Category: Uncategorized

How to Hit a Homerun in Retirement

HomerunRetirement

Winning in a baseball game or in your retirement savings is no easy feat! It takes dedication and determination to seal the win. As you begin to reexamine your retirement plan try these key pointers from Titonka Savings Bank to coach you along the way!

Load the Bases

If you have available resources, make sure you’re using them! Just as a batter is primed to score with his bases covered in players, so are you by capitalizing on your 401(k), IRA, personal savings, and structured investing plan. Score extra points by taking advantage of your company’s 401(k) which matches your monthly contributions up to a certain percentage of your salary. Those are free dollars to aim towards your retirement!

Pitch a No Hitter

Don’t let the opposing team get ahead; work to pitch a no hitter by setting up your emergency savings fund. Instead of walking any unexpected expenses, such as auto repairs or medical bills, send those players back to the dugout with an added savings curve ball. You’ll be protecting your savings and racking up points, while staking your claim to your space in the hall of fame.

Build a Winning Team

Just as you would compile your fantasy team around leading scorers and left handed pitchers, the same applies to your financial team! At Titonka Savings Bank we have a well-rounded lineup of personal bankers, wealth advisers, and lenders to help you make it to the big leagues.

Play Extra Innings

Even in retirement, there’s no rule against a little over time! Take up a part or full-time job you enjoy to cover living expenses before you have to dip into your savings account. You and your spouse could land a home run in the bottom of the 10th with some additional income at the start of your retirement.
No matter if you’re swinging for the fences or just trying to get on base, our experienced team at Titonka Savings Bank can help craft a game plan for your retirement! Give us a call at (515) 928-2142 or stop by the bank today!

The True Cost of Owning a Pet

TrueCostPet

Seasoned pet owners know Fido and Fluffy add a special element to your family as only a pet can. However, adding another member to your household does come with its costs. From daily kibble, to late night vet calls, be sure you’re financially prepared before purchasing your next pet. Try these five financial tips to keep both your pet and your wallet happy.

Consider Adopting

A purebred pet can easily run over $1,000, while also requiring a hefty deposit in addition to registration fees. Try visiting your local humane society or animal shelter to meet some love-deprived friends that could use your attention. With most adoption costs under $300 total, you can save some green while helping a loving animal in need.

Determine Appropriate Size and Breed

Both your residence and your budget factor into this one! With many apartments posing weight and breed restrictions, there may be additional external factors to consider. When it comes to your budget, be sure to make note of your designated pet spending. If you’re trying to feed a big dog on a little budget, you may be fighting an uphill battle.

Buy Generic

Food is food, and pets don’t care whether their daily dinner is from brand A or B. Choose food that maximizes your pet’s energy without minimizing your savings. Treats can be another tricky topic – find one type of treat to reward your pet with for a job well done. There are several pet stores where you can purchase treats in bulk, and as long as you store them properly, you can save plenty of dollars, without running out of prizes for your pet.

Avoid Frill Expenses

Items such as decorative bowls, pet clothes, and squeaky toys are all fun splurges, but unneeded purchases on a continual basis. Choose a timeline for additional pet items on either a quarterly or biannual basis. You can keep your pet happy and entertained by offering household items such as empty water bottles or old stuffed animals instead of dropping $15 for a new toy each month.

Groom Smart

Every pet is different, some shed, others molt, but no matter what type of animal you have grooming may be involved. Various pets can groom themselves, or require little maintenance, but for the majority of our furry friends, assistance may be required. If you’re up to the challenge, see if grooming is something you can do yourself. Activities such as bathing or brushing can be done at home – just be sure to stock up on towels! If your pet requires frequent haircuts, or other monthly grooming, find a local groomer instead of your veterinarian for a more affordable rate.

Give your pet all the love and affection you can while keeping your budget on a leash. If you want to learn more about managing your monthly budget give us a call at (515) 928-2142 or drop by the bank today. We’d love to help you and your furry family make the most of your spending!

