In Life, Money

Why Engagement Rings are an Advertising and Marketing Scam

Yep. It’s all summed up in this video (and why I’ve never really encouraged or believed in them):

Still, I can see why it’s nice to have something like a diamond ring as a sentimental gesture, although at $2000 and up, it’s pretty expensive for something without any true value otherwise.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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10 Comments

  1. Lisa

    I didn’t watch the video (I’m at work, shhh). But I completely agree with the sentiment! This is why I told my then-fiance, now husband, to spend as little as possible. He ended up buying my engagement ring AND wedding ring in a bundle all under $1k. And they’re beautiful! Spending any more than that would have made me sick.

    Reply
  2. Revanche

    This cracks me up because apparently I thought this all along and FORGOT TO TELL PiC THAT I DID NOT WANT ONE.

    ….

    So since he didn’t read my mind, he bought me a nice one. Nothing super extravagant in the grand scheme of things (or what the diamond industry wants for them) but I really wish I’d told him. And honestly, anything more than $100 was going to seem too much to me. So I use it as my wedding ring too because I refuse to give anyone more money for a ring 😀

    Reply
  3. Sylvie

    What is intrinsically worth something? Nothing, since markets and corporations control prices. People buy diamonds because they can, not because they believe they’re getting something that will either maintain its “worth” or appreciate. I’m sort of partial to jewelry because in times of war, it can be easily smuggled and used to bribe officials; and it’s something that can easily be handed down as an heirloom.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      I could see it as a wonderful heirloom but.. otherwise, *shrug*

      Reply
  4. Xin

    I definitely feel you on all of this (I’ve seen the video before). Knowing all that, I might still be inclined to having some kind of diamond ring when I get engaged, though it would need to be something very modestly priced relative to our combined income (certainly less than $5000 USD, probably even less than that, and we’ll likely both be six-figure earning white collar professionals at that point in time, likely with a combined income that would put our household in the top 3% of income earners nationwide, albeit both of us will be encumbered by student loans still).I’m definitely still susceptible to marketing in various areas of my life, even if I know it’s silly!

    That being said, it frustrates me that a lot of friends with whom I’ve discussed this make it sound like I’m being silly if I don’t get a solitaire of whatever size counts as big enough for our peers, and that I “deserve” a better ring. There’s even an underlying implication in their comments that there is apparently some deficiency in the relationship or he doesn’t love me enough if K, hypothetically, doesn’t provide a ring that meets the required standard. Most of these people know the kind of student loan burden that comes with law school, and how none of us will have completely cleared it by the time an engagement or wedding becomes a reality! (I don’t expect us to be ready to even begin speaking concretely about a timeline for getting engaged for quite a few more months yet, largely by my choice, so I am admittedly putting the cart before the horse in a huge way by indulging in these conversations at all.)

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      I hate that people judge you on the size of a diamond, or whether you have one or not.

      I’m running an experiment now.

      Reply
  5. Minh Thuy

    This is so bad, because when I tried to explain this to someone they told me that just because I couldn’t afford to spend money on such things I shouldn’t ruin it for everyone else. My parents in particular think that an expensive diamond ring is a mandatory requirement from my future husband and splashing $10 000 AUD a shiny piece of rock is normal. If he’s able to spend more, even better. When I tell them that in fact diamonds aren’t worth the value that they’re sold for, and it’s all a marketing tact AND that I don’t care for such things, they become concerned and think that something is wrong with me for not putting the same value and important on diamonds as they do and supposedly “everyone else”. It frustrates me to no end.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      *LAUGHING*

      Hey, as long as your money gets saved, don’t fuss about theirs.

      Reply

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