Can't afford a fancy engagement ring?

I cannot afford to get my girlfriend a fancy engagement ring but I know that she wants one. What should I do?


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Most Helpful Girl

  • Okay, there's some good advice already out here, but I don't agree with the ones who are saying a ring doesn't matter. We have traditions that help give our lives meaning, even if they're pointless in a way. I don't care that diamonds are more expensive than they could be, they're still a special, beautiful stone that lasts forever.

    Like many have said, don't go into ridiculous debt to buy a great ring, but you should make some sacrifice for it. They say two months' pay, which is a pretty good guideline. You can always upgrade it later or add a second band. This is something she'll remember the rest of her life and will help tie you together. It's not just the ring itself, it's the gesture. I like the idea of selling something you care about.

    And, unromantic as it sounds, a nice ring is also a safety net for her. She can sell it if you dump her down the road. She's not thinking that way, but she's probably heard that and it's probably somewhere in the back of her mind. Think of it as a way of giving her something valuable that she'll always have, no matter what happens. She's probably going to make a lot of compromises and sacrifices to be your wife.

    So, do the best you can--unless she's someone who doesn't go in for romantic traditions. I wouldn't say "no" to someone just over the ring, but I'd always be a little disappointed about it. This is one of the grand romantic gestures in our society.

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What Girls Said 65

  • I know you would love to go to the store and buy her a ring the size of the Everst but if she really loves you how you pop the questions will matter way more that the rock you put in her finger! Make it special, and romantic. Play a scavenger hunt have her get clues, go to different places until she finds the last clue! a Big Old "would you marry me". If you have some money save by her a promissed ring wich is a cheaper more affordable version of an engagemet ring and it will serve its purpose. Latter on whe you have save up some money then buy her a rock but as I said if she loves you, man a happyly in love woman care more about the guy she has rigth next to her in bed than the rock on her finger and if that is not the case with her dam that should be sign!

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  • to me a ring is just a piece of jewelery it does not symbolise my bfs love for me! if she loves you for you she will be more than happy to know you want to spend the rest of your life with her and not what the ring looks like! and you can get cheap rings that look just the same ! if she doesn't seem happy because of a ring she isn't as in love as you thought! but I would say she really won't mind at all! there is plenty of time to make up for the ring if you spend your life together

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  • Try buying her a promise ring, and then propose in a really creative way. A scavenger or treasure hunt, box of "I Love You" cards with the ring at the bottom (my old band director did that), even a magic trick where you crack an egg and the ring comes out if illusion is something you both find entertaining. Anything that suits you, so long as it's creative. At the end of the hunt, trick, on a card, etc., either tell her or leave a message that you will get her the perfect engagement ring as soon as you are able to afford it.

    She'll love anything as long as it comes from you and you put some thought into it. After all, it's the thought that counts, right?

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  • ahh! yes! me and my boyfriend are planning on getting married in a few years too. we're very young and he doesn't have the money to buy me a fancy ring. I've always dreamed of having a fabulous wedding with a gorgeous diamond and a elaborate dress. it's very important to him to get me a ring that I love, but honestly, it doesn't matter. none of it matters. I want him and I'd rather have a marriage than a wedding or a ring any day. just get her something pretty and she'll love it. no matter the cost, if she loves you.

    ps- another way to get possibly get a fancy engagement ring is to use an heirloom. does your mother have your (dead) grandmother's wedding ring?, ect. also, try estate sales, sometimes you can find hidden gems for dirt cheap.

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  • Go to antique shops where they go to auctions, preferably one that doesn't just deal in jewelry. If you live in a larger area, look up estate auctions and go on your own. My parents got their 25th wedding anniversary rings from an antique shop, they were about 100 dollars each and my mom's ring is absolutely gorgeous. They had them cleaned, you can get something cheaper if no one has taken the time to do that.

    Or go for more decorative than bling.

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  • When me and the old man ot hitched we didn't have rings--we had, or all things, rose gold bracelets--it's not the ring, it's that act. One man, who wanted toget a good ring for his girl, gave her something inexpensive, and every anniversary produced a better one until they had the one she desired.

    But if the ring means more than the marriage you have a problem.

