Monthly Archives: November 2016

10 Tips for a Great Holiday Party

Holiday

No matter which holiday you are prepping for, there are some essential party essentials you should always plan for! Throughout this holiday season, try these top 10 planning tips, courtesy of Titonka Savings Bank:

  1. Pick the best date. Saturdays are always the prime time for holiday parties. Be sure to book venues ahead of time to ensure you can capture the best date for your gathering.
  1. Choose a simple theme. Don’t oversimplify it, but make sure it’s something that will click well with your guests. Simple things such as color coordinating, can help continue your theme throughout the event.
  1. Send invites at least six weeks before. People want time to plan, but not too much time to forget. Let your guests know about this holiday party six weeks prior to ensure they have plenty of time to plan. If you ask them to RSVP this can help you gain an accurate head count for food and beverage purposes.
  1. Email a reminder the week of.Sometimes people forget, ensure that all your guests who are available can attend, with a simple email reminder one week out from the party.
  1. Keep food fun yet familiar.A little twist here and there keeps things interesting, however, going too far can turn guests off to food altogether. Work with your caterer to determine what the best mix of dishes are for your holiday event!
  1. Set-up a good flow of traffic. Create a space that allows hungry guests to move through the food on both sides, well out of the way of your more conversational area.
  1. Create a timeline. Every party has activities, whether it’s dancing, trivia, or a simple informational slideshow, planning ahead of time can save you a headache later. Create a schedule for the evening to share with your guests. This will help them plan their time accordingly as well!
  1. Play festive music. Create a simple playlist full of upbeat and festive songs, but also be sure to include some current music selections as well! This will keep the holiday tone, without being overwhelmingly so.
  1. Give away or donate leftovers. Leftovers are a given at any holiday event, be sure you send your guests home with some goodies to help avoid discarding surplus food. If doggie bags are not an option, stop by your local food bank that night, or the next day to see if it can be used.
  1. Have a clean-up crew. Cleaning up is the worst part of event coordinating. Make this task easier on yourself, and recruit a team of guests and friends to help clean after the event, or the next day. Offer to provide a meal and beverages as thanks, in addition to a free ticket or gift at the party.

 

Thanksgiving Costs Through History

Holiday

Filled with laughter, good food, and heart-warming conversation, Thanksgiving is a holiday centered on all things family. Dating all the way back to 1621, this festive celebration originally began to signify a successful and fruitful fall harvest. Today we enjoy this day of thanks to remember all the blessings and loved ones in our life.

Many things have changed since 1621, or even since 1916! We wanted to see what this holiday may have looked like over the past century, to visualize how traditions and costs have changed through the years.

There are several factors when determining the cost of a Thanksgiving celebration. Today the average feast runs approximately $49. This includes a 16-pound turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, carrots, celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and coffee with milk. However, back in 1916 this meal cost approximately $6.81, but keep in mind, the turkey then cost $4.48, or $99.23 in today’s standards.

Take a look and see how the various costs of Thanksgiving have changed over the last 100 years. You’ll be surprised at the difference!

                   Cost of Today’s Feast                      Cost of Past Century’s Feast

            1916 – $2.21                                        1916 – $6.81

            1926 – $3.59                                        1926 – $11.06

            1936 – $2.82                                        1936 – $8.68

            1946 – $3.96                                        1946 – $12.18

            1956 – $5.52                                        1956 – $16.99

            1966 – $6.58                                        1966 – $20.24

            1976 – $11.55                                      1976 – $35.55

            1986 – $22.24                                      1986 – $68.47

            1996 – $31.84                                      1996 – $98.03

            2006 – $40.92                                      2006 – $125.95

            2016 – $49.00                                      2016 – $150.84

At Titonka Savings Bank, we love learning about holidays and their history. It’s easy to see now how $6.81 can really add up! If you put those dollars in today’s standards, food costs would be astronomical! Can you imagine paying over $100 for just your turkey? This year the average cost per pound is about 93 cents, so for a 16-pound turkey, you should expect to pay around $15. Now that’s something to be thankful for!

 

The 10 Most Affordable Winter Destinations

Vacation Savings

The snowbirds seem have the right idea! Just as winter becomes too chilly and snow-filled, they flee to warmer weather! It just so happens that this is the ideal time to visit a variety of areas, while their prices remain low during their slower season. See how you can capture the best deals on your getaway from the colder weather, along with other popular snow-covered destinations.

 

Panama City, Panama: This amazing city is a must-see for those with a case of wanderlust. Filled with old history, and new innovation, the town of Panama City continues to surprise your senses. Explore the Casco Viejo area, and make your way to the Manolo Caracol restaurant. With this deliciously simple meal in your belly, you’ll be able to take on any adventure you find in Panama.

 

Singer Island, Florida: For this tropical getaway you don’t even need a passport! Tucked along Florida’s southeast coast, this local paradise offers the best of the beach life along with luxurious city activities in the neighboring West Palm Beach. If you’re looking for adventure, scuba shop Pura Vida Divers can help you fulfill all your scuba dreams! With diving, snorkeling, and surfing services, this family-run business will make sure your time with them is the best memory of your trip.

 

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: Filled with luxurious all-inclusive resorts, this Caribbean getaway will help maximize any budget! There are hundreds of resorts to choose from, and most offer packages which include meals, beverages, and on-site hotel activities. Be sure to also catch a round or two of golf at their renowned clubs across the island!

