September Repayment and Last Name Change

Hey everyone!  I, much like everyone else, can’t believe it’s already October!  September, as I assumed, kinda-sorta kicked me in the tuckus with a barrage of September birthdays and some hefty wedding deposits (photographer, church fees, favors), so in terms of debt repayment I only managed to kick out $290 from my life.  If I can be honest, though, I still don’t super regret it – some big ticket expenses were flights (since we’re saving as much vac time as possible for our wedding and got fairly good deals) and a nice dinner for my mom’s 60th (split amongst my bro/sis-in-law).  During that weekend, my dad also threw her a surprise brunch with all of her friends, and even though my dad forgot to alert everyone we were coming to the restaurant since he got distracted playing tour guide with B when we were in the car (an endearing quirk about him), the confusion-to-delight-to-happy-crying on my mom’s face was just something that I’m glad I didn’t miss.  It was amazing to feel so much love in the room for her, and I’m so glad B and I went to be a part of it.

This being said, mere moments ago John from Frugal Rules just notified me that I’m the winner of his blog birthday giveaway – thanks so much, John!  🙂  I never win anything except staring contests with B (and usually I don’t declare that we’re playing a game, but merely claim myself victorious once he blinks), so I’m all sorts of stoked.  This is all going towards my debt, I swear, and has renewed my focus on getting this debt out of my life.

Completely new topic, but a couple of people have asked whether I’m going to change my last name once I marry B.  I do plan to, because in my culture, I have two first names, my middle name is my mom’s maiden name, and my last name is my dad’s/family name.  You do that with all the kids, so my brother and I share the same middle and last name.  Once I marry, though, my last name becomes my middle name, and B’s last name becomes my new last name.  I’m hoping to keep the tradition if we’re to have little ones, since it’s something I find really interesting about my culture.  Besides, my last name only has a few letters and they’re all in his last name, so it’s like his last name just ate mine, anyway. 😉

If anyone else has intercultural stories or exchanges like that, I’d love to hear it!  Hope everyone has a wonderful week and a kick-booty October!


45 thoughts on “September Repayment and Last Name Change

  1. You already know September wasn’t my best month in debt repayment either but hey, that’s just how life goes sometimes right? 🙂 Congrats on winning John’s birthday blog giveaway! I think it’s awesome that you’re going to continue your culture’s name tradition!

  2. Congrats on winning some extra money while still getting to spend some on the really important things, like spending time with family. Funny how life works out sometimes, right?

    I dig your tradition of last names…it seems like a good way of keeping your old family name while gaining a new one. Pretty cool.

    • Thanks DbF – I know, right? It definitely made my weekend to be there with my family, as well as this week for receiving a nice surprise! I really like the name tradition so I hope we continue with it, too. 🙂

  3. Wow, congrats on the giveaway. I never enter those things because I never know if they are legit. Glad to be proven wrong. I will start testing my luck 🙂 Sounds like your money is still going in the right places, and progress is progress. You paid some towards your debt and you are doing great with all the wedding stuff. I think it’s beautiful that you are keeping the name tradition alive.

    • I know, you should try it – I just get clicker-happy all over the place, though I was surprised I actually got it this time! Yeah, I figured so long as I’m at least not in the hole with wedding stuff, it’s okay, though I’d still like for it to reach zero at least in early 2014!

  4. Congrats on winning the giveaway! I absolutely love that you have staring contests with B, but in your mind. I do the same thing, but my boyfriend usually wonders why I’m staring so determinedly at him and figures it out. I am glad you enjoyed the birthday parties – it sounds like your mom had a wonderful 60th celebration! I also think your cultural tradition with the last name is really neat.

    • Lol I love how you and R do the same thing, and that you like something that most people deem weird, including B (though he secretly likes it ;)). I love all my September loved ones, but my wallet’s definitely glad that it’s all over until next year!

  5. My middle name is my Mom’s last name as well. It just seems like a good way to keep both family names alive.Nice job on your debt progress. It looks like it will hit zero quite soon!

    • Oh that’s so neat – is it part of your culture, or just something that your parents decided to do? Either way, I think it’s a cool perspective on family lineage. Thanks, I can’t wait for Day Zero!

      • I’m actually not sure. I know we’re scotch-Irish, or at least a piece of me is. My mom has a cool name and her family has a crest, so it would be sad to lose it forever just because her parents didn’t have any men.