    Ask her if she can wait until you can afford the one she desires. If she knows you are not a man of means, she should respect that.

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  • OMG... If my boyfriend was to propose to me with a ring made out of a daisy flower it would still be the best proposal and engagement ring ever. If your getting engaged for the right reasons, she should understand your situation and love the ring you give her either way.

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  • Get her a promise ring and pop the question in the right way (romantic ^^ ) You can get her a fancy ring later. I am sure she will understand. Besides it's the way you do it and the thought behind it if she knows you love her and try your best then that's all you can do and she will love you more for it.

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  • Get one you can affford tell her once you can afford one you will get one for her she will like the thought that you care and you really wanted to get her a fancy love but she will ove whatever you give her

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  • OMG! You don't want to start out your marriage in DEBT do you? Money is the no1 reason newly weds divorce.The size of the ring doesn't matter, being in debt does. Ask her this, "nice fancy ring, or being able to qualify for a nice home someday" trust me, don't go into debt for something that won't gain you equity. Unless you buy good gold and when you do split because of money, then you can always sell it off, but no guaentees. Be smart, if she loves you, she shouldn't put the both of you into debt!

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  • Have you already proposed? If so, then you should tell her you can't afford one I mean seriously if you aren't comfortable telling her that then how are you going to marry her? I would buy something elegant but simple, either way she'll get the point and it's the thought that counts. That's how I'd look at it anyway.

    BUT

    You could always maybe hold a fund raiser for something and give your community a reason to contribute money.

    Something else came to mind as well.I mean isn't the BIG PICTURE that you're proposing? So do you really think your fiance, or soon-to-be fiance will say no if you don't have the ring she wants? I'm sure you wouldn't marry somebody that shallow.

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  • get her something totally sentimental. something that means alot.

    for example,one of those rings you can get in machines.those are cute.

    or even like one of hard vines.

    either way,if she loves you and isn't a total cow (sorry) than she will adore anything you get her.

    just make sure it comes from the heart,and it shouldn't matter how much it costs.

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  • Have you tried to get a loan or checked out a pawn shop? she doesn't have to know where it came from. You might just find that a big presentation when giving the ring regardless of the fanciness or lack of, might be more what she's wanting. If you love each other money or price shouldn't matter. Just some ideas.

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  • if you can't afford fancy engagement ring, they just make the proposal seem more fancy. you don't have to spend a lot but creativity is the key. like do something really romantic or unique. besides, you should be preparing more for you remarriage financially than spending it on a lavish engagement ring or wedding. you'd rather not be in debt once you're married than her having a huge diamond on her hand but you can't pay the bills. if she's not okay with whatever you give her, then maybe she's not worth the fancy ring after all

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  • i would save up a little and try to find something really pretty at a good price. Look I want a fatty ring but if I am in love with my guy and he can't afford it's ok. I'm marrying him for him not the ring.

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  • to me the fact that my guy wants to spend the rest of his life with me means way more than a ring I might have in mind. buy the one you can afford and tell her that you will add on to the ring after the one year anniversary. you can do this till its the size she wants; that makes it more meaningful and special.

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  • I've read through many comments,

    like 99% say - if she loves you it doesn't matter about the ring

    Its true, but you only get engaged once (hopefully ::D) And as a girl who loves diamonds I wouldn't care about the ring if you couldn't afford it because I got you. However most girls and I have always dreamt about the perfect wedding and perfect engagement. So I would buy her a ring you can afford at the moment, however later on when you can afford her a proper ring then buy it her as a suprise.

    From the past, my aunties fiance coudln't afford this gorgeous ring she realy dreamt of, so she setteled for second best. However on their wedding night he bought her it, because by then he could afford it and it was worth seeing that happiness and :D WOW YAY I have always wanted that.

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  • You have a few options:

    -You can dely the engagement until you have saved up enough money to buy her the engagement ring she wants.

    -You can set up a payment plan, some jewellers will let you pay in installments

    -You can buy her the best ring you can afford and hope she likes it, after all, if she really loves you and your hinting that marriage may be in your future then she has to accept you for who you are and should be happy with whatever ring you give her.