 

Ambergris Caye, Belize: Feel the heat year round in this island paradise! With activities on both the island and inland, you’ll never have a dull moment at this destination. If you’re searching for some adventure, be sure to stop by Amigo’s to book your next cave tubing, zip lining, or ruin climbing tour! After your day you can enjoy an unwinding meal at the island’s best ceviche restaurant, Hurricane’s, but watch out for their signature hurricane cocktail!

 

Vancouver, Canada: Home to the famous Whistler Blackcomb mountain, this chilly destination is filled with plenty of activities and beautiful snow-covered trees! Extend your trip into the city of Vancouver itself to discover the Granville Island market and delicious local delicacies such as poutine and the JapaDog.

 

Big Sky, Montana: Avoid the chaos of Winter Park, and venture to the less populous, but immaculate slopes of Big Sky. With affordable packages to ski and stay, you and your family can enjoy your days on the slopes, and your evenings at the lodge. If you feel like venturing into town, you can warm up with some deliciously spicy food from the local favorite, Alberto’s.

 

New York City, New York: This iconic destination definitely makes its mark on your traveling memories, and during the winter, it becomes more affordable than ever! With inspiring sights such as the Rockefeller Center, and the Ground Zero Memorial, this city will inspire you throughout your vacation. Share a laugh with your family and get tickets to the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, Book of Mormon. This trip will surely be one to remember!

 

For every adventure you plan, there should always be a budget behind it! If you want to learn how to best save and budget for your next getaway drop us a line or stop by today!

5 Ways to Stay Fit without Breaking Your Budget

Budgeting

Holiday season means delicious feasts, scrumptious treats, and unforgettable drinks. All these added meals, can only mean one thing – extra time working out! If your favorite festive foods are breaking your calorie budget, try these tips to help both you and your wallet in great shape.

 

  1. Youtube Videos.

Who said exercise videos has to be expensive? Peruse through the YouTube catalog of new and old workouts to find the perfect match for your schedule. Some great videos to start with are 10 Min Abs Workout, No Gym Full Body Workout, 30 Minute at Home Strength Workout.

 

  1. Running

While this option may depend on the weather, the feeling of running outdoors with the fresh air in your lungs can never compare to the jolting feeling a treadmill can bring. With the basic investment of a good pair of running shoes, and some comfortable outdoor athletic attire, you can enjoy this sport whenever the urge hits.

 

  1. Calisthenics

This is a great home exercise that is entirely based around using your own body weight. Through structured movements, and small equipment extras, you can complete your entire weekly workout, in the comfort of your living room.

 

  1. Purchase Multi-use Equipment.

When purchasing equipment, look so see how many different exercises you can complete with it. Instead of buying the upscale item that is specifically engineered to optimize one exercise, expand your home-gym with affordable equipment that can serve multiple purposes.      

 

  1. Downsize Your Gym

If you already belong to a gym, and prefer the atmosphere to your home workout area, consider downsizing your gym spending, or switching to a more cost-effective workout center. If you have family members paying for gym access that never go, consider revising your plan, and incur the cost for their access only when they use it.

 

The holidays are a great time of the year, don’t miss out on any of your favorites this season, and stick to these cost-effective workout tips! If you’re looking to save for your next holiday gathering, stop in today, and we’ll help get your holiday season started out right!

Best Part Time Jobs for Students

Save Money

College is a time period in which you begin to choose your path in life. With decisions ranging from effort in class, extracurricular participation, and money management style, you will find yourself gaining more and more responsibilities each and every day. Continue to build your college experience with a part-time career to help you better manage your money, and support some fun on the weekends!

  1. Dental Receptionist: With one of the best hourly wages for college students, this part-time job will help you learn the basics of scheduling and time management while allowing you to maintain flexible hours throughout the school year.
  2. Library Assistant: On campus jobs are a great way to reduce transportation costs. Snagging a job at your university library can help you with your classes too! After being trained on all the offerings the library has available, you can have primary access to all the additional resources and study materials – not to mention great pay!
  3.  Restaurant Staff: Offering flexible hours, and potentially reduced food costs, this is a popular and reliable option for students. Especially useful for those looking to become restaurant managers or chefs, this employment can serve as a great stepping stone to future opportunities.
  4.  Tutor: Not only as a community service, but also as a career, this valuable job enables students to continue learning outside of their classes, and get paid doing so. By continually explaining processes and concepts to others, you can increase your knowledge on the subjects as well!
  5.  Bank Teller: Filled with customer interaction, number crunching, and accountability, this position will help teach you all about money management, and the responsibility of being accurate. Not only does this position offer a good wage and flexible hours, but it also boasts an added opportunity to network with impactful members of your community.
  6. Bartender: Favored by many students, a position at your favorite college bar can provide flexible hours, socialization, and nightly tips to add to your pay. Remember to choose a bar with high traffic flow, to ensure a steady source of tips, and an increased potential to move up the rankings.
  7. Fitness Instructor: Getting paid to workout, almost sounds too good to be true! For those select few who have fantastic charisma and a killer routine, this is the perfect employment for you! With many students and community members searching for exciting new workouts, most college campuses are searching for students to fill rotating fitness class roles. Pick and choose the classes you want to teach, and have some fun!
  8. Social Media Manager: Now that social media is practically a mandatory part of any business, the need to manage those accounts is climbing faster than ever. Put your online skills to use, and see which local businesses could use your help. This innovative career can be completed from your room, or the storefront, so working for multiple entities could be a great opportunity!

If you’re ready to start searching for your next job, try browsing your college careers page! With campus wide services, there are always opportunities to find employment. At Titonka Savings Bank, we encourage students to learn about how to save and spend their money responsibly, using a monthly budget. If you’re curious on how to set one up for your personal finances, stop in today!