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Reasonable Cost of Engagement Ring for Med Student

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  • #46




    You guys are pretty cheap.  I think I spent $10k on my engagement ring.  I was a grad student at the time with no clear prospects of making a high income.  I did pay with cash and didn’t have any debt.  Fiance/wife was happy with it, so happy in fact that I/we haven’t had bought another piece of jewelry since.  Pretty good investment IMO.  If you cheap out now, you may pay for it later.
    Click to expand...


    i spent around $7k after trying to eliminate as many middle men as possible.   the appraisal was for like $14k.  i couldn't get insurance because at that time you had to have renters insurance and diamond insurance was a rider.  it was more expensive than my car at the time.  every year the insurance company tries to make me increase the coverage due to appreciation.  what a scam.  I'm more likely to get cz this time around if we ever lose her ring.

    while i was in the diamond store trying to get some earrings a few years ago, some regular looking guy walked in and decided he liked a diamond ring for his wife and bought it.  it was 250k.  like 5 minutes in and out.  this was in diamond district in new York.  that's when i knew that you could never use reasonable and jewelry in the same sentence.  they can make a ring for any budget.

     

     

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    • #47
      My first engagement ring was free - my great-grandmother's.

      After 2 years of marriage my husband bought another one for about $1000 right before I graduated Med School - he wanted to do it while HE was making all the money.  He pulled it out while vacationing in Puerto Princessa, Palawan, Philippines and totally surprised me.  We're at 10 years this June and I don't have any plans to upgrade, mostly because I'd like to upgrade my car first

      Have someone close to her help you pick it out, or go for a really classic style and stick to your budget.  Long-lasting marriages can happy with a twisty-tie.

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      • #48










          If you cheap out now, you may pay for it later.
        Click to expand…


        If you “pay for it later” because you didn’t spend enough on the engagement ring, you either:

        1.  Chose the wrong spouse

        2.  Didn’t treat your spouse well enough throughout your marriage.  No amount of bling will make up for that anyway.
        Click to expand…


        That’s just like your opinion.  Several people on here are talking about “upgrading” the cheap ring later, which could have been avoided if the mooninite ring wasn’t chosen in the first place.
        Click to expand...


        Upgrading a less expensive ring (or any other object) to a more expensive ring (or any other object) later in life because you have more money to do so and choose to do so isn't "paying for it later".  It's just spending more because you can.  By that argument, you should also just go ahead and buy the ultimate house right out of training when you can barely afford it because if you settle for anything less, you will just have to turn around and buy another house 10-15 years later when you have more money and decide to upgrade.

        I have found that this engagement ring issue is an overwhelmingly American issue.  Most people from other countries that I know find our obsession with the diamond solitaire engagement ring to be kind of strange.

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        • #49
          Fiancee came with her own family heirloom ring. 10/10 experience would recommend. How much was paid for it 80 years ago I have no idea. The move is to buy GIA certified used from some divorcee on ebay. People unload bad memories at great discounts. Just make sure the person you're proposing to is okay with that or take it to the grave.

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          • #50
            I bought my wife's engagement ring as an MS4.  I had no money so took a loan from the jewelry store, then paid off that loan with medical student loan money.

            I then proceeded to pay off my med student loans over the course of about 7 years, meaning I took 6-7 years to pay off the ring.

            I think I paid <$2k for the ring, but can't really recall. I bought my wife a "right hand ring" a few years ago -- a blue sapphire ring, something she's wanted for a long time.  That one I am fairly sure cost <$2k.

            She's never had a taste for fancy jewelry -- both the rings are nice and certainly not dirt cheap, but upgrading her original ring once our income was higher was never part of the plan.

            That seems harder to justify  -- the wedding ring has sentimental value largely based on the original purchase/use.  Upgrading it later just seems like an excuse to get nicer jewelry.  Which is fine so long as you admit it's just a different extravagant expense.  I probably would've resisted my wife swapping out something from the original ring solely because of sentimental value (even though it's her ring).
            An alt-brown look at medicine, money, faith, & family
            www.RogueDadMD.com

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            • #51




              Hey everyone – MS1 here planning to propose to my girlfriend of 6 years within the next year or so. What do you think is a reasonable price (paid in cash) for an engagement ring for someone in my position?

