I guess with today’s confession, if you meet me at the Financial Blogger Conference, you’ll know the band of sparkle on my finger is not the real deal.
How sentimental are you about your wedding bands? Is it OK to get cheap rings now and upgrade them later?
You’ll see from our $7,000 wedding budget that our wedding bands will only cost $70 total. CB bought a tungsten ring for $15, while I have budgeted $50 to get a simple sterling silver / CZ ring. Just a stand-in for a few years until we feel more comfortable spending the $1,000+ it’d cost to purchase a matching diamond & platinum band to go with my engagement ring.
Yesterday, WorkSaveLive asked whether he should sell his wife’s wedding ring to pay off debt. Well you can imagine the kind of responses it generated! My situation is similar, but with a twist. Instead of selling an expensive wedding ring to pay off debt, we are holding off on an expensive wedding ring so we’d have the money to minimize our debt.
A few readers raised the issue that a wedding band is a sentimental piece of jewelry and that I should reconsider this whole notion of buying cheap now and upgrading later. I understand their concern, because it’s something I’ve thought about myself. How much do I value having the same ring that I am married with? Even among the budgety-minded, I don’t know of many bloggers who talk openly about wearing a costume jewelry ring with the exception of Little Miss Moneybags, who bought her CZ eternity ring (much like the one pictured) for $26 at the Limited.
I know CB will tell me to get the ring that I want, no matter the price. In fact, he has urged me to look at more expensive options at several points through the wedding planning process… he’s probably afraid I’m making all my decisions based on cost. He told me something along the same lines, that he doesn’t want me to regret not getting a ring that I’d love and want to keep forever. This is something I’ve thought about for a while. Although there is always the chance for regret, I am OK with my decision to get a cheap stand-in ring now.
- I’m surprisingly not too sentimental about things (although you could argue otherwise, given my reluctance to sell my grandmother’s jewelry even in the face of historic gold prices).
- I am not a big ring-wearer. In fact, sometimes I go days or even weeks without wearing my engagement ring. And when I do wear it, I worry about it getting lost or damaged. It seems an awful a lot of responsibility to wear a couple thousand dollars or more on your hand.
- Fashion jewelry would suffice for everyday wear, with the added plus of not having to worry about insuring the ring, losing the ring, caring for the ring, etc.
- Technically, we could get the $1,500 for a diamond and platinum ring… I have a bonus coming up, and we do have money in the bank. But with graduate school and its attendant loans looming in the distance, and my refusal to downgrade our honeymoon, I don’t think spending four figures on a piece of jewelry is the right move right now.
- And last but not least, I figured if my ring is the only thing I regret about my marriage, I’d be coming out ahead!
Having said ALL that, just in case you think I am somehow immune to social expectations (HA!) or am 100% comfortable with my decision, I must confess: there is still something strange
about wearing a CZ ring having people know that I am wearing a CZ ring, even if those folks are just personal finance buddies. It seems like there is something more “official” about having a proper ring in a precious metal, giving the occasion the gravity it deserves. Then again, when your budget is $50, your options are limited.