Generational Financial Habits: Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z.

GenerationalSpending

When it comes to your spending habits, your age may influence your decisions more than you think! Depending on your generation, there may be some key patterns that differentiate you from your older and younger counterparts. Discover your key financial traits with this helpful guide courtesy of Titonka Savings Bank.

Baby Boomers

Typically classified as the savers of the modern age, many of those age 51-70 are known for tucking away funds as quickly as they can accumulate them. Many baby boomers were affected by both the Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. assassinations and hold strong sense of mistrust of the system. There are many in this generation who choose savings options outside of financial institutions. This large generation of approximately 70 million people, is currently in the process leaving the workforce and entering retirement. The most important item on their financial agenda is to save and secure funds for the decades of life they will enjoy outside nine to five.

Generation X

Often overshadowed by the large baby boomers ahead of them, generation X’ers tend to be strong willed and decisive, fighting for their share of the financial pie. Having been one of the first generations to experience divorce as a normal occurrence, many of those adults age 40-50 continue to look out for their individual financial wellbeing through strictly defensive tactics. Boasting on the highest education rates, this group makes strategic savings plans, constantly preparing for the ball to drop. They are best known for their cautious optimism and lofty financial goals.

Millennials

The current generation of twenty and thirtysomethings, were shaped by a highly digital world. Growing up in the age of computers and terrorism, these young adults believe that the typical American dream, may be slightly skewed. In many areas, home and car ownership is on the decline as more and more millennials strive to gain experiences over material possessions. Influenced by their parental counterparts, it is common to see this generation shying away from long term debt after seeing their parents succumb to missed payments and foreclosures during the 2008 economic crash. Couple that cautious initiative with crippling student loans and added inflation, where now today many college graduates are working multiple jobs to simply make ends meet.

Generation Z

The up-and-coming generation of the century, this group is the first age demographic to grow up completely immersed in digital technology. The days of cell phones and computers encompassed their childhood, and many of those age 0-20 have never known life without the digital realm. Still relatively young, these Gen Z’s take diversification to the next level, not trusting too much in any one entity. With advancing diagnostic systems this generation takes time and consideration into account before making any major life decision. As this generation ages, more experiences and choices will continue to shape their financial style.

No matter what generation you are a part of, there are a variety of ways you can improve your financial habits. Speak with one of our experienced personal bankers today, and we’ll show you how to get started!

What Your Teen Needs to Know About Money Management

TeenMoneyMangement

Throughout their teenage years, your children will begin to grow their personal money management style. Offer them some assistance by offering these four financial lessons from Titonka Savings Bank.

Securing Their First Job

No matter if it’s babysitting, lifeguarding, or bagging groceries, there are plenty of employment options for eager high school students. These opportunities typically start at minimum wage with zero benefits, but offer a foundation of experience and learning. Talk with your son or daughter, and help them select positions to apply for that resonate with them. Resources such as the Chamber of Commerce often list local job openings, and are a good place to comb for recent availabilities.

Managing Money

The younger you begin various habits, the better they stick with you. Teach your children the positive effect proper money management can have on their pocketbook. Start by opening both a savings and a checking account for your teen. Each pay period, help them figure ten percent of their earnings to put into their savings. You can also work with them one-on-one each month to help balance their checkbook and plan for any large expenditures.

Saving for College

Secondary education isn’t cheap. If your son or daughter plans on attending a college or trade school, the time to start saving is now! Work with your future student to determine an educational budget, providing an estimate of upcoming expenses. Once you know the amount needed you can set savings goals for both you and your teen to start tucking money away. The sooner you begin your savings journey the smoother the road will be to your target amount.

Making Payments

Whether it’s purchasing their first car or simply covering the cost of meals at school, learning how to maintain a payment plan is an important life lesson. Explain your personal bill paying system to your teen and see how they can tailor it to their needs. Once they have a grasp on the system itself, gradually add payments to your child’s list of responsibilities, even if you add the money to their account. This will help them learn to keep an updated payment calendar before they graduate high school.

