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How to Have a Debt Free Holiday

Posted on December 7th, 2016 in Being Thankful, Cash, Financial Mangement, Holiday Shopping by vgmforbin |

No Debt

The holidays are filled with their own special traditions. From decorations, to gifts, feasts, and more, yule tidings never had so many ways to celebrate! While these gatherings are memorable to say the least, they often come with unwanted debt while working to achieve that perfect celebration. Throughout this time of year, many Americans turn to credit cards to help ease the burden of cost. There are some ways however to maintain your ideal holiday, without the labor of debt. At Security State Bank, we recommend the following steps:


  • Start Saving Early: While hindsight is always 20/20, this is a valuable tool when planning for next year’s events. If you set aside $100 a month, starting in January, your holiday savings will accumulate $1200 for this wonderful time of year! Alternatively, if you find yourself receiving a bonus, or bountiful tax refund, allocate those funds early on  into your holiday savings, and put your $100 a month towards other savings goals. No matter how you save, Security State Bank offers a Christmas Club Savings account to help make your holiday savings that much easier.
  • Create a Holiday Budget: Completely separate from your current monthly budget, this holiday budget will help you plan for the funds you have saved. Just as your household needs to allocate money for food, home supplies, and bills, so does your holiday spending. Consider segmenting your budget into categories such as presents, food, and other supplies. Continuing to separate your budget for presents can be especially helpful. To track your spending best, write down each person you plan to buy for, and how much you would like to spend.
  • Save Money Where You Can. Throughout the coming months there are an array of opportunities for savvy shoppers to save. Whether it’s shopping during the famous Black Friday or Cyber Monday, or simply scanning the week’s grocery deals, each opportunity for savings is well worth the effort. With many Americans now shopping online, there are added ways to save through Amazon Prime, free shipping, and online apps to help get you the best deal. Don’t forget about those credit card rewards too – those are great points to put towards holiday travel or additional gifts for others.


This season, savor the memories more than the gifts! No matter what you budget is this season, at Security State Bank we believe anyone can have a wonderful holiday season. If you’d like to learn how to further organize your holiday budget, stop in today and speak with one of our personal bankers. We’ll help you create the best holiday plan for you and your family.

Sharing Our Thanks this Season

Posted on November 23rd, 2016 in Being Thankful, Seasonal by vgmforbin |


At Security State Bank, we love being a part of our community, and working together with so many incredible people. This fall we have endless things to be thankful for! Our staff has put together the top things that have made their season a little brighter this year:


What are you most thankful for?

  • “Being able to enjoy the simple things in life.” –Patricia McBride, Customer Service
  • “Family! The one’s God gave us and the ones we choose for ourselves.” -Jean Droste Customer Service
  • “I am thankful to have a healthy & active family, that enjoys being together.” -Mandy Brown, Branch Manager Dysart


Share your most-loved holiday tradition.

  • “My grandchildren come over Wednesday night and help Grandma make dinner. They love to break up bread for dressing and make pies.” -Bobbie Benson, Teller
  • “When I celebrate Thanksgiving in Iowa, my Dad and I go pheasant hunting Thanksgiving morning. When I’m in Florida with my wife’s family, we run a 5k called “The Turkey Trot.” I obviously prefer the Iowa tradition over the Florida one!” -Zach Boss, Ag Loan Officer
  • “Parade watching in the morning, and football after the Thanksgiving meal.” -Brian Meyer, President.
  • “Playing family games and going through every Black Friday ad.” –Chelsey Henninger, Teller-Bookkeeping


What is one thing our community can be thankful for in 2016?

  • “I think the one thing we should be thankful for is the great weather we experienced that has helped provide an abundant harvest.” -Craig Coffman, Executive Vice President
  • “I love living in a small community where everyone knows your name, and we’re there for each other.” -Ronda Foley, Personal Banking Officer
  • “The people living here are willing to come together and help each other out in time of need.” -Angie Brunsman, Secretary
  • “That the 2016 flood wasn’t as bad as the flood of 2008. Looking forward to all the newly elected officials at our county level.” -Carolyn Phippen, Financial Service Representative


Name your favorite Thanksgiving dish.

