Had to pay it off over a couple of months but that was a conscious decision to keep other cash available for expenses that I knew I was going to have coming up. We had a frank discussion of what our values were around engagement rings. We both love our rings, and I feel great about what we spent. Really the important thing to us was that it be a conversation and reflect our values as a couple. And yes, it was still romantic to get my ring, even after I knew the budget! There is no should on an engagement ring, as with any other gift given.
Or anything expense. How much should I spend on at TV? Well depends alot. If you are with the right person he will either know or be able to ask what you expect from this ritual gift giving in making a promise that someday you will legally bind yourself to another person.
How cool is that? When it comes to an engagement ring, simple rule, buy the best you can afford and make a genuine effort to be able to afford as much as possible. I think this is so well put. I define what he can afford as what he can reasonably pay based on his income and his other spending and saving habits. Personally, my husband took a line of credit and repaid it within 90 days. Some people may eschew debt, in that case I would say they should spend what they can comfortably save in cash. I also learned some of the same things Thomas did price jumps once you go from. Same thing with color.
Depending on the cut there are similar features with size. I went through the same process on the band, and then bought the stone from an online retailer this has its own pitfalls and you need to keep some things in mind at a good discount and had and negotiated with jewelers on setting it. Ramit, I read that same article and thought it was great.
However, I think many people underestimate the amount that can be saved on this purchase without sacrificing one iota in quality. I over-analyzed because I found the industry scammy and aggravating. I live in Chicago where we have a diamond district. The sales person will sit you down and ask you about approximate size you were thinking of.
The middle one will generally be nicer quality and color. A fine ring can be inherited, bought, designed, whatever … anyway, it is not the ring that counts, it is the bond. Flashy rings can be cool, and some people need them, like others want flashy cars. Hell yea women want an engagement ring. Women love jewelry, and they really love showing off very nice jewelry. I bought an engagement ring about five years ago.
I did research about what I should spend. I asked at three jewelers one national chain, one regional chain, one single store and none of them knew if that was supposed to be gross or net. I think I ended up spending about 2x net wages, but I was looking in the x range. A couple people have mentioned the invisible factors of needing to show that you can provide for your fiancee and her needing to feel the same.
All of the oohs and ahhs that she got which indirectly reflected on my taste and resources helped to emotionally reinforce that logic for both of us. One other interesting note: when buying a diamond, there are 4 main characteristics and they operate on a continuum. So at some point you have to decide which diamond to buy with your budget. For me, there was a minimum acceptable quality level. But anything above that was invisible to the naked eye, so I put the additional money into size. So instead of a smaller, higher quality diamond, I chose bigger and slightly less quality.
The ego is a powerful thing…. Maybe 2. Anyway, 2. I just want a beautiful piece of jewelry that we both love and that I will be happy about every time I look at it. We joke about being in a race to see who gets there first. He should spend the effort to do some research, harness expertise and figure out his part of the equation. Mine was custom made and both have Montana sapphires. Very odd guy. Very odd, mobbed-up, Detroit dude with some weird personality problems.
There was no second date. Personally, I think a man should spend what he can afford to buy a tasteful ring his fiancee would like. I wonder when diamonds became the standard engagement ring stone? Of course, if your girl is a very girly-girl, dragging her off on a back-country hiking and camping trip to dig up her own diamond is probably not the thing to do. I think it would be cool.
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Why buy a standard ring? Sounds like a bad deal to me. Do what makes her happy. Unless you like getting screwed steer clear of mall jewelers. The quality of the stones you get for the money is disgraceful. If you can find a local jeweler or better yet an artist- do that. I would love to know how much folks are spending for their husbands wedding band. He wanted tungsten, he picked out the design, and I got him what he wanted. I wonder if this disparity is normal?
Got married last year, so I went through this process recently. For some, like my wife, the style and cut are much more important than the price tag. Thankfully for my pocket book, she has tiny hands that would make a large rock look very silly. And she made it clear that she never wanted to know the exact figure on how much I spent. Struggle together, grow together, and succeed together. Hi Jim, happy to hear you found the right ring.