Money management is a continual learning process. There are always new techniques or tricks to better arrange your finances. Don’t stop honing your teen’s money management after these four lessons – stop by Titonka Savings Bank and see how you can keep growing your family’s financial skills today!

10 Things Successful People Do

Titonka_Blog_10ThingsSuccessfulPeopleDo

Ever wonder how Mark Zuckerberg or Richard Branson got where they are today? Success doesn’t come easy, but it grows where it is watered. At Titonka Savings Bank, we want to help you climb into success with these simple tactics! Learn how to begin your journey to the top with these 10 key actions:

  1. Have maker time. No matter how many meetings there are in a day, schedule time each and every day to create, produce, and whittle down your to-do list. Not only will you get more done, but you’ll get more completed within your structured time!
  2. Prioritize your tasks. Sometimes that to-do list can be a mile long. Start your day with one main priority, and three sub tasks. Once these core items have been completed you can move on to the other smaller agendas you have for the day.
  3. Keep your values. Whether it’s making it home for dinner, or keeping on top of an evening health regiment, realize there are other values outside of work that need your attention too. Designate your time at work to do the most you can, so once the clock hits five, you know you’re scheduled to be somewhere else.
  4. Strategize your meetings. Do you need to be in every one of your meetings? Perhaps not! Speak with meeting organizers to determine if your input is truly needed and if so, could that be communicated through email instead? Time is precious, so make the most of yours!
  5. Say no. No is a powerful word. While you may not be able to say “no” to a supervisor’s request, when being asked to participate in additional projects, be selective and only join the workload you can handle appropriately
  6. Know when to delegate. You can’t do everything yourself. Invest time in your peers and ensure that if you need a task completed, they are up to the challenge. A great leader utilizers their team’s strengths and weaknesses, so be sure you’re putting the best person on each task.
  7. Create a daily routine. Everything from your morning breakfast choices, the various times you check your emails, to your scheduled breaks, you need to have a routine, and stick to it!
  8. Treat failure as a lesson. There’s a learning experience in every failure. By taking this simple mindset to heart, you can embrace the good that comes with every thwarted attempt. This insight helps not only grow your current project, but also broadens your mind to potential possibilities for future endeavors.
  9. Choose a mentor. The day you stop learning is the day you stop growing. One of the most effective things successful people do is to continue to learn. By never boasting a full cup, you can continue to add valuable knowledge to your repertoire and learn from someone who’s navigated many experiences you’ll soon face.  
  10. Wake up early. The early bird gets the worm! Whether you start work at 4:00am, 8:00am, or 8:00pm arrive early to collect your thoughts before your co-workers swarm in. During rush hour you’ll also notice an easier drive if you leave an extra half hour or hour early.

Start a New Business in 5 Easy Steps

Titonka_Blog_StartingANewBusiness

Getting your business off the ground isn’t always as easy as it seems. With a laundry list of to-do items, it can be hard to prioritize which needs have to come first. Luckily, Titonka Savings Bank is here to help! By following these key stepping stones, we’ll help you get on the path to success with your new business venture.

  1. Develop a business plan. Determine what it is you want your business to do, and how you want to do it.
  2. Capital. Capital. Capital. Make sure whether you’re working with investors, securing a business loan, or putting up the money yourself, you have all the funds you need in addition to a large cushion for overhead and operating expenses.
  3. Get it in writing. With options such as an L.L.C, Corporation, S Corporation, Nonprofit or Cooperative, you’ll want to protect your personal finances with a legal structure for your business.
  4. Make it official. After registering with state and local tax agencies, you’ll need to obtain the appropriate permits and licenses to make your business compliant with local laws and regulations.
  5. Get people in the door. Ensure you have an effective marketing strategy, or list of transferred clients to get your business off the ground. The old saying, “If you build it they will come,” no longer applies. Make sure everyone in your area knows you’re opening, and offer a valuable incentive to help encourage them to stop by!