  • “My grandma’s homemade stuffing.” –Amy O’Brien, Bookkeeping
  • “My sister’s sweet potato casserole.” -TJ Lawless, Marketing Director


Additional Thanksgiving sentiments…

  • “Years ago Thanksgiving was celebrated for the blessing of the harvest with a turkey served as the main feature. Today this tradition continues on and we still bless the harvest and bountiful crops. However, we also count all the other many blessings we are so fortunate to have, including our freedom in the U.S.A.” -Jan Scott, Friendship Club Director


We love all the crazy, and fun-filled traditions our employees hold dear. This Thanksgiving Security State Bank will be closed in observance of the holiday, and we encourage our employees to take this day of celebration and enjoy it with their families! From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

The Best Black Friday and Cyber Monday Steals

Posted on November 21st, 2016 in Budgeting, Savings, Seasonal by vgmforbin |


Whether this is your first year, or your fifth, post-Thanksgiving shopping will always have a special place in your heart. Each year shoppers find new ways to take advantage of the steep discounts retailers offer. Security State Bank wants to help you make the most of your holiday shopping, by offering these tried and true tactics to the best shopping strategies:


Black Friday: Originally coined from the notion of retailers changing from the red to the black in their profit ledger, this national day of shopping is historically the largest retail day of the year. 2016 boasts some of the largest discounts offered by companies such as Target, Best Buy, and Macy’s.


To make your Black Friday shopping experience a success follow these 5 tips:


  1. Scout Out All the Deals: Check the deals on for all the latest news and last minute steals. Be sure you know which stores are offering the best doorbusters and overall discount percentages.
  2. Create a Timed Route: Once you know the discounts, you can create a plan to maximize the most of them! Set-up a strategy and time table for how long you want to spend at each store, ensuring the quickest route to navigate store to store.
  3. Assign Team Roles: To make the most of your time in each store give each member of your team a role. One person can go wait in line, while two people go look for the top items, and the last person scours the store for unadvertised deals.
  4. Choose a Top 3: Before you step foot in any store, know what your main priority items are. Do you want to try for the limited doorbusters, or are you after the time restrictive steals? Whatever it may be, each location should have both primary objectives and supplementary items should the primaries fail.
  5. Dress Comfortable: Black Friday can at times be both a marathon AND a sprint.Be sure to dress in layers for various temperatures both in and out of the stores. Well-worn shoes are also a must, this is not the time to suffer through blisters or sore feet.


Cyber Monday: Still relatively new, Cyber Monday offers a highly discounted shopping experience all from the comfort of your home. With large-scale retailers such as Amazon, Overstock, and Wayfair participating, you are sure to find fantastic savings throughout the day. Try this home-based retail exchange this year and see how much time you can save too!


To make the most of your Cyber Monday shopping be sure to try these 5 tricks:


  1. Bookmark Items Ahead of Time: Go to your favorite online retailers and create a wishlist, or save the urls for all your favorite items. This way when you return for Cyber Monday, you can easily check if your go-to
  2. Set Alarms and Reminders: Create alerts on your phone or computer to notify you when an upcoming deal may be approaching. Often times these deals are limited both by time AND quantity, so being there right as it goes live can make a world of difference.
  3. Use Coupon Apps and Extensions: With services such as RetailMeNot, Honey, and Groupon, there now become countless online coupons and deals to add to your list!
  4. Compare Prices: One of the perks of shopping online is that you can be browsing multiple stores at once. Check several sites for your top items, and see which one is offering the best deal!
  5. Take Advantage of FREE Shipping: Retailers will be giving away shipping throughout the holiday shopping season. If your purchases fall within their spending limit or holiday shopping period, you won’t have to pay a dime to get them!


Whether you’re battling in the aisles, or scoring deals online, we hope your holiday shopping is a success! Share your favorite Black Friday or Cyber Monday photos with us on our Facebook page. We can’t wait to see how you do!

Haunting Halloween Party Hacks

Posted on October 20th, 2016 in Community, Seasonal by vgmforbin |


At Security State Bank, Halloween is one of our favorite times of the year! Filled with lighthearted gags, and delicious pumpkin foods, October is one of the most festive times of the year! Halloween will be here soon, and to help you plan your holiday bash, we have compiled these top party hacks to ensure your event will be one to remember!


