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Bad Spending Habits 101: Things to Stop Wasting your Money on Right Now

Posted on February 25th, 2015 in Bank Services, Best Financial Advice, Customer Service, Financial Tips by NSBblogger |

credit card and dollar close-up

No matter what your age or what your financial status is, we all may be guilty of bad spending habits and financial decisions. It may not seem so bad that you go out to lunch at least three times a week, but in reality you are spending at least $100 a month doing so. Now is the time to kick those bad spending habits to the curb and stop wasting your money. Today, Northeast Security Bank will be hitting the money wasters that may be part of your daily life.

  1. Food and grocery shopping. Here’s a tip that will immediately save you money: don’t go to the grocery store hungry. When you go hungry, you buy items that sound good at the time. Try buying store brand items compared to name brand. You will typically save at least 50 cents per item, which will add up when you check out.
  2. Cable and internet bundles. Have you looked at your cable and internet bill recently? If you thought you really needed the gold package that came with hundreds of channels, think again. It is likely that you have a select number of channels you actually watch, so nix the big bundles and keep it simple. You will likely save around $50 a month by taking a more basic plan.
  3. Carrying over credit card balances. It may not seem like too big of a deal to carry over a couple hundred dollars on a credit card from month to month, but consider how much you’re spending on interest. Pay off your credit card balances to the best of your abilities and you could save hundreds of dollars on interest each year.

Northeast Security Bank hopes you can save money with these tips. If you need help deciding how to save your money, we can help, so contact NSB today.

 

Get Romantic with your Finances: Personal Finance Habits to Start by Valentine’s Day

Posted on February 11th, 2015 in Bank Services, Best Financial Advice, Savings by NSBblogger |

two red roses with small droplets on white surface

February is filled with the season of love and it doesn’t have to just be with your relationships. Northeast Security Bank wants you to get romantic with your finances through spending quality time with your budgets, spending habits, and savings. You will fall in love with your personal finances again if you dedicate a little bit of your time to them. Today, we are going to show you how easy it is to get romantic with your finances.

Personal Finance Habits

Sit down and make a budget. Just like with any relationship, communication is a key to financial success. Communicate on your budget to make it clear what you are spending and how much you should be saving. Sticking to this budget can eventually help you meet your personal financial goals of travel, buying a home, or purchasing a new car. Budgets may seem hard to stick to, so remember when making one to be realistic.

Evaluate your spending habits. Are you guilty of going out to eat too much? Or do you hit the mall more often than you should? By evaluating your spending habits, you can put into perspective how much money you’re really spending. This may be a hard thing to do because you may realize you are spending more than you should be on unnecessary material items.

Save before you spend. Before each purchase you make, take the time to think about if you really need it. Most of the time, it is not a necessary item you need. Here’s a good rule of thumb: if there is something at the store you want, don’t purchase it right away. If you’re still thinking about it the next day, go back and purchase it, but most of the time you will forget about it.

Northeast Security Bank wants you to fall in love with personal finance this month by spending time on your budget. Contact us today if you have questions about savings and checking accounts.

 

Habits of Financially Successful People

Posted on January 20th, 2015 in Accounts, Best Financial Advice, Debt Reduction, Financial Tips, General by NSBblogger |

Happy woman ready to take money out of an ATM

Financially successful people have confidence and control of their money. These people make attainable goals, invest wisely, and take risks. Do you want to be financially successful? Northeast Security Bank is bringing you advice for the New Year on how to be a financially successful person.

Habits of financially successful people:

  • Take stock of your current financial situation. Financially successful people are realistic and understand that financial wellness does not come overnight. It is a good idea to calculate your net worth at least once a year. Make it a goal this year to do so within this month or early next month.
  • Establish your financial goals. When thinking of financial goals you wish to achieve, be sure they are attainable. When goals are realistic and attainable, you are more likely to achieve them within a reasonable time.
  • Create a spending and saving plan. Most people only think of creating a saving plan, but financially successful people also make a spending plan. The spending plan will also keep you on track with a budget, leading to more savings.
  • Establish an emergency fund. Accidents and illnesses happen unexpectedly and financially successful people are prepared for these situations. Emergency savings accounts can help you with unexpected costs that come from various issues.
  • Choose diverse investments. From high risk to low risk, choose diversely when investing. Financially successful people take risks, but they also know when to be careful. Stay in frequent contact with your financial advisor at Northeast Security Bank so you always know how your investments
  • Focus on eliminating your debt. Financially successful people make it a goal to eliminate debt as soon as they are financially able to. Their philosophy is the less debt, the better.

