How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities

Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby nisiprius » Thu May 09, 2013 2:44 pm

damjam wrote:
stoptothink wrote:
Barefootgirl wrote:Where does this notion come from that a ring purchase should represent a certain percentage of income?
Debeers
Yes, there was an advertising campaign sometime in the 1980's that explicitly said two months salary. I tried to google for it, but alas it was before the internet age.
Google Books is neat. It includes magazines, though a strange and limited selection. Don't just Google for these things, try--what is the verb form?--Googlebooksing? Bookgoogling? for them.

Texas Monthly, 1981
Image

Spin, April 2000, straight from DeBeers' mouth:
Image

Kiplinger's, Oct. 2000
Image
Last edited by nisiprius on Thu May 09, 2013 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby Barefootgirl » Thu May 09, 2013 2:52 pm

So, Debeers concocted and perpetuated a widespread marketing campaign that the masses willingly bought into?

Amazing. I have been in the wrong business.

BFG
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby nisiprius » Thu May 09, 2013 2:56 pm

And having access to JSTOR is neat.

Something Old, Something New: Exploring the Interaction between Ritual and Advertising Author(s): Cele Otnes and Linda M. Scott
Source: Journal of Advertising, Vol. 25, No. 1 (Spring, 1996), pp. 33-50
Published by: M.E. Sharpe, Inc.

My boldface:
The custom of giving diamond engagement rings in the United States began in the late 1800s, but the economic effects of World War I and the Depression caused it to decline. A campaign created by N.W. Ayer for De Beers, the largest diamond cartel in the world, is credited not only with reversing that trend, but also with making the engagement ring "an inseparable part of courtship and married life" (Epstein 1982, p. 121) and "a psychological necessity capable of competing successfully at the retail level with utility goods and ser- vices" (p. 127). Ayer also fabricated a rich history of the engagement ring tradition in this country, implying that it had deep historical roots where none actually existed. ....

De Beers continues to use advertising to mold the tradition. Its emphasis has shifted from communicating a need for the ritual artifact (as buying a diamond ring is now assumed) to creating a prescribed "ritual script" (Rook 1985) dictating the price one should expect to pay (e.g., 'Is two months' salary too much for a diamond engagement ring?"). In addition, the effect of the script trickles down to what Rook terms the 'ritual performance roles," or behavior of the groom or couple, as they alter spending and saving habits to satisfy the norm. Finally, evidence suggests that the "two months' salary' script is targeted toward a larger "ritual audience' (Rook 1985). De Beers' advertising typically has been placed in general-interest rather than bridal publications; Koskoff (1991) notes that the bulk of De Beers' U.S. advertising expenditure has generally gone to Reader's Digest. Hence, the audience is not limited to individuals who are about to be married, but includes people who may someday be involved in planning their own or others' weddings and who may invoke the message as a general cul- tural norm rather than as a headline. Indeed, De Beers' ultimate hope is probably that the "two months' salary" script will become as culturally ingrained in the American psyche as the dictum codified in etiquette manuals, wedding books, and magazines that the bride's parents pay for the wedding.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby VictoriaF » Thu May 09, 2013 2:58 pm

nisiprius wrote:Google Books is neat.

Kiplinger's, Oct. 2000
Image


Promoting the cost of an engagement ring as a fixed proportion of the salary makes perfect sense in the context of the psychophysical model.
Slovic, et al in Psychic Numbing and Mass Attrocity wrote:“Weber’s law” states that in order for a change in a stimulus to become just noticeable, a fixed percentage must be added. Thus, perceived difference is a relative matter. To a small stimulus, only a small amount must be added to be noticeable. To a large stimulus, a large amount must be added. Fechner proposed a logarithmic law to model this nonlinear growth of sensation.
...
Kahneman and Tversky (1979) have incorporated this psychophysical principle of decreasing sensitivity into Prospect Theory, a descriptive account of decision making under uncertainty.


Thus, a fixed cost of the ring is psychically numbing for high earners. A fixed proportion, whether it is 2/12 or 3/12, is more egalitarian.

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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby frugalhen » Thu May 09, 2013 2:59 pm

$10,000 7 years ago. I remember Amex calling the merchant to see if everything was ok because I never spent anywhere near that much! :sharebeer
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby Nozzle » Thu May 09, 2013 3:13 pm

Back in 2001 I spent $2500 on a custom engagement ring. We actually designed it together which was a great experience. I agree with an earlier poster that said the two should talk about it like adults and make sure you're on the same page. Doing this ensured she got exactly what she wanted and it didn't lead to our financial ruin (and I still got to surprise her with the proposal itself).

The idea of spending some percentage of my income on a ring had never even crossed my mind. For me it came down to how much money I had in savings, my other financial obligations, etc. I do recall, however, laughing out loud the first time I heard of the 2-mo-salary "rule" :shock:
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby roymeo » Thu May 09, 2013 3:38 pm

I vaguely recall watching an expose/documentary back in the mid-90's about DeBeers. From charging, ahem, "the market rate" for industrial diamonds during WW2, being a monopoly/cartel that couldn't do business directly in the US, playing a key role in Apartheid in South Africa, funding Hollywood movies for placing opportunties, threatening GE to flood the market with industrial grade diamonds unless DeBeers got to control the distribution of the new GE synthetic diamonds, etc. etc. They're what I think of when someone says naked capitalism.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby diasurfer » Thu May 09, 2013 3:48 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:So, Debeers concocted and perpetuated a widespread marketing campaign that the masses willingly bought into?

Amazing. I have been in the wrong business.

BFG


What business are you in? DeBeers is unique only because they pulled it off single-handedly, by virtue of monopoly. But there are few businesses that don't participate in the biggest "dupe" of all, to use a term suggested earlier in this thread.

"Being a nation of manufacturers, industrialists and shopkeepers, it was not long before Victorians realised that Christmas, with its emphasis on generosity and hospitality, could be exploited for commercial possibilities. By the turn of the century, festivities commenced when the shopping season began." http://www.historyextra.com/feature/com ... -christmas

My personal belief system does not have a place for Santa Claus or any other supernatural being commonly associated with the holiday. And I generally deplore commercialism. And yet I buy my kids presents, because it makes them happy. For some customs I suppose I'm willing to be a sucker. At least diamond engagement rings are only once in a lifetime (ideally).
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby linguini » Thu May 09, 2013 4:17 pm

Ice-9 wrote:I may have missed it while skimming this thread, but are these quotes of "2 months salary" or whatever time period based on your before-tax salary or on take-home pay?

Regardless, I'm feeling a little cheap reading this, having spent one month's take-home pay on engagement and wedding rings. She loves the ring though.


Don't feel cheap. I'm pretty certain that the average proposer spends less than two months' salary on the engagement ring. :)

Swamproot wrote:I bought my wife's as a surprise. I think that is the way it should be. In that way it is a metaphor for her husband. She is going to have the husband she gets, not the husband that she wishes for, and happy marriages happen when both partners realize that going in.

