Kansas State University


Powercat Financial

Tag: marriage

Money and Relationships

Research shows that money is the number one argued point in all relationships, and therefore we all need to spend more time talking about our finances with our partners. Sometime throughout life we have all probably experienced the profound effect money can have on our relationships. Money is a hard issue to talk about because it is usually a subject we are not necessarily overjoyed to sit down and figure out. Whatever relationship you may be in, when money is involved, you need to be taking time to talk with your partner and figure out your financial situation.

One major issue with money in relationships is where and how each person spends money. It is essential that a spending plan is made, with each person contributing to it, that each person will stick with. When there is a concrete spending plan in place that each person is willing to adhere to, the relationship can progress, and you can work towards accomplishing your financial goals. Listed below are some tips on what to keep in mind while you are making your spending plan.

1. Make money rules together
• Both you and the other person in the relationship need to agree on how you are going to spend your money. If one person comes up with a spending plan alone, the other person may not agree to it and therefore will not follow through with the plan. To be able to stay motivated to stick to a spending plan, each person needs to be involved in the planning process.

2. Be willing to compromise
• Both of you need to be willing to make compromises. For example, one person may not like the idea of spending money on eating out, but the other person may spend more money eating out than getting groceries. When sitting down together, you can figure out the perfect mix of eating out and buying groceries that works for both of you.

3. Express each of your perspectives about money
• Each person in the relationship needs to be honest in how they spend money and the reasoning behind their spending habits. Putting it out on the table for the other person to understand will make it easier to find a compromise in your spending plan and help the process.

4. Save for emergencies
• Each person should be putting money aside for emergencies. If you don’t save for emergencies, such as an unexpected car repair, it may cramp your other finances. By putting an emergency fund into your spending plan, you can be more prepared for unexpected expenses that may arise. The rule of thumb is to have 3-6 months of living expenses in your emergency fund.

5. Seek outside help
• If you are struggling on how you should make a spending plan and are unsure if it will work, seek outside help. At Powercat Financial Counseling, we offer free, confidential counseling sessions for K-State students. Go to our website at www.ksu.edu/pfc and make an appointment if you want help in making a spending plan.

**For a spending plan worksheet, go to www.ksu.edu/pfc/budgeting/. On that page, click on spending plan worksheet and begin the process of creating your spending plan. **

Brooklyn Hnizdil
Peer Counselor I
Powercat Financial Counseling

Marriage & Money

There are a lot of things to look forward to and be excited about when planning a wedding and ultimately a marriage. The financial aspect of a marriage can be complicated and the most stressful. Last week, February 28th and March 1st, we held two seminars that hopefully helped soon-to-be marrieds feel a little more at ease with their upcoming unions; at least the financial part of it.  🙂

As a reminder to those who attended and for those who were not able to attend, I would like to present some of the key points from the event:

1)     Effective communication is KEY:  I know some people will read this and think I am being a bit touchy-feely about this, but I promise you that if you want your conversations about money (or really anything for that matter) to be effective, you want to make sure you understand where the other person is coming from. You want to remember that what one person thinks is erratic behavior, the other may think it is perfectly normal. One person may love to eat out and enjoy spending their money that way while the other might think that is an enormous waste.  In financial matters it is so important to be united. Did you know money disagreements are the top cause of divorce in our country? Once you feel you understand each other, not necessarily agreeing with one another, then progress can be made and compromise can happen.

2)     Having the same goals:  There are a lot of things to plan for: buying a home, funding your children’s educations, vacationing, retirement, etc.  How do you decide which ones are the most important? Communication.  Once you have established common goals, you need to plan, prepare, carryout the plan, and then occasionally evaluate your progress and potentially re-prioritize.

3)     Budgeting: This is so critical.  I don’t know many people who reached any goal in life on accident or without any preparation.  Budgeting helps you bring your behavior in line with the goals for which you are striving.  Remember to regularly review your budget and make corrections as necessary.  Check out our website for some budgeting tools: http://www.k-state.edu/pfc/budgeting/

Marriage is great, but it can be a challenge. If you follow these principles you will have managed the financial challenges that can arise in a marriage. Congratulations to all who are planning to get married and join their finances with their partner!


Sam Honey
Peer Counselor I
Powercat Financial Counseling


Joining Finances?

Are you a newlywed or thinking of joining your finances together with your significant other?  Instead of jumping in head first, you should do your research.  Here are some tips to consider when deciding how to join your accounts.  Remember both parties need to communicate, decide on a joint or individual account, or both, and ask about online banking.

Talk openly and honestly about finances with your spouse so you can begin to understand how they handle money.  Both parties involved need to decide how they will share the task of managing their money and expenses.  Take into consideration each other’s strengths and weaknesses; maybe one of you is more organized with money and should be in charge of paying the bills.  Agree on a budget to plan for everyday expenses and reach long-term goals together.  Set some ground rules, such as which types of expenses you need to decide on together, and how much either of you can spend without consulting the other party.