  • Themes: Make your party planning easier, and choose a theme that can encompass a wide array of costume choices. Concepts like the zombie apocalypse, scary movie blockbusters, or creepy carnival creatures, can help your guests tailor their outfit for the event!
  • Fake Blood Syringes: As your guests arrive, greet them with their party favor, their very own syringe filled with “blood.” This simple and edible recipe for fake blood will make sure the fear factor is present, as well as the taste!
  • Eerie Pumpkin Punch: Add an element of surprise with this clever dry ice effect. You can create a punch for the adults to enjoy, and opt for an alternative version for the kids! Either way, this eye-catching beverage dispenser is sure to make your party start off with a bang!
  • The Withered Corpse Game: Whether for a children’s party, or an adult get together, this timeless game always offers some much anticipated fun! See if you can come up with creative ways to change out the ghoulish ingredients. Try steaming cauliflower for brains, or a full water balloon for a stomach!
  • Costume Contest: Giveaway fun prizes for various categories, such as: best male/female costume, best couple costume, most original, most used, etc. The winners can have first line for the food, or a fun Halloween themed prize!
  • Festive Foods: Create a wide array of options for your guests to enjoy, complete with a deadly dessert! After all it’s not a party, without good food!


This Halloween Security State Bank wants to remind you to have a safe and fun-filled holiday! Be sure to stop by the bank October 31st and see how our team dresses up for Halloween!

Bippity, Boppity, Yum!

Posted on October 12th, 2016 in Community, Holiday Shopping, Seasonal by vgmforbin |



October is the perfect season to enjoy fall’s favorite food – pumpkin! With so many versatile ways to add this ingredient to your meals, Security State Bank has come up with a list of our top tastes! How many will you try?


Pumpkin Donuts: These delectable donuts will have you jumping for joy each and every morning. Baked instead of fried, these breakfast bombshells offer a healthier option compared to the more traditional recipe.


Pumpkin Waffles: Dress up this decadent breakfast with some simple maple syrup and candied pecans to truly make it a dish of the season.


Pumpkin Pie: This classic pumpkin recipe sets the standard for any holiday party, and is always better when made from scratch! See if you’re up to the challenge of “Canning the cans,” this autumn.


Pumpkin Pasta: Not just for sweet tastes, pumpkins can be used to flavor many of your favorite pasta dishes as well! Try a delicious pumpkin alfredo, or infusing your own homemade pasta with pumpkin puree!


Pumpkin Dinner Rolls: Impress your guests with these artisan creations! Looking and tasting of pumpkin, these savory treats are sure to be a crowd favorite at your next Halloween bash!


Pumpkin Soup: The perfect solution for a cold windy day, is a nice steamy bowl of pumpkin soup! Warm up with this rich concoction, complete with a dollop of crème fraiche.


Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Dip: Don’t let the long name fool you, this rich and sweet dip will have you guests begging for more! With only five ingredients, you can make this dish quickly and easily for those wanting seconds.


Pumpkin Dog Treats: Give your pup something to perk up about with these tasty treats! Made from primarily pumpkin and peanut butter, these snack size bites will keep your dogs’ energy levels high, and their taste buds happy.


Pumpkin Spice Latte: The true epitome of fall, this bold beverage tastes like autumn in a cup!


Explore all of your favorite flavors this fall, and share with us your top hits! Post a photo your next pumpkin creation on our Facebook page to add it to our recipe books.

The Best of September

Posted on September 14th, 2016 in Community, General, Seasonal by vgmforbin |


September marks the beginning of Fall! With so many exciting things to look forward to, Security State Bank is here to help you make the most of this Autumn month!


Iowa vs. Iowa State by the Numbers

Posted on September 9th, 2016 in Community, General, Seasonal by vgmforbin |

Football Game

The Cy-Hawk Series is the epitome of a college rivalry, this weekend the Hawks and the Cyclones will compete in the most publicized game in the state. Each year this event is sold out, and Saturday will be no different. Hosted by the University of Iowa, Kinnick Stadium will be filled with cheers as the game begins at 6:30 PM Saturday evening.


