I consider myself to be a pretty frugal person, but I also believe that I’m pretty reasonable. I’m not super stingy about most things, and I would like to think that I’m generous when it counts. However, lately, I’ve been having trouble getting along with my longtime girlfriend because of my attitude regarding jewelry, especially engagement rings, which is a subject that comes up more and more often.
I love my girlfriend, but I don’t see the point of putting money into jewelry. Jewelry is expensive, and while I understand it looks nice, it seems absurd to sink lots of cash into it. Am I way out of line here?
Any healthy relationship should include some discussion of money and a general shared outlook on subjects such as this one. However, that’s not to say that you can never disagree on these things! On the contrary, it’s important to vocalize these disagreements, tackle them head-on, and compromise in a way that you and your partner can both appreciate.
That last part–the compromise–will require a little bit of flexibility on both of your parts. So, while your position on jewelry is not entirely unreasonable, you should be prepared to accept that your partner’s opinions on jewelry being worth the money are valid, as well–particularly when it comes to symbolizing your commitment.
No financial expert would recommend tying up all of your cash in jewelry. However, here’s the good news: valuables like diamond rings hold their value quite well. While jewelry is not an investment in quite the same way that a stock or a bond is, it is certainly an asset. The money you put into quality jewelry is not “wasted” in the sense that you seem to feel it is. You still have a lot of that money, but it’s tied up in the value of the jewelry.
So, if you were to hit hard times, you could always sell diamonds and other jewelry for cash. Even if you’re not struggling financially, there may come a time when you choose to part with jewelry for cash. Plenty of divorced couples and individuals choose to sell their engagement rings and wedding rings for cash. While we certainly hope that advice is never necessary for you and your partner, it is worth noting!
Even setting aside the resale value of diamonds and jewelry, remember that money is only as good as what you can exchange it for. Your comfort and essentials come first, of course, and your partner should be reasonable and compromise with you on smart spending. However, it’s also absolutely true that money spent on jewelry is not wasted, if it makes your partner happier and your relationship stronger. There are a lot of ways to save on engagement rings and still make everyone happy. You feel that you are generous “when it counts,” but remember that you are not the sole arbiter of when it counts. Your partner has her own idea of what counts. Being the best partner you can be means knowing what counts to her, and having the best relationship you can have means compromising in a way that makes both of you feel good.
“When someone loves you, the way they talk about you is different. You feel safe and comfortable.” — Jess C. Scott