A response to your response: what does marriage have to do with struggling, growing and succeeding together? None of those require a marriage. What is the real value to getting married when you're still poor that you mention? Like ever ever. On blood diamonds and horrific mining for stones and metals : — I agree with you on this. Get people to stop judging each other and they will lose a lot of their value. If low income earners buy cost efficient rings then it is a sign they know not to overspend and can manage their finances maybe, of course this is one factor among many which bodes well for the marriage.
These examples will resonate with some people, and those are the people who should emphasize the ring. If you read these and think, I'm not like that person he's describing, that's ok too. I would think no more than 2 months salary. I think my husband spent BUT, I will say, being young and surrounded by friends getting engaged, etc it is quite easy to think that the perfect diamond and ring are essential. After a few years, I was of the opinion that a nice simple band maybe etched nicely would suffice and also not get caught on all manner of clothes and such.
If I had a do-over I would get a pretty gold band and elope. He found a jeweler that he liked and trusted early in our relationship 6 years by the time he was ready to do engagement ring shopping. He looked at hundreds of rings, settings and diamonds before deciding none fit what he wanted to give me.
Being 22 when I got engaged, I thought that my ring was excessive, especially when I compared them to other friends rings who had gotten engaged around the same time, in similar circumstances. It took him over a year, as he was in a car accident and had to replace his car while still trying to get my ring. Is it beautiful? Was it necessary for him to spend as much? Do I love that he went above and beyond for me?
That just sounds ridiculous to me, so I think common sense should prevail. Find something she likes within reason and go from there. I wanted the proposal to be a surprise so ring shopping was out of the question. I thought I had everything figured out and negotiated a good price on a diamond I was planning on getting a local jeweler to set. I was able to return the diamond without any issue if you buy online make sure the seller has a decent return policy.
I had saved up for this before hand and actually budgeted to spend more. I paid on my frequent flyer credit card which helped contribute miles for our first class tickets to Malaysia and Tokyo for the honeymoon and then quickly paid off the credit card with the savings. Both of us have some good paying jobs. I had the savings. Big difference there but rather from the mindset get something she will love and not be ashamed to show off.
To be honest, I think you should spend as little as possible to buy a meaningful object I say this as a custom jeweler, btw. Decide what would be most meaningful to your partner their input is vital in this! Do a lot of research i. A little follow-up…when we got engaged I was finishing grad school and he was getting ready to go. Yes, I was sucked into the marketing of wanting a glitzy diamond while trying to keep my head about it. This is good question, indeed. Let me first state — I am of the opinion that the amount of money spent on your ring, in no way dictates how much your significant other values your relationship or you as a person.
I think couples tend to get too engrossed in their emotions when this topic arises. I was engaged to another man before I was married to my present husband. He was finishing law-school and I hated the idea of him spending too much on a ring. I told him that we would upgrade to a real diamond on our 25th wedding anniversary. He insisted on using the 3-month rule for the warranty value, not what he would spend on the purchase, which I thought was far too much and completely driven by emotions monthly income x 3. I will tell you that it made me sick for the first year to wear a piece of jewelry valued at that amount and I, sadly, saw it as a huge opportunity cost.
I even threw the poor financial decision in his face a couple times during arguments -which I presently regret. Any material thing is subject to that question, some like pets, engagement rings, and homes are subject to more scrutiny and judgement than others. I just got engaged two weeks ago, and I while I had kind of always envisioned wearing a plain band, my fiance went above and beyond on his own accord and got me a gorgeous, non-traditional sparkler. Still, he knocked it out of the park, I was blown away. I look at it constantly and I think of our proposal, and just how much thought went into this, it was one of the biggest surprises of my life.
And it will become somethign we pass down through the family. You have to create your own experience, and your own life. You get told your whole life that the engagement ring is the most important symbol of your most important relationship. Plus, we have this romantic notion of the ring as a surprise gift.
I would be incredibly upset if my partner bought me a car without talking to me about it beforehand, no matter how much he made. Ditto an engagement ring. Taken together, these ideas make it incredibly hard to apply principles of conscious spending to engagement rings. My husband and I had a very long discussion about engagement rings. We eventually decided that we could choose our own symbol, one that was important to both of us. We picked having amazing wedding bands as one of our six financial priorities for our wedding. It was less expensive than the engagement rings he wanted, but it meant a whole lot more.
