For many prospective brides, the engagement ring is one of the big signifiers of the promise of married life. While I don’t dispute this, I’m also not the type who has ever wanted an expensive ring. My recent engagement came at a time when the economy is tough, and people are trying to live as frugally as possible.
While newly engaged women may still want a diamond that costs hundreds or thousands of dollars, there are several reasons to spend as little as possible on an engagement ring. Here are five reasons that lead me to my own choice of an inexpensive ring.
1. The symbol is what’s important – I’m big into symbolism and keeping things that hold a special meaning for me. Symbolism doesn’t have to be bought with a lot of money. As long as the ring is given with love, the meaning behind it is priceless.
2. Fewer tears if something happens to it – I think everyone knows someone who lost an engagement ring down the drain, in the pool, or just somewhere random where they couldn’t find it. I’d cry if mine were lost, but not as much as I’d cry if I realized I just lost the equivalent of a large chunk of change. Inexpensive rings can be easier to replace and less stressful to wear.
3. It frees up money for the wedding – Even if you’re planning a frugal wedding, not spending a fortune on an engagement ring will free up some money to add a few touches to the ceremony or reception. For the cost of an expensive engagement ring, you could rent a hotel room for your bridesmaids, rent a limo for the wedding party, add some decorations, or upgrade the honeymoon.
4. Simple and pretty is stylish – Everyone I know seems to have a different taste in jewelry than I do, but I tend to find the expensive rings with large rocks or loads of diamonds too gaudy for me. Simple rings suit my tastes much better and can generally be found at lower prices through jewelry catalogs, eBay, or department stores. Mine came from Wal-Mart for just $15 and suits me perfectly…elegant and simple.
5. Less to save for, nothing to pay off – There’s a lot of things my fiancé and I could go into debt for, but an engagement ring isn’t one of them. One of the bonuses of buying an inexpensive engagement ring is that you don’t have to save several paychecks ahead. For those tempted to take out a loan, not going into debt for an engagement ring will keep you from having an extra payment or even defaulting on the loan in case of job loss or economic hardship.
You don’t have to have an expensive ring to have a great engagement. The engagement itself is the important part, not what you wear on your finger.