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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 |


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!


Shrinking Student Loans

Posted on January 15th, 2016 in Compound Interest, Financial Management by vgmforbin |

StudentLoansWith college costs growing year after year, how do you go about securing the finances to further your education without ending up with a mountain of debt? Security State Bank is here to help guide you on your financial path of greater education! Use these tips and tricks to ensure you don’t bust the bank with your secondary education.

  • Choose your loans wisely: Calculate the cost of the necessities – tuition, room and board, textbooks, and transportation – and sign loans that cover only what you need, even if you qualify for more. A part-time job or summer position can provide funds for added nonessential expenses. Your loan might allow you to defer interest while you’re still in school. However, unless it’s subsidized, it will accrue interest immediately. Unpaid interest can then compound and add to the principal, creating an even larger amount to repay. Paying interest as you go is another great way to decrease your overall costs and keep you debt maintainable.
  • Increase your payments: If you’re on a 10-year installment plan, you’re paying a decade of interest on top of your original loan, adding more debt to your plate. When possible, pay back more than the minimum agreement each month and chop off extra time and interest. If you have multiple loans, direct your additional payments towards the loan with the highest interest rate. The faster you can pare down the principal, the less you accrue in exorbitant interest.
  • Make installments as often as you are able: With less time between payments for interest to accumulate, an accelerated payment plan can decrease your repayment term. By doubling your schedule of installments and making more payments over the same time period, you’re able to lessen the interest and pay your loan off sooner.
  • Track your interest: Motivate yourself with a continually updated track record of your current interest. The longer you have the loan, the more money you spend towards interest. Incentivize yourself by creating a cap for how much you want to pay in interest on a yearly basis. Let that help guide in making those extra payments.

Education is an important accomplishment in life, and we applaud those who take the initiative to obtain their degrees. If you’re a current or prospective student stop by Security State Bank today to learn about our online bill pay and other financial tools to help you maintain successful finances throughout your collegiate career.

Home Buying Do’s and Dont’s

Posted on January 4th, 2016 in Financial Management, Mortgages by vgmforbin |

HomebuyingWinter is the perfect time to purchase your new home! With so many hoops and obstacles to jump through in the home buying adventure, let Security State Bank guide you through it! Before you launch the search for your new abode, consider these do’s and don’ts of first-time home buying to make the process as quick and easy as possible.


  • Secure a loan before a home: While the hunt for your new home is exciting, your final decision will depend on the mortgage you can secure. Your first step in the home buying search should take place with a loan officer who can assess your mortgage qualifications, and your pre-approved mortgage amount. This provides a framework in guiding the search so you don’t expend time and money on houses outside your budgeted means.
  • Take your time: The average homeowner occupies their house for nine years before relocating. Ensure your choice is the best by conducting extra research and planning any potential projects or remodels along the way. Make sure to track trends in the housing market to discover the most cost-effective season for your area. Weigh personal, important factors beyond price listing, such as neighborhood quality, length of commute, and room to expand as your family continues to grow.
  • Consult the professionals: The listing agent represents the interests of the seller, not the buyer. As a first-time home buyer, you’ll need as much trusted, unbiased advice as you can garner. Ask friends and family to recommend their real estate agents so you receive counsel from a professional with a track-record of success.


  • Look at homes well over your budget: You set a budget for a reason. Stick to it! Paying more than you designated for a home can financially limit you to update and repair as needed. By spending within your originally determined limit, you’ll avoid heftier mortgages and continue to withhold extra funds for any household incidentals.
  • Empty savings into a down payment: Securing your mortgage requires a down payment. Putting down less than 20% requires you to buy mortgage insurance ranging about 0.3% to 1.5% of the original loan amount each year. To avoid this added expense, some home buyers drain their savings to cover the down payment upfront. Liquidating your account, however, leaves you without a safety net in the event of job loss or medical emergency. The expense of mortgage insurance is worth the financial cushion you can leave in your account, and you can always eliminate the added insurance by refinancing your mortgage once you’ve paid off 20% on your principal.
  • Speed through the closing: The end is in sight, but don’t let the glow of the finish line obscure your view of the paperwork. Review documents with a fine-tooth comb, double check that nothing has been altered in your agreement, and ensure that it describes your understanding of the transaction to a “T”. A day or two of extra analyzing can save you years of headaches!

Begin your home-buying process today with our mortgage lenders at Security State Bank, we’d love to help you get started!