If she cares about big rocks and he buys her a little one, that is indicative of issues that may remain throughout a marriage, long after the honeymoon. I imagine fewer women would be upset with a rock bigger than what they wanted, but it could happen.


I don't think I buy this. Happy marriages happen when both partners are willing to adapt to each other's wishes and manage each other's expectations through frank and open communication. Happy marriages don't happen when a woman believes she is married to a man who is "not the husband that she wishes for". If what you mean is that a happy marriage depends on both partners embracing and supporting each other in spite of their respective flaws, I would agree with that, but if you mean that a wife should not expect her husband to make every effort toward accepting her input on his actions and including her in major decisions, then that sounds like the foundations of a standoffish marriage. If she cares about big rocks and he buys her a little one and it ends up being a point of contention, that is definitely indicative of issues that may remain throughout a marriage, specifically one of the following possibilities: he spent a lot of money on something she didn't want without asking for her feedback first (easily prevented through a single five minute conversation before buying the ring), he never managed her expectations about what she was going to get (reasonably easily prevented through a few days' or weeks' worth of short conversations before buying the ring), or they have an unbridgeable difference in expectations (discussing before buying the ring uncovers this sooner and lets the partners move forward with full knowledge and understanding of each other's expectations instead of having a guessing game and ending up with a bunch of unexpected disappointment and acrimony after the proposal).
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby JPH » Thu May 09, 2013 4:29 pm

Bought it in 1978 as a student for $300. I made small weekly payments on the account until paid off. She doesn't even wear it any more, preferring a very inexpensive copper wire ring. :?:
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby truenorth418 » Thu May 09, 2013 4:37 pm

I have never been engaged so I have never bought anyone an engagement ring.

I suppose I would spend about as much on a diamond ring for her as I would expect her to spend on a racing bike/ home theater system/ fishing boat for me.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby Meg77 » Thu May 09, 2013 4:40 pm

"I am trying to balance 1) her expectations 2) that most of her friends have very nice rings despite making less 3) that I can afford something very nice and she knows that and 4) not wanting to overspend on something that is really symbolic and should mean a lot regardless of size."

As a female in my late 20s who expects to be engaged soon to a relatively high earning partner, I can tell you that this sentiment is admirable and that those things do matter. My boyfriend and I are avid savers - I've saved over 30% of my gross income my whole career - but we also live in a fairly wealthy/materialistic urban center, and my lifestyle has creeped to the point where I love to indulge in luxury travel and designer shoes/bags. I have half-joked to him that he's welcome to buy me a fake diamond because I'd rather have a bigger down payment on a house, but I expect him to spend around $10,000 on the ring (I may be grossly overestimating, but that is my expectation). For context, we both earn in the low 6 figures, and many of our friends/acquaintences are married and have elegant but flashy diamond rings that appear to be in the 1.5-2.5 carot range. I have heard that men seem to be spending anywhere from $10,000 - $25,000 on these rings. These are people getting married in fancy hotels and buying first homes in the $400K range. Also these are mostly highly educated and relatively highly earning couples - or at least people with wealthy parents who are chipping in for the jewelry/weddings.

The key thing to remember though is that it's not what you spend that counts but rather what you get. If you go to Tiffany you can easily spend $20K on a "perfect" diamond that is barely one carat on a simple band. Every woman I know would rather have a ring from a no-name diamond dealer that costs half that but is bigger and looks just as good (it will have poorer clarity or cut or whatever, but few people know the difference). Do yourself a favor and get a 1.75-2.00 carat ring for her, whatever you spend (do yourself another favor and go to Pinterest and look up "engagement rings" for the most popular tagged ones). You don't have to spend a ton but spending 5% of one year's pay or $15K for you is probably reasonable. The last thing you want is for her to be embarassed to show it off (and she'll be asked to do so constantly for months if not years). Also for better or worse it's a symbol that says a lot about you both. And if you're running in those circles earning that kind of money you are going to look like a cheapskate if you buy her a tiny simple dimaond (unless you have a good story like that it's your great grandmother's or something). Besides do it right now and you'll avoid a ring upgrade gift request for your 2 year anniversary.

The reality is that many women spend a lot of money on their appearance each year - thousands of dollars on gym memberships, facials, underwear, makeup, hair coloring, accessories, even plastic surgery and weight loss regimins. Not to even mention the clothes and the shoes. Men don't realize or understand this, but to a woman who has spent this money willingly and happily for years - largely with the goal of finding and wooing a desirable husband in all liklihood - it doesn't seem unreasonable to spend a few grand on a decent ring that will represent the culmination of this effort, and which will have to be worn continually for the rest of our lives.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby stoptothink » Thu May 09, 2013 4:53 pm

Meg77 wrote:"I am trying to balance 1) her expectations 2) that most of her friends have very nice rings despite making less 3) that I can afford something very nice and she knows that and 4) not wanting to overspend on something that is really symbolic and should mean a lot regardless of size."

As a female in my late 20s who expects to be engaged soon to a relatively high earning partner, I can tell you that this sentiment is admirable and that those things do matter. My boyfriend and I are avid savers - I've saved over 30% of my gross income my whole career - but we also live in a fairly wealthy/materialistic urban center, and my lifestyle has creeped to the point where I love to indulge in luxury travel and designer shoes/bags. I have half-joked to him that he's welcome to buy me a fake diamond because I'd rather have a bigger down payment on a house, but I expect him to spend around $10,000 on the ring (I may be grossly overestimating, but that is my expectation). For context, we both earn in the low 6 figures, and many of our friends/acquaintences are married and have elegant but flashy diamond rings that appear to be in the 1.5-2.5 carot range. I have heard that men seem to be spending anywhere from $10,000 - $25,000 on these rings. These are people getting married in fancy hotels and buying first homes in the $400K range. Also these are mostly highly educated and relatively highly earning couples - or at least people with wealthy parents who are chipping in for the jewelry/weddings.

The key thing to remember though is that it's not what you spend that counts but rather what you get. If you go to Tiffany you can easily spend $20K on a "perfect" diamond that is barely one carat on a simple band. Every woman I know would rather have a ring from a no-name diamond dealer that costs half that but is bigger and looks just as good (it will have poorer clarity or cut or whatever, but few people know the difference). Do yourself a favor and get a 1.75-2.00 carat ring for her, whatever you spend (do yourself another favor and go to Pinterest and look up "engagement rings" for the most popular tagged ones). You don't have to spend a ton but spending 5% of one year's pay or $15K for you is probably reasonable. The last thing you want is for her to be embarassed to show it off (and she'll be asked to do so constantly for months if not years). Also for better or worse it's a symbol that says a lot about you both. And if you're running in those circles earning that kind of money you are going to look like a cheapskate if you buy her a tiny simple dimaond (unless you have a good story like that it's your great grandmother's or something). Besides do it right now and you'll avoid a ring upgrade gift request for your 2 year anniversary.

