We've done different things based on what was going on in our lives at the time. We maintain mostly joint accounts.
Now since I've been a SAHM, I've managed the budget and bills while he earns. It was working really well until we got to the house. Now due to some issues of medical and other reasons we've racked up our finances again. So now we are going into wipeout mode. We've had to do it before we'll do it again.
I've been working from home to help with the wipeout debt mode we're in. So we've changed things up again a little. He maintains a spreadsheet of all the bills and due dates. I have access to it. I budget on what needs to be paid and when. I let him know if we need some extra money for certain weeks because the payment dates aren't lining up to our paycheck dates.
Now that I am earning a small income. I have opened a secondary online checking account, that I try to put enough in to pay for my cc bills. Especially the dental bill that I knew I would need and we were saving for but ending up needing to get it done a lot earlier than intended. We sit down and have discussions over our goals and future major purchases. Luckily most of the time we are on the same page. I'm sure things will change again when I look at going back to work after school starts. At least we are hoping I do.
Married 3 years, but as soon as we moved in together, we opened a joint account and decided how much each one will contribute to that account with each paycheck. This account is used for bills and household expenses. The "overflow" from each of our paychecks goes into individual accounts for things like lunches, coffee stops, etc. Anytime one of us wants to spend over $100 on anything that is not a household necessity, we discuss it with the other first, no matter what account it comes out of. I keep a google doc of all accounts and bills and track monthly when things will get paid. This doc is shared with my husband so he has access to it and if he isnt 100% comfortable with anything on it, we adjust it after discussing. We have never had a fight over money. To us there is no sense in it. We are a team, there is no "mine" or "yours".
We set up a house account for most expenses. Each maintained a separate account for smaller dispursments. Spouse is a spender. I'm a saver. Spouse used most of discretionary funds for things we both enjoyed, restaurant meals, plays etc. I'm a saver. I saved most of my discretionary funds and invested when saving was adequate.
WIth that system we seem to have outdumbed ourselves. Household expenses were paid the house account. Separate funds ended up being for fun things and savings/investments that benefited both of us. We could spend what we wanted but it was shared anyway.
That you all for this wonderful topic and all these insightful responses! I've recently become engaged and have found myself wondering how we would treat our finances. Our situation is really unique in a lot of ways. At the moment, I earn all the income and pay all the bills but he has helped and supported me through some very hard personal times. He is just a wonderful man and will be a wonderful husband, I think. I may start another thread with more details asking for advice as some of the responses here have really inspired me and also got me thinking.
Thank you everyone.
On the other hand, I have many friend's who have just recently gotten married or who have been married for a few year's and they all seem to have arguments constantly over finances and they all have the same thing in common, seperate finance's. I wonder if there is a direct correlation to a happier marriage in regard's to finances, for those who have joint accounts and actively share finances.
I personally believe there is no correlation.
The problem is that they are not on the same page about finances. The separate accounts just allows one of them to hide their spending addiction from the other for a longer period of time. The joint account couples just find out quicker how much their SO is spending.
If two people are not on the same plan about saving & spending money, it all leads to the same dead-end, regardless of joint or separate accounts.
When my wife and I got married her money and my money became synonymous. So direct deposit joint checking on two separate accounts. One is meant as a failsafe don't touch unless you absolutely have to. The other one is for the usual suspects: mortgage, daily expenses, kids tuition, etc..
We've purchased a home together and pretty much share everything. And yes we have disagreements and arguments in general like every couple out there. The only time we have one with regards to finances is when it neither involves her or myself directly. Like someone needs to borrow money and you just can't say no to (ahem an in-law). This is usually what happens when a curve ball that appears out of nowhere hits you in the head! It just throws everything off for everyone. Like a tornado just demolished your home type of thing (example only this did not happen). But I've learned even to that extreme of an unexpected financial event, we've always managed to bounce-back.
There's always light at the end of the tunnel... Congrats on your marriage!
We've been married for 3 months but have been together for 4 years and lived together for 3. We've always kept separate accounts and I pretty much handle the paying of all of the bills. Hubby just has a standard amount that he'll deposit into my account to cover his share. We are just about to open a joint savings but that will be the only account we have together. Works for us! I don't think we've ever fought about money to be honest.