Dear Miss A,
I am fairly confident of the girl I am going to marry. We have been dating for 2 years. Marriage really hasn’t been a hot topic, but all of our friends are getting married and I know that both of us feel that we will probably in our future. However, we’re just too young (both 25). We want to establish our careers and attend grad school. Above all else, we want to have a comfortable life once we do get married.
However, I have been stressing out about saving for a ring. I don’t believe in buying stuff on credit, so I want to dedicate a portion of my investment portfolio to short (1-4 year time horizon) term investments that I can liquidate with relatively little notice.
My biggest question is, what amount SHOULD I be looking at saving. My hunch is to aim for the equivalent of today’s $10-15,000. I am not opposed to spending $20k, but I am not completely comfortable with it either.
I know what I can get for between 10-20k, which is a 1ct – 1.5ct solitaire, with excellent quality/clarity/cut. However, there is a huge gap upwards in price when we’re talking 1.75ct and 2ct+.
Is there any reason to feel stressed about the pressure all guys feel to get a bigger, more expensive ring? I’m never going to sacrifice quality for size – but my question is, should I wait till I can afford both?
I hesitate to pour too much money into it, because no matter how much money I have – the ring is still just a ring. I know my gf will be like many of the girls on this thread saying “it doesnt matter, what matters is who its coming from” but, I know that this sentiment is only part of the story.
I know that I am planning far into the future – but thats just how I think and plan. Please don’t provide feedback if you’re just going to tell me how stupid it is to think I’m going to marry my girlfriend b/c its so far off.
So Miss A, my question is – am I on the right track with the 1-1.5ct target? Am I over thinking this?
I don’t want to hear the whole argument about “less is more” and how it doesnt matter what others think, its what she thinks. I want to know if I would be ashamed to propose to my gf with a 1-1.5ct ring?
Thank you so much for your question! A gentleman who spent $1500 on a ring made over $100K a year. In my experience, $5K is average these days. People were spending much more a couple years ago when they could take money out of their homes, and the real estate market was booming. $10K is above average, and $20K is well above average. Every once in a blue moon, someone will spend $30K or more. Times are hard, and diamonds are competing with other expenses that folks have.
You write that, “we want to have a comfortable life once we do get married”. I suggest that if you know you want to be with this woman and you’ve dated for 2 years that you go ahead and propose. If you wait until everything is just perfect, you may never do it. Things always come up in life, and our definition of what is “comfortable” changes along the way. Also, people always assume that their income will continue to increase as they get older – this is not always the case. The economy changes, and so does the value of certain jobs change. Don’t put off to tomorrow. Look at past generations of couples who struggled together and grew closer together because of it. Look at all the couples who realized that life is short after 9/11, and got married shortly thereafter. If you want to marry this woman, don’t let finances stop you from doing it sooner rather than later. It should be about the commitment, not the diamond. If it’s one carat or two carats, your relationship will be the same.
- Miss A