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    • MSE Nick
    • By MSE Nick 13th Apr 17, 12:25 PM
    • 255Posts
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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!

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    Last edited by MSE Megan F; 02-05-2017 at 2:48 PM.
Page 2
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 19th Apr 17, 9:51 AM
    • 9,796 Posts
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    hazyjo
    Depends on whether he genuinely just thinks it would be a nice token to mark the engagement and wants something to wear too... or whether he thinks that he's spending X number of hundred/thousand and begrudges that he has to pay for it without getting something of equal value in return.


    First bloke I lived with was tight as you can imagine. I'm quite a generous person and like to give back, but he always wanted things 50/50. We would literally be in two queues even in McDonalds. My parents bought us loads for our flat, all of which got put into the pot when we split up and we each chose things of similar value. He then got really moody when he saw the two old chest of drawers his sister had given us on the list. He couldn't understand how they weren't just his as his sis had given them to us. Totally oblivious to the fact my parents had given us the table & chairs, video, bookcases, microwave, second hand sofas from my cousin, god knows what else.


    Tread carefully... As above, maternity leave might be very telling - and definitely not the time you want to find out!


    Jx
    2017 wins: Opera tickets; film preview; lipstick; Ideal Home Show tickets + afternoon tea & bottle of Champagne; 2 cases of NKD; notebook; bath rack; books; film Premiere; Broadchurch DVDs; lipbalms; hamper (food/wine/Echo Dot/Jo Malone goodies); Avon lippies; cowhide rug; Windsor luxury break, foundation; Flybe flight
    • julie777
    • By julie777 19th Apr 17, 10:00 AM
    • 266 Posts
    • 212 Thanks
    julie777
    of equal value! I'm speechless!
    This man is so demanding! It sounds like it's all about money with him!
    He doesn't want to look after you and cherish you, he wants to control you.
    Most people would value a gift at any time - cheap or spontaneous is good.
    A gift given under duress is a lot less meaningful so why not do something on your own terms?
    • Pepita
    • By Pepita 19th Apr 17, 10:08 AM
    • 31 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    Pepita
    It's all stuff!
    I am old enough to realise that all these gifts are just stuff. Why does he need a memento to mark the engagement, isn't his memory of the day or the event enough? I know we're all different but I have seen so many young people struggle financially to buy expensive gifts for their partners to show them how much they love them when you can do that by cooking their favourite meal. The more money spent doesn't necessarily mean the more you love them, memories can be made by walking on the beach or a spontaneous trip to the pub. I told my husband I'd rather have a honeymoon than an engagement ring and 30 years on I'm still very happy with my decision . (It was four days in County Wicklow)
    • crmism
    • By crmism 19th Apr 17, 10:20 AM
    • 79 Posts
    • 44 Thanks
    crmism
    Engagement
    I've never heard of anything being given on engagement, other than the ring, which is sufficiently symbolic as a token of love by either party. Hasn't your fiance got a watch, phone or other timepiece already? If he has, I reckon he's got his priorities wrong and he needs to think responsibly about your future together and maybe save for a decent watch after you're married, not before. I didn't own a passably good watch until my wife and I had been married several years.

    As for you, I think you are being very sensible. Setting up a home is an expense, and buying your fiance a wristwatch of equal value is not only being mercenary on his part at a time when you should both be saving, but unnecessarily extravagant. Impress upon him the simple fact that wedding gifts cover the basics, but that there are plenty of other things a newly-married couple will need as essentials.
    • RJFW
    • By RJFW 19th Apr 17, 10:38 AM
    • 1 Posts
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    RJFW
    How about something for the new house that he would like? Something he would like. Compromise is a wonderful thing!
    • Judi
    • By Judi 19th Apr 17, 10:47 AM
    • 15,268 Posts
    • 62,589 Thanks
    Judi
    I bought my husband a diamond signet ring when we got engaged. He didnt ask for it, i did it because i wanted to. I chose my ring (for which he paid for) and told him to look for a ring for himself (and yes i paid).

