There are benefits to viewing things jointly, but if being independent is more your style then that is also fine. My husband and I have lived together for 16 years and only opened a joint account about five years ago. We still only use it sporadically.
If some areas of your life lend themselves to joint finances, then it is okay to compartmentalise. We pay childcare and pet insurance jointly. Almost everything else is split in a way that we see as fair and which incentivises us. I buy the children’s clothes because I don’t expect my husband to understand the pleasure that I get from seeing them coordinated and smart. My husband pays the TV bill because I will never be okay with how much he spends on sports channels.
The important thing is that you are aligned in your long-term objectives. The journey that gets you there is very personal. Getting the right financial advice can help to put a plan in place and the opinion of an objective third party can be important.
Think very carefully about the implications of taking out joint debt. You are both responsible for paying off the whole debt, not just half each, and your credit records will be combined, which means that your credit score can be negatively affected by your partner’s past or future indiscretions or bankruptcy, and vice versa1.
Again, also think about the worst-case scenario. If one of you becomes unable to work, can you repay the debt on your own? A financial advisor can advise you on suitable protection policies.