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    • MSE Nick
    • By MSE Nick 13th Apr 17, 12:25 PM
    • 254Posts
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    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 5
    • Rejast
    • By Rejast 20th Apr 17, 11:53 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    Rejast
    Hol55, I guess put that way I was a litle hasty calling the op hypocritical. I hope that the op and her partner come to a suitable compromise, maybe a promise of a late engagement momento when her financial situation improves or when they are settled in their new home
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 21st Apr 17, 7:43 AM
    • 17,353 Posts
    • 44,207 Thanks
    Pollycat
    I understand that it could have been a surprise proposal wth her having no involvement in the choosing of the ring.
    My point was more that she is mentioning needing to spend money on more practical things as he has stated he would like a watch but no mention of the fact that the ring she is now wearing has cost money that could have been spent on more practical things too.
    I'm sure that jewellers have some sort of standard returns policy for any purchase otherwise every person making a proposal would be majorly out of pocket if they were turned down, brought the wrong size, etc
    Originally posted by Rejast
    I'm not sure you do understand that it could have been a surprise proposal with her having no involvement in the choosing of the ring.

    As I've already posted, if it was a surprise proposal, she would have had no say in how much the ring cost.
    She might have preferred to have just a token ring and the majority of money to be spent on more practical things.
    She may have had no choice in that at all if it was a surprise proposal.

    I'm not convinced that jewellers do have a standard returns policy.
    They do not - by law - have to refund or exchange any item because of change of mind (or rejection or a proposal).
    Large high street chains may do refunds but a small independant shop may not.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 21st Apr 17, 7:52 AM
    • 29,192 Posts
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    seven-day-weekend
    Is it a modern thing? When I got engaged in the early 90s, I received a ring - and bought my fiance a new amp for his music system!
    Originally posted by Tigsteroonie
    I got engaged in the 1960s when I was 17 (never married him! Married my wonderful husband in 1971 without getting engaged first) and we each bought each other an inexpensive ring.

    But that was a mutual decision. I think if the fiance expected a gift it should have been discussed beforehand.
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it': C.S. Lewis
    St. Augustine — 'In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.'
    • samnbaz
    • By samnbaz 21st Apr 17, 7:58 AM
    • 27 Posts
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    samnbaz
    I got engaged in 1998 at 17 and bought my husband a watch as an engagement present, not because I was asked or expected to but because I wanted to! It was infact more expensive than my ring which was about £40, far too much emphasis is out on the value of things instead of the sentiment, i would be quite put off if he's have asked me for a gift and even more so if he had specified how much I was to spend
    • gaving7095
    • By gaving7095 21st Apr 17, 10:27 AM
    • 131 Posts
    • 101 Thanks
    gaving7095
    LOL SO not (in any way) a "Moral Dilemma".
    For what it's worth, he sounds crazy to me - Women get an engagement ring & men get nothing is the accepted norm & totally fine in my opinion.
    But that's not to say other people can't / shouldn't want or expect something different - that's up to them of course.

    In any event, for the man to apparently specify he wants a particular thing "of equal value" sounds very off to me - in that case surely you might as well just have chosen & bought your own ring & he should have done exactly the same with his watch? Especially considering the forthcoming moving expenses.

    As I see no moral dilemma I can't give any "yes / no" answer.
    However, (from the very limited info. given) a lot about this situation seems very off to me so maybe use it as a reason to take stock of your relationship & really assess whether or not you guys are right for each other!
    • Lizzie_BH
    • By Lizzie_BH 21st Apr 17, 10:45 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Lizzie_BH
    This is nothing to do with gender equality – it’s about basic manners! And I agree with the point about symbolism too.

    My fiance spent more on my ring than I’d have expected him to, but it’s still within his means, and I love it – for me, it demonstrates how serious he is about the engagement. And incidentally I’ll be contributing about 80% of the wedding budget, simply because I’ve been working for longer and have more savings. We choose to spend our (shared) resources on these things because they mean something to us both.