The reality is that many women spend a lot of money on their appearance each year - thousands of dollars on gym memberships, facials, underwear, makeup, hair coloring, accessories, even plastic surgery and weight loss regimins. Not to even mention the clothes and the shoes. Men don't realize or understand this, but to a woman who has spent this money willingly and happily for years - largely with the goal of finding and wooing a desirable husband in all liklihood - it doesn't seem unreasonable to spend a few grand on a decent ring that will represent the culmination of this effort, and which will have to be worn continually for the rest of our lives.


Even though I couldn't possibly disagree more, the honesty is appreciated. I know exactly how it feels to have a wife be embarrassed about her ring (well, she loved it until she saw what her completely broke future brother in-law took out a massive loan for) and be called a cheapskate for it. Easy solution, I will never again even date a women who is concerned about those things. Luckily my current GF makes well into the 6-figures, spends most of her working day with people worth well north of 7-figures, and could not care less about the shiny thing on anybody's finger.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby LFKB » Thu May 09, 2013 5:02 pm

Some people like Michael Scott actually say three YEARS salary...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwGJhrcLmbA
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby HardKnocker » Thu May 09, 2013 5:13 pm

HardKnocker wrote:Very interesting responses. And I thought I was a frugal [(removed) --admin LadyGeek]. :)


Just so no one thinks I am a barbarian the word Lady Geek censored was the term for a "child born out of wedlock" (with * substituted for vowels). :)
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby LFKB » Thu May 09, 2013 5:27 pm

Meg77 wrote:"I am trying to balance 1) her expectations 2) that most of her friends have very nice rings despite making less 3) that I can afford something very nice and she knows that and 4) not wanting to overspend on something that is really symbolic and should mean a lot regardless of size."

As a female in my late 20s who expects to be engaged soon to a relatively high earning partner, I can tell you that this sentiment is admirable and that those things do matter. My boyfriend and I are avid savers - I've saved over 30% of my gross income my whole career - but we also live in a fairly wealthy/materialistic urban center, and my lifestyle has creeped to the point where I love to indulge in luxury travel and designer shoes/bags. I have half-joked to him that he's welcome to buy me a fake diamond because I'd rather have a bigger down payment on a house, but I expect him to spend around $10,000 on the ring (I may be grossly overestimating, but that is my expectation). For context, we both earn in the low 6 figures, and many of our friends/acquaintences are married and have elegant but flashy diamond rings that appear to be in the 1.5-2.5 carot range. I have heard that men seem to be spending anywhere from $10,000 - $25,000 on these rings. These are people getting married in fancy hotels and buying first homes in the $400K range. Also these are mostly highly educated and relatively highly earning couples - or at least people with wealthy parents who are chipping in for the jewelry/weddings.

The key thing to remember though is that it's not what you spend that counts but rather what you get. If you go to Tiffany you can easily spend $20K on a "perfect" diamond that is barely one carat on a simple band. Every woman I know would rather have a ring from a no-name diamond dealer that costs half that but is bigger and looks just as good (it will have poorer clarity or cut or whatever, but few people know the difference). Do yourself a favor and get a 1.75-2.00 carat ring for her, whatever you spend (do yourself another favor and go to Pinterest and look up "engagement rings" for the most popular tagged ones). You don't have to spend a ton but spending 5% of one year's pay or $15K for you is probably reasonable. The last thing you want is for her to be embarassed to show it off (and she'll be asked to do so constantly for months if not years). Also for better or worse it's a symbol that says a lot about you both. And if you're running in those circles earning that kind of money you are going to look like a cheapskate if you buy her a tiny simple dimaond (unless you have a good story like that it's your great grandmother's or something). Besides do it right now and you'll avoid a ring upgrade gift request for your 2 year anniversary.

The reality is that many women spend a lot of money on their appearance each year - thousands of dollars on gym memberships, facials, underwear, makeup, hair coloring, accessories, even plastic surgery and weight loss regimins. Not to even mention the clothes and the shoes. Men don't realize or understand this, but to a woman who has spent this money willingly and happily for years - largely with the goal of finding and wooing a desirable husband in all liklihood - it doesn't seem unreasonable to spend a few grand on a decent ring that will represent the culmination of this effort, and which will have to be worn continually for the rest of our lives.


Thanks, good to get some perspective from a women in similar shoes to her. We also save a lot and are fortunate to have very good incomes; currently we save over 50% of our combined after-tax income. I'll check out pinterest although I have an idea of what she wants. I am going to go for 2-2.5 carats and a good cut. Will probably sacrifice a bit on clarity and color without going too low.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby Nicolas » Thu May 09, 2013 5:48 pm

0$. I did buy her a wedding ring though. It was $50.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby MnD » Thu May 09, 2013 5:53 pm

This has got to be the funniest thing I've read on Bh.org in the 5 years I've been reading it, especially the last paragraph. Well done meg! :mrgreen:

Meg77 wrote: If you go to Tiffany you can easily spend $20K on a "perfect" diamond that is barely one carat on a simple band. Every woman I know would rather have a ring from a no-name diamond dealer that costs half that but is bigger and looks just as good (it will have poorer clarity or cut or whatever, but few people know the difference). Do yourself a favor and get a 1.75-2.00 carat ring for her, whatever you spend (do yourself another favor and go to Pinterest and look up "engagement rings" for the most popular tagged ones). You don't have to spend a ton but spending 5% of one year's pay or $15K for you is probably reasonable. The last thing you want is for her to be embarassed to show it off (and she'll be asked to do so constantly for months if not years). Also for better or worse it's a symbol that says a lot about you both. And if you're running in those circles earning that kind of money you are going to look like a cheapskate if you buy her a tiny simple dimaond (unless you have a good story like that it's your great grandmother's or something). Besides do it right now and you'll avoid a ring upgrade gift request for your 2 year anniversary.

The reality is that many women spend a lot of money on their appearance each year - thousands of dollars on gym memberships, facials, underwear, makeup, hair coloring, accessories, even plastic surgery and weight loss regimins. Not to even mention the clothes and the shoes. Men don't realize or understand this, but to a woman who has spent this money willingly and happily for years - largely with the goal of finding and wooing a desirable husband in all liklihood - it doesn't seem unreasonable to spend a few grand on a decent ring that will represent the culmination of this effort
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Thu May 09, 2013 7:26 pm

Meg77 wrote:As a female in my late 20s who expects to be engaged soon to a relatively high earning partner, I can tell you that this sentiment is admirable and that those things do matter. My boyfriend and I are avid savers - I've saved over 30% of my gross income my whole career - but we also live in a fairly wealthy/materialistic urban center, and my lifestyle has creeped to the point where I love to indulge in luxury travel and designer shoes/bags. I have half-joked to him that he's welcome to buy me a fake diamond because I'd rather have a bigger down payment on a house, but I expect him to spend around $10,000 on the ring (I may be grossly overestimating, but that is my expectation). For context, we both earn in the low 6 figures, and many of our friends/acquaintences are married and have elegant but flashy diamond rings that appear to be in the 1.5-2.5 carot range. I have heard that men seem to be spending anywhere from $10,000 - $25,000 on these rings. These are people getting married in fancy hotels and buying first homes in the $400K range. Also these are mostly highly educated and relatively highly earning couples - or at least people with wealthy parents who are chipping in for the jewelry/weddings.