 

Northeast Security Bank is willing to help you become a financially successful person in 2015. Contact us today if you are ready!

Breathe Some Life into Your Financial Resolutions- how to stick to financial resolutions easier

Posted on January 7th, 2015 in Accounts, Best Financial Advice, Financial Tips, General by NSBblogger |

Businessman calculating expenses or checking financial figures on a calculator

According to Statistic Brain, only 8 percent of Americans are able to keep their resolutions throughout the entire year. Some people don’t even make it through January. Northeast Security Bank wants to help you change that. If you are ready to be stick to your financial resolutions this year, keep reading for helpful tricks and tips.

Focus on one change at a time. You may have more than one financial resolution for 2015, but keep your focus on one item at a time. Change takes time, especially with your finances. Don’t expect your savings account to double within the first month of your goal, understand that it will take a while. Once you feel satisfied with one change, go ahead and work on your next financial goal.

Reach out for support. Whether you reach out to family or your financial advisor at Northeast Security Bank, support is a great way to revamp your resolution. When other people are clued in on your goals and resolutions, you are more likely to work towards them.

Build on your resolutions. Resolutions should have room for growth and change throughout the various stages. If your original goal was to save money towards your family’s savings account and you meet your goal, don’t stop there. Continue saving towards a higher, yet attainable goal. Not only will you feel accomplished by meeting the first goal, you will push yourself to the next level of accomplishment.

Celebrate your accomplishments. You deserve to be rewarded for your accomplishments. Find a rewarding activity with the family that is low cost and let them know your accomplishments. Share what you have accomplished and you are sure to attain more than you ever imagined.

Northeast Security Bank encourages you to push through this year to attain goals you never thought possible. Contact us today if you are ready to attain your financial resolutions this year.

Financial New Year’s Resolutions

Posted on December 17th, 2014 in General by NSBblogger |

resolutions

With the New Year only a few short weeks away, have you thought about what your New Year’s resolution is going to be? The beginning of a new year is a great time to take a fresh approach to something you want to improve in your life, such as your finances.

Northeast Security Bank suggests making a commitment to a financial resolution in 2015. Consider saving more towards retirement, your mortgage, or even a family vacation. Today we are going to discuss some financial New Year’s resolutions to consider.

Financial New Year’s Resolutions:

  • Set a debt reduction goal. Whether you are looking to pay off your car loan or your mortgage, setting a goal to reduce it can help you pay it off sooner. Not only will you be done with payments sooner, you will be spending considerably less on interest.
  • Consider putting more into your retirement account. It doesn’t matter if you have 20 years left until retirement or five, saving more is always helpful. An IRA can help you save a little bit more each year until you meet retirement.
  • Eliminate wasteful spending. There’s no need to go out to eat several times per week and you don’t always need that new pair of shoes that are on sale. By eliminating wasteful spending, you can save more money in the long run.
  • Stick to a budget. This task is easier said than done, but a budget can save you a tremendous amount of money. There are many great safe and secure tools on the internet for budgeting, like com.
  • Build an emergency fund. Accidents and health issues usually come on without warning. You want to be prepared if anything happens, so it is good to have a chunk of money saved away for emergencies out of our control.

The biggest obstacle most of us run into with resolutions is sticking to them, especially when things get difficult. You have to commit to a change not just on paper, but in your attitude and your behavior when it comes to your money. Northeast Security Bank is ready to help in any way we can, so come see us today!

White Elephant Etiquette

Posted on December 11th, 2014 in Financial Tips by NSBblogger |

white-elephant

The holiday season has hit and we all know what that means: White Elephant parties. Nasty Christmas. Ye ol’ Yankee Swap. Whatever you call it, most of us have participated in some kind of humorous gift exchange. While this kind of party is more about the socialization than getting an actual gift, there are certain unspoken rules that participants are expected to follow.

While a White Elephant party draws people of all kinds, there are three types of party-goers that you do not want to be:

  1. THE ONE-TRICK PONY

Every joke runs its course. There are only so many years that it is funny to wrap up the same thing that got a laugh the year before.  Unless it is a bag of prunes. For some reason, prunes are always funny. But when you continue to wrap up some unreasonable Sam’s Club size box of an obscure food year after year, it is time to get a bit more creative.

