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6 Ways to Win with Your Budget

Posted on February 22nd, 2017 in Best Financial Advice, Education, Personal Finances, Savings by vgmforbin |

Football Savings

Do your savings goals make you feel defeated? Get in the game this year, and let Northeast Security Bank help you win your personal financial strategy. We’ll show you how to keep rushing forward with these proven football tactics:

 

Look for the pass.

One of the first and most important ways to save is to keep your eyes open! Whether it’s taking advantage of grocery store specials, buying household items in bulk, or cutting spending from your monthly budget, the biggest opportunity you have is continually searching for new ways to save.

 

Become a playmaker.

Before you start saving for the short-term items, be sure you have the long-term set in place. Just as in football, there are multiple things you need to have in order to make the best play of the day. Start by setting up an emergency savings account, to help guard your savings. Follow up by opening a personal retirement account such as an IRA, to continually run those dollars. For the last maneuver of the play, we suggest creating a 529 or Coverdell account to help make the touchdown for your child’s future education.

 

Protect your blindside.

Keep your personal finances secure by pushing your debt beyond the line of scrimmage. By aggressively paying off your outstanding debt, you can then make additional funds available to further support your monthly savings. We recommend covering the minimum payment for each loan and then using any surplus funds to add extra installments to ensure you don’t go into overtime.

 

Call an audible.

While working on your savings goals, see how you can change up your monthly spending to maximize your overall budgeting game plan. Work through your spending playbook to identify the common costs you can cut to make your expense lineup as lean as possible. You may find that each month has a slightly different strategy which may need some last minute adjustments. To get the big picture, we recommend working with one of these innovative apps to help visualize your next steps.

 

Throw a Hail Mary.

Did you get a raise, bonus, or other unexpected income? Instead of tossing those funds at a new expense, throw it into your structured retirement savings account. While adding unexpected funds here and there won’t take the place of your overall game plan, it can help add a few more points to the scoreboard!

 

Sack additional fees.

Whether it’s big banks searching for unnecessary add-ons, or potential financial advisers looking for a percentage of earnings, don’t be afraid to send excessive fees to the bench. You always want to make sure your financial line-up is offering you their best plays, otherwise, it may be time for a new round of tryouts!

 

With our affordable deposit accounts and expert financial coaching, we look forward to helping you score your next financial touchdown! Stop by your nearest branch and meet our dedicated team today!

Galentine’s Day 101

Posted on February 9th, 2017 in Holiday, Seasonal by vgmforbin |

Valentine's Day for Girls

Who says roses and an expensive dinner are the only proper ways to celebrate Valentine’s season? Instead of coordinating last minute dates, or planning expensive nights out, opt for a more affordable (and more fun!) night in with the gals! Northeast Security Bank will show you how to have a great time, with these friend-filled ideas: 

 

Set the time and place.

Work with your group to choose a location and time that works with everyone.

 

Spread the Galentine’s Love

Let your friends know that the event is set and ready to go, then pump up the cheer!

Let's get dolled up!

 

Make sure there’ll be plenty to eat!

It’s always better to have extra than not enough.

Is there food?

 

And wine too!  

Because who couldn’t use a glass or two?Cheers

 

Make it potluck style to have a little bit of everything.

If each person can bring a dish, you’ll have a feast in no time!

buffet

 

But always make sure they’re room for dessert!

Dinner is great, but you can’t truly have a Galentine’s Day without chocolate!

dessert

 

It doesn’t have to be fancy.

Your group’s favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavors along with something great to watch is all you need.

ice cream

 

Choose a binge-worthy series.

Whether it’s Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, or Diners Drive-in’s and Drives, whatever you and your friends enjoy will make it an enjoyable night.

binge watch

 

Can You Really Save on Travel: True or False?

Posted on January 30th, 2017 in Best Financial Advice, Financial Tips, Savings by vgmforbin |

Save Money

Checking numerous sites for the best deal can be labor-intensive, and potentially counterproductive. With many American travelers turning to vacation book sites and apps, Northeast Security Bank is curious if they really save you money. After thorough research, we’ve discovered these four truths to successfully budgeting your next getaway:

 

TRUE: You can save money by booking online.  