I think there is a larger purpose to having an engagement ring be a big purchase big is obviously a relative term based on income. It should encourage the purchaser to go through a thought process that is valuable for the relationship and stability of the future marriage. If you know her well enough to propose, you should have a pretty good idea on this. You will become jointly responsible when you marry.
What do YOUR values say about spending money on jewelry when you are carrying debt. If you are not willing to combine assets and debt, or if you have radically different values on money, you need to work this out before or during the engagement.
Again, this question has a lot of moving parts. Bad for the soul. So, I think an engagement ring should be expensive enough that the purchaser has to think long and hard about the relationship, pursue deep knowledge and coordinate values with the intended, but not so expensive that it will make the loss a life-altering wreck. Scale according to personal circumstances. Coming from another country and a rather traditionnal family. Of course, we discussed what we wanted and what we found reasonnable an estimate of the budget between us, but his family is responsible for the ring and I will not know the exact price.
Also, it will not be a diamond but a colored stone because I just find them prettier. The amount you should spend depends on the signal you want to be. There are two signals to consider: the signal the ring purchaser is sending to the recipient, and the signal the wearer it is sending. Does the purchaser agree with purchasing a real diamond? How bad will the purchase hit you in the pocketbook? TL;DR: It depends. How do you want to be perceived and what means do you have?
She says that it represents a wonderful if impoverished time of their lives. As for me, I want a stone from the mine on the mountain that I grew up on — a garnet. And, its made by a long-time family friend! The nicest ones cost 6 or 7 hundred. But, that is a far more meaningful and thoughtful gift than another ring ever could be. I think, assuming the man is buying a ring for the woman, that he should spend whatever he is comfortable with. The only thing I thing is a little outrageous is going into debt for a piece of jewelry — spend within your means.
Does it depend how much the guy makes? I think only so far as what he can afford. In my opinion, this is a gift from him to her. Of course, these are all my personal opinions. However, I do know women my sister being one who want that diamond and have a picture of the ring they want, the end. But then, certain styles will end up costing more money anyway. When I got married, no engagement ring. If you had extra you should give it away to charity. Plus we were students. So I said okay.
He never asked what I would want. When I got married, the conversation that my now husband and I had was about price- what could we afford at the time- and about what I would want to wear on my finger for the next 50 years.
Do what you want, other ladies, but I went in to this preparing to wear this ring for the rest of my life. That in mind, it was really about the look of the thing. What fit out budget and what did I like looking at on my finger? However, we did make the mistake and buy it on credit. At the time when we bought it, money was coming in fairly steadily and we assumed that it would continue on in that fashion, so we to the risk of borrowing funds to pay for both my engagement ring and our wedding bands.
However, we moved to a different state shortly after our wedding and ran into some pretty serious financial hardships, which made it difficult to pay for the ring, making it purchase a point of stress. There are no right answers, because the entire industry was fabricated by extremely clever marketing by De Beers which made diamond a symbol of commitment. Diamonds are not valuable because they rare there are rarer stones that are worth less , but like Santa Claus, the engagement ritual and the ring were pretty much created out of thin air to sell stuff, but because they sold stuff so well, they eventually become inseparable from American and even international culture.
For example, where do you think the 2. Or the 4 Cs? Sorry folks, we got played. But what we as men want to make of it is entirely up to us. For example, instead of making it about the diamond or the ring, I decided to make it about something far more valuable… a story. Instead of getting an off-the shelf ring, we enjoyed the process of designing and creating our own custom ring. The story in tandem with the proposal story makes her ring priceless in her mind, and any comparison with her jealous girlfriends becomes impossible it was far more than the 4Cs or the price tag at that point.
The insurance company agreed not to have them arrested, and they agreed to give up on their insurance claim. Then they came to me to borrow a metal detector in hopes that they could at least find the ring again, but it was gone forever. Real smart planning there. They should have been in the cast of Fargo. All insurance appraisals for gemstones are ridiculously over-the-top. We bought our rings out of our savings.
I lost my wedding bank 24 hours after the wedding, at our honeymoon beach…she was kind enough or smart? I learned from all this ordeal that women have a status thing when showing off an engagement ring…akin like showing off your new driver to your buddies at the tee-off, or people admiring your BBQ grill. So yes, there are big differences between men and women, despite what some people say. This is a really fascinating conversation. When I went back to the U. We had matching rings made by a local designer — they are totally unique and totally us and we LOVE them.
