Kansas State University


Powercat Financial

Tag: success

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.**

Behavior Based Interviews

An employer’s ultimate hiring decision is based not just on your qualifications, but the employer’s total impression of you. Since a large bulk of this impression is going to be formed during your interview, it is important to adequately prepare for the types of questions that you might be asked.

Behavior based interviews are the direction that most companies are headed in regards to their interview process. A behavioral based interview focuses on discovering how the interviewee acted in a very specific employment-related situation (ex. tell me about a time when you had to deliver an uncomfortable message to someone?).

From my own experiences with talking to employers, there are three main things that interviewers are looking for in your answer to these questions. Tailoring your answers to fit this structure will increase the quality of your answers and help you leave a better impression on employers.

1. Situation – This is your chance to frame up the challenge situation/challenge that you were facing. Try to be as specific as possible with your answer – interviewers don’t want to hear a generalized description of your past experiences
2. Action – Describe the contribution/action that you made in this particular situation. Be sure to focus specifically on yourself here and not the collective actions of a group or team.
3. Result – Briefly describe the outcome of your actions. What did you accomplish?

As you prepare to graduate and begin your interview process, don’t forget to practice this technique. Concentrating on these three items will help your answer stay focused and professional. Good luck!

Ryan Ehart
Peer Counselor II
Powercat Financial Counseling

Financial Success Stories

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines success as “the accomplishment of the aim or purpose.”  At Powercat Financial Counseling, our counselors’ number one concern is to help our clients achieve financial success. There is no easy button or simple recipe for reaching financial success. However, included in this article are simple financial steps that can help anyone get started in the right direction to becoming their own financial success story. Also, included in this article are client success stories, as related by Powercat Financials peer counselors.  Please note that the client’s names have been changed in this article to protect their privacy. To begin, you will read about Shelly and the path she took to becoming financially successful.

Shelly struggled with finances early on in college and had to work 20 plus hours a week to make ends meet.  She had gotten in over her head in credit card debt and was feeling a lot of financial stress about her situation.  She was active on campus and a leader in student organizations.  She aspired to help her family be financially successful and wanted to set a better example for her siblings.  We worked with Shelly on her budget and reviewed a plan to pay down her credit card debt.  Her dedication to improving her situation was apparent; she just needed help getting started on the right path.  She stopped using her credit cards and stuck with the plan we developed no matter how challenging it seemed. She came back to us near the end of her college career with a totally different perspective.  She’d secured a great career opportunity and no longer had credit card debt to pull her down financially.  She was so relieved and felt more secure with her situation.  She even talked about starting to save and put money aside for her siblings.  With our help, she realized the financial success she’d dreamed of.

With every success story there is a lesson to be learned. In Shelly’s case, the lesson is the importance of establishing and following a budget. This is the first step to becoming financially successful.  Budgeting is particularly important in college when majority of students funds are limited.  Using a budget is a way for students to stay on top of their finances. In order to start a budget the first step is to estimate your expected expenses for one month. Next, closely track what you actually spend over a month’s time.  Finally, revise spending habits in order to stay within the budget. You can read additional information about creating a budget along with access to our budget form click on the following link. http://www.k-state.edu/pfc/budgeting/

The next client success story involves a young lady named Katherine. Katherine sought out our services after breaking her leg. She did not have any health insurance and was unable to receive financial support from her parents. When she first met with us she was overwhelmed with the idea of paying off her medical expenses. The billing departments had been contacting her and the financial stress she was feeling was widely apparent.  The first thing we helped Katherine with was to help her organize the bills and establish a plan for paying them off. We helped her establish a budget, in which we included the medical payments. After working through a budget and offering her additional advice about student health insurance options Katherine was able to breathe easier.

As before, there is another lesson to be learned from Katherine. In this type of situation, the importance of having a budget does come back into play. However, this client was an excellent example as to why individuals should have an emergency fund established. It may seem like a daunting task, but even just saving $20-50 dollars every month could help make those unexpected situation less stressful. An easy way to do this is to “pay yourself first.” If you have direct deposit at your job, set up your pay check so part of it goes into a savings account.

Success is measured differently for everyone. For Shelly, it was becoming debt free and for Katherine it was paying off her medical bills. So help yourself become a financial success by tackling one financial goal this month. If you don’t have a budget, start working on one. Or perhaps you want to start saving for your emergency fund; start by setting up a savings account this month.


Anna Govert
Peer Counselor I
Powercat Financial Counseling