As for as the judging those with separate accounts...
I admit to every time this is brought up having the initial reaction of "That is so sad". Because of how wmy husband and I operate, my gut reaction is to feel that by having separate accounts there is something wrong, something missing. That there is a trust issue or an entitlement issue (for example, I earn more and thus I'm entitled to my bigger paycheck while you make do on your small one).
And then, of course, every time I realize, "Duh, these are smart, fine people at A to Z! They're not being abused and manipulated. It works for them, clearly!
So, honestly, I don't judge. But it takes me just a minute for my we little brain to process it. Haha.
Separate, technically, which is contrary to what I believe is best. I'm of the opinion that keeping things separate leaves open opportunities for disunity. That's not to say that having separate accounts automatically means that there will be problems in the relationship, I just think that when issues come about, separate money can exacerbate the situation.
We have a joint account. We did make verbal agreements about how we will handle certain situations. In 17 years, we've stuck to it.
There was one point that he wanted to refinance a prior loan of his under my name because I could get a better deal. That I did not do. The loan was a large one. It has since then been paid off so neither of us have any debt.
2. His Account: video games & dvds, outings with the boys, new clothes & shoes, trips to the barbershop, lunch with his coworkers, loaning money to friends or family, cookbooks, recreational reading books, Netflix subscription (since I rarely watch it)
3. My Account: books for my kindle, hairdresser, new clothes, outings with the girls, $50 monthly for my elderly aunt's nursing home bill, gas for car, make - up, nail polish
It's worked for my parents for 30 years & my co-worker and his wife for 12. Plus it just makes sense to me.
This is what we do as well. It works great for us. I manage the joint account and pay all household bills out of it. Then any of our "wants" we pay out of our own personal accounts so we can make sure not to overspend. If I want something that is more costly than what I have in my account he either gives me money from his account or I put it on our credit card that we both pay off. And vice versa if there is a large item he wants to buy.
We also have 2 savings accounts we both contribute to monthly. One is for vacations, big purchases for the house, home improvements, etc. and the other is the emergency account that we never touch.
I see the idea behind having one large joint account but that just seems like a logistical nightmare for us. When I go out on a random shopping spree and spend hundreds for really no reason and without a plan (which I've been know to do ) I wouldn't have to wonder if he happened to do the same thing on the same day and whether we have enough money. I know that's unlikely but the what ifs would drive my OCD brain crazy. That's really the only reason we don't just have one joint account.