The grills are fired, the crowds are roaring, and the television is primed and ready for Saturday action. There’s only one explanation: it’s football season, baby. You can strategize fantasy football teams with the best of them, but do you know how to strategize your financial game plan? Let First Security State Bank help you tackle debt with these financial planning tips. (That victory dance is all you, though.)
Get out and enjoy the beautiful Autumn season!
Football, sweaters, bonfires and beautiful foliage – what is not to love about the autumn season? If you are excited about fall, but are living on a budget, there are a variety of fun activities that you can do at little or no cost to help you get out and enjoy the season.
Have fun and save some cash while tailgating this season.
Autumn is a favorite season for many folks and we have a pretty good guess on why that is: it’s football season! Whether you are a Panther fan, Hawk fan or a Cyclone fan, we know that a good tailgate can make for an even better game. However, all of the supplies that make up a tailgate can become costly and hinder your tailgating experience.
Grocery store shopping doesn’t have to break your budget each month.
Just as your shopping cart always seems to fill up quickly, your grocery bill also always add up quickly each time you visit the store. Whether you are shopping for one or for your family of five, the final price of your grocery bill always seems to be higher than you expected.
Have fun at the fair this year by planning ahead.
It’s that time of year again! August is home to our nationally-recognized Iowa State Fair. The Iowa State Fair attracts people from all over the United States (sometimes even the world!) and can bring in anywhere from 75,000 to 110,000 people a day!
Have fun and stay active this summer with these money-saving tips.
Summer is host to a variety of events, vacations and activities that keep your family busy. While these summer activities are lots of fun, they can wreak havoc on your bank account if you are not prepared. At First Security State Bank, we want you to enjoy summer without breaking the bank. Continue reading
Have a great vacation traveling in your RV without over spending.
The summer is a great time to bring out the adventurer in you and travel the country in an RV. While traveling and owning an RV is a fun way to spend time with your family and see the beautiful countryside, there are many costs to consider before hitting the road. Continue reading
Starting a business is a dream for many people, so here are some tips to consider when working to open up shop!
Many people dream of starting their own business and selling a product or service that they truly believe in. Main Street, Cedar Falls is a great example of those who are chasing this dream!
If you have this goal of starting your own business, there’s just something about the summer that makes it a great time to get the ball rolling. Starting a new business is a huge undertaking, so here are a few tips to keep in mind as your start up your new business:
- Keep Costs Low. Furnish your business with lightly used equipment, such as lightly used office chairs or shelves. Often times, lightly used furniture is significantly cheaper than brand new. Another way to keep costs low is to pay your vendors up front. Paying up front increases leverage of negotiating, which could translate to acquiring materials at a cheaper cost.
- Get a Marketing Plan in Place. You can’t sell your good or services if people don’t know about them! Depending on your product, start marketing to those people who may have an appeal to your store. Once you have leads, market, market, market! Good leads lead to good sales. Also, try a variety of marketing outlets to see what works best for your store.
- Test and Measure. Just like the marketing plan, test for leads with your marketing plan and test for leads with your products. What is selling? What is not? Keep records so you and your employees know what is working for your store and what is not.
- Learning Equals Earning. The more you can learn about sales, marketing, management, store operations, and anything business related, the more you will know what works and what does not. Similar to testing and measuring for leads, the more educated you are about your product, sales, and your market, the better you can sell your product.
- Add Value, Don’t Discount. Putting your product “on sale” or “on discount” so soon after starting a business can de-value your product. Instead of putting your product on sale, try adding value and marketing the quality of your product! There is a time and place for putting items on sale, but try adding value first.
Starting your own business can be stressful and time consuming, but it can all be worth it if you put in the work! First Security State Bank can offer you support from business startup loans to equipment loans. Stop in today for more information!
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Getting your finances in order can help you build wealth, avoid debt and gain confidence with your banking habits.
You may have been told to start getting your finances in order, but you aren’t quite sure where to start. You may have also been told to start creating and following a budget. Creating a budget can be a difficult and frustrating task, but First Security State Bank is here to help!
Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your first budget.
- Create an emergency fund. Uh oh! Your car broke down, now what? This is where your emergency fund can help. Set a small amount aside in a savings account or money market that you can use to help cushion the blow when unexpected events come along. It may not seem like an exciting way to save, but when the time comes you’ll be thankful you did!
- Map out where your money is currently going. Identify your income and what you have to spend, identify what you currently spend your income on and what you need to spend your income on. This may take you a while to figure out and can get frustrating, but stick with it. Thankfully, there are many checklists out there that can help you easily organize this part of the budget.
- Plan for both the long-term and short-term future. An example of planning for the long term future would be planning for retirement. Although retirement is years away, the sooner you start saving the more time it has to grow. Setting aside for those student loans that will kick in soon or for that new car you want to buy are both short term finances that you can also start to plan for.
- Stick with it! Learning to stay on a budget is hard work, but it will help you to take control of your money so that you can begin to build wealth. Keep this in mind: if you do the things you need to do when you need to do them, then later you can do the things you want to do when you want to do them.
Whether you are just getting started with your own finances or you are in need of a financial over haul, a budget is a great place to start. First Security State Bank can help you by setting up any new accounts you may need and providing services you may need. Don’t wait any longer, stop in today!
First Security State Bank
Equal Housing Lender
A home improvement guide that can help you get the best bang for your buck when selling your home.
Spring has sprung and houses are back on the market for a hot selling season! If your home is up for sale this year, you probably have a running list of the small improvements you need to make in order to increase your home’s value. To get the most value out of your home improvements, consider one or more of these updates:
Adding an attic bedroom is one of the best home improvement projects you can do to increase your home’s value. Although this remodel can be expensive, you can expect to recoup almost 73 percent of the cost of adding the attic bedroom when you sell the home.
Add a Bathroom
According to the National Association of Home Builders, the addition of a half bathroom can add up to 10.5 percent to a home’s value. A full bathroom can add 20 percent! If it is not possible to add a bathroom, think about giving your current bathrooms an update with fresh paint, new fixtures and new flooring.
Before you make any cosmetic improvements, make all needed repairs or replacements to the home’s plumbing, heating, electrical and sewer systems. Prospective buyers will offer less or pass on your home completely if they know they will need to replace these basic systems in the near future.
While most new homes offer a lot of storage, older homes tend to lack options like coat closets. If you don’t have the space to expand or build new closets, consider redesigning the spaces you do have to offer more storage options.
If you are looking for a home this spring or summer, talk to a Loan Officer at FSSB. We are a great source for mortgages and want to find the best solutions for you. Contact us today!