Monthly Archives: March 2016

Sharpen Your Game with Basketball Budgeting

Basketball Budgeting

Basketball season is in full swing and there are many comparisons to the sport that can apply to building your own personal budget. From knowing when to pass an expense, to hitting a three with an unexpected bonus, budgeting is a lot like basketball. Learn how to win at structuring your finances with this helpful game plan.

Brush up on your coaching.

Every team is built around the choices of its coach, just as your budget is. The coach selects the players based off merit, potential, and cohesiveness to create a well-rounded team structure. This coach represents you, you decide what direction your budget will take you, and if one piece isn’t working the way you desire it is your responsibility to make the change.

Recruit your team.

Every team has three key player types, centers, forwards, and guards. The center is going to be your all-around player, in the middle of all the action, just like your income. In your budget, this income is going to be after both taxes and your designated savings, this is your center player. Now those savings, giving you a financial buffer, are acting as your guard. Whether it’s a retirement savings, emergency fund, or personal investments, your guard player covers it all. Something additionally has to be driving your budget to financial success, and that is where your forward comes in. Spending is the determining factor to the successfulness of your budget. Just as in basketball, if no one takes the ball up the court there is no potential to score. By managing your spending, you create momentum through your forward player to move your money in a positive direction.

Keep your elbows in.

Every game comes with rules to keep the players safe, staying within these guidelines helps to protect you from receiving any unwanted fouls in the realms of finances.

Foul 1: Spending more than you earn.   Penalty: Paying Interest and losing savings capabilities.

Foul 2: Not having a savings plan.           Penalty: No structure for emergencies or retirement.

Foul 3: Carrying bad credit.                      Penalty: Added obstacles in gaining financial freedom.

Just as in basketball, practicing the fundamentals will push you to better your skills. If you work to create a successful budget based on what you can afford, your consistent monthly expenses, moderated spending, and a sound investment plan, you will be a winning coach in no time.

If you have in questions in how to begin a savings or checking account to help get the ball going, Titonka Savings Bank a call at (515) 928-2142 today!

11 Wonderful Random Acts of Kindess

Random Acts of Kindness

There are so many small and valuable things we can do to impact the life of another. While some of them are financially bound, others can be simple tasks, such as opening the door for someone. This year challenge yourself to more acts of kindness, random or not.

  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.

In addition to being kinder in 2016 you may find yourself becoming happier as well! 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.

If you’d like to contribute to others in a financial avenue let us know, we’d love to help! Titonka Savings Bank can assist you in remaining anonymous in donations, arranging monthly transfers, dispensing cash for personal giving, and more!

Product Feature – Estatements!

Estatements

Technology is a constantly evolving medium, and we’re continuing to grow with it! At Titonka Savings Bank we offer a variety of digital tools for our customers. Take a look and discover a new way to manage your finances through our online technology!

Online Banking: Conveniently access all your banking accounts through our secure online portal. Not only does this give you a quick and easy way to manage your finances but it’s also where you can view a complete account history, re-order checks, transfer funds, and more!

Mobile Banking: Enjoy all the perks of online banking from the comfort of your mobile device. This easy mobile tool allows you to keep up on your finances while you’re away or during your busy day.

Online Bill Pay: Tired of writing checks for your monthly expenses? With our Online Bill Pay you can schedule reoccurring payments and take the hassle out of paying your monthly expenses. Go through our easy setup process and you can start paying bills directly from your Online Banking account!

Online Loan Applications: You can now apply for a home loan online, from anywhere!  Simply visit our mortgage page on our website and follow the easy step-by-step process.

E-Statements: Make a difference and go green with our E-statements at Titonka Savings Bank. Not only are you helping the environment, but our E-Statements offer a quicker, simpler process to obtain your monthly statements.

Text Banking: Utilize our quick and easy text messaging service to receive account balances and recent history. Any phone with texting (SMS) capabilities can be used with our Text Banking.

Here at Titonka Savings Bank it’s all about YOU, our customers! We love the ease and simplicity these products offer for the everyday financial tasks. We would love to help you find the best product solution for your individual needs!

52-Week Savings Challenge

52-Week Savings ChallengeWhether it’s a house, a new vehicle, or other lending options, having a down payment is always a great first step.  In this 52-week challenge you will begin saving a little at a time to accumulate $5000 this year! Here’s how it works: every week you deposit a different amount into your savings account. As the weeks go on you begin to build a steady base little by little. At the end of the year you will have saved $5000 if done correctly. You can also add to the numbers shown below if you’d like to save more than $5000. Simply take the additional amount you would like to save, and divide it by 52. Now add that number to each of the deposit amounts for the year and you have your game plan.