The marrying her — that should be the commitment. I say the amount should be however much has been saved for the purchase, so no debt. If this is just a small figure, meaning a small diamond or no diamond , so be it. If she expects a more expensive ring that he can pay for outright, perhaps the cost of the ring is not the most important question they should be looking at, at that moment. Perhaps she values the jewelry more than the marriage. Perhaps he is a cheapskate.
Every one is different. Engagements rings are tangible symbols of the next phase of life. So pick a ring that is symbolic or holds meaning, not one that is governed by price. To that, if you have married a woman that is judging the ring based on price, you picked the wrong woman, sorry to say. Check them out here. My husband was making about k at the time and had minimal expenses. I was about ready to die when I found out. The jeweler is going to try to upsell you on both, and it may be that your girlfriend only cares about one or the other or neither. So did he get it to please your peer group as well?
And how does one downsize the ring after the proposal if it is bigger than what you want as he purchased what he thought you should have? As much as he can and wants to afford. I know how much my husband spent on my ring, and, because it is an antique, he would have paid more than double for it elsewhere. But is that the real point here? To me, the value of my ring is priceless.
No one else in the world has my ring, or, much more importantly, my husband. Being fiscally responsible and knowing what would mean something to me is and was more important than the actual price or street value of my diamond. I agree with a lot of the commenters here.
Her expectations and your expectations need to align. Communication is key, just like in any relationship! Hey Ramit, I kind of jumped the gun and ruined my husbands proposal plans—I told him I wanted to be his wife before he had a chance to ask me…doh! Chalk it up to the heat of the moment. He was overjoyed with the idea. There is truth to that. Truth is that a ring does matter, just not how much you pay for it. Real-life conversations are very, very different than these comments.
Yes, there are some self-selection issues, but on posts about wedding rings, you almost NEVER see a woman say she wanted a big ring, or a guy admit to purchasing an expensive one. Because, Ramit, look at the readers you attract! You beat people over the head with the fact that you went to 15 car dealerships to track down a car. Your readers are obviously self-selected to be frugal and sharp negotiators.
They are not frugalistas — those are the people I intentionally send away. I quickly perused the numbers too. Seriously, holy shit, I need to hang out with these people more. The numbers being tossed around are easily x the numbers being floated here. You should take it as an enormous compliment to your success as a teacher!
The guy who spends all that money is a sucker. The woman who gets the huge ring is shallow or a gold-digger. Who would want to publicly identify themselves that way? In our own communities, we can make our behavior conform to the community values and get the approval we need. Ramit this reply is sinking to the bottom of the page in my Chrome browser and not sticking with the comment it was written for. No, Erica is right Ramit. You preach about spending on what you care about and conscious spending.
Well, perhaps your readers care more about clothes or travel than they do about rings. Meanwhile, the folks you have conversations with in real life are likely also self-selected… and likely primarily live in high income areas Bay area, NYC. I live a comfortable life and often splurge on vacations and travel. Maybe half, max. Interesting questions Ramit! Selection bias is huge here. Outside of obvious outliers which we obvious all are , women equate the ring to personal worth. Perhaps my feeling of her being a cold bitch was the same idea that some women commenters fear would be associated with them.
Being a male, I have more trouble analyzing the barriers in mindset. I really never cared as it seems very subjective to current situation and the partners with biases of course. If I was to get married. If it was more than 2. Ramit, because it is a co-ed discussion. A woman may think, or say to her girlfriends, that she expects a ring at least x size.
Another excellent comment. Tons of stuff men will never hear women talking about because of social stigmas and vice versa. Another intriguing to me thing going on in these comments is that a lot of these numbers though stated to be low by you are enormously high to me. That probably says a lot more about my background than expectation levels. If you tell him in advance that you want an extravagant ring, how can it be a surprise?
The myth is that somehow, without the woman ever bringing it up cause that would be nagging, right? I can confidently say that my wife would say she never wanted a "big ring.
