Should we have joint or separate accounts? Both, actually. I’m a proponent of one joint “family” bank account and two “personal” separate accounts. The joint account is the budgetary account for your family. Without a joint account, couples tend to view their income and expenses as “mine” and “yours”. This results in a basic lack of accountability and often leads to excess spending, making practical budgeting difficult.
The next component of your finances, however, is a separate account for each spouse. Include a NQA (No Questions Asked) line item for each partner in your budget and write yourselves a check for that amount each month – kind of like a grown-up allowance. For this money, there is no accountability, because you have jointly decided on the amount. It’s yours to spend or save for something big.