              Some details: I’m on pace to graduate with about $200k in student loan debt, and she is a first year law student who will graduate in 2 years with about the same debt burden. For what it’s worth, she’s more drawn to public sector work for lifestyle and personal fulfillment reasons, which I support. We currently live on a combined ~$2300/month and have no debt outside of the student loans. I’m in the National Guard which pays $400/month, and I’ll also be paid ~$6000 for active duty training this summer.

              I’m currently thinking of just taking all of the money that I make this summer and using it for the ring, but I do realize that I’d essentially be making that purchase at 6% interest since it would prevent me from putting that money toward taking out less loans. Is this too much money for a med student to be spending? Will it really make a difference in the long term?

              Thanks!
              Click to expand...


              Late to this thread and it looks like a decision may have been made but I'll throw in my .02 anyway.

               

              1) Consider yourself lucky she's not a medstudent or you'd have to up your budget.   

              2) $6k while still a student sounds pretty reasonable IMO.  Also you have a good excuse not to spend more than that right now since you're not yet an attending.

              3) I would lean toward putting a diamond in it if you're going to be spending any significant amount of money.  Again I am late to this thread but that's just my opinion.  I wouldn't upgrade the engagement ring later, I'd just buy her something else altogether.

              As for marrying a law student, you didn't ask about that subject so I'll refrain from trying to talk you out of it.   :lol:  j/k

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              • #52
                I think this is more of a question of what your fiance values and appreciates than what is financially correct. I proposed in undergrad with little to no income and spent around $3.5k for my wife's engagement ring and wedding band. At the time, it was the biggest purchase I'd ever made. I'd driven $1200 cars since a teenager. I can tell you though, it was worth every penny.

                I found out through one of my wife's friends what style/setting she wanted. I was able to get her a full carat diamond because it had a sizable inclusion within it. The inclusion seemed to disappear when fitted into the setting though. What's more, jewelers are less tempted to replace the center diamond with something cheaper. I don't know if this is terribly common but it's happened to two people I know.

                My wife has loved her ring since I first proposed. It looks far more expensive than it really is. No one sees the inclusion in the center diamond. My wife actually appreciates being able to look at the right particular angle and see that it is in fact her original diamond. What's more, the ring is THE ring. The same ring I proposed with will be the same ring she wears forever. My wife is really sentimental and loves that. I think getting a smaller ring and upgrading later is definitely a more financially savvy approach, but you lose out on the sentimental value of having that single, eternal token of your love/bond/marriage. You can probably tell that I'm pretty sentimental as well

                Some people don't care. They aren't as sentimental and see the ring as simply adornment. In this case, I think the upgrade method is probably the better route. Again, the correct answer to your situation depends on what your fiance values. My wife loved her ring but wanted a bare-bones wedding. I don't think our wedding cost half as much as her ring. Some people want the opposite. I would just be hesitant before assuming you'll necessarily be thanking yourself later for not going with a nicer ring now.

                Comment


                • #53













                    If you cheap out now, you may pay for it later.
                  Click to expand…


                  If you “pay for it later” because you didn’t spend enough on the engagement ring, you either:

                  1.  Chose the wrong spouse

                  2.  Didn’t treat your spouse well enough throughout your marriage.  No amount of bling will make up for that anyway.
                  Click to expand…


                  That’s just like your opinion.  Several people on here are talking about “upgrading” the cheap ring later, which could have been avoided if the mooninite ring wasn’t chosen in the first place.
                  Click to expand…


                  Upgrading a less expensive ring (or any other object) to a more expensive ring (or any other object) later in life because you have more money to do so and choose to do so isn’t “paying for it later”.  It’s just spending more because you can.  By that argument, you should also just go ahead and buy the ultimate house right out of training when you can barely afford it because if you settle for anything less, you will just have to turn around and buy another house 10-15 years later when you have more money and decide to upgrade.

                  I have found that this engagement ring issue is an overwhelmingly American issue.  Most people from other countries that I know find our obsession with the diamond solitaire engagement ring to be kind of strange.
                  Click to expand...


                  Every culture has its issues.  I find India's obsession with gold strange.  Actually no I don't, I don't care.  Buying a house is a straw man.