    Thinking about it, we don’t even see it as ‘my’ ring – he loves it too and seeing me wearing it makes him happy, and builds the excitement for our marriage. If we didn’t share values like these, why would we get married?
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 21st Apr 17, 11:09 AM
    • 17,353 Posts
    • 44,207 Thanks
    Pollycat
    This is nothing to do with gender equality – it’s about basic manners! And I agree with the point about symbolism too.

    My fiance spent more on my ring than I’d have expected him to, but it’s still within his means, and I love it – for me, it demonstrates how serious he is about the engagement. And incidentally I’ll be contributing about 80% of the wedding budget, simply because I’ve been working for longer and have more savings. We choose to spend our (shared) resources on these things because they mean something to us both.

    Thinking about it, we don’t even see it as ‘my’ ring – he loves it too and seeing me wearing it makes him happy, and builds the excitement for our marriage. If we didn’t share values like these, why would we get married?
    Originally posted by Lizzie_BH
    I have to disagree with the bit in bold.

    How much someone spends on an engagement ring is in no way a demonstration of how serious they are.

    So a chap who is earning NMW and can only afford to buy a ring from Argos or Warren James is less serious about his relationship than someone who takes a trip to Hatton Garden and buys a 1 carat internally flawless diamond for his fiancee?

    No way!
    • pphillips
    • By pphillips 21st Apr 17, 11:32 AM
    • 199 Posts
    • 170 Thanks
    pphillips
    I don't think your being a scrooge, I think he's being selfish and unromantic!
    • wisechick
    • By wisechick 21st Apr 17, 11:47 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    wisechick
    I agree with warehouse. He is the wrong man for you.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 21st Apr 17, 12:02 PM
    • 2,596 Posts
    • 3,700 Thanks
    Malthusian
    I have to disagree with the bit in bold.

    How much someone spends on an engagement ring is in no way a demonstration of how serious they are.

    So a chap who is earning NMW and can only afford to buy a ring from Argos or Warren James is less serious about his relationship than someone who takes a trip to Hatton Garden and buys a 1 carat internally flawless diamond for his fiancee?
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    Ah, but if two men earn the same six-figure salary but one goes to Hatton Garden and the other goes to Elizabeth Duke, and probably hands over his Amazon wishlist five seconds after the ring, you'd be hard-pressed to convince me that they are both equally serious or deserving of the lady's hand.

    How much someone spends on an engagement ring relative to their income does demonstrate a) how serious they are b) whether they are financially mature enough to be able to spend a decent proportion of earnings on a ring.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 21st Apr 17, 12:17 PM
    • 27,982 Posts
    • 71,137 Thanks
    Mojisola
    How much someone spends on an engagement ring relative to their income does demonstrate a) how serious they are b) whether they are financially mature enough to be able to spend a decent proportion of earnings on a ring.
    Originally posted by Malthusian
    We've been married for over 30 years and my OH didn't spend anything on an engagement ring! I think he's still serious about our relationship.

    With all the other changes that have happened to even up the inequalities between the sexes, I don't understand why a man is expected to prove his commitment to a relationship by buying a bit of bling.
    • Scorpio33
    • By Scorpio33 21st Apr 17, 12:51 PM
    • 448 Posts
    • 646 Thanks
    Scorpio33
    You don't give to receive. "He would like you to buy him"? What a selfish individual. Its like me going up to a friend and asking them to buy me a gift. The two gifts are separate and distinct.

    Of course if you want to buy him something, then that is up to you.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 21st Apr 17, 1:22 PM
    • 17,353 Posts
    • 44,207 Thanks
    Pollycat
    Ah, but if two men earn the same six-figure salary but one goes to Hatton Garden and the other goes to Elizabeth Duke, and probably hands over his Amazon wishlist five seconds after the ring, you'd be hard-pressed to convince me that they are both equally serious or deserving of the lady's hand.

