Marriage and Money: Can Love Overcome Financial Incompatibility?

I know a lot of different friends who are happily married. Republicans and Democrats. Catholics and Hindus. Dog-lovers and Cat-lovers. Rich families and not-so-rich. Even Ohio State and Michigan alumni! However, I recently met a recently-engaged guy from Washington who was sharing his wedding worries. Here’s the short version:

  • He is from a middle-class family in a rural area. She is from an upper class family in the posh area of town.
  • He currently earns $30,000 a year. In a couple of years, he will probably make double that. She currently makes around $30,000 per year, with limited upside potential.
  • She has stated that she needs a $20,000 engagement ring, as that is what all her friends are getting. He’s been saving for a while…
  • She will not let her kids go anywhere else but the same private school that she attended. Current annual tuition: $15,000.
  • How rich is her family? She recently “found” 1,000 Euros laying around in her room (lives at parents’ house), and is now taking a trip to Europe to spend it.
  • His dream wedding is a backyard bar-b-que. Her dream wedding is going to cost $100,000. Her parents will pay for most of it.

When I first heard this story, I thought I was hearing a pitch for a new movie with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn. But this is their reality, and they do seem in love. Still, I don’t understand it from either side. How can he think they can afford such a lifestyle? How can she think they can afford such a lifestyle? Something’s got to give, and I hope they can work it out.

Is it possible in the real world for love to overcome completely different financial tastes? As I get older, I feel more and more that compatibility in this area is simply too important not to have.

(On a related note, I just have to say that adult allowances have been working great for us as a way to reduce judgments on discretionary spending.)

Comments

  1. “Catholics and Hindi” –> “Catholics and Hindus”. Hindi refers to the language.

  2. This couple can get over this hump but it is going to take the wife running the budget and she is going to make some mistakes. Realistically this couple not only needs marriage counseling they need financial counseling. This will get them on the same page from the beginning and allow them to get through what could potentially be a marriage crushing mess.

    My wife and I are compatible financially but we still got financial counseling the first month of our marriage. Since we have had a plan our whole marriage we have never had an argument about money. Now we teach other couples how to manage their finances and have been getting tons of follow up messages thanking us for helping bullet proofing other peoples marriages. Have a plan don’t go in blind.

  3. Honestly, she sounds like a spoiled rich kid who hasn’t ever had to pay for anything on her own and needs to get a big dose of reality. A $20,000 ring is ridiculous for anyone, let alone from someone who makes $30,000 right now. Someone needs to tell her that life is not about how fancy your clothes are or how big your ring is.

    They’re headed for marital disaster with that kind of difference of opinion, and honestly, I blame it on both of them, but probably 70/30 on her. He needs to stand up and say “You know what? No, I’m not going to get you a $20,000 wedding ring. We need that money to save up for a house. A $2500 ring will look beautiful on you and is no less able to demonstrate my love to you.” But she also needs to realize that they don’t make $500k a year and probably never will.

    I pity the guy. He’s going to do everything he can for her, and she’s going to run them both into the ground until one or the other can’t take it and leaves.

  4. As my (wealthy) father-in-law once observed to me, “You can marry more money in five minutes than you can make in a lifetime.”

    He was right.

  5. If he doesn’t really want to be sensible with his finances, then they are compatible and will end up bankrupt.

    Otherwise she’s going to have to change because her expectations do not line up in any way shape or form with their income.

    Of course the alternative is that she finds someone with a bigger income instead.

  6. I share Nate’s sentiments. Her expectations have far more to do with how she was raised than the fact that she comes from wealth. Why do people of means so often do this to their kids? Wanting for nothing in your youth and young adulthood does nothing for character. I would be ashamed if one of my kids turned out like that. Mine will grow up with money, but they won’t know it until they’re adults.

  7. Sounds a bit like my own situation, none the less if my wife wanted an engagement ring 2/3 my yearly salary because her friends where all getting similar ones, the wedding would be off.

  8. This marriage is headed for disaster. No doubt about it.

    Successful marriages are all about compromises. They are all about making sacrifices for the common good. That girl doesn’t quite seem to grasp that concept. What sane individual thinks he/she has the right to put a price tag on their wedding ring….especially when the dude has an income of 30k?

