How Much Should He Spend On The Engagement Ring?

How Much Should He Spend On The Ring

How Much Should He Spend On The Ring

The general consensus of 2-3 months salary is considered a good benchmark for an engagement ring. Sheesh! Heck, I remember when I considered 1 month’s salary as a good start but maybe I just hadn’t thought it through.

I love love right… I mean I do… but let’s put that in perspective…

That’s 6 of my checks – saved – that’s either no bills paid, no food eaten – or (more romantically/responsibly) suppressed spending for about 6 months.

Ladies; if your man got all frugal on you for 6 months he’d probably go in the dog house without even knowing why. And you’ll have committed an act of treason by condemning him for cutting off the spigot.

A good calculation I’ve chuckled at is, “Her ring should cost as much as she’s helped him save by being with her.” A very interesting proposition but it didn’t seem to be gaining any traction.

Although most guys probably wouldn’t blink twice about not eating good for 6 months to pad the down payment for a house for her.

A ring is just an accessory. Case closed, right?

There are number of reasonable rebuttals for the above arguments but I’m wondering if I’ll ever hear them from anyone. Maybe I’ll just make some up on my own.

  • Reasonable Rebuttal #1: This symbol of love should last a lifetime.
  • Reasonable Rebuttal #2: A good price means a good warranty to maintain investment over time.
  • Reasonable Rebuttal #3: She was integral in your earning potential being what it is in the first place – you’re merely returning the favor.
  • Reasonable Rebuttal #4: A gesture of genuine sacrifice is needed to codify your commitment.
  • Reasonable Rebuttal #5: We spend twice as much on vehicles that will be discarded in less than 5 years.
  • Reasonable Rebuttal #6: She’s demonstrated that she is not only worth the spend but she’ll return the favor in loyalty.

I cracked my knuckles and moved on. Surely if a case was going to be made to spend big bucks on an engagement ring I’ve covered it sufficiently. Well, I obviously was met with rebuttals… to my rebuttals… and then I responded with yet more rebuttals. Just read.

Rebuttal to my rebuttal #1: me being here is a symbol of my love… and that will last a lifetime.

That’s a hard sell. She would probably just reply “so why get married at all if you just being with her is enough”. A marriage is an on-purpose departure from singleness. It is in itself a symbol.

A marriage should be full of symbols and demonstrations of love. It certainly shouldn’t stop at the 1 item of clothing she will be wearing for the rest of the time she knows you.

Rebuttal for my rebuttal #2… gold doesn’t fade… you don’t have to spend $10,000 to have a warranty…

Well regular cleanings, sizing, retouching, replacements, insurance, resetting, adding anniversary goodies all come at a premium if that warranty ain’t right.

Rebuttal for my rebuttal #3…I believe I had a job when I met her…and I’m pretty sure I’ll have one if she leaves…

Be that as it may, extraordinary women come with perks. They don’t just cheer on the sidelines (which is great too), they help with papers, they help with reports, they help rehearse lines and write scripts… the regular ones a “good thing” but the cold ones expose a man to a whole new set of blessings. I think that could be considered worth an extra month of Steak-umm®.

Rebuttal for my rebuttal #5… we spend twice as much as that on vehicles that are eventually discarded, but those vehicles also have an actual use…people rent cars…borrow cars…does anybody rent rings?

This was an easy one. All I’ll say on that is try telling a potential wife her ring will be of no use. Good luck.

Rebuttal for rebuttal #6…she should be loyal for richer or poorer…I thought her loyalty came with it…

I’d considered this thought as well. Loyalty is definitely a requisite of marriage – but a good marriage is full of reassurances and promises to never take advantage of someone’s loyalty. So demonstrations of commitment go a LONG way during a woman’s daily thought processes. How happy she will make him is decided largely on how many of these demonstrations she consistently sees.

It’s a touchy subject but I would definitely consider loyalty weighed, not in finances, but in sacrifices. That means showing her an above & beyond sacrifice speaks volumes about your commitment to her.

Here’s the funny part – I’m an advocate for being frugal in every way you can. These rebuttals are a result of the conversations I know I’ll have to have when that day comes. I’m just trying to see the other side. And frankly the other side seems pretty reasonable. 2 months now doesn’t seem like such a stretch. And 2-3 will definitely just seem like overkill if you don’t subscribe to what was discussed here. I think the key is to not let it overwhelm you – but be very thoughtful.

If you really want to get gangster and be a faith-buff you’ll open an account specifically to save for a ring before you even have a candidate. But that’s another conversation.

