A new chapter of my life began on Saturday when I tied the knot with my partner of five-and-a-half years. We were only able to go on a quick getaway for our honeymoon, so I’m already back to normal life. Except it’s not quite the same. I’ve always known that marriage changes finances, but I’m only just now realizing how much will be impacted by the two little words “I do.” None of it’s bad, of course — it’s just part of a process.
I went to the county clerk’s office to try to start the name change process, but I wasn’t able to make it happen since they hadn’t received my marriage license in the mail from the officiant yet (I learned that you need a certified copy of it to take to the Social Security office before your name is legally changed). Once all that happens, then I need to go to my banks and change the name on my accounts and cards, plus set up a new joint account with him. I also need to update all of my insurance information, get a new driver’s license and so on.
Some of the other things are easy. For example, updating my 401(k) online to indicate my new husband as the beneficiary was a breeze. Others are a little trickier. He’s in grad school. Today, we realized that he must put my income on his Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) if we file our taxes jointly next year, which may affect how much he is given in student loans. Fortunately, there aren’t any deadlines, so I have time to slowly but surely change my finances to reflect married life. I’m interested to see how my credit is affected by my new marital status. Any advice for a newlywed?
While I get to work on all of this, read on for my list of my favorite personal finance blog posts from the past week!
1. My finances would be in better shape if I could scale back on eating out, but I’m not a very experienced cook. I’m inspired by Blonde and Balanced’s post on how to learn to stop hating cooking. Like her, I also received tons of cooking gear from my wedding registry, which is inspiring me.
2. Green Panda Treehouse offers advice on how to ward off identity theft and what to do if it happens to you.
3. Dough Roller lists five reasons why every small business should have a business credit card rather than relying on a personal card.
4. Debt Donkey discusses how music may affect our spending habits and what tricks stores use to entice us with audio.
5. My Pretty Pennies explains how she and her fiance selected their wedding venue, plus several ways they negotiated to save money. It works, folks — I was able to do some negotiating on my wedding costs, too!
6. 20Something Finance motivates readers with four tips to stay on track for the marathon that is personal finance success.
7. Well Heeled Blog shows how two families are able to live on less than $40,000 a year and what lessons we can learn from them.
8. Fabulously Broke in the City describes how indulging in little pleasures sporadically can make you feel more rich than indulging regularly.