You’re married – so now what? Websites to help you deal with the next steps! Part 2

We answered some fundamental next step questions last week – changing your name, combining your tax status, and selling some of your wedding items.  We couldn’t fit all the swirling questions into one blog, so here’s part 2.

This week, we’re looking at thank you notes, handling gift registry returns, and what things you need to combine: accounts, health policies,  insurance, etc.

Thank you notes are burdensome yes, but in today’s day and time, necessary – especially if you sent paper invitations.   If you are environmentally conscious and sent nothing but e-vites, then yes email is appropriate for your audience.  If you didn’t however, then you need to get writing!

The best thing you can do for thank you cards is: KEEP IT SIMPLE!  Even as you look at the numerous thank yous that you need to write, know that you don’t have to write a letter to each person.  Three to four sentences is acceptable.  Thank you cards are helpful in that regard, you can get cards personalized or plain, your choice. 

Have everything handy – create a work station:  wedding gift list (check), note cards (check), multiple pens (check), address book (check), stamps (check) – write one and check it off the gift list.  Again, you don’t have to write the world, but a few sentences thanking them for the gift and letting them know how you’ll use it is appropriate.

Gift registry returns – most retailers will work with you, particularly if you registered with them and have a gift receipt.  Without a receipt, you could be in a bit of a bind.  Most people know to get gift receipts, but if not, the best advice – go to the store where you registered for the gift and ask for a return.  It will most likely be handled like regular in-store returns without a receipt would be. 

If you’re returning a gift that you didn’t register for – go online and look for the nearest retailer that carries that item’s particular manufacturer.  Again, look for the item to be handled as though it is a regular in-store, no receipt return – in-store credit maybe in your future!

Last but not least, combining your policies/accounts and other items.  A number of policies will give you a discount for multiple coverage accounts – health/life/auto insurance.  Cell phone family plans are typically cheaper than separate accounts. 

Other accounts, it’s not so money saving – credit cards, if one of you has better credit, you may want to combine, if not, leaving them separate could save you in the long run.  College loan accounts can’t be combined unless you take out a bank loan and put them together – be cautious with this too as once they are joined into one loan, they cannot be separated.

As for investment accounts and financial accounts (checking and savings), discuss it with a financial advisor.   Some couples have everything combined, others separate – it’s all in what will work for the two of you. 

Having an understanding prior to the wedding helps make things go much more smoothly in the long run, but The Mackey House has a number of recommendations if you need some assistance.  Let us know, we’ll be glad to help you get started!