The old tradition of a woman taking her husband’s last name after marriage, while still common, is happening less frequently among modern brides. They sometimes eschew the custom for professional or personal reasons, or simply because changing your name can be a flat-out pain.

Now they can add one more reason: it could wind up costing them money.

According to a study by an economics research institute in the Netherlands, women who adopt a married name are likely to earn less than those who don’t. How much less? About $1,200 per month — which can add up to $500,000 or more in a lifetime.

The study found that in social settings, women who took a married name were perceived as “more caring, dependent and emotional,” while women who didn’t were seen as “more intelligent and competent.” And professionally, ladies who kept their maiden names were judged as “more ambitious and intelligent.”

As with all studies, of course, the methodology and conclusions can be flawed and may assume too much, but it’s still something to consider before tossing the bouquet – and your name.

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