    If he'd asked for something he would have got nothing.
    'Holy crap on a cracker!'
    • gaz6078
    • By gaz6078 19th Apr 17, 10:49 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    gaz6078
    Well I personally did not propose to my wife nearly 40 years ago to receive a gift or monetary value of equal measure! I can't help wondering how times and outlook towards money and romance have changed. I must admit I was taken aback by the thought of even having to ASK this question but then again I suppose I am an OLD romantic in that women should be placed on a pedestal and a man should pay. I am sorry if this upsets a few people but I can't help the way my Father brought us up.
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 19th Apr 17, 11:12 AM
    • 7,785 Posts
    • 26,107 Thanks
    Primrose
    I bought my own engagement ring. My husband had no money. It's a standing joke that several decades later I still won't let him repay me !
    • danthemoneysavingman
    • By danthemoneysavingman 19th Apr 17, 11:43 AM
    • 1,214 Posts
    • 513 Thanks
    danthemoneysavingman
    It sounds like a nice balanced gesture. In this day n age of equality.... discuss ;-)

    Probably best to discuss this with him rather than a bunch of random strangers! :-)
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 19th Apr 17, 12:05 PM
    • 1,872 Posts
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    Red-Squirrel
    Be very careful about entering into a marriage with someone who expects you to spend scarce resources on a shiny expensive unnecessary treat just for him when you are in a tight financial situation and doing so could cause you serious money problems down the line.

    Its a very selfish and thoughtless thing to ask, and those are not good qualities in a partner for life.

    If he is regretting what he spent on your ring, give it back, he can return it.
    • ringo_24601
    • By ringo_24601 19th Apr 17, 12:09 PM
    • 17,024 Posts
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    ringo_24601
    It sounds like a nice balanced gesture. In this day n age of equality.... discuss ;-)

    Probably best to discuss this with him rather than a bunch of random strangers! :-)
    Originally posted by danthemoneysavingman
    hah, when I got engaged I got an ipod (~£300 at the time) and she got a 1ct engagement ring (rather more than an ipod). I bought it with the money she haggled off the price of the ring!

    The engagement ring has outlasted the ipod!
    • AylesburyDuck
    • By AylesburyDuck 19th Apr 17, 12:23 PM
    • 681 Posts
    • 1,549 Thanks
    AylesburyDuck
    It must be a modern day practice for a woman to buy her fianc! an engagement present as I've never heard of it. . With all the expenses of a wedding and a new home ahead of you I would have thought it is better now to hold fire on any more expensive spending unless you can think of an inexpensive gift to mark the occasion which isn't going to break the bank, especially if you're not working at the moment. Just because you're planning to get married this isn't an excuse for financial common sense to fly out of the window.
    Originally posted by Primrose
    Nope, over 30 years ago i bought my OH a chunky silver ID bracelet as an engagement present.
    He however didnt ask for it, it was given freely, and my OH is the sort that if money was needed else where he'd be upset if it was spent on him instead.
    ,
    Fully paid up member of the ignore button club.
    If it walks like a Duck, quacks like a Duck, it's a Duck.
    • midnightraven3
    • By midnightraven3 19th Apr 17, 12:51 PM
    • 2,743 Posts
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    midnightraven3
    The fact he asked for it and is stipulating the value it should be is awful, it takes away the excitement of getting engaged, "here have this, buy me something shiny"
    • onlyroz
    • By onlyroz 19th Apr 17, 1:26 PM
    • 13,576 Posts
    • 25,832 Thanks
    onlyroz
    My husband bought me a bike for an engagement present, and I bought him a new dining table. We've still got the table but the bike got stolen.
    • Libsylib
    • By Libsylib 19th Apr 17, 1:49 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Libsylib
    If you are able to do something that you know will make your partner happy, you should do it - meeting your partner's needs is an important part of making a marriage work. If financially you are unable to buy a watch, you should discuss that with him - you are building a life together which includes your finances. Also discuss any money worries with him - open discussion and honesty are important parts of making a marriage work.
    • KateySW
    • By KateySW 19th Apr 17, 2:17 PM
    • 99 Posts
    • 149 Thanks
    KateySW
    ... I can't cope. To maybe get him an engagement present is one thing, for him to explicitly ask for one is a whole other issue and he's also dictating how much the present should be?! What kind of proposal was that? "I want to spend the rest of my life with you, will you marry me? *presents ring* now... What's in it for me? By the way, that was £1000. I think the jewellers had some nice watches for the same amount. Make sure it's in white gold, yeah?" This isn't flipping Christmas!!

