On Not Springing for an Engagement Ring

engagement ring

There’s nothing more romantic than getting engaged during the holidays, complete with a glistening diamond ring.

But is that really where you want your soon-to-be married money to go?

For millennia, couples exchanged property as part of their betrothal—and rings or jewelry have long been associated with marriage—but the emphasis on buying a diamond engagement ring may only date back to the 1920s or ‘30s.

This is 2012. A ring is dazzling, true, but you don’t need an expensive transfer of capital to display your commitment. You can invest that capital in other ways.

Given that the average couple puts about $5,000 toward a ring, what else could you invest in that would enhance your entire marriage?

    • $5,000 = 100 nights of paying a babysitter $50 so you can get some alone time.


    • $5,000 = two years of a bi-weekly cleaning service so you don’t fight about chores. 


    • $5,000 = 500 $10 thinking-of-you bouquets. That’s a once-a-week gesture of love for a solid decade.


  • $5,000 = a big chunk of your emergency fund (for two).



Laura Vanderkam is the author of  What the Most Successful People Do ebook series.


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