FALSE: Discount sites will always have the lowest price.  

 

Many travel booking sites offer discounted airfare and accommodation, boasting the same services, but at only a fraction of the cost. However, many times these sites merely display the cost an airline or hotel already has on their own site at no additional reduction. Select providers have begun to reduce participation in these travel search engines, and strive to instead offer continuous customers the best value straight on their own online portal.

 

TRUE: Credit cards are the most secure and affordable payment option while abroad.

FALSE: Airport currency exchange is worth the convenience.  

 

While there are many different options to exchange currency before your next trip, the safest method of payment during your getaway will still be your credit card. With many options now offering no currency exchange fees, you’re sure to avoid unwanted conversions costs while still protecting your finances. According to both Visa and Mastercard, credit card users are held liable for zero percent of any fraudulent charges. This means that should your credit card information become compromised during your stay, you won’t lose any funds because of it.

 

TRUE: Traveling outside of the peak seasons offers great savings.

FALSE: The skiing in Colorado is great in June.

 

While it is true that avoiding the crowds can save you and your family some extra dollars, it may not be worth it if it means decreasing the activities of your trip completely. Instead of limiting your travel timeline, we recommend looking for alternative accommodations such as VRBO, along with creative dining options, to maximize your destination’s budget. These additional savings can help to bring your overall cost down, while still making your dream vacation a reality.

 

TRUE: You can save a lot of money by using airline miles.

FALSE: Airline credit cards are worth the annual fee for a yearly vacation.

 

Unless you plan to fly every month, an airline credit card is hardly worth the cost. While these cards offer tempting miles for flights, increasing numbers of travel options are blacked out throughout the year. The annual credit card fee for United, American, and Delta costs approximately $95.00 after your first year of use. While boarding in group one can be a well-enjoyed perk, it doesn’t boast much ROI for fliers who are simply looking to reach their annual destination.

 

As you begin to plan your next vacation, Northeast Security Bank looks forward to helping you save the funds to make it happen. Stop in today and learn how to open a designated savings account today!

Fix-Up Your Budget

Posted on January 18th, 2017 in Best Financial Advice, Budgeting, Financial Tips by vgmforbin |

Budgeting

HGTV’s latest hit show, Fixer Upper, has fans and home buyers looking for new ways to save and restore old homes. While Chip and Joanna have become experts in home renovation, they’re not too shabby when it comes to finances either. Using their home building skills and our banking knowledge we offer these top tips to help fix up your budget in 2017:

 

  • Build a Strong Foundation

Just as a home cannot stand without a solid base, neither can your personal finances. To begin building the foundation to your finances, it is imperative to start a monthly budget. This system can help you organize how much money is coming in and out each and every month, allowing you to allocate funds for both spending and saving.

 

  • Make the Most of the Unexpected

Shiplap has become a household world thanks to Joanna’s love of this Texas home material. Often covered up by sheet rock, it is always a great find to add something special to the house. Similarly, should you uncover any income that you weren’t expecting, we suggest making the most of it by contributing to your IRA or other savings fund.

 

  • Take Advantage of Open Space

It seems every time Joanna finds a wall in a home project, you hear the words, “Open space.” Add this concept into your budget, and enjoy the feeling of flexibility in your monthly allocations. If your household remains stocked from bulk ordering, or your entertainment is your kiddos for a month, embrace those savings and shift your spending to another room of the house.

 

  • Always Take Free Advice

Chip and Joanna offer endless tips and tricks to their home flipping business. Always full of great ideas, and sage advice, these two make a consistent effort to give their viewers a leg up on their next home project. Similarly, our team at Northeast Security Bank wants to help you work to achieve your next financial goal! Whether it’s saving for your first home, purchasing a new vehicle, or setting a plan for your retirement, we’d love to offer our experience to help make your financial dream a reality.