    Disaster I tell you….I give the marriage no more than 3 years….tops.

  9. He needs to stop saving for all that nonsense she’s brainwashed him into saving for and have a long long long talk with this girl.

    If he can’t get her to wake up out of her dreams of being a princess and a spoiled little brat, he needs to dump her.

    This is out of control. If he doesn’t do the work now, he’ll have to do it later as she tears down their marriage. It won’t work unless they’re both on the same page.

  10. I ain’t saying she a gold digger.. :)

    Honestly, I see their future either being dependent on his wife’s parents money to sustain her extravagant lifestyle or the guy working his butt of slaving to provide to her. He’ll be unhappy and she’ll figure out a way to stay happy regardless of how he feels.

    True love makes compromises, specially when the wallets a bit tight.

  11. I just want to know how a backyard BBQ can cost $100k? Isn’t that supposed to be the “cheap” option for weddings?

    Then again, maybe I don’t want to know…

  12. I am in this exact same relationship, except with a little bit higher numbers. She probably wants bigger ring and wedding than the one you posted. We fight about money a lot b/c I am very conservative with my spending. I imagine that the other couple would fight a lot too if the man was trying to save for their future.

  13. Wanting to spend 110% of your income versus spending 90% of your income is a financial incompatibility issue.

    One spouse who spends 90% of their $30K income versus one spouse who spends 90% of their $300K income may have a financial incompatibility issue.

    What is laid out above is not about incompatibility, its about impossibility. Either the wife is about to have a rude awakening or daddy will subsidize her life. He has to decide if he wants to be around for either.

  14. Recovering English Major says:

    I give all of our friends who are going to be married a copy of “Smart Couples Finish Rich.” Money is one of the biggest reasons couples split, and it’s really important to go in with your eyes open.

  15. I vaguely recall that 3 months salary is reasonable for an engagement ring. If he earns $30,000, that means a $7500 ring. And given that that figure is created by the diamond sellers or America or some such group, I would think he could reasonably spend less than that. And you could get quite a nice attractive ring for $5000.

    My partner and I had very different financial upbringings. Her father made an excellent living and her mother was either a stay-at-home mother or owned a business for something to do. My partner never went to day care or wanted for money as a child. Her parents paid for her undergraduate school and loaned her the money for a car. I was raised in near-poverty but by people with very conservative financial ideals so by the time I graduated from school, I actually had money saved for a down payment on a house.

    Our financial belief structure and goals are absolutely compatible and we are very very responsible financially. When there is a doubt, she defers to my judgement or asks to do research. While I handle the work of banking, I have no doubt that if needed, she could step in any time and take it all over.

    The only difference I see is that she has much more elaborate financial dreams. She will tell me she wants to drive a convertable some day, to visit Europe, to get a Wii or Broadway tickets which I live in a very realistic world. It has taken us many years for me to understand that sometimes she really wants the thing and sometimes she just wants to dream together even if the dream are not realistic.

  16. Some Dude says:

    When he’s done saving for the ring, tell him to start saving for the divorce lawyer.

  17. This relationship is doomed, period.

    People with overblown senses of entitlement rarely change.

  18. My wife wasn’t that bad, but she grew up with plenty of money and wants to go on vacations and eat out a lot, etc. It wasn’t too bad, but once we set the budget and she saw the amount we were putting into savings and what we were spending, that changed her tune pretty quickly. We still like to do things, but we’re both a lot better at knowing what is necessary and what is still worth dreaming about.

  19. Colin Harrington says:

    Nate, I agree with you that it is not going to work out unless there are major changes. They both sound out of touch with reality. $20k for a rock and some metal? Bottom line is that they don’t have that money. That isn’t a realistic goal for the near term.

    Even if her parents are wealthy and are going to underwrite the whole thing, it still doesn’t put them in a good position. If she wants a $20k ring, then let her daddy who has the money buy her a $20k ring, but not a wedding ring.

    If he is reading this – Don’t do it!!! Get these issues completely resolved before you tie the knot!! Don’t sweep it under the carpet in the name of love. I would argue that if it truly is love, it is patient and it can help resolve these issues in a meaningful way.

    Remember Divorce = Di + Vorce = two forces going in different directions
    Division = Di + Vision = two visions that do not line up.