  6. The last name thing always cracks me up! My wife’s family is extremely conservative and strongly believe that the wife has to take the husband’s last name. They even have a little saying about it: “If they don’t take the name, they’re out of the game!”

    On the other hand, one of my wife’s extremely liberal cousins told us that she’d lose her identity if she had to take her husband’s name. All of their kids got her last name too. We know who wears the pants in that relationship!

    I think both views are equally ridiculous!
    I certainly wouldn’t want to change it. What a pain in the butt! All those accounts that would have to change, checks, bills, etc. Ugggh.
    On the other hand, I think that associating your identity with your name is a bit crazy as well. It’s like skin color. We’re born with it. I’d rather be judged on what I achieve in life than an attribute I can’t really change.

    Oh, and the Mrs. did take my last name; “1500” of course.

    • LOL at 1500… so do you do that pinky to the corner of your mouth thing like Dr. Evil (oh wait, that’s Austin Powers and not James Bond, never mind!). Hrm, I agree that both are pretty extreme… I think I look to it more as enhancing my identity rather than losing it. 🙂 There was actually someone on the radio that said if the guy didn’t take her last name, the wedding was off… I don’t know what ever came of it, but if that sets the tone of their marriage, then perhaps that’s not the strongest foundation, eh?

      • “LOL at 1500… so do you do that pinky to the corner of your mouth thing like Dr. Evi”

        No, but this is an excellent idea!

        “There was actually someone on the radio that said if the guy didn’t take her last name, the wedding was off”

        That guys seems like a dude on a power trip! Hope she stood her ground and finds someone better.

      • I totes wrote that wrong – she called in and said that if he didn’t take her last name, that she would call off the wedding. But yeah, either way, total power trip and power struggle to the party that would call it off because of that. Lame!

  7. I didn’t change my last name yet but I’m planning to once I can get my lazy self to to the court. In our culture, women don’t change their last name once they’re married. But since that’s common here and it’s easier to have same last name, I’ll change it.
    The reason I didn’t change it when I got married is because my laziness got me again. I didn’t apply for my citizenship until a year before my wedding. I had already purchased my honeymoon tickets with my maiden name and my citizenship didn’t get approved until a month before the wedding. I didn’t want to carry around bunch of paperwork overseas with all different last names and get stuck there or something.

    • I completely agree with delaying it (especially if we go on a honeymoon fairly soon after). I’m definitely not looking forward to the bureaucracy of changing last names, since it sounds really lengthy. Please share your experience with the process so I know what I have to look forward to! 😉

      • Anna, I used MissNowMrs, which cost about $20, but basically walked you through the entire paperwork process and prevented you from having to chase down all the different forms. You still have to mail them and head down to the SSA office, but I thought it was well worth the $20 not to have to track down all the steps and worry about missing one. =)

      • Mrs. PoP, I’m constantly impressed by your ability to know a lot about a lot – thank you so much for the great tip! It sounds like an efficient and thorough way to get the job done 🙂

  8. Congrats on winning John’s giveaway – sounds like great timing! I bet your Mom was thrilled to see you and B at her birthday brunch. I did take my husband’s name but the one I regret is that unlike you – I didn’t replace my middle name with my maiden name. My dad had three girls and we all took our husband’s names. I wished I would have thought to keep his name officially part of mine, although I still would have taken my husband’s last name. It’s a lot shorter and everybody always mispronounced my maiden name. 🙂

    • Thanks Shannon, for sure, my mom still talks about it to this day. haha Aww, sorry to hear about it being a regret. Do you think that’s something you’ll relay to your girls (well, though a long time from now and provided they even want to get married at some point)? It was hard to mispronounce my last name, though people still sometimes did by trying to make it fancier than it really was. 🙂

    • I love to hear that it was important and meaningful to the both of you! I think so long as both people in the couple can agree, that’s all that should matter.

  9. Congrats on winning the giveaway! Yay for free money. 🙂

    I think cultural identity is a big part of last names for women. I didn’t change mine because I love my end-of-the-alphabet Polish last name as I feel it’s a big part of me. My sister-in-law is Chinese and she kept her last name as well. So the same goes for name changes with a culture. In American culture, it is quite common for a woman to take her husband’s name so again, whatever cultural belief you follow is what works!