 

Whether you watch Fixer Upper every week, or are just starting this addicting series, we hope you keep your eyes peeled for other great financial tips. You may find more money management advice than you’d think!

What’s Your Favorite Holiday Memory?

Posted on December 24th, 2016 in General by vgmforbin |

Holiday Thanks

3 Gift Ideas for Your Family Members

Posted on December 14th, 2016 in Communities, Holiday Shopping, Seasonal by vgmforbin |

Holiday Shopping

 

The start of the holiday season often also signifies the start of the shopping season! If you’re still looking for the perfect gifts for your family members Northeast Security Bank may be able to help. Take a look at our top three ideas for each of your immediate family members, and find some inspiration when giving to your loved ones:

 

Mom

  1. Family Photo Session – This classic gift is a fun and memorable experience that can be given each year. Updated family photos help make the season brighter – and when gifted early, make incredible Christmas cards! If you’re looking for a photographer, we know a great one that can help!
  2. Things to Help Relax –The 24/7 job of “Mom,” takes a lot of energy and effort. Help your mother unwind with some comfortable PJ’s, bath bombs, and fragrant candles. She’ll appreciate the gift and the time to herself.
  3. Books About the Things She Loves – Does your mom have her own secret recipe? How about a hidden talent for handiwork? Whatever your mother enjoys, feed her passions and find a few great books on the topics she loves most. Add an experience to this gift and plan a day where you can both share an activity that she enjoys.

 

Dad

  1. Charging Station – Keys, cell phone, and everything else that seems to fill Dad’s pockets can now have their own designated storage. These chargers are a great gift to help your Dad keep his phone full, but also offer the benefit of helping him stay organized too. Vendors such as Etsy have some great versions of this product that can even be customized!
  2. Movies for Days – There’s nothing like a great movie. For dads at a movie aficionado level all their own, the gift of Netflix or another reliable streaming service could be the perfect gift. If he already uses online streaming, check out your local movie theater and video rental store to see if they offer gift cards instead.
  3. Game Grub – Nothing says winter like a well-seasoned deer stick. Help you Dad enjoy this winter delicacy by scoring some great sticks, jerky, or other meat products at your local locker. If deer is not available see if the business can make you a batch from beef with the same seasonings. No matter what, he will love this tasteful and thoughtful gift!

 

Brother

  1. Sport Memorabilia – Here in Iowa, the chances of at least one of your family members being a Cubs fan is pretty great. If your brother happens to be one, make this Christmas the day of the World Series. He may want a commemorative keepsake to remember the team’s historic win. Check out local sporting goods shops to find T-shirts, stickers, or other holiday items branded with the famous 2016 Chicago Cubs World Series Champions emblem.
  2. Video Games – Brothers, both older and younger, seem to have an affinity for high definition video games. No matter what age, classics like FIFA, Madden, or Halo, help them forget the stress of the day, and enjoy being in an alternate world. Area electronic stores should have the games you’re looking for, but if not online retailers like Amazon typically offer great rates.
  3. House Slippers – Nothing says comfort like a pair of warm, well insulated, house slippers. Your sibling will warm up to this gift real quick once they feel the shoe’s fleece interlining. Options are available at every budget, making this comfortable footwear easy to add to your shopping list.

 

Sister

  1. Day Planner – Does your sister always seem like she has a to-do list a mile long? Help her manage her time, and work towards her goals with a daily planner. Ones like the Day Designer or Erin Condren offer great goal planning worksheets in addition to an organized and stylish day-to-day manager.
  2. The Gift of Music – Streaming services are a great tool to use whether you’re on the go or hunkering down for a long work session. With vendors like Pandora, Spotify, and XM Radio your sister can now take her favorite tunes wherever she goes. You can purchase for a year’s subscription, or one Pandora and Spotify you can give gift cards that she can than choose when to use. Either way, she’ll have plenty of Christmas music for the season!
  3. Monthly Box Subscription – Give the gift that keeps on giving with a subscription to Birchbox or other great monthly services. These scheduled deliveries will keep your sibling receiving gifts all year round, with each more unique than the last. See what all subscriptions are available, and find the best option for your budget.

