My husband and I have always had separate accounts. We have one shared savings that we use to pay our mortgage and save for emergencies. We have a son, now 4, so there's more and more spending we do for the household and for him. As it stands, my husband transfers a few hundred dollars a month to me, and I take care of everything: household needs, kid's clothes and activities, etc.
Is this silly? Should we open a shared checking? This would just clock us in with six accounts between us, not counting the 529 for our son. I don't want to give up my own checking and savings, but six accounts sounds crazy, no?
Yours up to here with accounts,
Jessica in Park Slope
What sounds a bit odd to me is the routine of him taking some of "his" money and transferring it to you each month to provide for the household. Isn't that inefficient? Why doesn't he pay the family bills out of his account? Is it important that the money makes its way to you first for some reason? Are checks to the pre-school only valid if you sign them?
Overall, though, there's nothing crazy with having multiple accounts. If you and your husband can keep track of your eggs when distributed among so many baskets, and you're happy with your arrangement, then you're set; you don't have to answer to anyone else. But if monitoring a total of six or seven baskets feels like a lot to you, maybe create the joint checking and then consider cutting back on some of the individual ones.
As you're aware, there are advantages to consolidating when it comes to saving: compound interest, for example. The more spread out your money is, the more thinly spread it has to be. If you and your husband can put $10,000 into one high-interest online savings account, you can unlock a rate of 1.25% a year that's unavailable to individuals with less.