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Old 02-14-2005, 12:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Saving for an Engagement Ring

Hey all. It's happening the great save is on to buy my girlfriend an engagement ring. I have about $1,500 saved so far but am looking to save a lot more over the next year. My question is what is a good investment that is only mildly risky and will give me a decent return over the next 12 months. I was thinking a muni-bond fund as it's tax free and are relatively low risk. CD's just aren't paying enough right now.

Anyone have any other ideas or know of any low expense muni funds?

--Marc
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Old 02-14-2005, 01:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Personally I think $1,500 is plenty to spend on an engagement ring. But then again I know a girl who "visits" her $8,000 engagement ring at the jewlery store.
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Old 02-14-2005, 01:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, I second that. $1500 should be more than enough to get you the ring. If she "needs" a bigger, better ring, perhaps you should save yourself a lot of pain and move on. If, instead, you want to save up to give her a particular really special ring, I wish you well.

I still think that you would be better served by saving that money for something else. Hey, at least you are doing better than lots of people out there who would just buy the ring now on credit and worry about paying it off later.
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Old 02-14-2005, 01:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The store where I bought my girl's ring lets you "upgrade" down the line if you are so inclined. IE, you can add a bigger diamond later for no charge (other than the difference between a .25 and .5 Carat gem for instance).

So in that way you can get a ring now and for some anniversary when you have your ther shit paid off you can surprise her all over again.
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Old 02-14-2005, 04:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I used to work in a small gold-smiths shop who did some very nice (expensive) work. I think that with 1,500 you can get a nice ring. It all depends on what your and her are expecting. Do you know what you want? Do you want to buy a Karat diamond 1.00ct? Around 1,500 I would say you are looking at a modest setting with a good diamond in the range of .25ct to .40ct.

I don't know if you have done much jewellery shopping in the past or want any advice but I would recomend getting a diamond with excellent color and cut and to save money compromise on the clarity, a good jeweller should be able to show you several diamonds in your price range and minor inclusions can be cleverly hidden in settings. No two diamonds are alike so do shop around before making a final decision.

If you are going to have a custom ring made consider purchasing your diamond elsewhere, perhaps a whole-saler if you have a connection, then take your diamond to a goldsmith to be set. Another excellent source of stones is antique stores (although be cautious and have an independant appraisals done if possible before purchasing) Used Jewellery is bought by antique dealers at .10 to .30 cents on the dollar for appraised value and diamonds are difficult to damage (other then chipping) If you do buy a diamond directly from a jeweller the markup will be aprox. 2/3 of its cost so their is usualy room to negotiate, more so if they will be producing a ring or setting the stone.

Last edited by NotMVH; 02-14-2005 at 04:07 PM..
 
Old 02-14-2005, 04:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Back to your original question.......I would put the $$$ in a money market. Short term rates are rising and you will capture that in a MM. You don't have enought to be buying munis.
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Old 02-14-2005, 05:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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CD or money market. You don't want to risk any of it, and you can get a "solid" return.
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Old 02-14-2005, 05:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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1500$ is definitely enough my friend. Maybe save a little bit more for tax on a 1500$ ring, and then you're set. I know because my ring cost around 1800$ with tax, and it's absolutely GORGEOUS.

You don't need to put your money in any special account, I don't think. (At least, that's not what my fiance did.)

Last edited by la petite moi; 02-14-2005 at 05:53 PM..
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Old 02-14-2005, 08:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Shit, I spent $200 on the engagement ring for my wife. She still loves it.

If you get a chick who understands you're just starting out, that's a keeper. You get one who bitches about you being stingy? Watch out.
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Old 02-14-2005, 10:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Buy whatever ring at whatever price you want to spend. I spent about $2700 all said and done and it was a good fit for my means and my wants. Don't let anyone tell you what is or isn't enough.

On the investment side, I would just drop it into a open GIC. Something you can grab out if the need arises (or if the 'buy ring now' urge strikes). Better then a savings account and allows for access.