    • Thanks Tara! I agree, I think whatever works for a couple, should be good enough for anyone! I’m curious if you keep Polish traditions, as well? I try to incorporate mine into our relationship when I can, but find it lacks a bit on B’s side since he’s more American than German/Polish. I’d like to explore more German/Polish traditions.

  10. I just won a giveaway from the Frugal Model a month or two ago and was stoked! I had never won anything either, so it’s a great feeling – congrats!

    I like how you explained the naming tradition. I don’t know why it was so difficult for me to explain this to my non-filipino friends. They just really didn’t understand why my brother and I had the same last name!

    • Ooh, exciting, congrats on your win, Lisa! Haha, yeah, I for sure had to explain why my bro and I had similar middle and last names a lot (especially living in places where we were practically the only filipinos).

  11. I love learning about different cultural traditions. Just had to ask bf about this naming thing. I asked him when he came to the US what happened to his middle name. Apparently in the Philippines his legal first name is his first and middle names combined, but when he came to the US his drivers license wasn’t big enough to fit the full name. Very interesting.

    I think I’d take bf’s last name, but I’d want to keep my old last name too. I’m not sure how I’d work all of this exactly.

    • Oh man, that’s interesting about the combination of first and middle names, I haven’t heard that before! The driver’s license story reminds me of that one lady with the really long Hawaiian last name (I think 36 letters) that couldn’t fit on the license. I understand about wanting to keep both last names – I think mine identifies who I am culturally, whereas when I take his last name it might not be so obvious. It’ll be interesting to see what happens!

  12. Congrats on winning the giveaway! I took my husband’s last name too. I don’t mind being old-fashioned. It’s easier for the kids that way.

  13. Congrats on winning the giveaway! In Guatemala girls marrying a guy become “of husband” if you are marrying a guy called González, then you are “de González” and you can keep your maiden name first like “Perez de González”, I don’t like the possessive too much.

    • Thanks Pauline! That’s super interesting about the de… I have a lot of friends with last names that have “de” or “de la” in them, so perhaps that’s where it stems from. Thanks for sharing, I love learning that kind of stuff! I agree about the possessive connotations, though.

  14. I always find the last name thing pretty interesting. I’m Chinese and traditionally the wife does not change her last name, but I was born and raised here and many American Born Chinese follow the American Culture. My wife is Chinese but born in Latin America so her middle name was her mom’s like yours. So do you change your middle name or just add on your husband’s surname to your current middle name and surname. My wife just took my name for simplicity’s sake, but I think part of her wanted to keep her name or hypenate it but it might just sound weird…I dunno.

    • Hi Andrew! I know, I find last name traditions interesting, as well. That’s so interesting that your wife was born in Latin America – how did you two meet (if too personal, no worries). Indeed, I “kick out” my mom’s maiden name and just make my last name my new middle name… I would actually love to keep it all to fully track the history, but since my second first name is kind of long, there would be a lot of letters involved! So to keep it simple, I’m just following “regular” tradition.

  15. It must be so exciting to be planning a wedding! I am sure you can start paying down you debt in full force, once all wedding preparations are in place. So exciting about name change… for some reason, I thought about Khloe Kardashian (I don’t even watch the show!) whose middle name is now her old surname and her surname is her husband’s surname… if that makes sense 😛

  16. “so it’s like his last name just ate mine, anyway.”


    It’s definitely interesting to see how different naming traditions are around the world. We were hosted by an elderly German man in Munich, who expressed surprise (while i was out of the room) to T that we didn’t share a last name. To him, that was like me ‘rejecting’ my husband’s family >_<

  17. Just found your blog and just had to comment on the name change post. Everyone asks me if I’m going to change my last name, and it is a bit of a contentious issue so I dread the question. In my culture, I would theoretically take my husband’s FIRST name as my last name. This is something I refuse to do, as essentially I’d have a different last name than him (and so would our kids), and it would but utterly confusing on documents, etc. Our happy medium is me keeping my name as is, but he still brings it up from time to time. Rather just adopt the north american system!

    • That is really interesting – I’ve never heard of taking your husband’s first name. If you had kids, they take your husband’s or your last name? If your husband brings it up, does that mean he really wants you to take his first name? Thanks for sharing, I find this really fascinating!

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