                  If no one values the ring, by all means, don't spend on one.  If someone does, go ahead and buy a reasonably priced ring that is not made out of some unfamiliar stone.  A few thousand dollars is not going to make or break anyone's life as long as it doesn't become recurring.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    I think it really depends on what you want. For me, I know I would want my boyfriend to spend <$500 on the engagement ring, but get me a very nice wedding ring.  That's the ring I would be sentimental about.  After the wedding, for me, the engagement ring would be added to my collection of nice-but-not-super-fancy jewelry.

                    My dad bought my mom a cheap engagement ring that she only wore for a few months before they were married (he bought the ring and she bought dinner & movie tickets; she spent more), but she always wears her wedding ring.  Whatever works for you.

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                    • #55




                      Fiancee came with her own family heirloom ring. 10/10 experience would recommend. How much was paid for it 80 years ago I have no idea. The move is to buy GIA certified used from some divorcee on ebay. People unload bad memories at great discounts. Just make sure the person you’re proposing to is okay with that or take it to the grave.
                      Click to expand...


                      Kind of reminds me of a classic British classified ad:

                      For Sale

                      Wedding Dress

                      Worn once by mistake.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        I gave my wife my grammas diamond ring for our engagement. For our 10th anniversary she bought me an omega and I bought her an omega. Last month we celebrated our 30th and we did a vacation in Costa Rica and a party for our friends at a restaurant for $1000. Thank God my wife and I both are frugal. We didn’t get to an 8 figure net worth by being spendthrifts. If you’re going to be a WCIer and a boglehead this is a good time to make sure you chose a mate that is going to be frugal and levelheaded so you can have enough money to be able to retire early and enjoy life.

                        One of my partners who is the same age as me is more into flashy stuff and showing off his ‘wealth’ as a doctor. We are the same age. He drives a Porsche and his (second) wife drives a BMW i8 and he still has a mortgage and student loans!

                        Comment


                        • #57




                          I see most people have spent 1K or so. A few have spent $6K and realize it was too much but justify it as it makes her feel good even after 15 years of marriage.

                          So far we have not heard from anyone who spent $6K and was married only for a short time and regrets spending so much money. Self selection bias?
                          Click to expand...


                          I worked with a guy who paid 70k for a ring for his Urologist wife and she bought him a Ferrari. They were divorced in 5 years.

                          Comment


                          • #58




                            I think I paid <$2k for the ring, but can’t really recall. I bought my wife a “right hand ring” a few years ago — a blue sapphire ring, something she’s wanted for a long time. That one I am fairly sure cost <$2k.
                            Click to expand...


                            I think I met my jewelry twin. We did the same thing (probably 7 years ago now). My wife loves the Sapphire ring much more than the diamond one. We wish we would have just bought it in the first place!

                            Luckily for me, she has no desire to own lots of expensive jewelry.

                            Comment


                            • #59




                              a blue sapphire ring, something she’s wanted for a long time.
                              Click to expand...






                              We did the same thing (probably 7 years ago now). My wife loves the Sapphire ring much more than the diamond one. We wish we would have just bought it in the first place!
                              Click to expand...


                              I like the way you both think. We started with a sapphire though - it's quite the talking piece - did you know they come in almost every color?!

                              We both had very little interest in the diamond racket, and found some other options we both much preferred.

                              This thread is interesting. Great posts folks.

                              We now think that the jewerly isn't as important, and we're committed to each other - a paperclip would do! I say that in jest, but now we don't have the same sentimentality as we once did for our wedding jewelry. We both 110% LOVE the rings we have, and thought it was worth every penny (of which there were many many pennies) when we bought them. We bought what we wanted, and we've yet to see something else we prefer (at any price).

                              Now, I think we spent too much, but our priorities have changed. I've always pinched a lot of pennies, but for whatever reason(s) didn't on the rings. I think we spent more on the rings than the wedding. Both were "our" style.

                              My ramblings to say, views change, and that is OK. We were happy then, and are still happy now, but I'd make difference choices if I had to choose an engagement ring to buy today.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Also look into non-diamonds. Diamonds are  HUGE RIOT, completely made up by the diamond industry that everyone needs one.

                                Looks around, every woman has the same diamond ring. The other precious stones are so much prettier and unique IMO.

                                Look into moissanite if you want diamond like. My ring is a padparadscha sapphire (peach sapphire).

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