 

Grandma

  1. Culinary Gadgets – Gatekeeper of all the family’s secret recipes, grandmothers are known for whipping up some delicious dishes. Help your grandma complete her favorite meals with some helpful and handy tools! Everything from efficient cookware, specialty tools, and custom dinnerware, there are variety of items that your grandmother is sure to love.
  2. Photo Creations – Today you can turn a photo into about anything. With gifts such as calendars, mugs, or photo albums you can help share the joy of family with your grandma. If you’re looking for a center piece or focal item, try finding a decorative frame or custom photography piece.
  3. Digital Book Reader – Your Grandmother can explore ancient worlds, experience the wild, or uncover hidden secrets, all with the click of a button. Digital readers such as the Kindle offer new and exciting novels at a fraction of the cost. They also weigh less than most books making it an easier to carry alternative.

 

Grandpa

  1. Tech Support – Among the many start-ups are several great services that can help your grandfather with all of his computer problems. If he is always calling worried something is broken, this service could be the answer to his prayers. By paying a small monthly fee, you can provide him with instant tech support to help him solve any problem.
  2. Gigantic Blankets – Like father like son. If you’re getting some great movie items for your Dad, it makes sense to grab a comfortable blanket for the man who taught him to enjoy film. A soft oversized blanket offers the perfect warmth when settling in for the next big movie.
  3. Instagram Magnets – Add some scenery to your grandfather’s kitchen fridge with these fun and customizable magnets. Pulled straight from your Instagram account these images can be printed onto stickers, or several sizes of magnets. They’ll remind your grandpa every morning of the family he loves, and the ones that love him.

How to Make the Most of Your Online Shopping

Posted on December 3rd, 2016 in Holiday Shopping, Personal Finances, Savings by vgmforbin |

blackfriday

The holiday shopping season has officially begun! With stores offering discounts on everything from toothbrushes to televisions, the time for the best steals is now. While many brick and mortar stores advertise doorbuster deals and hourly specials, the real deals of December can be found online. At Northeast Security Bank, we want to help you make the most of your money with these cyber shopping strategies:

 

Price Shop: Trade-in the holiday store rush for a nice relaxing afternoon of online shopping. This hassle-free alternative can help you double the amount of transactions in nearly half the time. Additionally you can compare prices across vendors with ease, finding the best price and quantity for your holiday needs. There are countless new tools to help you make the most of coupons and specials across the internet, and so far our favorite is Honey. This simple app automatically enters all applicable codes to help your purchase get the lowest possible price!

 

Check Your Shipping: Finding the perfect gift is one of the greatest feelings. However, realizing that it won’t arrive until after the holidays is one of the worst. Before you complete any of your orders online, be sure you are checking the estimated shipping date. While many retailers will offer FREE shipping during the holidays, an extra charge may be required if you need it by a specific date. There are some companies, like Von Maur, that offer both FREE shipping and returns, plus FREE gift wrap, making them perfect for last minute shopping.

 

Use Credit NOT Debit: Instead of attaching your checking account to each transaction, choose one credit card to facilitate all your online shopping. Companies such as Visa and Mastercard offer zero liability for their cardholders. This means that if your card becomes compromised, you are not responsible for any false purchases that are made under your account. With this additional safeguard, you can shop online, without the worry of jeopardizing your personal finances.

 

With these simple and convenient shopping methods, you can keep your budget in check and save time along the way. If you have further questions on when to use your debit card versus your credit card, give us a call, we’d love to help!

Thankful for these Reasons….

Posted on November 28th, 2016 in Communities, Holiday by vgmforbin |

countblessings

At Northeast Security Bank, we are reminded each day of the bountiful things to be thankful for. Take a look inside the lives of our local employees, as they share what means the most to them during this harvest holiday:

p17445-thankful-november

With celebrations of all types this holiday season, Northeast Security Bank is excited to share our stories with you. From orange Jell-O, to dog shows, however your family celebrates the holiday, we wish you happiness and joy. From our family to yours, happy Thanksgiving!  