Then, you must decide if a joint account or individual accounts works best for you.  If you are having troubles deciding if joint, individual, or both is best you are not alone.  Many couples open joint accounts and pay all their expenses jointly.  Other couples choose to have one joint account for shared expenses such as housing payments, and separate individual accounts for personal items such as clothing.  Still others prefer to keep individual accounts, and share the bill paying duties.  If you do choose joint accounts this means shared responsibilities.  Either of you can withdraw or transfer funds, and make payments.  If one of you overdraws the account or bounces a check, both of you are liable.  Each person will need the appropriate information and identification with him or her when applying for a joint account.  This includes Social Security numbers, driver’s license or other ID numbers, and employment information.  If you apply in person, you will both need to sign the application.

For joint checking accounts, and savings accounts with check-writing privileges, you get one checkbook.  You can both access the account, and any other accounts you have, through online banking.  Banks will have each of you choose your own username and password, so you and your spouse will have access to your joint accounts, and you alone will have access to your individual accounts.  You can view account balances and history, receive your bank statements online, transfer money into your joint account, set up services, and more.

Remember, there is not a “correct” way to join finances with another person, but it is important to make the best decision for you.  This decision will come with communicating and compromising on the best option to manage your money together now and in the future.

For more tips and ideas see http://news.yahoo.com/tips-combining-finances-getting-married-213600423.html and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/learnvest/love-and-money_b_1870705.html.


Ronika Ledesma
Peer Counselor II
Powercat Financial Counseling

Changing Your Name After the Wedding

The BIG day is approaching and you realize that a name change will most likely need to be made.  Although you are not required to change your name, somewhere between 60 and 80 percent of brides take their husband’s last name when they get married according to recent surveys. A marriage license with your new last name does not automatically mean you’ve changed it.  In fact, you shouldn’t change your name before the honeymoon because your new name has to match all travel documents and, most importantly, your passport.

1. Get your marriage license
Before you can change your name, you’ll need the original (or certified) marriage license with the raised seal and your new last name on it. Go to the clerk’s office where your license was filed so that you can get several copies.  You should get at least 3 certified copies of your original marriage certificate so that you will have enough for all the changes you are making.

2. Change your Social Security card
Visit the Social Security Administration’s website and fill out the application for CORRECTED Social Security card. You’ll keep the same number — just your name will be different.   You cannot make the change online; you either mail in the forms or take them to the local Social Security Administration office.  You will also need to show them proof of current identity (DL or Passport).

3. Change your license at the DMV
Take a trip to the local Department of Motor Vehicles office to get a new license with your new last name. Bring every form of identification you can lay your hands on — your old license, your certified marriage license and — most important — your new Social Security card.  They are usually closed on Mondays, so plan ahead.  Be sure to smile for your new picture!

4. Change your bank accounts
This is an important one, especially if you’re setting up a joint bank account, or if you have one already set up. The fastest way to change your name at your bank is to go into a branch location — bring your new driver’s license and your marriage license. You should request new checks and debit and credit cards on top of changing the name attached to your accounts.  Some banks charge a fee for requesting a new debit card.  Personal note: if you and your spouse are each getting a debit card, request you each get a card with a unique number and PIN.  That way if one of you loses your card, the other can still use their card while you are waiting on the replacement.

5. And a myriad of other places
Once you have a social security card and driver’s license in your married name, other changes should be fairly easy.   It might be easiest to make a list of all your different accounts and mark them off as you get them done.  Some places may only require a phone call; others may ask for a copy of your marriage certificate or social security card. Here are some examples of places you will need to notify:

  • Employers/payroll – talk to your Human Resource person about adjusting your withholdings as you may now file “Married Filing Jointly” on your taxes
  • Post office – remember change of address for all your mail and magazines
  • Electric and other utility companies
  • Credit card companies – (also a good idea to have unique cards like the debit cards)
  • Student loan servicers
  • Schools and alumni associations
  • Landlord or mortgage company
  • Insurance companies (auto, home, life)
  • Doctors’ offices
  • Voter registration office
  • Investment account providers
  • Your attorney (to update legal documents, including your will)
  • Passport office
  • Remember all of your social media sites as well (those realistically got changed as quickly as your status on Facebook J)
  • E-Commerce sites where you have accounts set up, PayPal, eBay, Amazon etc.
  • The next time you complete your taxes you will also show your name change – name on your tax return must match the name on your Social Security Card
  • Beneficiary: an item often overlooked.  If you have life insurance, disability, or other insurance policies, you generally select a beneficiary and will now want to list your spouse.

I am certain that this is not an all-inclusive list, however it should take care of most of the key changes.


Joel V. Reimer
Peer Financial Counselor II
Powercat Financial Counseling


**Most of this information was gleaned from the web at http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/planning-a-wedding/articles/name-change-101.aspx?MsdVisit=1 an article by Amanda Black. Other sites were also used.**