This morning, before I sat down to write this post, I came across an advice column letter from a newly engaged woman whose fiancé bought her an enormous diamond that cost him an entire year’s salary. She hated it. It wasn’t her taste, she found it ostentatious, and she hated the idea that he’d spent so much money. Now here she was, asking for advice on how to tell him. Our advice? Don’t let it get to that point. Before you even start shopping for engagement jewelry in the DC area, take a look at these pointers for setting a budget that’s right for both you and your partner.
You may have heard about the three-months’ salary rule, or the one-month’s salary rule, or the split the difference two months’ salary rule. If anything, that should tell you nothing more than there are no rules! In fact, most of these so-called rules were invented by jewelry marketers.
These days, most proposals don’t come out of the blue, which means talk about engagement ring preferences are usual. Those conversations should include frank discussion of what’s affordable; after all, you’ll soon enough be making bigger financial decisions together. Do you have debt? Are your jobs secure? How much ring is going to make the receiver happy? How much is the receiver going to be comfortable with you spending? These are all important considerations, and finding a balance between among them is the difference between making an emotional decision and a rational one.
Also talk to your intended about the type of ring they’ve always dreamed about, and determine how much such a ring will cost and how it fits into your idea of what you wanted to spend. It’s possible your partner doesn’t even know how much such a ring would cost and would be horrified at the idea of bankrupting you with unrealistic requirements. Shop together and get an idea of what’s available before setting a budget.
And don’t forget to shop at pawn shops in Vienna, VA to find a selection of engagement rings at up to fifty percent off retail that are as show-off worthy as anything you’ll find in a jewelry store.