    If this were Digg, I would write “Its a Trap!!” http://digg.com/comedy/It_s_a_.....#c12047889

  20. Yep, I don’t believe their relationship will last if they cannot agree on how they will handle it together responsibly. She sounds like she needs to grow up…

    My fiance deisgned the engagement ring for me and I am very happy about it – even though it doesn’t have a huge diamond and probably didn’t cost him an arm and a leg.

  21. Agree on the “adult allowance”. We call it “blow money.” We did the Debt Snowball and didn’t start doing blow money until the very end and it made it all the more successful. Highly suggest it for any married couple.

  22. The guy should spend whatever he wants on the ring. The 2 or 3 month thing is just De Beers marketting.

    It would help if we knew the age of these people. I’m guessing 25ish.

    Anyhow, I’d say this is doomed as she is ignorant to the real world and he’s too weak to tell her he’s not spending 20k on a ring.

    The only way I see it working out is if the parents are rich enough to fund their lifestyle or hook the guy up with some sweet gig.

  23. From a guy’s perspective, consider the cost of the wedding, ring, and all her other demands as an insurance against your wife turning against you and becoming your biggest nightmare.

    People forget that for many girls, the period of time starting from the engagement day to the wedding day is the most important time of their lives. This is the period of time they have been waiting for all their lives…the period of time when they become immortal. If you have ever met a soon to be bride, you will know what I mean.

    If you don’t give in to her demands right now, and she reluctantly agrees to go ahead with the frugal wedding, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of resentment. She will never forget that you ruined the period of time she was supposed to be basking in the glory, and showing off to all her friends….And guess what? She will make sure you never forget it too, throughout all the years you stay married together.

    So, if you really want to marry that girl, make sure you pony up the cash she demands right now to prevent your marriage from becoming a death sentence. Otherwise, stay well clear of her.

  24. Andy… learn how to read. BBQ vs the $1ook, not a BBQ for 1ook.

    To the guy… go to the nearest ATM, get out $100, buy a pair of nice shoes, run like hell.

  25. She needs to live on her own for a while. If she’s used to the lifestyle of living with her parents, it’s not surprising she assumes that big rings, giant weddings and fancy private schools are normal. If she doesn’t have to use that $30k income for anything but discretionary expenses, it seems like a lot more than it really is.

    Girl needs to grow up and move out for a few years before she gets married. Going from her parents’ house to married life will teach her nothing about how much it costs to take care of yourself, and it’s a recipe for relationship failure. I agree with those who have stated that part of this is on the parents…it’s great to give your kids nice things, but at some point you have to cut the cord and let them fend for themselves, or they’ll never learn how.

  26. Wooo Michigan… Go Blue!

    That said… the engagement ring demand is ridiculous. They need to sit down and have a very serious financial conversation. If they cannot compromise, the relationship needs to end or it will end in a very expensive (for him) divorce.

  27. This will not end well. She has no idea how the real world works and will be in for a rude awakening.

  28. They won’t make it if they continue down this path, plain and simple. They will end up declaring bankruptcy and she will leave and he will get stuck with most of the bills (i.e., the ring and probably the wedding if he does both on his credit before they are married). She will just go back to Mom and Dad. I blame each of theme equally, as he knows what he is getting into and is doing it anyway, and she is a spoiled brat who can’t see past herself.

    It’s a sad commentary on what happens when people spoil their children and don’t teach them the value of a dollar. I work with some of the kids from this generation now, and I’ve already seen one get the axe because they were unable to take ‘no’ for an answer in a constructive way.

  29. Dan Isaacs says:

    Muck Fishigan!

    Alumni is plural. No need to add an ‘s’ at the end. :)

    She needs to be told that the lifestyle she enjoys with her parents is not the lifestyle she’s going to enjoy with her husband. If she wants what her friends have, then she should get a job like they have, or marry someone that can afford to give her the “things” she needs. And if she needs “things” then she’s not really the kind of person you’ll be happy with. A dose of reality would go a long way with this one.

  30. Question is, if she grew up wealthy, went to private schools etc, why is she only making $30k/yr with limited upside potential? Perhaps sugar daddy was part of her future plans?