Financial horoscopes to guide you through your holiday shopping

Posted on December 16th, 2015 in Holiday Shopping by SSBblogger |

holiday shopping

Horoscopes interpret the influence of the sun and moon through use of astrology and individual zodiacal signs. Each of these signs corresponds to one of twelve consolations on the astrological circle. While not 100% accurate they do offer a unique insight into the possible course of future life triumphs and obstacles. See what your horoscope says about your finances this month courtesy of Security State Bank and the Huffington Post.

Aries – March, 21 to April, 19

“There might be significant financial developments this month connected to money that comes to you from a source other than your direct income. Pay special attention to December 11, 17, and 24 for key information connected to this matter. You may hear favorable news about a more attractive benefits package at work, a bonus, or even receive an extra generous royalty check. Another possibility is that you’ll receive a check owed to you that you’ve been waiting for.”

Taurus – April 20, to May, 20

“At least one key relationship should progress nicely this month whether it be in business or personal. Venus, your ruler, will move into your partnership sector on December 4 and remains in this part of your chart until December 30. Since Venus will make beautiful aspects to other planets in the sky, you can anticipate extra support and harmony. Be sure to use December 11 and 17 to move forward in collaborative endeavors. Save December 24 for you and your sweetheart; it’ll be a very romantic day!”

Gemini – May 21, to June, 20

“Life at the office will run extra smooth this month, much to your delight. Venus will enter your workaday sector on December 4, remaining in this part of your chart until December 30. As a result, you’ll notice how much easier it is to collaborate with your coworkers on any team project…The dates when Venus will be in a favorable position are December 11, 17, and 24. All of these will be great for you in career, finance and family matters.”

Cancer – June, 21 to July, 22

“Romance is on the agenda this month. If you’re single, pay close attention to dating opportunities between December 4 and 30. Venus will move through your true love sector so if you’re looking for love, there’s every chance that it’ll find you. December 11, 17, and 24 are all glittering for you in this regard and will be ideal for date nights. Be out and about so that you put yourself in the best possible position to meet someone special. If you’re looking for new work, polish up your resume and send it out after December 11. A New Moon in your workaday sector will make it easy for you to secure a new job or extra freelance assignment. If you’re a business owner, this will be a great time to hire staff.”

Leo – July, 23 to August, 22

“If you’re looking to make a change at home such as redecorate a room or purchase furniture, now is the time to do so. You’ll love the style of whatever you choose. If you make any renovation, it will likely enhance the value of your home. If single, romance is on the horizon after the New Moon enters into your true love sector on December 11. Be sure to make an effort to socialize more so that you are in the best possible position to meet someone new. If you are already in a relationship, it’s possible that this lunation will prompt you and your sweetheart to talk about having children.”

Virgo – August, 23 to September, 22

“You’ll have the gift of graceful communication and negotiation skills this month, so do what you can to make the most of it. After December 4 and until December 30, Venus will move through your message sector helping your words sparkle. You’ll excel at any writing projects and will notice that other people genuinely enjoy conversations with you more. Spend time talking to your sweetheart about anything you need to discuss this month — conversations about love and money will be quite fulfilling.”

Libra – September, 23 to October, 22

“This month you might notice that your finances are opening up. Between December 4 and December 30, Venus will tour your earned income sector and will make lovely aspects to other planets in the sky the entire time. As a result, if you’re thinking about asking for a raise or starting a side business to earn extra cash now is the month to get cracking. You might also take on a freelance assignment that pays extremely well. Be on the lookout for this opportunity near December 11.”

Scorpio – October, 10 to November, 21

“Financial news near the December 6 might leave you emotionally rattled, since the Full Moon in Gemini lands in your 8th House of Shared Resources. If you’ve invested in anything that was high risk, it’s possible that you’ll be disappointed in the return. Alternatively, you might discover that certain benefits or insurance connected to you or your spouse’s employment will change. Do your best to go with the flow instead of giving in to a reaction of panic. Know that whatever awareness you gain about financial matters this month will ultimately put you in a stronger position, but it will take a certain amount of work to get there.”

