We went through stages in our relationship.. before we got engaged, we weren't really living together officially, so everything was seperate and I didnt pay any of his bills (I was living at home, but spent probably 80% of my time at his). Then shortly before we got engaged, I started contributing to the rent. But we got engaged at the same time that we bought our first property together (I already had my own investment ppty in my name, which I was paying for myself). Once we bought a place together that we moved into together, we set up a joint account for "bills". We had seperate accounts for salaries, and we contributed equally on a fortnightly basis into the joint account to cover our budgeted bills and food/car expense, and also a seperate amount automatically went into our mortgage/offset account. A year later we bought another property and turned both of them into investments. Again, we had our allocated amounts going into different accounts.. It was a bit tricky to set up, but eventually, we worked out a way to cover all our expenses. We both have our seperate credit cards that we pay off ourselves with whatever is left over from salaries. Because we currently have 3 investment properties that all pretty much pay for themselves, we are able to save a lot of money, but it belongs to both of us and we wont be touching it until we buy a family house. We live in a rental, but pay very little rent (only $200 a week).
My husband actually takes care of all the bills.. I never even see them, unless they are super high and he wants to have a whinge to me.. but most of our bills are for the investment properties, so he pays for everything either out of our joint spending account or our joint offset/mortgage accounts.
We do think of our money as belonging to both of us equally, particularly as we both earn pretty much the same salary, but we have such different individual needs/wants, and we would constantly argue if we had to justify every expense. I'm going to get paid mat leave, so even then, we will have seperate accounts and a joint account, but will probably set up another account for the baby to contribute additional $ - we'll do this once I get pregnant. If I wasnt working or if I had significantly less income than my husband, there is no way this arrangement would work. I think it really depends on your situation. Also, even though I owned my 1st ppty before I met my husband, and even though he never contributed toward it, even when I was $$$$ out of pocket each month, I still think of it as a joint asset now. We used part of our savings to renovate the place and its now on the market. Whatever $ we get from the sale will go toward our joint family home that we want to buy early next year..
Bit of a long spiel... sorry