In the course of our marriage all of the following scenarios have been true: my husband has made more than me, we've made the exact same salary (working at the same place, so same benefits too), I've made more than my husband while we both work full-time, I've made more than my husband because he was working part-time and I've been the sole breadwinner as my husband transitioned into being a stay-at-home dad.
Living through all these scenarios has meant having to shift how we handle our finances. We when first got married and were making roughly equivalent salaries we did a "yours-mine-ours" plan. We both put the bulk of our earnings into a joint account for shared bills but we each kept some money in individual accounts for "fun" money and for debts or obligations (like child support) that we brought into the marriage
As our incomes shifted and we had children together we switched to a "what's mine is yours" model. Everything goes into the same account and we check with each other about big purchases before we make them. We had to negotiate what the definition of "big" was and learned to give each other warnings if the account got low before payday ("Um, honey, I don't get paid until tomorrow, so can you warn me if you also have to get gas today?").
Now that my husband stays at home, we are actually thinking about maybe having separate accounts again. This time, however, the accounts would both be just for fun money and would both be funded by my salary. I worry that sometimes he doesn't feel like he has the right to spend money as freely as I do, so I'm hoping this might help him feel like he has his own money to use however he wants, just like I do.
We've started talking about him going back to work next year when our youngest is old enough for preschool, so we'll be due for another conversation about money plans in not too long. Hopefully I'll have saved enough money in my fun account for this killer orange leather purse I am in love with before we change our strategy again!
How do you and your partner divide up money? Joint accounts all the way or are you more comfortable with separate accounts?