  31. That marriage is not going to work except maybe after an extended period of pre-marital counseling. The gaps that exist between the two on issues of money are enormous and therefore create high risk of failure.

  32. Money is either the #1 cause of marital strife, or close to it. More specifically, different views on money, including saving and spending habits, causes strife.

    Even if both of them were big spenders, and he just went nuts on the ring and the wedding, they’d still end up in financial ruin, and the resulting stress on the marriage would tear it apart.

    The bottom line is that she has to spend some time visiting reality! This isn’t one of those things where people just have different views — she simply will not be able to function for long the way she is thinking of money.

    However, he needs to understand that this is going to be a *very* painful process for her, if she actually makes the transition, and he’s going to need to go at it in small doses, over time. She’s going to need to find that moment when the light bulb goes off and she realizes what he’s talking about.

    In my own marriage, it took quite a while for me to get us on a budget, because to my wife, “budget” was a dirty word. She’d never had one, and she was 40 when we met! Eventually, I got her to understand that the budget was a way to enable us to spend money, not a way to prevent her from spending money. It also represented an agreement between us, which virtually eliminated our stress over money.

    BTW — without having what you called “adult allowances,” this *never* would have worked! She needed to have money of her own, to spend on what she wanted. She also needed to be the one to set her budget (after looking at the money we had, of course). My advice, though, is not to call it an “allowance.” That would have failed miserably for me!

  33. “People forget that for many girls, the period of time starting from the engagement day to the wedding day is the most important time of their lives. This is the period of time they have been waiting for all their lives…”

    I’m a woman, and that makes me want to vomit a little. I’m not disagreeing this is true for many girls, but maybe the key word is “girls”.

    Anyway, it sounds pretty dicey. If her parents are willing to subsidize her (and his) lifestyle, and they are both ok with that, great. But if she’s expecting the husband to provide all that for her, she is absolutely nuts.

  34. southcampus says:

    note to the husband to be, GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN, your wife to be has been raised and used to her lifestyle and she may not change. You may be KEEPING UP WITH THE JONES THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. GOOD LUCK

  35. Don’t marry her, dude. It will be a disater.

  36. He needs to avoid this woman like the Black Plague.

    And if he is foolish enough to give her such an expensive engagement ring, he needs to know that IT IS NOT A GIFT! The engagement ring is consideration for a marriage contract and he is entitled to the ring if they do not get married.

    What he needs to do is insist that she live on her own, on her own salary without any help from mom and dad, in an apartment for 6 months to a year so that she can begin to understand the concepts of “cost”, “sacrifice” and “budget”. Otherwise she is going to insist on traveling to Europe for spending sprees on a $60K a year budget, and then he is going to have to continually be on his hands and knees begging her parents for money to continue this lifestyle. And her parents are going to own him.

  37. Fixed Hindus and alumni. Can anyone tell I’m an engineer and not an English major? :)

    Got this via e-mail: You may want to rethink the term “adult allowances” since “adult” has other meanings, especially on the internet :-)

    That was a good laugh! Well, I’m supposed to be able to spend it on whatever I want…

  38. Eric Walton says:

    The future groom is doomed. If he’s strong enough a person to stand up to his girlfriend’s ridiculously high maintenance expectations she will eventually view him as a fun-killing miser. If he “goes with the flow” he will work himself into an early grave. Pick your poison. This is, unfortunately, prime example of the results of bad parenting.

  39. “…demands as an insurance against your wife turning against you”

    Insurance? What is this? A business deal? If that’s the most important time in a her life, then you’re marrying a shallow person.

  40. Besides the want and the needs. Coming from different class of family also comes with different class of friends. Is she fine with the friends he has? My buddies best man divorce his wife cause he got tired of her complaining and when she started complaining about his friends, he had enough.

  41. When my husband and I were engaged he was making $32k and I was making $34k. He spent $800 on my ring. His wedding band was about $1,200. You marry for each other, not the rings. My sister got an awesome looking fake ring for like $10.

    If the man envisions himself as the breadwinner type who likes to shower his honey with gifts and “spoil” her – like if that sort of thing makes him feel manly, important, and cool then this relationship may work. Especially when he ramps up his income. However, if it doesn’t give him a high to think of himself like that in relation to his wife (afterall that is a pretty old school way of thinking yourself successful) then this relationship will end VERY quickly. I’ll bet these financial issues took him by surprise after he popped the question.

