Whew! If you're a recent newlywed, I'll bet these past few weeks have been a whirlwind. A great whirlwind, of course, but madness nonetheless. Unfortunately, it's not over yet. Now comes the not so fun parts: changing your name, filing your marriage license, combining finances... it can all seem so overwhelming! Hopefully we can help with that.
1. The first step in post-wedding to dos is to file your marriage certificate. About a month before the big day, you had to get your marriage license. After the wedding, that needs to be returned and certified so you have proof of marriage. Typically, the officiant or a close family member takes charge of this task. Once the signed marriage license is returned, a marriage certificate is mailed and you are good to go.
2. Next is changing your name, if you decide to do so. This can seem daunting since you've already used your maiden name almost everywhere from your driver's license to credit cards to email addresses. However, if you start small and go slow, it won't be too bad. Begin with your social security card as you will need that to change it other places. It's easiest to visit the Social Security Administration's website and complete this form. From there you can either mail it or take it to your local Social Security office. Your card will arrive in 7-10 days.
Once you have your new social security card, it will easier to change it in other places like:
- Driver's License
- Credit Cards
- Bank Accounts
- Post Office
- Voter Registration
3. You'll also want to figure out your banking situation. Will you be combining accounts? Keeping them separate? A combination of both? Either way, you'll need to sit down and discuss finances, which is never easy. (Maybe our old blog post can help!) Once you've figured out a game plan, visit both of your financial institutions to add each other to your individual accounts, cancel an account, or to get the opinion of a professional. If you're a member at DECU, Phil's great at talking through financial plans and options.
4. Now for the super fun stuff: insurance and benefits! Since you're married, you are most likely eligible for benefits from both of your employers. It's time to scour your packages and decide which is best for you. You may also want to reassess your current life insurance plans. You could save money by combining your car, house, and other insurances. You may want to check with a financial advisor or your insurance agency to see what could be combined and where you can save.
5. Last, team up and save big! The rule of thumb is that you should have an emergency fund equal to 3-6 months of your typical expenses. Now that there's two of you, expenses will most likely increase, so you'll want to get that emergency fund secure. After you feel good in case of an emergency, keep saving! Start saving for a vacation or future children. You'll feel safer knowing you're covered in case of an emergency and beyond.