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10 Ways to Shop Local

Posted on April 19th, 2017 in Best Financial Advice, Business Banking, Decorah, Holiday Shopping, Small Business Feature by vgmforbin |

Business Banking


Supporting our community is one of the most impactful ways we can help it grow. By shopping with local vendors and utilizing area service providers you and your family can help ensure that our community prospers and grows each year. If you want to shop local, but don’t know where to start, our team at Northeast Security Bank has come up with some creative ideas you may not have considered yet.


  1. Get produce at your local farmers market.
  2. Purchase floral arrangements from your neighborhood florist instead of online vendors.
  3. Work with local providers for your insurance and wealth management.
  4. Venture out for the night and tour area dining and entertainment establishments.
  5. Bank with a community bank.
  6. Buy groceries from a regional company compared to the large national chains.
  7. Like your favorite area businesses on Facebook and other social media.
  8. Shop for birthdays and holidays at your community’s downtown storefront.
  9. If you have received great service or products from a local business, recommend them to a friend or relative.
  10. Stay local when planning weddings or other milestone events and avoid online alternatives.


Owning and managing a small business may be more difficult than you think. We believe that opportunity is everywhere. Whether you’d like to open a business of your own, or simply want to support the ones you enjoy, it’s great to learn what small businesses are all about. That’s why Northeast Security Bank is excited to share some compelling and surprising facts surrounding the small businesses in our neck of the woods.


  • A company is considered a small business if they have less than 500 employees according to the Small Business Administration.
  • 7 percent of all active companies in the United States are classified as small businesses.
  • If your favorite retailer has been in business over ten years, they have officially beat the odds. According to the Bureau of Labor, two out of three small businesses are still operating after two years in business, and only half of small businesses have survived after being open for five years.  Approximately one-third of small businesses last ten years or longer.
  • Cash flow is cited as the more common issue regarding a business’s failure. Associated tasks such as invoicing, timed billing, and record keeping are often the most commonly linked culprits.


If your business needs to gain capital for an expansion or start-up, Northeast Security Bank is here to help. Our experienced commercial lenders can help you determine your ideal capital amount while also setting up valuable cash flow services Send us your information or stop in today to learn more about this convenient and affordable service.

Money Lessons at Every Age

Posted on April 5th, 2017 in Best Financial Advice, Education, Financial Tips by vgmforbin |

Financial Education

No matter what your age, there are always exciting new aspects to understand in the realm of money management. This year help your children get a head start on their financial education with these key lessons courtesy of Northeast Security Bank.


2-5 Years Old: The Three Jars Activity

In your child’s youngest years it is important to give them a basic financial understanding. You can help your little ones comprehend savings, spending, and donating through three simple jars. Each week, give your child 50 cents or a dollar, all in quarters. It is then their decision whether they want to save it for a bigger toy or purchase, spend it on something smaller, or donate it to help others in need. This activity works to help create a general thought process of the three common ways to spend or accumulate funds.


5-13 Years Old: Budgeting Basics

For everything from buying groceries to new clothes for school, you can help your child learn how to budget by setting a spending limit for your various shopping trips. By allowing your little ones to participate in the purchase process, you can help educate them on the importance of staying on or under budget. Let them help you find bargain deals or clip coupons to reduce cost. When the expenditures come in under the budget, reward their efforts with a small treat.


14-18 Years Old: How to Build Your Financial Reputation

Correctly making payments is a pinnacle point in proper money management. Whether it’s purchasing your first car, home, or other personal purchase, learning how to correctly pay off your loan, can be the difference between good and bad credit. Get started on this important lesson with a quick tutorial on how you pay any monthly bills or debts. Show your child your system to give them an introduction into how the process will take place. Once they choose to purchase a car or other item through a personal loan, you can walk them through the payment process online, and help them make a calendar of when installments are due.


Whether your little one is two or twenty-two, there is always something new to learn. Stop by Northeast Security Bank and see how you and your family can improve your money management skills today!

Thank a Farmer Today

Posted on March 21st, 2017 in Agriculture finances, Communities, Decorah by vgmforbin |

Agriculture Lending

This National Agriculture Day we celebrate and recognize the abundance provided by farming across our great state.  For instance, did you know 92 percent of the state is used for agriculture alone? Iowa farmers harvest corn, soybeans, and hay alongside millions of cattle, hogs, and chickens.  At Northeast Security Bank, we would like to bring to light all that farmers do to impact our daily lives and thank them for their continued dedication and hard work.


