Monthly Archives: December 2016

4 Ways New Homeowners Can Save on Their Taxes

Mortgages

Becoming a homeowner is an exciting and trying time in your life. Once all the papers are signed, and the keys turned over, it all seems worth it. That is until a pipe bursts, lightning knocks out a tree, or your dog decides to burst through the screen door. Not all hope is lost however. In return for your endless work, and commitment to a never ending to-do list, the U.S. Government has provided four tax-based ways to reward you for your new home ownership. See how to take advantage of these four tax breaks, and make the most of your home purchase:

  • Early IRA Withdrawal: For many new homeowners, securing the initial down payment can be the first hurdle in their real estate journey. If you’re a first-time home buyer and have an IRA, or Roth IRA, the IRS will allow you to withdraw up to $10,000, penalty-free, to aide in the cost of your new dwelling!
  • Valuable Deductions: Between your mortgage interest, mortgage insurance, and real estate taxes, your home deductions could make a big dent in your taxable income. When preparing your taxes as a new homeowner, be sure to bring any mortgage documents, and escrow account information, to your tax professional to gain the full benefit of the deductions.
  • Renewable-Energy Tax Credit: Did you upgrade your home appliances to more efficient and environmentally-friendly options? Did you install a geothermal system in your home? If so, this helpful tax credit may be able to take a portion of that improvement cost out of your deductible income!
  • Tax-Free Profit on Sale: When you go to sell your home, the IRS allows you to avoid the capital gains tax on the profits you generate from the sale. This means that if your home’s value goes up $35,000 in the two or more years you live there, you are then able to retain the additional $35,000 your home is sold for without having to pay any taxes on those funds. One other major stipulation of this benefit is that in order to avoid the capital gains tax, you must purchase a new home as your primary residence within the next two years.

With these key homeowner tax breaks, the next thing to put on your to-do list is to make a plan for those tax refunds! If you have questions on how to best budget for your new home, don’t hesitate to stop in. We’d love to talk taxes, financing, or other improvement ideas you have for your home!

Community Banking: Why It’s a Wonderful Life

Community Banking

As the seasons begin to change, and the holidays approach, our team at Titonka Savings Bank would like to share all the wonderful reasons we are grateful to be a community bank. Just like Mr. George Bailey, in the classic tale, It’s a Wonderful Life, we have found countless people and experiences that make our bank lucky to consider this community home:

It’s all About the People: Unlike the big banks of America, our small and locally-owned operation prides itself on putting our people first, making the success of our customers the bank’s number one priority. Just like the old Building and Loan, Titonka Savings Bank strives to help our customers make their home ownership dreams become a reality.

Growth Engine for Small Business: We succeed when you succeed. Just as George Bailey invested funds in Mr. Martini’s home and business, Titonka Savings Bank is here to offer advice and financing on your next home or commercial project. We want to help you and our hometown community grow, just like Bedford Falls.

Built on Long Lasting Relationships: The movie’s guardian Clarence, was a very wise man saying, “No man is a failure who has friends.” At Titonka Savings Bank we pride ourselves on not only helping our customers with their finances, but also building relationships with them as well. If you have a question on how to budget, which retirement plans to look at, or other money management inquiries, consider us your friendly neighborhood adviser!

Community Backed: Instead of being underwritten by Mr. Potter, or other national big banks, our institution is built directly upon the needs and wants of our community’s citizens. With no higher ups attempting to monopolize the town, our dedicated team of officers works to build up the community, and the men and women who call it home.

Employees Local Citizens: Just like George and Uncle Billy, Titonka Savings Bank is filled with fun and lovable characters. We take great pride in employing local citizens throughout our company, and helping them grow within the banking industry. If you’re looking for a new career, stop in and see if Titonka Savings Bank is right for you!

Get to know all of us at Titonka Savings Bank and discover how community banking can help you achieve a wonderful life. For everything from personal financing, to commercial lending, we have the perfect solution for you. Get started today and share your next financial goal with us, we’ll help you shoot for the moon!