52-Week Savings Challenge

$5000 is a substantial sum of money that offers endless potential, so here are some ideas to get you started!

Vacation: Take a break and enjoy an exciting new destination with your family! Cruises start at less than $700/person, and a week in Florida typically runs $4000+ for a family of four.

New Vehicle: You can either purchase a used vehicle with the $5000 (or less), or you can use the $5000 to put a down payments on a more expensive vehicle you’ve had your eye on.

Down Payment on a Home: For first time home buyers using FHA loans, a down payment as little as 3.5% may be accepted. With lower closing costs, easier credit qualifications, and gifts allowed towards the home down payment, this $5000 potentially enables you to purchase a $140,000 home.

Wedding: A little creativity may be involved but the celebration can go on! With the largest event expenses being the venue, food, and photographer, finding inventive shortcuts can turn $5000 into the wedding of your dreams!

Begin your savings adventure with a savings account from Titonka Savings Bank! We’ll help you get the ball rolling and cheer you on to the game winning basket.

From Plant To Pour: 10 Steps to Coffee Consumption

coffee

10-Steps for Coffee Consumption

Whether it’s iced, pressed, decaffeinated, or steamed, coffee in the United States is a staple in the daily routine of over 50% of the population. For energy, for social gatherings, or for the sake of routine, consumption of caffeinated brews create an $18 billion industry in the U.S. each year. However, after the average cup of joe in 2015 rang in at $3.28 – higher than mugs in 2013 and 2014 – consumers may wonder what they’re actually investing in. Take a look at the journey your java travels from bean to latte!

  1. Planting: After a bean is dried, roasted, ground, and brewed, its coffee! When left in its natural state, it’s a seed that grows into a thriving coffee tree. Planted in shaded nurseries away from bright sunlight, coffee seeds are repotted in special soil after sprouting.
  2. Harvesting: It takes almost four years for a new tree to produce bright red coffee beans, commonly referred to as cherries. These cherries are picked by both hand and machine, eventually arriving at a processing plant.
  3. Processing: To prevent spoiling, harvested beans must be processed as soon as possible. Companies using a dry method spread the beans in the sun, turning them each day to even the drying. This process may take several weeks to complete. Alternatively, a wet method separates pulp from its skin, allowing the beans to ferment and leaves only the bean’s meat.
  4. Drying: An additional step in the wet version of processing, drying is a crucial step in the bean’s journey. Spreading them in the sun or passing them through a tumbler, the beans become dry and are ready for the next step.
  5. Milling: Dried husks are removed from the cherries, followed by sorting beans by size and weight. Additionally, they’re graded on a scale of 1-5, with Grade 1 beans exhibiting the highest quality taste, acidity, and aroma and Grade 5 beans revealing defects in more than 86% of the sample batch.
  6. Exporting: Now considered green, finished beans are loaded in bulk and sent worldwide.
  7. Tasting: During this step commonly known as cupping, professional tasters sample the brewed product and rate it on factors like visual appearance, scent of grounds, and variant flavors in each sip of a blend.
  8. Roasting: Placed into roasting machines approximately 550 °F, beans are heated until they turn brown, releasing caffeol, the natural oil responsible for coffee’s iconic aroma. They are then quickly cooled by air or water, completing the roasting process. This step is performed just before sale to consumers, preserving freshness and flavor of the coffee beans.
  9. Grinding: The different variations of coffee beverages are the result of overall choices on the coarseness of the grounds and length of time spent brewing. An espresso, for example, uses finely ground beans in a fast prep process, whereas a traditional coffee pot relies on coarser grounds in a longer brew.
  10. Brewing: Machine, water quality, coffee-to-water ratio, temperature, additives, and brew time all alter the effect of the final cup of coffee. The brew is the final step to achieving the end result of a delicious cup of coffee. With so many variables and potential additives, the list of coffee beverages is seemingly endless!

With such a long journey, that $3.28 doesn’t seem so unreasonable now, does it?

Shelling out a couple bucks for a latte here and there won’t break the bank. Making it a daily routine, however, could. Our financial planners at Titonka Savings Bank can help you budget personal expenses so you can have your coffee and drink it, too. Stop by and share a cup with us today!