Spooky Scare Tactics to Try this Halloween

Posted on October 27th, 2016 in Communities, Entertaining, Holiday by vgmforbin |

Halloween

If you take the term trick-or-treat literally, or have a special place in your heart for scary movies, these tactics are perfect for you! Make the most out of this spooky season, and give your friends and family a frightful scare. Here’s how:

 

  1. The Element of Surprise

Instead of dressing up and scaring trick-or-treaters at the door, continue your evening dressed as you normally would, and place a friend or family member outdoors in the bushes, tree, or other unique hiding place. This way when you’re speaking with your visitors you hidden helper can jump out and scare them while they’re distracted!

 

  1. Make-up Makes it Real

If you’re the designated scarer, ensure your costume is at its best by adding makeup around the mask. By utilizing various costume makeup, you can blend your skin into your mask, creating a real and seamless effect. Alternatively if you decided to use other Halloween tutorials, you can maximize your scare effect without ever donning a mask.

 

  1. The More the Merrier

If one frightening friend can make visitors jump out of their skin, imagine what a gang of ghouls could do to frighten your local neighborhood. Using the first step, coordinate with your group to maximize the scare factor of your location. Place different monsters among the grounds, and give each ques on when to scare surprised guests! Your home will quickly become the most feared festivity on the block.

 

  1. Food for Fears

Enjoying the “tricks,” of trick-or-treating is a fun way to enjoy this haunted holiday. Although some visitors may be more friendly to scare than others, rewarding guests with craveable candy can help to ease some of the fright! Be sure to have your candy cauldrons full, and always give your ghouls extra to calm any frightened trick-or-treaters.

 

No matter how you celebrate this festive holiday Northeast Security Bank wishes you a happy and safe evening! If you have a costume you feel is fame worthy be sure to post it to our Facebook page!

The 5 Most Horrifying Haunted Houses in Northeast Iowa

Posted on October 13th, 2016 in Communities, Entertaining, Holiday by vgmforbin |

Halloween

October is the start of scare season, and our thrilling-seeking team at Northeast Security Bank has hand-picked these fearful destinations to help you get the most freights out of your weekend!  See if you can make through all five:

 

The Heart of Darkness (Waterloo, IA) : A truly frightful and haunting experience, this attraction offers multiple horrors to make your hairs stand on end. With different scenarios throughout the weekend, you can find the perfect option for your tolerance of fear!

 

Pinter’s Dead Shed (Decorah, IA) : You never know where you’ll find the next spooky spectacle, it could even be at your local greenhouse! That’s the case with this Decorah gem, stop by in the day time to find beautiful mums and pumpkins galore, but come back at night, and be sure to bring a flashlight! This dynamic group of scary savages will keep you screaming throughout the haunted tour!

 

The Haunted Hike (Clear Lake, IA) : Terrors await you throughout this haunted hike. With mysterious creatures, and surprising scares, you’ll be screaming every step of the way! For those looking to have a little action in their freight, Zombie Paint Ball is a new and exciting activity to see what it would be like to walk among the dead!

 

Scream Acres Park (Atkins, IA) : Offering four frightful attractions, this growing fear factory is full of gruesome and gory ghouls ready to sneak up behind you! Their newest attraction, Cell Block Z, will have you running from the un-dead as you navigate abandoned prison cells. For those with a fear of clowns, we recommend the Carnival of Chaos, which leads you through an indoor maze with circus creatures waiting to pounce on your every move.

 

Circle of Ash (Cedar Rapids, IA) : An entire carnival of creatures, this fearful festivity offers both scare attractions, scream-worthy rides. Test your tolerance and enter the Frightmare Forest to dwell with the dead, or step inside the Pandemonium, and bring all your worst fears to life!

 

At Northeast Security Bank we love this spooktacular season! With haunted houses, costumes, and candy galore, there’s a reason Halloween ranks as one of our favorite holidays! Check back soon and see all the scare tactics we recommend.