We are currently trying to adjust our money management, so this thread is good for me. Interesting to see different ways of handling the finances.
I've recently become the person 'in charge' of the cash, but we both generally know what's going on. Our budget is very tight right now so it can be tough. I try to make sure he has some cash on hand, but it's not a set amount or anything. I don't set aside free cash for myself because I have all the money anyway, lol. So if I'm out I know if we can afford for me to pick something up I may want. It's just important to us that the person not actively handling hte bills doesn't feel out of the loop or like they're being controlled or anything. What I give him is usually pretty small, but enough so if he's out and wants a cold drink or a snack he can get it, or eat out for lunch with the gang from work occasionally.
It works for us because i have an easier time not spending money. He's the one more likely to fritter it away here and there and we both know that. Most importantly, HE understands that.
And knows it isn't good! So he doesn't mind doing it htis way. He'd tell you himself, he needs someone to keep him in line a little bit.
As for me, I feel the pressure and accountability of being in charge so that keeps me in line. No fair to hand him 20 bucks, tell him it needs to last until he gets paid again, then go blow a wad on myself, kwim?
Maybe it helps that we don't have a lot of spare money. If either of us spends too much it isn't 'oops, shouldn't have done that!' it's 'oh dear the electric is going to get shut off and we can't afford vegetables for two weeks'.
The bill paying and all, I'm still working out a system so that stuff all is more organized and planned for. But I guess like most everyone has said, the important thing is that neither one of us is unhappy with the wy we do it and we both have free and total access to the information. If it stops working, we'll talk about it and work out a new plan. Matter of fact that's how we got to our current plan! 5 years together of arguing, negotiating, trying different things, etc..