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  • Honestly hun it won't matter how expensive or big the diamond is as long as you give it to her with your whole heart attached and the true promise that you will be with her forever, love her, cherish her then you are set with even a ring from a gum ball machine. She loves you, just don't worry so much and get whatever you can afford!

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  • If she really loves you she wouldn't ask you for much not even an expensive wedding ring---I know I would be happy to be getting married with someone I love and it could be a paper ring that he made his self for all I care- it don't have to be anything at all as long as he loves me.

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  • Your ring for her does not have to be big and fancy. Me personally, I would like a ring to be more personal to me; diamonds and all that crap, there's nothing personal about that. A friend of mine has a love for angels and dolphins(I know weird), and her fiance(now husband) tried to find a ring with an angel on it, but to no avail. So I helped him out and we found a nice ring that had a little dolphin and a nice little shiny rock by it. AND it was much more affordable for him. So try to find out what she likes and base your ring from that. And the rock on the ring does NOT have to be huge. You should save the big rocks for the actual wedding band, that'll give you some time to save some money and buy her the fancy ring.

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  • Tell her that it's from the heart and that you lover her. That you promise her you will get her the ring she loves and deserves in due time.

    She should understand :)

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  • It shouldn't matter what kind of ring you get for her, as long it is from you.

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  • AWWW! You could probably go and get a ring out of those gumball machines and she would care as long as the question and the intent is there.

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  • Get over it, girls (and guys). They are ROCKS - shiny rocks. We've been together nearly thirty years and I made it clear to my husband years ago that I didn't want my intelligence insulted by him giving me stupid gifts like jewelry and flowers, and I would return the favor. Instead we have spent our "gift" money on a multitude of wonderful trips together. It's these shared memories that we will cherish as we age together. When we are sucked in by advertising in the media or by following "tradition" because it's "the thing" to do, we lose our ability to think for ourselves. Knowing I am loved is enough; no symbol at all is necessary.

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  • Honestly, the ring DOES matter. But not in the way you'd think. She doesn't want a nice ring just to show it off because it's big and pretty. She wants a nice ring because it shows commitment. It shows that you were willing to sacrifice a round of golf or a new video game to scrape and save to buy her something that is the symbol of your lives together. But not only should you be saving for a ring. You need to save a nest egg as well. A kind of "starting our married life" fund/ honeymoon fund.

    You should be pumping as much energy and time into this as possible, because it means something. This isn't just a "well, the next step is a ring.I just buy what I can afford today." type decision.

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  • It shouldn't matter that much, there will be plenty of years of marriage to upgrade. she's marrying YOU not the ring. :o)

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  • Well if she loves you she won't care.. plus you could alway just make the wedding band a little more WOW..

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  • just buy her a cheaper one for now and tell her that you can getget her the nicer one once you have a little more money and hopefully she will accept it and not be like one of them girls that you have to get them the most expensive one or they will break up with you or some stupid thing like that lol

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  • If she really loves you it won't matter if its a ring out of a cereal box or the biggest diamond you can find. She should just be happy you want to spend the rest of your life with her.

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  • More from Girls
    35

What Guys Said 20

  • If you are thinking engagement ring then obviously you are contemplating marriage. I have been married for 35 years and let me tell you one or two of my observations. An engagement ring is a silly waste of money if you think about it. That whole idea is the result of good marketing by Debeers, the diamond people. In the long run your money will be much better invested in the real needs of life. If this is truly the right girl for you, she will understand completely that you can't afford that big diamond and she will be just as happy with a paper cigar band. Save buying diamonds till the future when you can afford them, if they are still important to you. Three years ago my wife and were visiting Cancun. We walked into a little store because we saw something of interest and I saw a tray of silver rings. I picked up a plain band in her size, put it on her middle finger and told her I would like to sign on for another 30. She picked up one in my size and said "me too". I hope after 32 years you and this girl still feel that way. One last observation, The length of the marriage seems to be inversely proportional to the cost of the wedding. Good luck

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    • Thank you Dave and AMEN--my hubby and I didn't even exchange rings--we knew where the priorities were and we have been happy a number of years--not as many as you but hopefully, one day, *knock on wood!* LOL

    • Your welcome :)

  • Explain to her that diamonds are virtually worthless and can in fact be made synthetically in a lab. De Beers controls most of the world's diamonds, but sells only a percentage of them each year to keep the price up. Explain to her that an engagement ring is a material thing, and should not be the standard by which she measures your affection. Explain to her that your money could be better spent -- such as on a house. On food. On clothing for the children you two will probably have someday. On their college education. On your retirement. On life AFTER you break the bank on an engagement, engagement party, bachelor party, bachelorette party, wedding, reception, and honeymoon. You may want to word it differently though. ;)

    I know, not very romantic -- but I'll take a solid future over an expensive night out any day.