  42. Jonathan-

    If you need to rethink the term “adult allowances”, I’m not sure “blow money” is much better.

    But I do agree that calling it an “allowance” connotes paternalism–one spouse giving the other an allowance as a parent gives an allowance to a child. I understand that this is not what you mean, so it would be better to choose a different word.

    Incidentally, my brother married a girl who was similar to the girl in the post. Similar upper-class upbringing, similar standard-of-living expectations. I’m happy to report that they are still married, and she seems to have adjusted just fine to living in a small apartment, etc.

    All I’m saying is that it *can* happen.

  43. If some woman told me that she “NEEDS” a 20K diamond ring I’d laugh and leave. Or I’d say “what exactly do you need it to do?”. Tell your friend to get out while he still has some savings.

  44. The ring is the least of their problems I would think (and PS how will anybody – even her – know how much the ring COST?? You can sacrifice a bit on clarity or color and get a big fat diamond for under $10K, even under $5K or hell, get her a fake rock. Who freaking cares what it COST if it looks just like all her friends’??).

    ANYway if she is that caught up in her RING then surely she wants to live in a big mansion in the “posh” area of town and go to Europe regularly (as she seems to currently do) and shop at designer stores and drive a fancy car…who is going to pay for all that? Are her parents rich enough that they are springing for their home too?

    We’ll see if they are really “in love” if she is willing to change her standard of living for him and/or if he is willing to enslave himself to a lucrative career and to his new inlaws. I read once somewhere that “there are no such things as soul mates; there are only two people who want the same thing at the same time.” If she wants $20K diamonds and he wants financial stability…then the “love” won’t last very long.

  45. Ted Valentine says:

    Sounds like he’s outkicked his coverage. Does he like the idea of depending on his in laws for the rest of his life?

  46. Oh, man, why blame the girl for being spoiled, and calling her a gold-digger — that’s really not fair. She’s rich, he’s not. Who’s the gold digger? Why was he attracted to her in the first place? Did he like the way her Fendi bag hung around her be-jeweled wrist? Or that she seemed to come from “better”.

    She may have been spoiled by her parents, but apparently, she is not a gold digger at all. She’s with a regular guy, and he’s Mr. Marry Right. Now he’ll complain about the ring she wants — but he probably wants to get it for her anyway. And as far as the private school goes, he probably would like that for his kids too. Apparently, he likes the product they turn out. He’s in love with her. When things get tight, they can ask her parents for help.

    If things don’t work out, he would have still participated in the “dream” life (with the wedding and trips to Europe) courtesy of her parents. Sorry, but I don’t really feel too bad for him.

  47. I’m just impressed that they are actually in love with each other! if they truly are meant to be with each other, they’ll figure it all out…

    i’m just glad my girl isn’t like that, no way in hell i could be w/ someone like that. guess that’s why we’re all unique ;)

  48. This gentleman should have his wife to be give Suzie Orman a call! She can give her the wake up call needed in this situation. Can anyone say “DENIED, DENIED, DENIED”!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. JudgeJudy says:

    Time to get the divorce attorneys ready. This sucker is heading for a crash. He’ll feel overwhelmed by her demands and she will want the life that she is accustomed to.

    Knowing friends myself that went this way, this will be over in 2 to 4 years. Tops. Money is the number reason for divorce. You as a married man who saves and invests wisely, how would you react if this was your wife? You saving $2,000 for the month while your wife blew $2,500.

    This will end in disaster.

  50. There are levels of financial incompatibility, some small and inconsequential and others that are insurmountable. Where does this one fall, I’m not sure. I don’t fault the girl, she was raised with certain expectations and having never supported herself has no concept of how expensive her tastes are. She sounds spoiled and clueless, but not a bad person. If daddy is ready to set them up for life, give them a home, get the son-in-law a good job, they may make out OK. I know an average joe who is marrying into money this march, the wedding is in an Irish castle! But his wife to be is a doctor so she can support her lavish tastes at least. As long as the guy is willing to go begging to his in-laws and dependent on them, they’ll be alright. Otherwise, her disappointment that her prince charming comes without a castle will probably ruin their marriage.

