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    • MSE Nick
    • By MSE Nick 13th Apr 17, 12:25 PM
    • 254Posts
    • 77Thanks
    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 4
    • ringo_24601
    • By ringo_24601 19th Apr 17, 11:21 PM
    • 16,857 Posts
    • 27,372 Thanks
    ringo_24601
    Grow up, get real, show a bit of common are some of the things that came to mind whilst reading about your dilemma.

    Getting married is usually a time when resources never seem to cover requirements. Buy him a Timex and tell him the rest will go towards kitting out the bedroom. If he wants a Rolex, tell him he can sleep with IT on the floor in a different room LOL!

    xx GL & fingers crossed he realises what you're both getting into. D
    Originally posted by DaveLanks
    See, what he should have done is spent 1/2 as much on the engagement ring and then spend the rest on his watch

    Why should the women be the one getting a gift as part of an engagement, and not a man? It's absolute hypocrisy.
    Last edited by ringo_24601; 19-04-2017 at 11:29 PM.
    • Runningfast
    • By Runningfast 20th Apr 17, 12:06 AM
    • 132 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    Runningfast
    Before bashing the bloke like many have done I would like to know about the ring. Did she expect or demand a ring of a certain value etc? One of my now exes would literally only wear a ring costing £3k anything less was not worth it to her. I'm glad to say we are no longer together and I never did buy her that ring either though at that time I did want to marry her!

    The problem in todays society both men and women put a price on everything.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 20th Apr 17, 12:14 AM
    • 9,313 Posts
    • 11,754 Thanks
    hazyjo
    See, what he should have done is spent 1/2 as much on the engagement ring and then spend the rest on his watch

    Why should the women be the one getting a gift as part of an engagement, and not a man? It's absolute hypocrisy.
    Originally posted by ringo_24601
    Go on, admit it, you're the future husband aren't you

    It's not a gift - it's traditional symbolism. I'm sure she'd be over the moon if he wanted to also wear an engagement ring. But he might as well be asking for an iPhone just so that she spends the same as he's spending on her.

    Alarm bells... I've been there. Men like that never change. I welcomed/expected 50/50, but I did have a problem with him thinking what's ours (or mine) was ours, and what his family gave us was his!

    He was even 50/50 in the bedroom too. Seriously lol! Can't even say he was selfish, just 'even' lol. Ahem.
    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
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 20th Apr 17, 1:47 AM
    • 4,439 Posts
    • 7,001 Thanks
    Gavin83
    I've never heard of a woman buying an engagement ring but I believe it's tradition for her to buy her husband to be a present to present just before the wedding day. I would generally expect this to be something along the lines of a good watch, or at least something he can keep long term.
    • toadhall
    • By toadhall 20th Apr 17, 7:27 AM
    • 310 Posts
    • 64 Thanks
    toadhall
    30 years ago we bought each other engagement rings, he wanted one to wear as well, he then moved it to his other hand, neither were very expensive and we are still married and wearing the rings
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 20th Apr 17, 9:09 AM
    • 2,575 Posts
    • 3,652 Thanks
    Malthusian
    Why should the women be the one getting a gift as part of an engagement, and not a man? It's absolute hypocrisy.
    Originally posted by ringo_24601
    When you were young did your parents have to buy you presents on your siblings' birthdays to keep you from throwing a tantrum?

    It's traditional. That's it. If you don't like it, you don't have to take part.

    He was even 50/50 in the bedroom too. Seriously lol! Can't even say he was selfish, just 'even' lol. Ahem.
    Originally posted by hazyjo
    The mind boggles. 50/50 is more than most men manage if you're talking about what I think you're talking about, but quite possibly you're not.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 20th Apr 17, 9:51 AM
    • 9,313 Posts
    • 11,754 Thanks
    hazyjo

    The mind boggles. 50/50 is more than most men manage if you're talking about what I think you're talking about, but quite possibly you're not.
    Originally posted by Malthusian


    More a case of 'I did 'X' to you last time, so you do 'X' to me tonight'. (Please tell me I don't need to go into further detail lol)


    I swear he kept records lol. Not how it works in my book!


    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
    • Sophiej
    • By Sophiej 20th Apr 17, 9:59 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Sophiej
    I read this one aloud to my boyfriend because I couldnt quite believe it. His response was 'What!!!???' So thats two of us that thinks its outrageous. But it is your responsibility to stick up for yourself...& you wouldnt have put the question here if you didnt think it was at least partly wrong.