    My suggestion? Find a metalworker or jeweler and get a simple ring (wedding band) customized. An inscription, or something more elaborate. A ring should be a representation of a promise. It shouldn't be a bribe.

    Just my thoughts on the matter.

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    • Ahaha. Now that's irony. Right above me is a De Beers advert. It could just be because of the subject matter, but it still made me lol.

  • Yeah someone up there said it best if she loves you she shouldn't care... but she will :)

    If you can't afford something spectacular now but want to eventually you should look into getting just a nice ring for her with a small stone whatever you can afford. Talk to the jeweler though and see if he can't make the ring something that you can "upgrade" later on. I'm not a girl so maybe this idea is total crap but I would think it might be something nice if you can "add" on to the ring with each anniversary until the day you can really afford the huge stone she always wanted.

    Just an idea :)

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  • Tell her you want to wait to get engaged until you can afford to buy her the ring she deserves. If she loves you, she'll help you find a ring that will win the approval of her girlfriends without breaking the bank. Seriously though, sell something that she knows you treasure (your motorcycle, etc.) and buy her something nice. You can use it as a trump card (to win arguments and get your way) for the rest of your lives together.

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  • Vintage - you'd be amazed at what you can find -

    I think Ebay is your best bet - you have the entire world to chose from - and you will find the right one

    you should check the local ebay sites here in Europe as well like

    .ie - Ireland

    .co.uk - England

    .fr - France

    .it - Italy

    .de - Germany

    Your going to find 200+ years of choice

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  • I wish you would update us what happened. In any case, I see a ton of men whose wives have regular wedding rings. The point? Even though he could afford better, they knew that commitment and sentimental feelings are far more important than how grand a diamond is. If you work hard in loving your wife, she knows you are a keeper. Not by how much you're willing to shell out.

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  • You can get them for about a quarter in a vending machine. Those Chinese manufacturers are begining to make some quality pieces.

    Who knows, she may not even know the difference.

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  • The fact that you even thought about this question should be good enough to prove to her that you love her deeply. Hell, even the fact that you're asking her to marry you is a good indicator.

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  • i already answered this for another guy and he told me it was amazing advice.

    so first if you don't have the money, buy her a cheaper ring (not to fancy) but engrave it with a message (say like as our love grows, so will this ring) or something not that corny lol.

    but promise her that once you get the money you will buy her a beautifulll ring. that should melt her heart. hope this helps!

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  • Its the commitment and the ideal not the ring. if all she cares about is the size of the rock she isn't worth marrying. you could opt for a man made diamond. it is cheaper

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  • stay away from tiffany.

    fella, I am happy for ya that you find your love. :) ring is a plus, but she want you more than anything, start with something easy like $500 under and when things are better up grade it. and that is why you can bring her the tiffany setting.

    until then make one with a dollar bill

    link

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  • I never knew a girl to turn down an engagement ring from the guy she loved, because it wasn't fancy. Shop around for something in your budget; choose something that you think she might like, and give it to her. What you should be worried about is; how you are going to propose. Women always put more importance in that; then the ring.

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  • If she loves you than any ring should be good. buy what you can now then later down the line get her something better

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  • if all she sees is the ring and not the feelings behind it she is not worth the trouble

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  • buy her a simple ring, but tell her that once you get the money you will by her the ring she deserves.

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  • get a cheap one from a pawn shop.

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  • get a 2nd job dude

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  • sell a kidney.

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  • Get her an onion ring and see what happens!

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  • Love doesn't have a price tag, go for what you can afford, and or talk it over with her, she should understand and still love you, if she doesn't than she wasn't worth the ring in the begining.

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