The Pa$tor’s Finances, What the Church Isn’t Doing & You

Pa$tor, Pastor's Wife, Deacon, Church Members

Pa$tor, Pastor’s Wife, Deacon, Church Members

If the congregation is giving to a well-run church, the pastor AND the church’s bills will be taken care of. And if this pastor has money to pull up to the scene with the ceilin’ missin’ then hey… C’est la vie, right?

Quite a few mega churches I know of are buying land, subsidizing housing, building schools, launching neighborhood watch programs and God knows what else. I’ve been to several in D/FW alone that do it big in their respective neighborhoods.

I was asked a question around whether or not a church and its pastor (or leadership) could or should raise the echelon of an entire neighborhood. Either answer has its own degree of controversy. One the one hand, shouldn’t a church and its god be powerful enough to move mountains – and a few blocks? On the other hand, should the material success of a community be compared to the spiritual prowess? There are debate-worthy points on both sides. It’s definitely a socioeconomic conversation I’d love to have.

For now, we’ll simply examine a community as a living organism that needs to learn to survive on its own. That means clergy, schools, parents, tax payers, voters, home-owners ALL need to be on the same page as far as advancing their area. Without all those pieces firing on all cylinders an area simply won’t have all the ingredients needed for success. I’m thinking it just be the church.

Faith tends to have a couple meanings in the context referred to when discussing churches’ faith-based giving initiatives. There is simply believing in something and then there is aspiring to achieve it. The difference is big and the ladder involves  the rallying of resources to get things done. The former – hope. There is room for both. I know I love to have hope on my sidelines cheering on the achievers. Even the achievers have to have hope. Some folk want to get in the game and some want to be in the presence of greatness. As I grow older I’ve found that I’m largely okay with both.

But for a discussion on achieving progress, responsible faith involves work – the work of a living breathing community. When we have hope and faith we can make major moves. When we don’t – typically nothing happens.

I wouldn’t get caught up in the cartoony/satirical/handkerchief “faith”. That’s old hat. There’s another group of folk that have faith and aspire to achieve great things. Those folk typically aren’t sitting in churches with ignorant teachers. Those folk are in churches that move mountains. Those folk are sitting in churches with amazing pastors and leadership staffs. And, yes, they sometimes drive a Benz.

So when it comes to pastors making more money than their congregation I can’t say that it concerns me whole lot.  Typically, and I mean typically, the pastor is one of the most educated. Why wouldn’t it be the case that a pastor has amassed a great deal of education and resources along the way. And wouldn’t it then be the case the they might just be more well off? Education, of any kind, typically merits more earnings. Typically, the pastor leads leaders, trains a flock and sharpens swords. I would be willing to give those assignments a pay raise. I guess it’s all in how once values the work pastors do.

The Congregation

Although a congregation full of educated people usually means they’ll be EXCITED about doing MOST of the community’s work OUTSIDE the church – instead of depending on any one organization for answers.

The passa’s Rolls Royce is keeping the rest of the church from solving community issues.

Got it. But I disrespectfully disagree. I think it is the strength of the communities themselves that ensure they thrive. I have even seen, on too many occasions, churches pulling the weight of a community – with no help.

If you’re secondary argument is that churches “shouldn’t need man’s help”, I disagree. To quote any scripture here might get me into trouble but I’ll say this: your god will put resources and people and circumstances in your life that you can turn into opportunities. Man is here to help.

If I had to stand on 1 side of any collective argument about the effectiveness and impact of churches I would have to side with the affirmative.

I’ve seen it – and you know you have too.

Even small churches do some awesome things. Haven’t you seen  it where smaller churches raise funds for members with cancer, or sponsor kids’ trips out of country, or provide after school care? I know I have.

Smaller churches seem to do the most work. It’s just concentrated in there small areas. Big churches probably have a way worse ratio of members who actually do things to help out the community.

I would chock that up to bystander apathy at mega churches. Sometimes they can get so big that people forget to do their part or that their part even matters still. They think others have already stepped up. It happens at small churches too but I would definitely say the bigdogs suffer more.

It’s also why I believe some of the larger churches initiatives are so grand – then individuals don’t have to care. Now you just show up, pay tithes (hopefully) and then you get to watch the 5-minute short film on the big screen the [insert cause] the church helped last week. Mission: Accomplished, right?

An effective church, not unlike effective government, should only have to go so far. Then the free liberties and collective goodness of the church should take over outside the walls of the church itself. However, your god should go with you everywhere – especially outside the church.

I think there is more work being done by God than all religious institutions combined. And my work I mean BIG things. You just have to want to be in tune with what those works actually are and you’ll be open to them.

It’s definitely an interesting argument to challenge why ISSUES and GOD can exist at the same time. But I’ll leave the Theodicy conversations for the zealots.

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