    Firstly, an engagement ring is a gift ONLY if you get married. Break off the engagement & you are expected to return the ring, whereas a watch is a gift.
    Buying him an equally expensive 'gift' is not normal, or the done thing, & if hes worried hes not getting the good end of the deal financially then you two need to discuss EXACTLY what you both expect..because if you have children does he expect you to work full time from birth? If he earns more but you do more for him is that acknowledged anywhere? Has he even thought about what you do for him? He wont if you dont remind him.

    I would suggest that you tell him you would rather have a lesser ring if he feels it will financially compromise him, & that the watch money is needed for your joint life. That soon there will be a honeymoon, holidays, property, etc etc & that spending lots of money on rings & watches is just silly. Tell him that when you are both in a better place financially he can buy himself a great watch AND a better ring, & you can save your money so that you have some for your joint life.
    Then make sure he knows your value & isnt treating you like you are less if you earn less - & is admitting the ways you make his life easier & better.

    I do think though that this meanness of spirit & greed so early in is a bad sign. Also wanting to wear an expensive watch is nothing but showing off if he hasnt really got the money for it. Its all a bit tit for tat & wanting to play the big man, all very unattractive traits seen in men who dont make very good husbands.

    Strong words I know but so many girls just want their men to be happy they dont realise giving in to everything makes them just see you as a door mat & lowers your value in their eyes, & then they feel less happy. Ive had lots of boyfriends, most of whom were pretty good & not a single one would have done this. If you dont believe me ask your male relatives & friends what they think... they wont be impressed one bit. But guys can do silly things sometimes so as long as you dont put up with it then it should be fine. But Id watch this one...
    Last edited by Sophiej; 20-04-2017 at 10:01 AM.
    • anotheruser
    • By anotheruser 20th Apr 17, 10:21 AM
    • 2,497 Posts
    • 1,492 Thanks
    anotheruser
    ...you might as well just give each other the cash.
    Originally posted by kazt2006
    And the thoughtlessness that comes with giving cash...

    For weddings, yes, these days people ask for cash to spend on their honeymoon - that's different as it's for a specific purpose. But just giving cash shows you've barely thought of that person.
    Isn't that the point in sending a card - to show you're thinking of them?




    Best bit of advice so far:
    If he wanted something in return (other than your acceptance) then perhaps he should have discussed that with you before you got engaged.

    You might want to consider buying him a nice watch for the wedding (if you can afford it then) but don't feel obliged to now if there are more important things to spend the money on.
    Originally posted by lika_86
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 20th Apr 17, 10:40 AM
    • 7,049 Posts
    • 7,514 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    Traditionally the proposer was supposed to spend a month's salary on the ring. It's only fair in this day and age that you spend something similar in return. Of course if you're not working your month's salary would be...nothing...
    Originally posted by rwj
    Good point. FWIW thats a "tradition" invented in the 1940's by DeBeers. What do they sell, i forget?
    • Loz01
    • By Loz01 20th Apr 17, 10:49 AM
    • 1,367 Posts
    • 2,939 Thanks
    Loz01
    Well its not a tradition but I think its a good idea!! It'd be lovely to buy him a watch I think... maybe don't splash out though, there are PLENTY of nice ones you can get for a good price, it doesn't have to be a Rolex. Also a watch is practical and something he'll use so its not like a memento that might get shoved in a draw...
    An apple a day keeps anyone away if you throw it hard enough
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 20th Apr 17, 11:09 AM
    • 17,339 Posts
    • 44,153 Thanks
    Pollycat
    Well its not a tradition but I think its a good idea!! It'd be lovely to buy him a watch I think... maybe don't splash out though, there are PLENTY of nice ones you can get for a good price, it doesn't have to be a Rolex. Also a watch is practical and something he'll use so its not like a memento that might get shoved in a draw...
    Originally posted by Loz01
    As lovely as the idea might be, it doesn't sound like the OP feels it's a priority given the bit in bold:
    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?
    Originally posted by MSE Nick
    I agree with her.

    The fact that he wants her to buy a watch and he wants it to be of the same value as the ring he bought her is not that lovely an idea.
    • ringo_24601
    • By ringo_24601 20th Apr 17, 11:28 AM
    • 16,857 Posts
    • 27,372 Thanks
    ringo_24601
    Go on, admit it, you're the future husband aren't you

    It's not a gift - it's traditional symbolism. I'm sure she'd be over the moon if he wanted to also wear an engagement ring. But he might as well be asking for an iPhone just so that she spends the same as he's spending on her.
    Originally posted by hazyjo
    Ha, no, I'm not, i'm just stiring things up

    I splashed £4500 on my missus ring (Proposed with a 'fake diamond' ring and let her haggle in Hatton Garden for the one she really wanted) about 10 years ago, and bought myself a £300 ipod with the remains of my budget. I had no expectation of her buying me anything even though we were on similar salaries. I've got no interest in an over-priced man-toy watch. I'm very happy with just my wedding ring. She did get me very nice cufflinks for the wedding too.

