This thread is becoming a great read for practical purposes....
I think the debate vs joint and separate accounts in marriage depends on the wife...
If you both have decent paying jobs and could afford to buy your own things then I think having separate accounts works well. You can decide what mutual expenses you both share and divide them up as far as who pays each.
Where I think it gets complicated and joint accounts are needed is if one party is financially dependent on the other. In most cases this would be the woman.. Say your wife doesn't have anywhere as near a good job as you do.. or lets say she doesn't work and she is a full time housewife....
She is going to need to need an account she has access to and get cash from.
Originally Posted by samspade
My wife and I have separate checking accounts and credit cards. We pay each other balances each month on what we owe jointly (utilities and other bills, vacation expenses, etc.) Of course we don't keep a constant ledger on who buys what. But as a general rule, she buys groceries and pharmacy stuff, and I pay for nightlife, dinners out, and the like. Our accounts are linked but only so that we can transfer funds INTO the other's account. It works for us and we don't look at each other's statements or anything silly like that.
I am not quite sure I understand your arrangement Sampspade. If you both have separate checking accounts why do you both
need to pay off each other's balances? Why couldn't you use your own accounts to pay the assigned expenses? I don't get the need for having the accounts linked? Not judging.. just want some clarification