    How much someone spends on an engagement ring relative to their income does demonstrate a) how serious they are b) whether they are financially mature enough to be able to spend a decent proportion of earnings on a ring.
    Originally posted by Malthusian
    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.
    • NBLondon
    • By NBLondon 21st Apr 17, 2:52 PM
    • 1,353 Posts
    • 6,974 Thanks
    NBLondon
    Now I just need to save up for a 10 year anniversary gift..
    Originally posted by ringo_24601
    10th Anniversary is Tin - so how about http://www.mysupermarket.co.uk/aldi-price-comparison/Tinned_Beans/Everyday_Essentials_Baked_Beans_in_Tomato_Sauce_41 0g.html?TrackingCode=51.p_qiPerI5UWMjUX2AhGYQA
    This Be the Verse - Philip Larkin. The first line that everyone knows.
    • ringo_24601
    • By ringo_24601 21st Apr 17, 2:56 PM
    • 16,859 Posts
    • 27,379 Thanks
    ringo_24601
    Whilst I do love a drop of soup, I think she'd be looking for something more like this - https://www.bluenile.com/uk/diamond-tennis-bracelet-18k-white-gold_61854?gclid=Cj0KEQjw2-bHBRDEh6qk5b6yqKIBEiQAFUz29uHOSQGxmzPj6fIhrnYJBX7O rJMPwHVygmX2U3puULsaAm2z8P8HAQ&click_id=839614102
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 21st Apr 17, 3:07 PM
    • 1,509 Posts
    • 4,066 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    Show off!

    You could have a holiday for that.
    • ringo_24601
    • By ringo_24601 21st Apr 17, 3:13 PM
    • 16,859 Posts
    • 27,379 Thanks
    ringo_24601
    Show off!

    You could have a holiday for that.
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    I could get a car for that...

    Nice jewelry is expensive, but I know my wife will treasure it for decades. Same with the engagement ring.

    Funny though because I'd be exceptionally nervous with a £2k wristwatch.
    • Rejast
    • By Rejast 21st Apr 17, 10:05 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    Rejast
    I'm not sure you do understand that it could have been a surprise proposal with her having no involvement in the choosing of the ring.

    As I've already posted, if it was a surprise proposal, she would have had no say in how much the ring cost.
    She might have preferred to have just a token ring and the majority of money to be spent on more practical things.
    She may have had no choice in that at all if it was a surprise proposal.

    I'm not convinced that jewellers do have a standard returns policy.
    They do not - by law - have to refund or exchange any item because of change of mind (or rejection or a proposal).
    Large high street chains may do refunds but a small independant shop may not.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    I guess we will have to agree to disagree then. This has turned into so much more than just a simple yes or no answer which cannot be given based on what has been posted and lots of 'ifs'

    He may or may not have brought from a store that would offer a refund/exchange
    He may or may not have spent a large amount, used savings, used a credit card, taken a loan etc
    She may or may not have a lot of savings with which she could choose to buy him a gift.
    She may or may not think he is a cheeky wotsit for suggesting that he gets something too, never mind the fact he also put a price tag on it

    I understand that she may have had no say in how much the ring cost but she did have a say in whether to approach the subject of the cost. I can only comment based on my own values/relationship. If my oh proposed, presenting a ring I thought was expensive and we were expecting a large expense then we would have a conversation regarding it. As we did when I was presented with what I felt was an expensive gift for my 30th birthday.
    Last edited by Rejast; 21-04-2017 at 10:13 PM.
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 21st Apr 17, 11:03 PM
    • 2,426 Posts
    • 2,365 Thanks
    cjdavies
    How much someone spends on an engagement ring relative to their income does demonstrate a) how serious they are b) whether they are financially mature enough to be able to spend a decent proportion of earnings on a ring.
    Originally posted by Malthusian
    Means the bloke had a lucky escape, if it's based on cost (gold digger).
    • anto164
    • By anto164 23rd Apr 17, 9:07 AM
    • 104 Posts
    • 47 Thanks
    anto164
    When me and my wife got engaged, i didnt want a gift as why would you expect a gift back? Surely the gift os that of your fiancee agreeing to be with you for the rest of your life.

    Anyway, my wife wanted to get me something, and we bought a painting of where we got engaged. Cost about 5-10% of the ring cost and i was more than happy.

    In telation to the OP, why demand an equal gift? Its unfair as i'm presuming she didnt know about the proposal beforehand, and with the new house purchase, the money could be much more well spent.
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