Okay that might be a little dramatic. But it has been a very beneficial step. When my husband and I got married we ahered to the philosophy that we put all of our earnings into one pot. As such we didn't see the need for having our own checking or savings accounts. We budgeted each month for us to have a set amount of spending money we could do whatever we wanted with.
Problem being this never really worked out. No one kept track of how they were spending and inevitably one person would spend more than the other. Then the arguments started. You spent WHAT on your haircut? HOW much were drinks with your friends?
The obvious solution is to get our own accounts which we finally did. They both link to our joint account, but we don't have access to each others individual accounts. It's been working great! I don't have to feel guilty about how much I spend on highlights and my husband is free to enter a poker game without me complaining about it being a waste.
Also having my own set of money has made me more conscious overall. When you are looking at a larger amount of money in a checking account a $10 lunch out doesn't seem like a big deal, but with my more conservative allowance, I'm starting to better understand and actually see how those small purchases add up. Now when I want to go out to eat, I make sure it's for something I'm going to really enjoy. I find these habits spilling over into the joint budget as well.
How do you and your significant other manage personal and joint money?