  1. THE CHEAPSKATE

While White Elephant gifts are not usually pricey, it is always a good rule of thumb to never wrap up any promotional item that you got for free at work. Nobody wants a paperweight with the company’s logo on it. We all have enough coffee mugs taking up cupboard space. If you are going to bring a gift that nobody wants, it at least needs to be funny.

  1. THE RECYCLER

If you are set on recycling a past gift or gifting your work promotional items, at least have the decency to include a $5 gift card. Everybody else has paid a little bit for their gift.  A gift card is always a safe (yet boring) bet. People will fight for it, but it isn’t overly entertaining.

People often stress about what gift to put in a White Elephant gift exchange. If you only get a couple scattered chuckles in the room, don’t worry about it! The point of White Elephant parties is to have fun. Not every gift can be a knee-slapper! When choosing your gift, use your best judgment and your sense of humor. Dig out the cheetah print Snuggie your Uncle Jerry gave you. Bag up those prunes.  As long as you bring a gift that matches your awesome sense of humor, you have done a good job!

Northeast Security Bank wants to wish you a joyful holiday season! We hope to see you soon!

Be Good for Santa: Quitting Bad Habits

Posted on December 3rd, 2014 in General by NSBblogger |

be-good-for-santa

The holiday season can mean your budget is a bit tighter because you are spending more money on presents and food than usual. If you are looking for a few ways to save this month and beyond, read on for great tips to save money.

It may be hard to admit, but you can save a lot of money by cutting back on your bad habits or even eliminating them completely. Plus, Santa is always watching, so kicking a bad habit or two is a good way to get on his “Nice List.” Northeast Security Bank is going to show you the average costs spent on bad habits by one person in a year.

The cost of bad habits:

Smoking Cigarettes- The average pack of cigarettes runs $5 and up. If you smoke a pack a day, that’s $35 per week and upwards of $140 per month. If you quit smoking, you could save almost $2,000 a year.

Morning Coffee- Have you ever thought about how much your morning coffee costs? Whether you get it at the local gas station or the coffee shop, the daily cup adds up quickly. If you average buying coffee at least 5 days per week, the annual cost is over $1,000 for the basic cup of coffee. That figure doesn’t even include the expensive specialty drinks.

Eating Fast Food- If you eat out once per day five days of the week for one meal at an average of $6, you will be spending $30 per week on fast food alone. The annual cost is over $1,500 for only one meal per day during the week. Your health could also suffer from eating out too much, meaning a possible increased in medical costs.

Excessive Shopping- With so many stores having deals every weekend to lure you in, it can be a hard temptation to resist. If you were to spend $200 per month on unneeded shopping, you will be spending around $2,400 per year.

Imagine what you could do with the money you save if you knocked some of your bad habits? Kicking certain habits could also lead to an improvement in your health. Northeast Security Bank can help you save money if you open a savings account today, so come see us today!

Give Thanks for What we Have

Posted on November 19th, 2014 in Communities by NSBblogger |

give thanks

 

November is here, meaning Thanksgiving isn’t far away. As we all learned in elementary school, the first Thanksgiving was a celebration of a good harvest by the Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Over time, this celebration went from a celebration prompted by church leaders to becoming a national holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of every November in the United States.

While the holiday itself has changed over time, its central meaning has not: to be thankful for what we have. But what does it mean to be truly thankful? In the dictionary, the word “thankful” has three meanings:

  1. To be conscious of a benefit received (“For what we are about to receive, make us truly thankful.”)
  2. Expressive of thanks (“Thankful service”)
  3. Well pleased or glad (“I was thankful it didn’t rain”)

For our purposes, let’s focus on the first meaning, “to be conscious of a benefit received.”

As good Iowans, we all know that fall is harvest time across the state. In this way, we’re not so different from the Pilgrims, who, after coming here to start a new life, were also finishing up a harvest in the fall. And just like the Pilgrims, when we are finally finished with the harvest, we can step back and be thankful for the harvest that helps support our families and communities.

But we have much more to be thankful for than the fall harvest. There are many blessings in our everyday life that we may forget about or take for granted:

  • The blessing of waking up in the morning and being able to pursue our own goals and dreams.
  • The blessing of having family and friends nearby or far away that we can celebrate with, as well as turn to in difficult times.
  • The blessing of living in the state of Iowa and taking advantage of everything it has to offer.
  • The blessing of being able to help others through business, or donating our time, money or other resources to help those less fortunate than ourselves.