Thanks to farmers’ high production rates, there is a surplus of accessible food in the United States.  With a healthy market for both meat and produce, Americans are able to spend less than 7 percent of their income on food, the lowest percentage of any country.  Many other countries have citizens who allocate more than half their income towards food!  Americans, however, have access to affordable, abundant, and safe meals wherever they go.  As the world’s population continues to grow, farmers have to find creative ways to double their production in order to keep pace.  Were you aware that only 210,000 full-time U.S. farmers produce 80 percent of the food for over three hundred million Americans?   With so many people eating what so few have worked tirelessly to create, it’s important to be thankful.


It’s vital to be knowledgeable, but it’s even more essential to show your gratitude to farmers in your area.  One way to thank a farmer is to buy local.  Instead of buying a large company’s processed crop or meat, buy from the local butcher or store to support your town.  Buying from farmers not only supports them but your local community too.  If you already buy local, you can try educating yourself on agricultural issues, such as the Farm Bill.  Knowing the key issues farmers are facing can not only help you better understand the industry itself but further help you connect with your local farmers and the dedicated work they do.  Support means the world to those working in agriculture because you are taking an active interest in their life’s biggest passion and livelihood.  Another form of appreciation is using social media to support your local farmers.  You can utilize social platforms to reach out to others around the country and encourage them to support farm organizations like American Farmland Trust.


At Northeast Security Bank, we want to thank all agricultural businesses, farmers, and everyone who supports them.  This National Agriculture day is all about you!  No matter what role you play, we’d love to help you grow your agriculture business today.  Stop in and enjoy a cup of coffee with us, we’d love to learn more about you and your operation’s future.

How to Eat Like the Irish

Posted on March 10th, 2017 in Entertaining, Holiday by vgmforbin |


March is the season of basketball, vacationing, and all things green! At Northeast Security Bank, we are excited to spread some Irish cheer with our favorite St. Patrick’s Day dishes!  Be sure to dig into these delicious recipes and let us know what you think.


Brown Soda Bread: This simple but decadent snack is a staple to the Irish community throughout the year.  Composed of whole wheat flour and buttermilk, this recipe is sure to leave your family asking for more.  We recommend adding green food coloring to give it a spritz of holiday spirit!

Irish Stew: A classic hearty stew, this dish has been recognized as the national dish of Ireland for the past two centuries.  Packed with lamb, potatoes, and carrots, this stew is sure to fill up you and your family.

Chocolate & Mint Cheesecake Bars: For all of the sweet tooths out there, this recipe is for you!  This decadent dessert is made up of chocolate fudge cake mix, cream cheese, dark chocolate, and mint chips.  These mint masterpieces will impress your coworkers and family, so be sure to share the recipe!

Heritage Cabbage: Searching for that perfect side dish to your meat and potatoes?  This mild cabbage recipe is easy to put together and good for those who are watching their weight this season.

Guinness® Beer Cheese Dip: This cheesy delight will be a snack you won’t be able to put down.  During your St. Patrick’s Day party, put out tortilla chips and pretzels with this tasty dip for all to enjoy!

Potato Soup: Everyone loves a warm bowl of vegetable and bacon soup.  These simple steps make it easy to add your own flair of flavor, tailored to your family.

Chocolate Beer Cupcakes: These cupcakes will give you some pep in your step with their fiery whiskey filling.  To add some festivity to the flavor, tint the frosting green and add green sprinkles for your St. Paddy’s celebration.

Braised Corned Beef Brisket:  You’ve never had corned beef like this!  Instead of the commonly boiled tradition, this slow braise method yields a tender, savory, and caramelized surface when complete.

Potato Scones: Start your holiday off right with a piping hot scone.  You can add onions, peppers, or other personal favorites to this no-fuss recipe to make it truly your own.


We hope you enjoy these festive foods as much as we do!  Remember to share your favorite dish on our Facebook page, or stop by Northeast Security Bank – we’d love to try your take on a classic!

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!



But always make sure they’re room for dessert!

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



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 |


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:



  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.



  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!



  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.



  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.



  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.



  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.