    Now I just need to save up for a 10 year anniversary gift..
    Last edited by ringo_24601; 20-04-2017 at 11:36 AM.
    • Rejast
    • By Rejast 20th Apr 17, 11:33 AM
    • 43 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    Rejast
    I might be slated for this but I really think that the op is hipocritical. So she thinks that there are more practical things to spend her money on than a watch to mark their engagement but it's ok for him to buy her a ring? I would be more sympathetic to her cause if she had suggested returning the ring for a cheaper one to allow them to both have a momento of their engagement.
    I know one couple where he proposed with a very nice but 'cheap' ring with the promise that he would upgrade it in the future. They are now married and have brought a house which needs inprovements, everytime he says it may be time to upgrade her ring she responds with maybe we should put the money towards x instead. I think the last x was the kitchen.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 20th Apr 17, 11:58 AM
    • 1,498 Posts
    • 4,045 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    I think it's interesting that there's no suggestion in the OP or any other replies that the fianc! could wear a ring too, on his wedding finger, with the impression that gives if being 'taken'.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 20th Apr 17, 12:06 PM
    • 17,339 Posts
    • 44,153 Thanks
    Pollycat
    I might be slated for this but I really think that the op is hipocritical. So she thinks that there are more practical things to spend her money on than a watch to mark their engagement but it's ok for him to buy her a ring? I would be more sympathetic to her cause if she had suggested returning the ring for a cheaper one to allow them to both have a momento of their engagement.
    Originally posted by Rejast
    It could have been a surprise proposal with the OP being totally unaware that he had bought a ring.

    There is no suggestion in the first post that she was involved in choosing the ring.

    Not every shop will accept an engagement ring back as that essentially makes it 2nd hand.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 20th Apr 17, 12:12 PM
    • 9,313 Posts
    • 11,754 Thanks
    hazyjo
    I think it's interesting that there's no suggestion in the OP or any other replies that the fianc! could wear a ring too, on his wedding finger, with the impression that gives if being 'taken'.
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    I pretty much said it, saying I'm sure she'd be over the moon if he chose to wear one too and that's where the money was going (and that he might as well be asking for an iphone). But it just sounds like he wants something of equal value in case it doesn't work out and she gets to keep the ring...


    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
    • Rejast
    • By Rejast 20th Apr 17, 4:25 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    Rejast
    It could have been a surprise proposal with the OP being totally unaware that he had bought a ring.

    There is no suggestion in the first post that she was involved in choosing the ring.

    Not every shop will accept an engagement ring back as that essentially makes it 2nd hand.
    Originally posted by 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
    • Dolly DD
    • By Dolly DD 20th Apr 17, 6:13 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    Dolly DD
    I agree with the other posters that this should have been discussed prior to the engagement and also the moving home. When we decided to get married 20 odd years ago we spent the £1,000 on a sofa as we badly needed one. To this day, I still don't have an engagement ring, but we are still married. And the sofa is still going strong albeit with new bottom cushions! A ring is a symbol. That is all. I personally don't see the obsession with jewellery around these occasions. I have seen couples that do fall at the first hurdle and I find that sad. Good luck to you both.
    • Hol55
    • By Hol55 20th Apr 17, 11:13 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Hol55
    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.
    Originally posted by Rejast
    They've both had to decide how much they're willing to spend on luxury over practicality, but his decision in his circumstances doesn't then make hers unfair or hypocritical on her part. Their respective positions aren't like for like. The big one obviously is that she's not earning right now so has budget limitations, but besides that her fiance had the advantage of time to plan the ring purchase - when (or even if) he wanted to propose, which (if any) ring, how much he'd spend, how he'd fund it. She on the other hand has been landed with a specific demand that she hadn't planned for and doesn't feel financially able to meet. In that respect** his choice was a lot less pressured. He had time to prepare, and if he did for whatever reason make any compromises in what he picked she never has to know unless he tells her. Whereas the fact that he has voiced this expectation has backed her into a corner.


    **I specify in that respect because proposing in general's bloody nerve wracking lol
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