Every year the trophy travels back and forth between the two schools, and with only one game played this season, there’s no knowing which team will come out on top! Here are the predicted advantages for this weekend’s game, courtesy of Security State Bank:


Coaching: University of Iowa coach, Kirk Ferentz returns from last year, conquering the cyclones (31-17.) A leader in Iowa City, this coach knows his players, knows his competition, and is ready to guide his team to another win for the Hawks. Unfortunately for Iowa State’s new coach Matt Campbell, this long awaited rivalry doesn’t come with an instruction book.


Offense: University of Iowa is a powerhouse when it comes to moving the ball downfield. With players like Wadley, Vandeberg, and Bethard, this year’s Hawkeyes are likely to put a large margin of points between them and their Cyclone competitors.


Defense: University of Iowa will be more secure going into the start of the game. During their last game against Miami, their defensive line-up completed three sacks and recovered three fumbles before clinching the win of (45-21.)


Odds: The current forecast is that the Hawkeyes will defeat the Cyclones (31-3.)


We’ve looked at the stats, and seen the line-ups. While Iowa does seem to have the upper hand, Iowa State has been known to find victory while in on the road for the series. Only time will tell which one of these teams will gain bragging rights for the upcoming year. No matter if you’ll be donning black and gold, or cardinal and gold, try these top spots to watch the game in either city:


Iowa City – Filled with bars, and great food, the establishment best known on game day is Brother’s Bar. Boasting delectable drink specials, and a full menu from the kitchen, this classic atmosphere creates the perfect environment while cheering on your Hawkeyes. After the game be sure to stop by Mesa and grab a slice of their September special, Salami Mozzarella!


Ames - A hometown community, this city is full of vibrant student life. Join the fun and make your way to Es Tas Bar and Grill and start singing some Sweet Caroline while chowing down on some killer tacos! If the Cyclones come back to win the game, you won’t want to miss a celebratory Super Dog on Welch Ave – it’s only a block away!


Wherever you watch, you’ll be joining hundreds of thousands of Iowans. Kinnick Stadium alone will hold over 70,000 students, alumni, and fans for the big game. Iowa City will easily welcome well over 100,000 spectators this weekend! Be sure you arrive as early as possible to reserve your spot for this highly anticipated rivalry.

Do you think the Hawkeyes will dominate Iowa State for the second year in a row, or do you think the Cyclones will prove themselves as an underdog and steal the win from Iowa? Tell us which team you think will win by commenting on our Facebook page!


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

Posted on August 19th, 2016 in Budgeting, Financial Management, Savings by vgmforbin |



Saving money is no easy task! Only after dedication and determination, can you look successfully into your account to see the difference saving can make. At Security State Bank we’re excited to help you achieve your financial goals, and we can’t wait to get started! If you’re looking to tuck some funds away for an emergency savings, or vacation fund, these six tips can help you accumulate $3,500 in savings over the course of the next year.


  1. $720: Cut the cable – at $60+ each month this common expense eat up your budget in a hurry!
  2. $1400: Brew your own java – instead of grabbing a latte on your way to work make your own cup of joe and save that extra $4/day.
  3. $600: Plan Your Meals – instead of playing by ear each night for dinner, make a dedicated meal plan each week and stick to it. This will help cut costs on eating out and unused groceries. Remove one dining out meal each month and see the difference this can make!
  4. $468: Workout at home – the average gym membership runs $39/month which over the course of the year can add up quick. Try online workout videos and create a routine which uses various household items.
  5. $312: Pack your lunch – With most quick lunches running about $10/each, sneaking away for lunch could be costing you! Try packing a lunch from home to avoid these expensive dining options. Changing just three lunches each month could save you more than three-hundred dollars!


Learn how to open up your ideal savings account at Security State Bank to get started on your savings dreams today!

What Your Teen Needs to Know About Money Management

Posted on August 8th, 2016 in Budgeting, Financial Management, Savings by vgmforbin |



Throughout their teenage years, your children will begin to grow their personal money management style. Offer them some assistance by offering these four financial lessons from Security State Bank.