Local businesses are the backbone of small town America. If you’re looking to set-up your own new shop, Titonka Savings Bank is eager to help! Our experienced business lenders are here to find you the best business financing option for your needs!

Save $3,500 this Year by Removing These 6 Things

Titonka_Blog_Save3500ThisYear

Saving money is no easy task! Only after dedication and determination, can you look successfully into your account to see the difference saving can make. At Titonka Savings Bank, we’re excited to help you achieve your financial goals, and we can’t wait to get started! If you’re looking to tuck some funds away for an emergency savings, or vacation fund, these six tips can help you accumulate $3,500 in savings over the course of the next year.

  1. $720: Cut the cable – at $60+ each month this common expense eat up your budget in a hurry!
  2. $1400: Brew your own java – instead of grabbing a latte on your way to work make your own cup of joe and save that extra $4/day.
  3. $600: Plan Your Meals – instead of playing by ear each night for dinner, make a dedicated meal plan each week and stick to it. This will help cut costs on eating out and unused groceries. Remove one dining out meal each month and see the difference this can make!
  4. $468: Workout at home – the average gym membership runs $39/month which over the course of the year can add up quick. Try online workout videos and create a routine which uses various household items.
  5. $312: Pack your lunch – With most quick lunches running about $10/each, sneaking away for lunch could be costing you! Try packing a lunch from home to avoid these expensive dining options. Changing just three lunches each month could save you more than three-hundred dollars!

Learn how to open up your ideal savings account at Titonka Savings Bank to get started on your savings dreams today!

What Your Birth Order Says About Your Money Management

Titonka_Blog_BirthOrderSpendingHabits

Every family knows there’s a difference between the various siblings, but why is that? Many psychologists agree, birth order plays a large role! Each member of your family is generally rooted in one of four personality types which help define their core behaviors and beliefs. Discover how these traits can translate to your money management style at Titonka Savings Bank.

First Born: Typically the leader of the family, first borns are strong minded and organized with a heavy protective tendency. Many of those born first err on the side of caution, creating savings accounts for emergencies and unexpected situations. This sibling tends to enjoy being in charge and knowing all the variables. Any expenses, debts, or other monthly bills will be allocated and prepared accordingly. First borns tend to work towards their dreams, and may have the downfall of taking a financial risk to do so.

Middle Child: Always the people pleaser, middle children are most known for helping others. If you need an extra buck or two for lunch, this sibling will the the first to lend a hand. Often on the rebellious side, the middle child may be more apt to invest in some riskier stocks, but depending if they pan out, it could make financial sense in the long run. Typically talkative and social, many middle children challenge the norm and create new versions of savings schemes. This sibling will be the first to try the next and best retirement plan before storing away long term savings.

Last Born: Optimism, attention, and organization generally drive the youngest of the siblings. After learning from the mistakes of the older members of the family, this child typically has most financial questions answered before ever needing to ask. This sibling will be the guru of rewards points, always finding the best perks and benefits for various programs. Always looking on the bright side, the last born is compelled to live the best of their life now, assured the future will work itself out later.

Only Child: Frequently told they’re mature for their age, the only child is known for their leadership, sophistication, and drive towards perfection. The typical only child will have a detailed account record with meticulous payment upkeep. These individuals strive to be the best, and are determined to achieve their goals. Expect them to have a strategic savings plan, retirement investing, and a well-rounded home improvement fund. Always up for a challenge, only children can often be great investors seeking out the best stock options for their needs.

No matter your place within the family tree, you’ll always have a financial partner with Titonka Savings Bank. Whichever goal you’re aiming to tackle next, we’ll help you achieve it!

Money Lessons at Every Age

Money Lesson

Money Lessons At Every Age

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 Titonka Savings 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 in 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 Titonka Savings Bank and see how you and your family can improve your money management skills today!

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!