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    • MSE Nick
    • By MSE Nick 13th Apr 17, 12:25 PM
    • 255Posts
    • 78Thanks
    MSE Nick
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I buy an engagement gift for my fiance?
    • #1
    • 13th Apr 17, 12:25 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I buy an engagement gift for my fiance? 13th Apr 17 at 12:25 PM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    My boyfriend recently proposed to me and spent money on a beautiful ring, which I love. He would like me to buy him a wristwatch of equal value as a memento of the engagement, however I've just left my job and we're about to move home so I feel we need every penny for more practical things. Am I being a scrooge?

    Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be enjoyed as a point of debate and discussed at face value.

    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply!

    This Forum tip was included in MoneySavingExpert.com's weekly email!
    Last edited by MSE Megan F; 02-05-2017 at 2:48 PM.
Page 6
    • Sadie73
    • By Sadie73 23rd Apr 17, 11:36 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Sadie73
    Thoughts
    I've been with my husband for 30 years and it never entered either of our heads to buy him a gift when we got engaged. He asked me to marry him and we went shopping together to buy a ring for me that we both loved.

    I'm thrilled that he didn't do the down on one knee with a ring in his hand thing as I wouldn't have had a say and almost definitely wouldn't have received the beautiful ring we chose together. Personally I don't know why people think the grand gesture of a man choosing a ring is the done thing, I know too many people who received rings they wouldn't have chosen because they didn't get to help choose an important piece of jewellery that is meant to be worn and loved for the duration of a marriage. My advice would be to choose a beautiful ring together and you will continue to love it.

    On the subject of your fianc! expecting a watch in return for your ring, I'm afraid alarm bells are ringing here and I would be questioning this relationship. I would be wondering what issues might lay ahead in the event of maternity leave, part-time working, redundancy etc. Marriage is meant to be a partnership to last for the rest of your life and money issues can be a source of argument for the most solid couples. If you start off on shaky ground it doesn't bode well to me.

    Incidentally my husband does a manual job and didn't want to wear a wedding ring which was fine by me but we chose a lovely watch for him as a wedding present (because he had lost his old one) which we both felt good about, however there was no expectation on his part.

    I think you need to talk through how you intend to manage your finances before you tie the knot,
    • professor~yaffle
    • By professor~yaffle 23rd Apr 17, 11:47 AM
    • 477 Posts
    • 715 Thanks
    professor~yaffle
    My boyfriend recently proposed to me and spent money on a beautiful ring, which I love. He would like me to buy him a wristwatch of equal value as a memento of the engagement, however I've just left my job and we're about to move home so I feel we need every penny for more practical things. Am I being a scrooge?
    Originally posted by MSE Nick
    Yes, because you've already accepted an expensive gift for yourself, but are now saying you will not reciprocate. This doesn't bode well, as neither of you seem to be good with your money.
    • Janie Zebra
    • By Janie Zebra 24th Apr 17, 10:04 AM
    • 14 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Janie Zebra
    Engagement watch?!
    I've NEVER heard of something so blinking ridiculous! An engagement WATCH?!!!! Being engaged is not about showing off "wealth"... its showing love. You could get engaged with a haribo ring and it would mean a million times more love and affection than swapping expensive gifts.

    either
    a) Offer him the ring back to buy something more modest, then he can have the rest of the cash to buy himself a watch of his own.

    b) make/ paint/ take a beautiful photograph to remind him of your happy occasion.

    c) if he feels that this is how the marriage should work (aka buy each other expensive items when you cannot afford things...) just give him back the ring and walk away. Your marriage would be ridden with money worries.
    • ButterflyLC
    • By ButterflyLC 24th Apr 17, 12:14 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    ButterflyLC
    A gift is a gift. I bought my now husband one of the men's curb link identity bracelets as he had talked about buying one for himself as he really liked them. He didn't ask for it and I wasn't told to buy him it either. It is up to you whether you buy him something or not.