The key thing to remember though is that it's not what you spend that counts but rather what you get. If you go to Tiffany you can easily spend $20K on a "perfect" diamond that is barely one carat on a simple band. Every woman I know would rather have a ring from a no-name diamond dealer that costs half that but is bigger and looks just as good (it will have poorer clarity or cut or whatever, but few people know the difference). Do yourself a favor and get a 1.75-2.00 carat ring for her, whatever you spend (do yourself another favor and go to Pinterest and look up "engagement rings" for the most popular tagged ones). You don't have to spend a ton but spending 5% of one year's pay or $15K for you is probably reasonable. The last thing you want is for her to be embarassed to show it off (and she'll be asked to do so constantly for months if not years). Also for better or worse it's a symbol that says a lot about you both. And if you're running in those circles earning that kind of money you are going to look like a cheapskate if you buy her a tiny simple dimaond (unless you have a good story like that it's your great grandmother's or something). Besides do it right now and you'll avoid a ring upgrade gift request for your 2 year anniversary.

The reality is that many women spend a lot of money on their appearance each year - thousands of dollars on gym memberships, facials, underwear, makeup, hair coloring, accessories, even plastic surgery and weight loss regimins. Not to even mention the clothes and the shoes. Men don't realize or understand this, but to a woman who has spent this money willingly and happily for years - largely with the goal of finding and wooing a desirable husband in all liklihood - it doesn't seem unreasonable to spend a few grand on a decent ring that will represent the culmination of this effort, and which will have to be worn continually for the rest of our lives.



If the intended is too embarrassed to show it off - the fellow will have been smart to have dodged that bullet before even making it down the aisle. For better or worse, remember Meg. :wink: Are you sure you're not from NY, Long Island, NJ or Staten Island? The above would be representative of the fashionistas or "wives of......" shows beliefs. Now I know there's inflation - when $10K has become "a few grand" :o . BTW, there is no such thing as a perfect diamond - there's Tiffany's and then "everything else". :D Here's the best part - if the guy buys the engagement ring and wedding band, for the various anniversary's he can then complement that nice ring from where ever with those diamond stud earrings you've been eyeing, a nice pearl necklace, the anniversary ring, etc. - see Meg, it never ends, because guys who are into "it" will spend over time much more than just a few grand in showcasing it. :mrgreen:

Fortunately for me, my wife was very happy to come to the store with me - she'd never been to Tiffany's and I let her pick out what she'd be happy to show off for "years to come". (btw, Meg, after you've been married a year - no one asks to see the ring, they'll be asking when are you having kids :) ) My wife actually wanted a smaller stone, but I wouldn't have it - so we compromised. :D
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby SC Hoosier » Thu May 09, 2013 8:01 pm

Michael Scott from the Office said he paid 3 YEARS salary. Ha ha. I think he was confused.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby epilnk » Thu May 09, 2013 8:02 pm

Actually if the ring is being purchased as a form of wealth display it does make sense to spend two months salary on it, or even more if you can afford it. In that case the ring needs to reflect well on the man's earning power, and actually can be important to both husband and wife since it fits the definition of "jewelry a man wears on his wife's hand". I don't move in circles like that - I suspect most bogleheads don't - but we do need to remember that there can be more than one purpose for the ring and the peer group does matter.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby Barefootgirl » Thu May 09, 2013 8:20 pm

Yes, to each their own, circles I would not want to be a member of, but some people find validation there, I guess...

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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby yogesh » Thu May 09, 2013 8:24 pm

I didn't knew 1/3 annual salary rule.
1/3 to uncle sam, 1/3 for ring, 1/3 expenses
How can I be a bogglehead?
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby dwade1109 » Thu May 09, 2013 8:27 pm

As someone in his early 20s, single, and not close to being engaged anytime soon this seems absurd to me. Is the engagement ring really worth $5000 to the man or woman in the relationship? You could buy a decent car for that, take a beautiful all-expenses included trip, heck halfway to house down payment for that much money.

The craziest thing I found out today is that you need to buy two rings, one for engagement and one for the wedding. That's absolute nuttery to me.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby diasurfer » Thu May 09, 2013 8:52 pm

If you just blank out all the numbers in Meg77's post (references to quantities of dollars and carats) and just read the rest of the words, then you'll find she basically nailed the feelings of the large majority of women. Of course there are exceptions ... bohemian types and boglehead types ... but I think most women simply want to feel like the man sacrificed some. He spent his money on her silly female desires instead of a car, a boat, a trip to alaska, or a financial investment. As long as he sucked it up and didn't go cheap, she's probably going to be proud to show it off to her friends and family (as long as it's not poor boy marrying rich girl). That's not about a display of wealth. Plenty of women who become wealthy later in life keep their tiny diamond because it meant so much when their poor husbands gave it to them decades earlier.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby stoptothink » Thu May 09, 2013 9:05 pm

diasurfer wrote:If you just blank out all the numbers in Meg77's post (references to quantities to dollars and carats) and just read the rest of the words, and she basically nailed the feelings of the large majority of women. Of course there are exceptions ... bohemian types and boglehead types ... but I think most women simply want to feel like the man sacrificed some. He spent his money on her silly female desires instead of a car, a boat, a trip to alaska, or a financial investment. As long as he sucked it up and didn't go cheap, she's probably going to be proud to show it off to her friends and family (as long as it's not poor boy marrying rich girl). That's not about a display of wealth. Plenty of wealthy women keep their tiny diamond because it meant so much when their poor husbands gave it to them decades earlier.


Sad, but true. Some of it. Personally, I don't think it has anything to do with feeling like the man sacrificed for them, it's because they truly want to show off. My ex absolutely loved the ring, until her sister got a bigger one. IMO women want a very visible sign that somebody loves them more, as you said men get a similar ego boost from buying way too much car or house. It isn't necessarily a display of wealth, but it is all about image. Lucky for us there are many amazing woman out there who prioritize less superficial things.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby Barefootgirl » Thu May 09, 2013 10:36 pm

Lots of men have their own symbols too...expensive cars, boats, etc...or they believe an attractive woman at their side is somehow a reflection of them.

I am not totally immune. I date a guy who is proud of my blonde locks, for some reason - it's a symbol in his circle. He's handsome, flawless manners, etc. and so I feel good having him by me in public, but at the end of day, all that really matters is what I think about him - not what anybody else thinks.

Some things get better with age. The best part is giving little weight to external opinion.

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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby stoptothink » Thu May 09, 2013 10:43 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:Lots of men have their own symbols too...expensive cars, boats, etc...or they believe an attractive woman at their side is somehow a reflection of them.



