. Let Security State Bank know about your travel plans. By letting us know where you are going, we can watch for suspicious spending from the area you are traveling to. If we don’t know where you are going or if you are going anywhere, we would likely assume your card was compromised and the charges are fraudulent. Save yourself the hassle and just let us know you will be traveling.
  3. Keep a close eye on your debit card. Because your debit card is directly linked to your bank account, it is important to track your purchases through our online banking option. While entering your pin at the store or handing it over at a restaurant, be aware of your surroundings so no one is trying to get your card number.
  4. Only make small purchases with a debit card while traveling. Small purchases are easier for you to track and the card is less likely to be compromised through small purchases. Credit cards are best for larger purchases because many credit card companies have a no liability policy to make the process easier for you.

Security State Bank is always looking out for your financial safety. Contact us today to learn about online banking if you do not have it set up yet.

 

Farming Quotes to Get You Ready for Planting Season

Posted on April 10th, 2015 in Agriculture by vgmforbin |
As you get ready to plan this year's crop, be inspired by these quotes about farming.

As you get ready to plan this year’s crop, be inspired by these quotes about farming.

Just in time for planting season, Security State Bank of Independence wants to bring you farming inspiration. Planting season brings the dawning of farming time and starts the process towards harvest. Planting season can mean long days and lack of sleep, so Security State Bank wants to bring you motivation to keep going.

Life is better on the farm. Why is life better? More like, where do we start? Life on the farm brings early morning and getting to see the sunrise over the hill. It means time well-spent with family. We get to teach the kids the way of many generations before them and watch them grow.

The most memorable days end with the dirtiest clothing. Growing up, you may remember helping in the fields during planting season because those were the days you got to spend the most time with family. Dirty clothing means another hard day’s work is in the books.

Hold the vision, trust the process. Farming is always a process that requires plenty of patience. When you are able to harvest in the fall, you will realize all the hard work and long days are well worth it. Envision the future to keep motivated for planting season.

Some of us grew up playing with tractors and trucks, the lucky ones still do. How great a gift to be able to be outside in the beautiful weather each and every day? Farming has a purpose in everyone’s lives across the country. Your work is needed and appreciated.

Now that you are ready and motivated for farming season, be sure to contact Security State Bank for all your agricultural banking needs. We specialize in ag loans to make your farming dreams come true. We offer many loan options for farmers. We are your hometown bank for all your agricultural banking needs.

Smart Ways to Use your Tax Return

Posted on March 9th, 2015 in Financial Management, General, Low interest rates, Mortgages, Savings by SSBblogger |

House with twenty dollar bills background and calculator

March means it is tax season again, and you may have a well-deserved tax return coming your way within a few short weeks. It’s always tempting to splurge on a new pair of shoes, new TV or a shopping trip when your tax return arrives.

Although these options seem exciting, Security State Bank has some realistic ways for you to spend your tax return money. Our tips may seem not seem as flashy or exciting, but they will put you in a better place for your financial future.

Smart ways to use your tax return:

  1. Lower your credit card debt- credit cards typically carry high interest rates, so it is best to make paying them off a priority. Carrying a balance from month to month causes interest to pile up, which could leave you paying hundreds each year in interest.
  2. Start an emergency fund- what would happen if you lost your job or couldn’t work because you became disabled? An emergency fund can help your family in any time of need. A money market account makes your money easily accessible while earning interest.
  3. Plan for a family vacation- a vacation is always well deserved, so why not start saving now? Whether you are heading to the beach, an amusement park or taking a long road trip, saving for your vacation now ensures you’ll have more than enough cash this summer.
  4. Pay your mortgage off early- your tax return can help pay off the mortgage a little sooner than expected. You can save thousands on interest payments by making a large extra payment.

Security State Bank encourages you to responsibly spend your tax return, but also have a little fun with it if you can. If you have questions about our investment services, savings accounts, or credit cards, contact us today.

 

How to Create your Own Luck of the Irish

Posted on March 4th, 2015 in Community, Compound Interest, Financial Management, General, Savings by SSBblogger |

Ask yourself this question: is the glass half full or half empty? You can create your own Luck of the Irish this St. Patrick’s Day depending on your outlook on life. St. Patrick’s Day is typically for celebrating the Irish heritage and wearing all sorts of green things.

Lush green four leaf clover on a white background

Security State Bank wants to put a twist on St. Patrick’s Day this year by bringing you tips on how to create your own luck of the Irish. When it comes to the topic of money and savings, it takes more than luck to have a successful financial future. You can make your own luck when it comes to finances and we will show you how.

How to create your own luck of the Irish:

  • Boost your retirement savings. The more money you add to a retirement account, the sooner you are able to retire. Now that is luck! Imagine if you are able to retire two years sooner by contributing a couple thousand dollars more each year. Not only is it smart to always build your retirement savings, there are tax advantages to doing so.
  • Stick to a budget. There are many benefits to a budget that can make you feel lucky. Set a goal and a reason why you are going to have a budget. At the end of a certain time period, you will have saved enough money to go do something you’ve always dreamed of. Take the family on vacation, make a down payment on a house, or upgrade your car.
  • Regularly contribute to a savings account. It’s hard to say when your family may need to fall back onto a savings account. Don’t get caught without a substantial savings account when an emergency comes around. When you regularly add to a savings account, you will feel lucky to have the money if you lose your job or need it in case of an emergency.

Security State Bank hopes the luck of the Irish is with you this St. Patrick’s Day and every day. Contact us today if you are ready to be smart with your money and build your savings or retirement fund.