I counted how many people voted in each direction. This was complicated slightly because your responses focused on different aspects of the issue. Of those who clearly stated an opinion, the tally is:
Separate accounts can work fine: 14
Separate accounts are associated with relationship trouble: 4
A few salient points came through in several responses:
- Regardless of how the accounts themselves are managed, the money should be managed with joint decision making. Communicate openly about money decisions and avoid secrecy.
- A few people mentioned practical considerations that can make separate accounts necessary, such as alimony or a business run by one spouse.
- A scarcity of funds can contribute to marital tensions, regardless of what types of accounts are used.
Joint accounts only: 11
Mostly joint with minor "spending" accounts on the side: 5
Separate accounts: 8
I guess it boils down to the same sort of comments several readers left earlier this week in response to the issue of shared versus separate sleeping arrangements; a relationship can thrive as long as you love and respect each other and treat each other well. The rest is just details.
My favorite response is from Starbender, who has a blog called This s#%t drives me crazy!!! While the sentiment in her comment does admittedly run against the grain compared with the above discussion, I picked this one for sheer entertainment value. Starbender writes:
I think separate bank accounts are Fantastic..... (as long as mine gets 2 stay a secret!) shhhhhhh!
Thanks to everyone for all your contributions!