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Buy

Holiday Shopping

The holiday season is filled with glad tidings, seasonal dishes, family get togethers, AND seemingly endless expenses. Don’t let the price of the holidays bog you down. Keep the holiday spirit alive by spending your money wisely throughout the winter season. Instead of purchasing unwanted gifts that may end up back at the store, Titonka Savings Bank recommends asking yourself the following 3 questions before you buy:

  1. Why are you buying the present?

If it is for a family member or close friend, you may be purchasing it for your annual gift exchange. If it’s for a co-worker or continuous service provider, it may not necessarily be warranted. Often times if you give someone a gift who may not have been expecting one, the awkward condition of reciprocity may arise. Instead of gifting store bought goods, consider a card or homemade treat to say thank you.

  1. Is this gift appropriate?

While Aunt Lynda loves gourmet chocolates, a child’s chocolate baking set may not be the most compatible gift. Before you check out, take a minute to think how your loved one may use this gift. Try to remember any discussions you had about things they may need or want during the holiday season. Even if the gift comes at a great price, it may be wasted if the person whom you purchase it for, has no use for it.

  1. Does this fit into my budget?

Keeping an accurate monthly budget is helpful in many aspects of your personal finances. The same applies when planning your holiday spending. After allocating a specific dollar amount to each person on your list, stick within these guidelines to remain in budget. If you happen to find the perfect shade of lipstick for your sister-in-law, but it’s $20 more than you want to spend, it may be time to consider other gift options.

Whether you’re searching for the perfect holiday gift, or just a simple thank you, these 3 questions can help you find the best present for your person! Remember to get started with a holiday budget, and if you have questions on how to begin planning for your holiday expenses, stop in and see us today!

Budget Friendly Game Time Snacks

Budgeting

Every weekend feels like a holiday in the fall! With countless college and professional football games, ‘tis the season for tailgating! Whether you’re creating the dream set-up or a simple pre-game snack, there are three things you need for a top notch tailgate!

  1. A Competitive Team Rivalry: Nothing makes a game better than passionate fans and devoted team players! You’ll stay cheering throughout the whole game when these two teams go head-to-head.
  2. A Merry Group: You can’t have a great party without great people! Mix it up and invite friends from the opposing team to join, and always get to know your tailgate neighbors!
  3. A Tasty Table of Food: Good food and good tailgates go hand in hand. With classic dishes, familiy competitions, and fun new recipes, you’ll always have new treats to try!

Choosing your game and your friends is up to you, but Titonka Savings Bank is here to help you provide the perfect game day buffet! Be sure to try these deliciously simple recipes for your next big tailgate:

Sliders: There are so many tasty ways to enjoy this delicious treat! With different meats, and condiments galore, you can tailor these savory sandwiches to your game day budget. Here are four fan favorite versions to try!

Gyros: Both portable and delicious, this delectable dish makes for the perfect halftime bite. Made with either lamb or chicken, this recipe can be adapted to your group’s specific taste!

Chicken Wings: How do you enjoy a football game without this classic snack? A very affordable option if you purchase the wings whole, a simple cut or two on each can save you 10-20% overall. Dress your drummettes accordingly, and always throw them on the grill for added flavor!

Chili: This is the perfect cure for any game time blues! Give your team a meal they can root for with this affordable and addicting chili recipe.

Sweet Pepper Poppers: Tame those jalapeno poppers with this mild, bacon-filled alternative! A healthy and delicious option for any tailgate, these sweet peppers offer the perfect vehicle for a crunchy and cheesy bite! Prepare them for your weekend menu in 20 minutes flat!

Totchos: Imagine the perfect two tailgate foods combined into one; that’s the concept behind totchos! With a mix of both nachos and tater tots, this new and delicious combination is sure to keep your group asking for more! With both sweet and regular potato versions, you can customize this simple appetizer to whatever works best with your budget.