Exactly my point. My comment was in no way disparaging of women. In the grand scheme of things a ring is certainly less ridiculous than a new sportcar every few years or a $5k watch :P although it serves the same superficial purpose. Just makes those women who don't need it stand out that much more.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby Mrs.Feeley » Thu May 09, 2013 11:16 pm

Re: DeBeers

Back in the 1920s DeBeers did a lot of promotion specifically targeting children of immigrants, portraying the diamond engagement ring as an American custom and symbol of success in this country. The implication was that by presenting one's beloved with a diamond ring you were showing her and her parents that you were financially sound and successful, a potential good provider for the family. It was a way to show that you weren't just some scruffy immigrant kid. It was a campaign that played upon the insecurities of first-generation children of immigrants, as did the whole of the emerging wedding industry at the time. The notion was encouraged that if you hosted a lavish American wedding with the flowers, the rings, the attendants, the portrait sitting, etc. then you were just like other Americans, you fit in and your family had made it in this country.

DeBeers provided backing for the 1920s Broadway musical "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend." Actually it was originally titled "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" as was the novel by Hollywood screenwriter Anita Loos upon which the show was based. And the subsequent movie with Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell. But DeBeers made sure the name was changed and the show contained ample catchy tunes about women demanding diamonds from their men.

In the 1980s jewelry stores had little cardboard DeBeers placards all over their counters that advertised "Two Months of Pay Isn't a Lot to Show Her That You Love Her" and that sort of sentiment. When my husband and I went to buy rings, at a jewelry store in a shady part of town where we were told the owner would give us a good deal, I spotted the cards and, horrified, kept pushing them out of my husband-to-be's line of sight. Meanwhile the store owner kept pushing the cards in front of his eyes so he could see them as he looked at rings.

I kept asking the price of the rings--I didn't want my husband-to-be to spend more than $100, actually I didn't want a ring at all, but he thought a ring was the thing to do and his sisters would scold him mercilessly if he didn't buy one. The jeweler, annoyed, stopped telling me the prices, grumbling "It's a gift, you're not supposed to know." My husband finally picked out a ring and asked me to step aside so the men could negotiate the price of the diamond. I erupted "You mean the diamond doesn't come with this ring! You have to BUY IT SEPARATELY? What a ripoff! What kind of a crummy place is this?!!!"

The following day, with this beautiful ring on my finger, it suddenly struck me "I bet he paid more than $100 for this ring!" And then as I got to thinking: "I bet he paid $200 for this ring! Omigosh!" And I got suddenly afraid that I was going to be mugged.

I still don't know how much he paid for the ring. I never take it off. :beer
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby epilnk » Fri May 10, 2013 12:07 am

stoptothink wrote: IMO women want a very visible sign that somebody loves them more, as you said men get a similar ego boost from buying way too much car or house. It isn't necessarily a display of wealth, but it is all about image.

The ring represents the man's image, not the woman's. Plenty of men get a big ego boost from the flashy ring on their wife's finger, and often care more about the big visible diamond than the person who will be wearing it. It is a shared status symbol, but in her case the status is indirect and based in his status as shown by his ability to purchase it. Personally I think the whole thing is messed up, but I don't think it is fair to point the finger at the women over this. Both sides have fallen prey to the influence of this marketing.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby interplanetjanet » Fri May 10, 2013 2:13 am

Barefootgirl wrote:Some things get better with age. The best part is giving little weight to external opinion.

This is absolutely true - though I suppose I am a little more crass in how I phrase it. It's been one of my favorite parts of maturing as a person.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby MnD » Fri May 10, 2013 7:11 am

My many nieces and nephews (5th generation) are starting to enter the marriage years and are definitely falling into this trap.
The extended family on my side has been quite successful for 4 generations now, but never very materialistic or prone to "display" types of wealth.
Money was something you had and worked to grow (along with investing in education) and certainly not something to show off, display or spend on frivolous items.

I reviewed the gift registry from the latest nephew to tie the knot and noted that the least expensive gift on the registry was a place setting of dishes (plate, salad plate, cup and saucer) where each place setting was over $150 - they were hoping for 12 so their dishes alone for a young couple were going to run ~$2000. My sister (a lawyer/lobbyist) found the same place setting on sale for $100 including shipping and my siblings did a group buy to purchase a number of them, we averaged two place settings per sibling. Hopefully they are not appalled at the "cheap" side of the family. I have no idea what the average gift buy was but based on the gift registry it looked like they were expecting around $500 per person. :shock: I'm sure the ring will be very impressive also.

I hope our family is not turning into one of these "rice paddy to rice paddy" in 5 generation types. My great grandfather, who farmed wheat and lived in a sod house for a number of years until he could purchase the wood to built a stick-built one, (but somehow managed to assist my grandfather in obtaining a law degree) would not be impressed.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby Barefootgirl » Fri May 10, 2013 7:57 am

My great grandfather, who farmed wheat and lived in a sod house for a number of years until he could purchase the wood to built a stick-built one, (but somehow managed to assist my grandfather in obtaining a law degree) would not be impressed.

I love this statement. I wore my great grandmothers ring and it is my favorite, a tiny emerald flanked by two tiny opals surrounded by filigree. She was born premature, kept alive in an egg crate by the woodstove. Her great grandfather threw boxes of tea overboard in Boston, some kind of tax rebellion as I now recall.

Far more impressive than something anyone could buy me, but again, whatever makes you feel good :)

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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby PreemieNurse » Fri May 10, 2013 8:23 am

This is very subjective. It will depend on how materialistic your fiancee is and your social circle (which your fiancee will probably base her expectations upon). Has she dropped any hints or have you looked at rings together?

My husband paid about $1500, 4 years ago. It's a very simple princess cut diamond. I told him I wanted quality rather than a cheap rock and I didn't want him going into debt and starting off our marriage that way, and I knew he couldn't afford much. My expectations were thus pretty low. I'm not sure I have ever seen anyone with a smaller stone, but I'm petite so it suits me. I'm a nurse so I wear my rings on a necklace, underneath my scrubs, anyway. For me it was more important about what the ring symbolized. Would I wear a bigger ring if that's what he could have afforded? Sure, but I wasn't one of those 'I will accept nothing less than 1 carat' kind of girls.

It sounds like you can easily afford something nice. Buy something quality as this is something she will wear forever, but after a certain point you will be spending just to spend (if you follow the silly salary 'rules'). I do highly urge you to get some guidance from your fiancee in terms of styles and cuts she likes, unless she wants it to be a total surprise.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby diasurfer » Fri May 10, 2013 9:45 am

Barefootgirl wrote:My great grandfather, who farmed wheat and lived in a sod house for a number of years until he could purchase the wood to built a stick-built one, (but somehow managed to assist my grandfather in obtaining a law degree) would not be impressed.

I love this statement. I wore my great grandmothers ring and it is my favorite, a tiny emerald flanked by two tiny opals surrounded by filigree. She was born premature, kept alive in an egg crate by the woodstove. Her great grandfather threw boxes of tea overboard in Boston, some kind of tax rebellion as I now recall.