    I'd seriously be considering who I am marrying if he told me the amount he spent on my ring and then asked for the equivalent amount as a gift! How far does it go? If your wedding ring is double the price of his will he be wanting the extra to buy something else for himself? Your wedding dress will cost a lot more than his wedding attire, so does he get the extra for himself? Very cheeky if you ask me...
    • ButterflyLC
    • By ButterflyLC 24th Apr 17, 12:28 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    ButterflyLC
    Personally I don't know why people think the grand gesture of a man choosing a ring is the done thing, I know too many people who received rings they wouldn't have chosen because they didn't get to help choose an important piece of jewellery that is meant to be worn and loved for the duration of a marriage. My advice would be to choose a beautiful ring together and you will continue to love it.
    Originally posted by Sadie73
    My husband went and picked a ring that if they laid all of my options in front of me it's the one I would have picked. He has great taste in jewellery. He picked out my eternity ring, again it's the one I would have picked. And without telling him I was doubting my choice of wedding ring, he told me I should have got the other one (I was between two) and he was right. But I do see your point. However some women would pick an unaffordable ring in that case. I believe you do what suits you best as a couple.
    • Learning_Curve
    • By Learning_Curve 26th Apr 17, 5:50 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    Learning_Curve
    Never heard of the lady getting engaged having to buy her fiance a present in return for an engagement ring! It's tradition that the man buys the ring and to expect a present back - and that it has to be equal value as well, rings warning bells for me as to his character. Is he mature enough to make this commitment? Is he going to be controlling you and expecting like for like for everything? Is he too stubborn and resents paying for the ring? I'd be very concerned.
    Last edited by Learning_Curve; 26-04-2017 at 5:53 PM.
    • Lizzie_BH
    • By Lizzie_BH 1st May 17, 2:20 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Lizzie_BH
    The poster I quoted and disagreed with was not comparing what her partner spent on her engagement ring with anyone else.

    She merely stated that because it was more than she expected but within his means, it demonstrated to her his seriousness.

    I don't agree with that.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    Didn't think I needed to. Of course it's relative to the person's income, and also to how much you both value the ring as a symbol of your commitment. A lot of people choose not to have a ring at all, and that doesn't make their engagement any less valid – I'm just saying that in my own relationship, we like the tradition, and knowing that it's important to him, the fact that he budgeted and planned for it shows me that he's really thought about it and the engagement wasn't a whim.
    • Ebenezer_Screwj
    • By Ebenezer_Screwj 20th May 17, 9:04 AM
    • 401 Posts
    • 226 Thanks
    Ebenezer_Screwj
    What a very clinical and monetary suggestion from your fianc!. Of course he's bought you a ring, that's man men do when they propose - but shouldn't you be saving money for your future life together instead of buying expensive trinkets?
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 20th May 17, 12:29 PM
    • 4,555 Posts
    • 7,187 Thanks
    Gavin83
    What a very clinical and monetary suggestion from your fianc!. Of course he's bought you a ring, that's man men do when they propose - but shouldn't you be saving money for your future life together instead of buying expensive trinkets?
    Originally posted by Ebenezer_Screwj
    Couldn't the same be said for buying an engagement ring? After all that's just another expensive trinket.

    I get that it's tradition that the man buys the woman an engagement ring but isnt it also tradition that she buys him a wedding present and give it to him just before the wedding day? Certainly happened in every wedding I've been to.
    • Jojo the Tightfisted
    • By Jojo the Tightfisted 20th May 17, 3:39 PM
    • 22,934 Posts
    • 88,476 Thanks
    Jojo the Tightfisted
    What a very clinical and monetary suggestion from your fianc!. Of course he's bought you a ring, that's man men do when they propose - but shouldn't you be saving money for your future life together instead of buying expensive trinkets?
    Originally posted by Ebenezer_Screwj

    Still waiting for mine....
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.

    Yup you are officially Rock n Roll
    Originally posted by colinw
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 20th May 17, 3:54 PM
    • 17,630 Posts
    • 44,871 Thanks
    Pollycat
    I get that it's tradition that the man buys the woman an engagement ring but isnt it also tradition that she buys him a wedding present and give it to him just before the wedding day? Certainly happened in every wedding I've been to.
    Originally posted by Gavin83
    Is it a tradition?
    I've never heard of it
    I've been married twice and didn't buy either husband a wedding present
    • strawberries1
    • By strawberries1 21st Jul 17, 10:59 AM
    • 608 Posts
    • 135 Thanks
    strawberries1
    This tit for tat attitude to giving is a romance killer. You'll end up feeling like flatmates or work mates if he continues asking you to match all he does. No one should demand a gift. Give him back the ring to purchase the watch he wants. That way he's confident it's equal!
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