Sagittarius – November, 22 to December, 21

“Venus will be in your private 12th House of Escape between December 4 and December 30. As a result, your love life might also become quieter than usual. Perhaps you and your sweetheart crave extra alone time, away from the world’s chaos. Why not schedule a couple’s retreat if possible? Alternatively if you’re single, it’s possible that you are pining away for someone you know you can’t have. Or, that you’re with someone you shouldn’t be with and the relationship has to be clandestine as a result. If this is your situation, you might decide that it’s time to get your love life out of the closet once and for all — even it means letting go of this person or fantasy. This will also be an ideal time to work through any relationship issues in a counseling setting.”

Capricorn – December, 22 to January, 19

“Your social life will be a source of great pleasure this month so be sure to accept as many invitations to attend holiday parties and other gatherings as possible. From December 4 to December 30, you might also enjoy more romantic potential through your friends. A pal may offer to set you up with someone. If so, be sure to accept — it looks promising! Alternatively, if you’re partnered up, you and your mate will enjoy plenty of time out and about together. Wonderful!”

Aquarius – January, 20 to February, 18

“With Venus at the top of your chart this month, you’ll be especially favored in the eyes of your boss or another VIP. From December 4 and December 30, you can use this cosmic edge to help you get ahead professionally. In fact, there might even be a boost in earnings coming your way. Go ahead and ask for a raise on December 11 — there’s a good chance that you’ll get exactly what you dream of!  Also on December 11, a gorgeous New Moon will fall in your friendship sector. This will be an ideal time to expand your social horizons. Why not join a new club or organization? Consider starting that humanitarian project you’ve always talked about…”

Pisces – February, 19 to March, 20

“If you’re in a position to spread your wisdom out into the world, this is a month where that knowledge will be especially well received! Consider teaching a workshop or class. With Venus in your 9th House of Higher Education, if you are the professor, it’ll be easy to gain the admiration of your students. You’ll be incredibly charming as you teach. If you’re in the student chair, this will be a month you really have a love affair with whatever you’re learning.”

Take a chance with your horoscope this season and begin looking into the potential possibilities with your own zodiac readings from the Huffington Post. If financial change is in your future give us a call at Security State Bank, we are always happy to help!

5 Great Gift Ideas for Pets

Posted on December 4th, 2015 in Pet Gifts by SSBblogger |

pet gifts

This holiday season make sure to keep your pets in mind. Enjoying family and friends, your pets can join in the celebrations this year with these fun activities courtesy of Security State Bank.

Salt Dough Puppy Paw Ornament

Together in a bowl, mix 1 cup salt, 1 cup all-purpose flour and ½ cup water and fold together. Once in a consistent state roll the dough out to approximately ¼” thickness. Using a cup, cut individual circles out of the dough. While still soft press your furry friend’s paw into the salt dough, once imprinted use a pen or straw to poke a small hole at the top. When all the ornaments have been paw stamped place them onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 2-3 hours at 200 degrees. After cooling paint as desired and use string or ribbon to create a loop for the ornament to hang.

Milk-Bone Ornaments

For this creation you’ll need Milk-Bone treats, string (or cooked spaghetti,) and a needle.

Thread string onto needle and push through holes in milk bone. Tie loop with the string, leaving adequate room to hang from a branch. Hang bones on the lower branches of your tree and let you dog enjoy their own celebration during the holidays. Bonus points if you are able to use cooked spaghetti instead making this treat 100% edible.

Pet Stockings

Add a stocking for your favorite pet this year and fill it with all the treats and toys the season inspires. When the kids are racing down the stairs, Fido will be just as excited, right behind them!

Winter Fun

When snow arrives, and it’s time to reveal in a winter wonderland bring your pets to join in the festivities. Snowball fights can be just as exciting with your own puppy cheering section or cat mascot. Let your pet be your muse in building the greatest snow sculpture ever! After the fun you and your pet can snuggle up and get warm by the fire together.

Homemade Pet Treats

Grind oats with a food processor until changes to a smooth powdered consistency. Reserve a teaspoon of the powder for later. Beat together with banana and peanut butter until it reaches a smooth texture, (a couple lumps are ok!) Dust your countertop with the reserved oat powder and roll your dough to approximately ¼“ thickness. Using cookie cutters, form the dough into your desired shapes and then place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake treats at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until the edges begin to turn brown. Treats are good for your pet to eat as soon as cooled and may be stored in an airtight container for up to one week.

Enjoy everything the holiday has to offer, and allow your pet to join the fun as well! Try some of these festive activities with your favorite canine or feline to share in the joyous season together. Give us a call at Security State Bank if there are some items we can help you save towards for your friends with, or without, fur.