There’s no doubt that life isn’t perfect. But it is as good as we make it, and that starts with being thankful for what we have. We’re going to leave you with a quote we love that embodies the spirit of this time of year:  “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.”

We hope everyone finds a way to be thankful for the many blessing we have. Happy Thanksgiving, and we hope to see you soon!

-Northeast Security Bank

Small Business Saturday: Shopping Local for the Holidays

Posted on November 5th, 2014 in Communities by NSBblogger |

shop local

Have you seen the decorations yet? Large retailers have had them up for weeks already in preparation for the shopping season that is about to begin. We are of course talking about holiday decorations, the earliest sign that the holidays are once again upon us.

And as we head out to make our purchases this year, we have a fundamental decision to make: do we shop the big regional or nationwide retail stores, or do we shop local? Let’s discuss this important question a little more in depth.

Why You Should Shop Local

Put simply: it helps stimulate the local economy. How? Here’s an example:

  • A cycling enthusiast opens up a bike shop
  • The owner hires locals to help run the shop, giving these people an income and money to spend
  • As business grows, the owner must hire more help
  • More sales could mean more in local taxes, which go to help fund things like better roads, parks and trails…
  • Which creates a larger community of cyclists, meaning more people visit the shop

Granted, this is a perfect scenario. However, the principle is the same; the more shopping done at local businesses, the more cash is pumped into the local economy. When local businesses do better, they have to hire more staff from the community, meaning more people have jobs and income to spend.

How You can Shop Local

You can start by heading out on Small Business Saturday, the day after Black Friday, to shops and stores that are in your community that aren’t part of regional or national chain. Small Business Saturday was started in 2010 as a way to bring the focus to shopping at local businesses in your community, and many of our area chambers of commerce have started to participate.

But don’t just shop there on Small Business Saturday. While there may be exclusive sales just for that day, we should all continue visiting our local businesses throughout the holiday season to do our shopping.

We are all in this together, individuals, families and small businesses. It takes all of us to create a better community, one that is successful, thriving and attractive to those looking to make a move to Northeast Iowa.

We look forward to seeing everyone out and about on Small Business Saturday and throughout the holiday season!

-Northeast Security Bank

The Great Pork Quiz

Posted on October 29th, 2014 in Agriculture finances by NSBblogger |

Test your knowledge with NSB's Great Pork Quiz

These two are ready for the Great Pork Quiz, are you?


As we talked about in our first blog post of the month, October is National Pork Month, and when it comes to producing this salty, protein-filled meat, no state does it better than Iowa. In honor of this great month and the hard work of the over 40,000 Iowans employed in the hog farming industry, we thought a pork quiz would be a great way to test how much the average Iowan knows about all aspects of pigs.
 
Take the quiz, then check your answers below (no cheating!) to see how well you know pigs, pork and bacon!

  1. Where does the U.S. rank in the world in pork consumption? A. 1st B. 2nd C. 12th D. 15th
  2. Which company patented the first packed, sliced bacon? A. Oscar Meyer B. Hillshire Farms C. Hormel D. Farmland
  3. What percentage of an average pig’s weight is bacon? A. 5 B. 7 C. 9 D. 11
  4. How much bacon (in pounds) does the average American eat per year? A. 10 B. 18 C. 13.5 D. 20
  5. Which substance found in bacon helps with fetal brain development (meaning bacon is particularly good for pregnant women)? A. Choline B. Potassium C. Magnesium D. Sodium
  6. Which two pig breeds are bred specifically for bacon? A. Wilbur B. Yorkshire C. Tamworth D. Whatever breed Babe was
  7. How many teeth does a mature pig have? A. 11 B. 22 C. 33 D. 44
  8. When your _____ is damaged, it can be surgically replaced with the same part from a pig. A. Ear lobe B. Knee ligament C. Heart valve D. Spleen
  9. In the United States, which part of the pig is used for bacon? A. The shoulder B. The loin C. The cheek D. The belly
  10. What percentage of bacon is eaten at breakfast in the U.S.? A. 50 B. 75 C.65 D. 85

How well did you do? If you got 8-10 questions right, you’re a pork aficionado; 4-7 right makes you an average pork expert; 3 or less correct and you are pork newbie. Now that you’ve taken the quiz and are no doubt craving some bacon, head to your local grocer or pork producer if you know one and grab a slab of delicious bacon!
 
Answers: 1. C, 2. A, 3. D, 4. B, 5. A, 6. B & C, 7. D, 8. C, 9. D, 10. B.