Far more impressive than something anyone could buy me, but again, whatever makes you feel good :)

BFG


What, other than its obvious history and sentimental value, do you find impressive about the ring? Is it simply that you prefer one type of precious stone (green) to another ("colorless"), or does it have to do with the fact that it is "unconventional"? I discovered that a lot of bohemian types (not saying you are - I was one) don't actually give little weight to external opinion - it's more that they give little weight to conventional opinion, but still give plenty of weight to their particular subculture's opinion. This is why those those free-thinking hipsters (as opposed to homeless) who shop for clothing at thrift stores still manage to have a rather uniform look. Vintage jewelery tends to be a part of that look. Again, I'm not saying that's you - maybe you simply think emeralds/opals/filigree are prettier than diamonds.

I think some posters miss a point here - one that I was trying to make using Christmas (or Mother's Day, or Valentine's Day, etc etc) as an example. IMO one can participate in a custom knowing full well that the custom itself has shaky philosophical origins at best and still have this participation be meaningful, as opposed to just being "duped" or haven "fallen prey to the influence of marketing". Because giving is still giving regardless of the ultimate reason for this giving.

Some posters on this and past threads think large chunks of money spent on large chunks of engagement diamond are absurd, but were proud to wear great-grandma's small diamond. But this deBeer's campaign has been around a long time as the posts above show. There is a very good chance that great-grandma and -grandpa were themselves duped by the diamond industry. If it was depression era, there is an excellent chance that great grandpa spent an absurd chunk of money on that little stone. But I doubt the great-granddaughter wearing the ring today looks at it and thinks great-grandpa was a sucker. They are more likely to think of what the ring represents (and isn't my heirloom piece so much cooler than the gauche rocks worn by the masses).

Always a fun topic!
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby Barefootgirl » Fri May 10, 2013 10:15 am

Hi Diasurfer,

I don't find the ring impressive. I'm just quite happy for the opportunity to wear a physical symbol of my great grandmother - this symbol triggers memories that are impressive.

For me, this has more meaning than a ring purchased by a partner who felt compelled to buckle under to convention.

I could never be a bohemian, appears to me to that it requires a deal of energy I wouldn't want to give to it.

Yes, a fun topic indeed.

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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby stoptothink » Fri May 10, 2013 10:48 am

epilnk wrote:
stoptothink wrote: IMO women want a very visible sign that somebody loves them more, as you said men get a similar ego boost from buying way too much car or house. It isn't necessarily a display of wealth, but it is all about image.

The ring represents the man's image, not the woman's. Plenty of men get a big ego boost from the flashy ring on their wife's finger, and often care more about the big visible diamond than the person who will be wearing it. It is a shared status symbol, but in her case the status is indirect and based in his status as shown by his ability to purchase it. Personally I think the whole thing is messed up, but I don't think it is fair to point the finger at the women over this. Both sides have fallen prey to the influence of this marketing.


I was the one who made the comment earlier that "an engagement ring is jewelry a man wear's on his wifes finger." Believe me, I understand. It goes both ways. Obviously in my situation I didn't care less about what people thought about the shiny thing on my (ex) wife's finger, she definitely did not agree. It is an image thing. Period. I got a little worked up about Meg's post and interjected too much of my own situation in, I swear that was posted by my ex-wife or one of her sisters. I know she was being honest and is by no means a minority in her opinion, but just the simple fact that some people are that superficial scares me.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Fri May 10, 2013 12:27 pm

stoptothink wrote:
epilnk wrote:
stoptothink wrote: IMO women want a very visible sign that somebody loves them more, as you said men get a similar ego boost from buying way too much car or house. It isn't necessarily a display of wealth, but it is all about image.

The ring represents the man's image, not the woman's. Plenty of men get a big ego boost from the flashy ring on their wife's finger, and often care more about the big visible diamond than the person who will be wearing it. It is a shared status symbol, but in her case the status is indirect and based in his status as shown by his ability to purchase it. Personally I think the whole thing is messed up, but I don't think it is fair to point the finger at the women over this. Both sides have fallen prey to the influence of this marketing.


I was the one who made the comment earlier that "an engagement ring is jewelry a man wear's on his wifes finger." Believe me, I understand. It goes both ways. Obviously in my situation I didn't care less about what people thought about the shiny thing on my (ex) wife's finger, she definitely did not agree. It is an image thing. Period. I got a little worked up about Meg's post and interjected too much of my own situation in, I swear that was posted by my ex-wife or one of her sisters. I know she was being honest and is by no means a minority in her opinion, but just the simple fact that some people are that superficial scares me.


Come to NYC - we are chockfull loaded with them. The surrounding boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn are worse, but then head out to the suburbs of Long Island and New Jersey and well......you can get the picture.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby Meg77 » Fri May 10, 2013 2:03 pm

stoptothink wrote:
diasurfer wrote:If you just blank out all the numbers in Meg77's post (references to quantities to dollars and carats) and just read the rest of the words, and she basically nailed the feelings of the large majority of women. Of course there are exceptions ... bohemian types and boglehead types ... but I think most women simply want to feel like the man sacrificed some. He spent his money on her silly female desires instead of a car, a boat, a trip to alaska, or a financial investment. As long as he sucked it up and didn't go cheap, she's probably going to be proud to show it off to her friends and family (as long as it's not poor boy marrying rich girl). That's not about a display of wealth. Plenty of wealthy women keep their tiny diamond because it meant so much when their poor husbands gave it to them decades earlier.


Sad, but true. Some of it. Personally, I don't think it has anything to do with feeling like the man sacrificed for them, it's because they truly want to show off. My ex absolutely loved the ring, until her sister got a bigger one. IMO women want a very visible sign that somebody loves them more, as you said men get a similar ego boost from buying way too much car or house. It isn't necessarily a display of wealth, but it is all about image. Lucky for us there are many amazing woman out there who prioritize less superficial things.


Just to clarify, I'm not suggesting that everybody or even a large fraction of men should spend $10K on a wedding ring. I also don't think most women expect it. But this guy is obviously not everybody. He makes $270K a year and seems to be image consious and is concerned about the expectations of his girlfriend when it comes to what will likely be the most expensive thing he ever buys her. I would support the complete esspousal of the entire Boglehead mentality - to eschew image entirely and to always buy the cheapest acceptable house/car/ring/coffee maker and invest the other 75% of your income in a perfectly balanced portfolio. But many people - even Bogleheads - do also care about image, and I don't think that should totally be scoffed at. In some professions and neighborhoods it does matter and I think it's ok to prioritize having a nice car, taking luxury trips, and - yes - an impressive engagement ring. Especially if you make well over 6 figures and already save 50% of your income. Nobody is advocating financing such frivolous non-necessary purchases here.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby stoptothink » Fri May 10, 2013 2:12 pm

Meg77 wrote:
stoptothink wrote:
diasurfer wrote:If you just blank out all the numbers in Meg77's post (references to quantities to dollars and carats) and just read the rest of the words, and she basically nailed the feelings of the large majority of women. Of course there are exceptions ... bohemian types and boglehead types ... but I think most women simply want to feel like the man sacrificed some. He spent his money on her silly female desires instead of a car, a boat, a trip to alaska, or a financial investment. As long as he sucked it up and didn't go cheap, she's probably going to be proud to show it off to her friends and family (as long as it's not poor boy marrying rich girl). That's not about a display of wealth. Plenty of wealthy women keep their tiny diamond because it meant so much when their poor husbands gave it to them decades earlier.


