Put Your Tax Return to Work for You

According to a recent National Retail Federation survey, this year more Americans plan to save — not spend — their tax refunds than any year in the survey’s nine-year history. The survey found 43.8 percent of those expecting refunds will stash some of their cash in savings, up from 42.1 percent last year. If you’re fortunate . . . → Read More: Put Your Tax Return to Work for You

America Saves Week: 10 Tips to Save Money When Budgets are Tight

This week is America Saves Week, an annual event sponsored by the Consumer Federation of America to encourage saving, debt reduction and wealth building. Use the following tips inspired by the America Saves Week website to save money when budgets are tight.

To find small savings that add up to big savings over time, keep a careful . . . → Read More: America Saves Week: 10 Tips to Save Money When Budgets are Tight

Fast Financial Fixes

The age-old adage is as true today as ever: Too much to do with too little time. Unfortunately, our finances can easily fall victim to our busy lives, and we may be wasting time and money every month that could easily be avoided. Follow these five tips, and you may be surprised by how much you . . . → Read More: Fast Financial Fixes

Make a New Year’s Resolution for Your Finances

As you’re considering your New Year’s resolutions for 2012, don’t forget to think about your money. The New Year is a great time to assess your finances, gain control and stick to a new budget or saving plan. Taking control of your personal finances will allow you to save and prepare for unexpected expenses. Here are . . . → Read More: Make a New Year’s Resolution for Your Finances

Give the Gift of Future Financial Success

Give the gift of financial success!

Help kids of all ages be financially successful. Start with the piggy bank and grow…

It’s easy to get focused on spending rather than saving and investing during the holiday season. However, some of the best gifts you can give children and young . . . → Read More: Give the Gift of Future Financial Success

The Paper Trail Ends: Over the Counter Sales of Savings Bonds Ends in 2011

The U.S. Department of the Treasury will end over-the-counter sales of paper savings bonds on December 31, 2011, including sales through financial institutions and applications mailed directly to the Federal Reserve Bank by customers. This move is expected to save taxpayers an estimated $70 million over the next five years.

Although paper bonds are being discontinued, electronic Series . . . → Read More: The Paper Trail Ends: Over the Counter Sales of Savings Bonds Ends in 2011

Tips for Buying, Giving & Using Gift Cards

Gift cards are a great solution for those people on your holiday list for whom you don’t know what to buy. With gift cards, on size fits all, and the recipients can get exactly what they want. But before you buy a stack of gift cards, consider these tips from the Federal Trade Commission to make . . . → Read More: Tips for Buying, Giving & Using Gift Cards

Tips for Safe Online Shopping

Over the last several years, retailers report a 25-30 percent increase in online spending around the holidays. With more and more people heading to the Internet to complete their holiday shopping, Iowa’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has offered an advisory for online holiday shopping. Follow these common best practices when shopping online this . . . → Read More: Tips for Safe Online Shopping

Budget for the Holidays

Greetings from our State Street OfficeTaking time to plan your budget before heading out this Black Friday — or whenever you’re planning to do your holiday shopping — will help you have a happier and less stressful holiday season. Follow these tips to start . . . → Read More: Budget for the Holidays

Shop Local this Holiday Season

Shop Local First

Shop locally this Christmas shopping season — and find out how you can get a discount on Algona Bucks!

Your locally-owned community bank invites you to shop your hometown first this holiday shopping season. Local businesses spend their money hiring local people who, in turn, spend . . . → Read More: Shop Local this Holiday Season