    If he didn't want to buy you an engagement ring because he felt it was unfair for just you to get something, or he also wanted something else to mark the occasion, he should have said this before. I find this so unbelievably crass and for me, it would be ringing major alarm bells.

    Before I got engaged, I didn't want nor expect my OH to spend a lot of money on an engagement ring (I wanted a moissanite one because it was cheaper and more ethical anyway). My fiance made that choice himself and he did it because he wanted me to agree to marry him, not with the expectation he'd also get something shiny. I did buy him an engagement present, but it wasn't huge because at the time we were relocating and I had to move jobs, so money was tight. I got him a sentimental gift to mark the occasion. When we get married I plan on getting him something a bit more pricey perhaps, like some nice cufflinks or a pocket watch... But, and this is the important bit, he would never demand it, nor try to dictate how much I spent. And he certainly wouldn't have expected it at a time when we were feeling the pinch.

    I'd be asking some serious questions about how this would work out in the future if you have to depend on each other financially etc, but I'm not you... so, to summarise, you aren't being a scrooge. AT. ALL. If you want to get him a gift, do it because you want to. But if you can't right now, be honest with him and tell him he'll have to hold fire, or that you'll get him something to mark the wedding day. And certainly don't let him tell you how much you should spend.

    Strewth...
    • Jennifer Layton
    • By Jennifer Layton 19th Apr 17, 3:10 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Jennifer Layton
    I don't think you should nit your fiance a gift. He proposed to you with a ring and you accepted. End of. You could always argue that if you had known that you would be asked to buy him a gift you would not have accepted either hisring or his proposal! You weren't prepared for this.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 19th Apr 17, 3:40 PM
    • 3,280 Posts
    • 4,980 Thanks
    Malthusian
    Sell the engagement ring and buy him a watch with the proceeds.

    The "engagement ring = month's salary" rule is, as well as a marketing slogan for jewellers, a test to see if you are ready for marriage. If you can't scrape together a month's salary you aren't financially prepared or emotionally mature enough for marriage. He's failed it.
    • joehoover
    • By joehoover 19th Apr 17, 3:43 PM
    • 135 Posts
    • 227 Thanks
    joehoover
    Oh dear, seems odd but a guy I work with won't buy his nieces presents for Christmas unless he gets something back in return of equal value - he is 45 years old and they are about 8 years old. That and your story show there really are these kinda people out there.

    Not knowing your partner, I know this guy at work is incredibly selfish, extending to his attitude at work and in the stories you hear about him and his friends/family -of course he completely justifies his every selfish act.

    It won't change, they get worse over time. Sorry your dilemma may turn into a crisis, but better think about it now. It's not normal to ask for that after the event, maybe he will return it to get the money back and hey presto his engagement ring cost him nothing!

    You have been warned
    • bubbs83
    • By bubbs83 19th Apr 17, 3:57 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    bubbs83
    Equality at its finest... but no, it doesn't work the other way around. Men should get nothing and women get a dream wedding with all the trimmings so they can be a princess for the day.


    (usually) All a bloke wants is a quick wedding with a handful of people and a few pints afterwards then a nice holiday. But no instead they get taken to the cleaners and have to pay tens of thousands back for years to come, then the stress impacts the relationship and boom your wife is banging someone else and has taken your house and you're still left paying off the wedding.


    Pop culture has !!!!!!!ised the whole concept of marriage.


    ...saying that, I do think your fianc! is being a fanny - if he believed in equality he should have given you the terms ahead of time and given you the choice of what ring you wanted etc. so that you could agree on something you're both happy with. My wedding ring cost me £11.99, solid silver and it's a symbol of commitment, price shouldn't come into it.
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