Sad, but true. Some of it. Personally, I don't think it has anything to do with feeling like the man sacrificed for them, it's because they truly want to show off. My ex absolutely loved the ring, until her sister got a bigger one. IMO women want a very visible sign that somebody loves them more, as you said men get a similar ego boost from buying way too much car or house. It isn't necessarily a display of wealth, but it is all about image. Lucky for us there are many amazing woman out there who prioritize less superficial things.


Just to clarify, I'm not suggesting that everybody or even a large fraction of men should spend $10K on a wedding ring. I also don't think most women expect it. But this guy is obviously not everybody. He makes $270K a year and seems to be image consious and is concerned about the expectations of his girlfriend when it comes to what will likely be the most expensive thing he ever buys her. I would support the complete esspousal of the entire Boglehead mentality - to eschew image entirely and to always buy the cheapest acceptable house/car/ring/coffee maker and invest the other 75% of your income in a perfectly balanced portfolio. But many people - even Bogleheads - do also care about image, and I don't think that should totally be scoffed at. In some professions and neighborhoods it does matter and I think it's ok to prioritize having a nice car, taking luxury trips, and - yes - an impressive engagement ring. Especially if you make well over 6 figures and already save 50% of your income. Nobody is advocating financing such frivolous non-necessary purchases here.


I applaud you for being honest knowing full well it wasn't going to be a popular opinion. A popular opinion in the real world, absolutely; but not here. Your justification made the hairs on my arm stand up, but to each their own.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby VictoriaF » Fri May 10, 2013 2:15 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Meg77 wrote:Just to clarify, I'm not suggesting that everybody or even a large fraction of men should spend $10K on a wedding ring. I also don't think most women expect it. But this guy is obviously not everybody. He makes $270K a year and seems to be image consious and is concerned about the expectations of his girlfriend when it comes to what will likely be the most expensive thing he ever buys her. I would support the complete esspousal of the entire Boglehead mentality - to eschew image entirely and to always buy the cheapest acceptable house/car/ring/coffee maker and invest the other 75% of your income in a perfectly balanced portfolio. But many people - even Bogleheads - do also care about image, and I don't think that should totally be scoffed at. In some professions and neighborhoods it does matter and I think it's ok to prioritize having a nice car, taking luxury trips, and - yes - an impressive engagement ring. Especially if you make well over 6 figures and already save 50% of your income. Nobody is advocating financing such frivolous non-necessary purchases here.


I applaud you for being honest knowing full well it wasn't going to be a popular opinion. A popular opinion in the real world, absolutely; but not here. Your justification made the hairs on my arm stand up, but to each their own.


I thought that Meg's logic was no more extreme than similar Bogleheads' discussions of cars, bicycles, watches, and alike.

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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby stoptothink » Fri May 10, 2013 2:17 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
stoptothink wrote:
Meg77 wrote:Just to clarify, I'm not suggesting that everybody or even a large fraction of men should spend $10K on a wedding ring. I also don't think most women expect it. But this guy is obviously not everybody. He makes $270K a year and seems to be image consious and is concerned about the expectations of his girlfriend when it comes to what will likely be the most expensive thing he ever buys her. I would support the complete esspousal of the entire Boglehead mentality - to eschew image entirely and to always buy the cheapest acceptable house/car/ring/coffee maker and invest the other 75% of your income in a perfectly balanced portfolio. But many people - even Bogleheads - do also care about image, and I don't think that should totally be scoffed at. In some professions and neighborhoods it does matter and I think it's ok to prioritize having a nice car, taking luxury trips, and - yes - an impressive engagement ring. Especially if you make well over 6 figures and already save 50% of your income. Nobody is advocating financing such frivolous non-necessary purchases here.


I applaud you for being honest knowing full well it wasn't going to be a popular opinion. A popular opinion in the real world, absolutely; but not here. Your justification made the hairs on my arm stand up, but to each their own.


I thought that Meg's logic was no more extreme than similar Bogleheads' discussions of cars, bicycles, watches, and alike.

Victoria


I don't disagree.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby allsop » Fri May 10, 2013 2:31 pm

diasurfer wrote:
Barefootgirl wrote:So, Debeers concocted and perpetuated a widespread marketing campaign that the masses willingly bought into?

Amazing. I have been in the wrong business.

BFG


What business are you in? DeBeers is unique only because they pulled it off single-handedly, by virtue of monopoly. But there are few businesses that don't participate in the biggest "dupe" of all, to use a term suggested earlier in this thread.

"Being a nation of manufacturers, industrialists and shopkeepers, it was not long before Victorians realised that Christmas, with its emphasis on generosity and hospitality, could be exploited for commercial possibilities. By the turn of the century, festivities commenced when the shopping season began." http://www.historyextra.com/feature/com ... -christmas

My personal belief system does not have a place for Santa Claus or any other supernatural being commonly associated with the holiday. And I generally deplore commercialism. And yet I buy my kids presents, because it makes them happy. For some customs I suppose I'm willing to be a sucker. At least diamond engagement rings are only once in a lifetime (ideally).


Once upon a time when I was younger and grew up in Scandinavia, Halloween was a time when we put candles on the graves of loved ones.

In later years the shopkeepers have found there is money to make in trying to import a vulgar commercialized Anglosaxon style of Halloween.

That said, I'm not religious, but the overt commercial exploitation of religion I hold in less than full esteem.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby MnD » Fri May 10, 2013 2:49 pm

VictoriaF wrote:I thought that Meg's logic was no more extreme than similar Bogleheads' discussions of cars, bicycles, watches, and alike.
Victoria


A very large, expensive and showy diamond is a justifiable reward and outcome for all the efforts a woman does (hair, clothes, makeup, accessories, gym, weight, underwear, plastic surgery etc.) primarily to attract and woo a "desirable" husband? A barely 1 carat perfect diamond might be a major source of embarrassment so get something much bigger and lower quality? Frankly my response was - yuck.......

That goes far beyond any discussion of cars, bikes watches I've seen here. Sure we discuss the merits (or lack thereof) of pricey cars, vacations and watches, but I've never seen anyone imply that a spouse "deserves" a luxury name-plate vehicle for having and maintaining a nice physical appearance or that a Timex watch will be a source of great embarrassment among friends and peers.