Further, if you are planning on saving more, you can consider financing it. It isn't as bad as many people make it sound and many jewelry locations have reasonable in-house credit. I was approved for 0.7% (i12), which was about 8.7% effective (although I never actually used it). A good investment is an 8% return, so it worked for the diamond house, my visa rate is 13.99%, so it worked for me. When coupled with potential time period money shrinking (inflation, service charges for short term investments, etc), a low interest rate is a fine option. On 1500, you probably won't earn enough to make it worthwhile (you can probably pick up a shift or two to equal the earnings - two days work vs 365 days of investment). With a 1500 deposit, you have enough money to get a ring that will be worthwhile to you. If you can afford to 'save more', you can probably afford to make payments. Obviously, don't get into a situation you can't afford, etc etc.

Last point... I had decided to propose before I had started saving. I don't think I could have lasted an entire year waiting to pop the question if it would have taken me an entire year to save, and you have already been saving for a while. Can you last a year? Can she?
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Old 02-15-2005, 06:06 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Hey all, thanks for all of the advice. I make pretty good money and own my own home, and am proud to say the only CC debt I have is a BestBuy 0% offer. We both know we want to get married and we both have agreed to wait a year as her brother is currently engaged and planning a wedding. I think her mom would have a mental breakdown if she had to help plan 2 weddings at the same time.

So I asked my friend Google about GIC's. Are these like Government bonds that are guaranteed?

--Marc
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Old 03-16-2005, 02:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
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As far as investments go, I'd recomend a stock that pays you dividends. That way you'll can earn interset on the investment, as well as any money you gain should the stock rise in value.
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Old 03-16-2005, 03:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I think the "rule" for engagement rings is three month's salary. So, if you make $5,000 a month, you're good. In more ways that one!
I'm not sure I would want to beggar my b/f just so I could have a pretty rock on my hand...I'd much rather have a nice house, or lack of debt.
Anyways, CONGRATS on finding the woman you love!!
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Old 03-16-2005, 07:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindseylatch
I think the "rule" for engagement rings is three month's salary. So, if you make $5,000 a month, you're good. In more ways that one!
I'm not sure I would want to beggar my b/f just so I could have a pretty rock on my hand...I'd much rather have a nice house, or lack of debt.
Anyways, CONGRATS on finding the woman you love!!
Holy crap, the great diamond marketing machine got another one!
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Old 03-17-2005, 12:57 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindseylatch
I think the "rule" for engagement rings is three month's salary. So, if you make $5,000 a month, you're good. In more ways that one!
I'm not sure I would want to beggar my b/f just so I could have a pretty rock on my hand...I'd much rather have a nice house, or lack of debt.
Anyways, CONGRATS on finding the woman you love!!

Wait, you mean the ring should cost 3 months salary? Dayum, that's one hell of a ring
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Old 03-17-2005, 09:06 AM   #16 (permalink)
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You could also take her 'looking' with you, and get a glimpse of what she's interested in and the price ranges for that. With 1500 bucks, you can get an absolutely beautiful ring. Save the other money for wedding costs.
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Old 03-17-2005, 09:34 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I've recetly bought a ring for my fiance ... luckily she is into simple things, and her ring (with the wedding band) was $1300. It's white gold with .5c of diamonds total. It's beautiful, and turns out it was the one she wanted anyway!! dude..its been said.. if she "needs" more than you can afford.... evaluate your "need" for eachother...
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Old 03-17-2005, 09:36 AM   #18 (permalink)
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i do well for myself i think. No Credit card debt, i am a homeowner, run my own side business and have a fulltime job. so affording the ring is not much of an issue. just was trying to come up with a better way of saving for it is all.

Thanks everyone for the good advice! Keep it coming!

--Marc
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Old 03-17-2005, 10:53 AM   #19 (permalink)
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It isn't how much you spend, it's the meaning behind it. I saved for years, and paid $3000, my wife loves the ring, really loves it, and has said that she'll never trade up. More than money is the emotion. We have friends who could only afford less than 1/4 carat, doesn't matter, they are happily married, and that is all that matters.
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