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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!

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!