Securing Their First Job

No matter if it’s babysitting, lifeguarding, or bagging groceries, there are plenty of employment options for eager high school students. These opportunities typically start at minimum wage with zero benefits, but offer a foundation of experience and learning. Talk with your son or daughter, and help them select positions to apply for that resonate with them. Resources such as the Chamber of Commerce often list local job openings, and are a good place to comb for recent availabilities.


Managing Money

The younger you begin various habits, the better they stick with you. Teach your children the positive effect proper money management can have on their pocketbook. Start by opening both a savings and a checking account for your teen. Each pay period, help them figure ten percent of their earnings to put into their savings. You can also work with them one-on-one each month to help balance their checkbook and plan for any large expenditures.


Saving for College

Secondary education isn’t cheap. If your son or daughter plans on attending a college or trade school, the time to start saving is now! Work with your future student to determine an educational budget, providing an estimate of upcoming expenses. Once you know the amount needed you can set savings goals for both you and your teen to start tucking money away. The sooner you begin your savings journey the smoother the road will be to your target amount.


Making Payments

Whether it’s purchasing their first car or simply covering the cost of meals at school, learning how to maintain a payment plan is an important life lesson. Explain your personal bill paying system to your teen and see how they can tailor it to their needs. Once they have a grasp on the system itself, gradually add payments to your child’s list of responsibilities, even if you add the money to their account. This will help them learn to keep an updated payment calendar before they graduate high school.


Money management is a continual learning process. There are always new techniques or tricks to better arrange your finances. Don’t stop honing your teen’s money management after these four lessons – stop by Security State Bank and see how you can keep growing your family’s financial skills today!

Iowa State Fair DO’s and DON’TS

Posted on July 20th, 2016 in Agriculture, Community, General, Seasonal by vgmforbin |

Iowa State Fair


The fair is coming the fair is coming! Starting August 5, swarms of eager Iowans will descend upon the city of Des Moines for the annual Iowa State Fair. This long awaited tradition is a culmination of the year’s best culinary, entertainment, and educational endeavors. This fair season take note of these key activities to try, along with the top things to avoid, courtesy of Security State Bank.

This year be sure you DO:

  • Sample the various food offerings throughout the fair including the famous Hot Beef Sundae, Pork Chop on a Stick, Classic Lemonade, and exciting NEW treats!
  • Watch family fun competitions encompassing everything from Mutton Bustin’ to Diaper Derbies. Join the fun and sign up for the event that plays best to your strengths.
  • Walk through the various livestock and produce areas to see the biggest and best of what Iowa farmers have produced. Between the biggest bull and largest pumpkin contest, you’ll be surprised at what Iowa farmers can do!
  • Help you children understand the importance of agriculture by visiting Little Hands on the Farm in the Kid’s Zone! This interactive experience will teach them the various chores farmers complete on a day-to-day basis.
  • Catch a once in a lifetime show at in the fair’s Grandstand Arena. With artists like Meghan Trainor, Jason Derulo, KISS, and Lady Antebellum, this year’s line-up will be a winner!

This year be sure you DON’T:

  • Miss the butter cow and other dairy made sculptures. This unique Iowa tradition immortalizes various pop icons each and every year! Be sure you and your family stop to take a look!
  • Get lost! Check out the site’s mobile friendly map to help navigate your way across the busy fairgrounds. You can find the nearest bathroom on here too!
  • Leave your child unattended. With so much to do and see, make sure your entire family is with you while you venture from place to place.  The fairground offers strollers and wagons to rent inside Grand Avenue Gate #11 and Gate #15.
  • Forget to drink water and wear sunscreen. Since most of the exciting fair activities are outdoors, protect yourself and your family by being proactively prepared.
  • MISS THE FAIR. Whether it’s been five days or five years since you’ve been down to the State Fair, be a part of the action this year in Des Moines and come by! With so many incredible people, entertainment, and food, this is one annual event you won’t want to miss!

During your trip to the Iowa State Fair, your account is never too far away. Set-up your online banking experience before you go for instant access to monitoring and managing your personal finances. Stop by the bank and get started today!