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I would say my wife picked a damn big ring at just under 2 carats, princess cut, high-end quality. She loves it and I know executives at her firm have noted that they were impressed with her ring. Is it helpful for her in her career? For better or for worse, yes. I did automated savings with an eye for purchasing a ring and financing a wedding for nearly 10 years — so I had the 15k in cash for this ring. Her wedding band was another 2k platinum with small diamonds. I wouldn't advocate anyone stretching themselves to make any purchase.
But if you have the money and are sound financially, why not use it to do something fun? Hopefully she will wear it the rest of her life. Alright, I will raise my hand as the girl who…well…would prefer a larger ring over a smaller one. Then I moved to the city and started working in finance, and things started to change. The money would end up being basically a wash, because it would be more about the act of each of us giving something significant to the other.
Oh, and regarding Ramit's philosophy: Ramit has always preached the gospel of "Earn more so you can spend what you want on the things that matter. This was a big part of why his work stuck out to me back in , because I was tired of being made to feel guilty for wanting nice things. And I've taken that philosophy to heart. I was never able to afford Dream Job on that income, but I used Ramit's free material combined with my own experiences and a ton of hard work to get to where I am now.
It's fascinating to see how people take away different things from IWT, but for me, it has been first about earning more, then spending unapologetically on the things you care about. My fiance and I bought our rings in Grand Cayman while on a cruise with his family. Then he got to propose to me in front of his family. We planned the whole thing together, but I still teared up when he got down on one knee even though I knew it was coming.
I have a more unique-looking ring and got a better deal on it since we were in Grand Cayman. I had already priced a bunch of rings here and I negotiated hard with them. I think: Do whatever makes you happy. I agree with many of the comments above: You should pay whatever it costs to buy the ring you and your partner would truly value and that you can afford. I feels like a tangible embodiment of the essence of our relationship and makes me happy every time I see it on her finger.
The only 3 things I am sure about how much a man should be spending on an engagment ring for a girl are:. He should buy it with cash. Finances are one of the primary reasons couples get a divorce. Lack of communication is one of the other primary reasons couples get a divorce.
Comparison envy can destort the desires of even the most frugal person. This seems to assume that there has been both a long dating period and at least the expectation of a long engagement. In an ideal situation, I would never, ever have a discussion about how much the thing cost, and never want to ask — I would just want to know it was special. Seriously important object.
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Who cares what it is worth monetarily? A man that practices conscious spending should have no problem doing this in about months.. The fact that you planned everything out that much, makes it even more of a statement to the woman you give the ring to. And that, can mean even more than the ring itself. Thanks for adding a different opinion than everyone else, Chelsea. I appreciate it. I disagree Chelsea. But spending that planning time to also save my money?
At the time my wife-to-be an I were serial entrepreneurs, make money from one idea to pump into the next. Fast forward 5 years and we are sitting on the profits from those business ventures and my wife is still sporting a lovely cheap! Is that what makes you happy Chels? What type of ring actually gets purchased is secondary to all that. My husband bought me a gorgeous and, it turns out, pricey engagement ring, and he found a way to do it even though he had just finished his doctorate and had only been working for a few months.
I basically changed my entire life to marry my husband. I left a lucrative job, family and friends, and a city I loved to move to a smaller city where I knew no one but where he had a job in his field. If circumstances had been different maybe I would have been happy with a ring made of tin foil. In this case it was important to me that he put a stake in the ground. And damn it, he did! My ring is gorgeous and glittery and I love it. Great comment Chelsea! He saved while he was considering marriage, and had his buddy right by him for some guy time before moving in together.
It fits with my priorities of how I spend my money. Hi Hilary, I agree with you. We looked at how much we had to spend on all this, and divided it up. I chose a more expensive ring, and spent less on the engagement party had it at home and honeymooned locally. Every time I look at my gorgeous ring, it makes me happy that we bought the best ring we could afford. PS Ramit, do you have a romantic event planned that we shouid all know about? Just spending time together was enough to make the engagement ring incredibly special — for both of us.
Buy what you can afford and what will make you happy. We did not have much money when we decided to get married. We went together and I picked out a 10k white gold ring with a small, poor quality, princess cut solitaire. To spend 2. An engagement car! I like that. A thoughtful guy will plan for the girls expectations before popping the question. Kimmy K and Kris Humphries. Thomas, when my husband and I were dating, one of the things we talked about was financial values and aspirations.
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