Money can be a hard thing to learn to share in a relationship. In fact, its one of the top things that couples fight about.
It wasn't until my husband and I bought a house in 2005 that we started to merge our finances and even up til last year we both had different banks for our personal accounts and a third bank that had our joint accounts in it.
As we've slowly transitioned from a couple that split the cost of everything down the middle and paid for it separately, we've learned one trick that has kept us from arguing about money.
We each get an allowance. Or in our case, we call it our personal spending money and its purpose is to pay for anything extra that we choose to spend it on. Like going out to eat with friends, going to the movies or going shopping.
Each payday Mr. Ripples and I each get $100 in cash. That's our spending money for the pay period. Usually I only spend about $60 of it. The rest I put into my personal savings account or use to buy clothes, make up or get my hair done. Sometimes, I'll save up for a while and one of my friends and I will have a spa day. And the great thing about it? My husband can't get mad or complain. When I bring home yet another pair of shoes even though I really only wear about 5 pairs on a regular basis, can he complain? NO WAY. Because I didn't use our joint account to pay for it, I used my spending money.
When he goes out and buys his 687th cd or 315th dvd (ok, I might be exaggerating), do I complain? Nope. We have an understanding, our personal spending money is our own money to use on whatever we want.
Mr. Ripples has one friend that will make jokes about him getting an allowance. But his friend is the one always complaining about how much his girlfriend spends of his money. But not us... I can't remember having one fight about money or ever having to justify anything that I've purchased.