People with real money don't act that way. The long-time owner of a beach property (that zillow estimated at $6 million dollars) came by to do some yard work while we were staying there. He drove a POS old pickup, dressed poorly and did a bunch of sweaty yard work mowing and trimming. Afterwards he sat on the tailgate chatting with us while consuming a few cans of Coors Light he had brought along in a Styrofoam cooler. Much like the millionaire next door, people would be surprised at how unpretentious people with real wealth are, and how the opposite is true as well. :mrgreen:
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby VictoriaF » Fri May 10, 2013 3:04 pm

MnD wrote:People with real money don't act that way. The long-time owner of a beach property (that zillow estimated at $6 million dollars) came by to do some yard work while we were staying there. He drove a POS old pickup, dressed poorly and did a bunch of sweaty yard work mowing and trimming. Afterwards he sat on the tailgate chatting with us while consuming a few cans of Coors Light he had brought along in a Styrofoam cooler. Much like the millionaire next door, people would be surprised at how unpretentious people with real wealth are, and how the opposite is true as well. :mrgreen:


There are all kinds of people with real money. I find those who spend money on intellectual pursuits and cosmopolitan lifestyles more appealing than those who save money with pickups and yard work. I never liked The Millionaire Next Door. To each his own.

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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby Blues » Fri May 10, 2013 3:11 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
MnD wrote:People with real money don't act that way. The long-time owner of a beach property (that zillow estimated at $6 million dollars) came by to do some yard work while we were staying there. He drove a POS old pickup, dressed poorly and did a bunch of sweaty yard work mowing and trimming. Afterwards he sat on the tailgate chatting with us while consuming a few cans of Coors Light he had brought along in a Styrofoam cooler. Much like the millionaire next door, people would be surprised at how unpretentious people with real wealth are, and how the opposite is true as well. :mrgreen:


There are all kinds of people with real money. I find those who spend money on intellectual pursuits and cosmopolitan lifestyles more appealing than those who save money with pickups and yard work. I never liked The Millionaire Next Door. To each his own.

Victoria


Hopefully you aren't too terribly biased against those who spend money (and effort) on the arts and intellectual pursuits yet still own pickups and do their own yard work.
(I do draw the line at Coors Light, however! :twisted: )
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby HardKnocker » Fri May 10, 2013 3:33 pm

If the guys makes 270k a year I see no problem with his spending 10k on a ring. Or 20k.

It's the guys who really cannot afford that who need to bring it down to a manageable cost. Those guys cannot afford the materialistic woman who requires a 20k ring. She is out of their league in that respect. No doubt she will also require a significant income to maintain her expectations of lifestyle with her beauty regimen, expensive clothes, car, home. Nothing wrong if you can afford it.

You don't think these 25 year old women marry the 70 year old tycoon for love and sex do you?

Not every woman who wears a 20k ring is this type by far. Some would be just as happy with a $1000 ring but the guy buys the ring as a gift and he can swing it.

Medical doctors often cannot build wealth in assets. Their "lifestyle image" demands they live in expensive homes, drive expensive cars, send their kids to expensive schools, etc. They often attract women who want this type of lifestyle. The "Real Housewives" types. Arm candy. As a result they can't save money.

My good friend married a woman like this. It was evident she was this type before they married but he was in love. They eventually divorced as he was not able to provide for her in the way she expected. She was breaking him financially. She has since remarried and hopefully her new husband can satisfy her in this area. She is very good looking but a spendthrift. All I can say is "good luck". The new guy has a big house on the water which is one requirement she has. :greedy
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby Meg77 » Fri May 10, 2013 3:52 pm

MnD wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:I thought that Meg's logic was no more extreme than similar Bogleheads' discussions of cars, bicycles, watches, and alike.
Victoria


A very large, expensive and showy diamond is a justifiable reward and outcome for all the efforts a woman does (hair, clothes, makeup, accessories, gym, weight, underwear, plastic surgery etc.) primarily to attract and woo a "desirable" husband? A barely 1 carat perfect diamond might be a major source of embarrassment so get something much bigger and lower quality? Frankly my response was - yuck.......

That goes far beyond any discussion of cars, bikes watches I've seen here. Sure we discuss the merits (or lack thereof) of pricey cars, vacations and watches, but I've never seen anyone imply that a spouse "deserves" a luxury name-plate vehicle for having and maintaining a nice physical appearance or that a Timex watch will be a source of great embarrassment among friends and peers.

People with real money don't act that way. The long-time owner of a beach property (that zillow estimated at $6 million dollars) came by to do some yard work while we were staying there. He drove a POS old pickup, dressed poorly and did a bunch of sweaty yard work mowing and trimming. Afterwards he sat on the tailgate chatting with us while consuming a few cans of Coors Light he had brought along in a Styrofoam cooler. Much like the millionaire next door, people would be surprised at how unpretentious people with real wealth are, and how the opposite is true as well. :mrgreen:


Whoa! I didn't mean to imply that a fat diamond is a justified reward for a woman for pursuing superficial things (though I guess it did come off like that after re-reading). My point was to show that if you ARE a person, man or woman, who either spends or supports the desire to spend thousands of dollars a year on image related purchases (whether they be blond highlights for her or flashy rims for him), then $10K on a ring which is by definition a lifetime purchase that will be worn daily doesn't/shouldn't seem excessive. If a man is willing to spend $50K on a car he'll drive for less than 5 years (not to mention his own apparel), or $5K on a TV that will last for only a few years, then I don't see why he should find the idea of spending $10K on an engagement ring his wife will wear forever so appalling. (Or you can cut the numbers in half for the average American guy - but this guy seems well above average in income, savings and spending).
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby kingsnake » Fri May 10, 2013 4:07 pm

I spent $8,000.
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Re: How Much Did You Spend on Your Engagement Ring??

Postby MnD » Fri May 10, 2013 5:06 pm

LFKB wrote:Her mom has a very small ring and they are quite wealthy now and retired. She was always happy with it and refused to get a bigger stone even though she easily had the means to.


And you see that sort of thing in the prior generation all the time. I also wouldn't begrudge anyone in your position from spending 10K or 20K on a ring if that's what you and your fiance really wants.

Really the only thing that bugs me is that it seems to be becoming the expectation without exception. If you don't buy a 2+ carat monstro rock in your tax bracket, well you're just some kind of huge embarrassment. Sort of like my nephews wedding gift registry. I suppose our current dishes ran $20 a place setting, and a young couple just starting out is asking for settings that run $150 (easily found on sale elsewhere for $100 but i guess they didn't comparison shop). Prom spending for both boys and girls is another glaring example. If a boy wears a suit they already own and drives Dad's car (all cleaned up) I suppose that would be a massive embarrassment against the current standards and expectations (Tux, limo etc.).

I'm a big fan of if you've got all your bases covered and have extra - well spend it! But so many people seem to be struggling financially, even people with very high incomes. The case is made that that's because financial life is so much tougher now. Maybe so, but I think a lot of the current tough financial times are self inflicted. I watched both of my very status conscious and spendy next-door neighbors self-destruct in the great recession. First the help went, then all the fancy cars one by one, and finally the distressed home sale in one case and the foreclosure in the other. Both they and their spouses looked like they aged 10 years in three years. Yikes!

Oh well, time for a Coors Light. Good luck on the ring shopping and your future. :happy
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