  51. Good grief, this post triggers so many red flags it’s not even funny. She NEEDS a $20K ring? NEEDS?

    My first recommendation: run.

    My second recommendation: Live together if you have to, for several years, but don’t marry any time soon (blame the recession.) And for the love of God, keep your credit quarantined totally from hers – no shared accounts, no cosigned loans, nothing. And don’t leave cash anywhere she can “find” it and burn it (another hint – 1000 Euro barely pays to get to Europe, certainly not to have a vacation.)

  52. Luckily my husband and I have very similar financial goals. I think they have a chance as long as they get on the same page soon. He needs to have a very open and honest discussion with her on their finances.

  53. The other thing we need to consider is that this girl comes from a very rich background. When her parent’s pass on, she might inherit a large sum of wealth. If he divorces her after she obtains this wealth, will he not be entitled to some of it (being her husband)? If he waits this marriage out long enough, he may make back millions of dollars on his initial $20K investment (wedding ring). That is a large enough ROI (return on investment) for him to at least consider going through with this marriage.

    If the marriage works out well, then everyone lives happily ever after. If not, he is still (potentially) looking at a HUGE pay-day (depending on the total amount of her inheritence).

    Its not an easy decision, but he has to work out the numbers before committing to anything.

  54. Two words: GET OUT!! This marriage will destroy your friend’s life and take AT least half his money.

  55. She might be happy with a less expensive ring, but she cannot get something more simple because her friends would look down upon her. So she’s letting peer pressure control her tastes rather than trying to compromise with her fiance. It’s all relative anyway. I see some couples with nothing who are quite happy. Some of the likelihood of marital success is dependent on how much couples let materialism interfere with their love.

  56. Chances are slim for this guy but he is forgetting one thing. Parents that can afford $100K weddings can hire very expensive attorneys.
    My advice, put your clothes in your car and drive.

  57. There’s so much infatuation clouding his filmed over rose colored lenses that he doesn’t even realize that the light at the end of his wedding tunnel-of-love IS a train coming. And my experience says that you can’t talk to people like that – there blind in both ears.
    Said another way…we’ll see how much they love each other in 3 years.

  58. “…demands as an insurance against your wife turning against you”

    This is the most insane statement I ever heard.

    Where do these women come from???? And these men?

    Did they ever hear about love? And what does this pageantry have to do with love?

    I attend weddings almost every months. It is my job. I am an event entertainer. But these productions, have very little to do with the relationships themselves. In fact, I’d say, a smaller wedding, almost guarantee happier and longer lasting relationships.

  59. If she’s measuring their love by the size of the rock on her finger prior to even getting married, your friend is screwed. Stay unmarried; the inevitable breakup costs a lot less.

  60. Wow. This is an identical situation to where I was two/three years ago. I could not afford the lifestyle she wanted. We were even using some of her parent’s money to fund some of the outings because I could barely afford to pay our rent (expensive neighborhood). It ended very badly; before the wedding thank God. I was broke, scared, and strongly considering bankruptcy. I was even getting sick because I knew where the road we were going down ended. I recommend they have a serious talk very soon. This may sound chauvinistic, but it’s not fun knowing you can’t provide for a woman you love. He may not admit it, but he’ll know what I’m talking about.

  61. Two other words (besides “Get out!”):

    Premarital counseling.

  62. IMO, any woman with the balls to declares how much she thinks her engagement ring should cost needs to be responsible for paying for at least half of it.

    Rings are symbols – some people make them symbolize their love, other make them symbolize their status.

  63. I was that guy – rich family, nanny, gardener, driver was how she lived – in the end I realized our relationship was a bit of slumming before she would go off to a proper match – or so I thought. We broke up but the last I heard she was off in surburia with a fairly ordinary life.

    More personality issues than money perhaps

  64. If they can’t agree on how to spend their money, they can’t agree on how to spend their life together.

  65. I grew up middle class but my parents said to me go and get an education so you’ll be financially secure on your own before you find a life partner. I became one of the more well off. My parents said don’t marry anyone who isn’t of your education level or higher. BIG MISTAKE. I married a lower level blue collar worker. Our marriage ended just short of 2 years. We were opposites but thankfully we had no children and left the marriage. Lesson learned there. Now I am married to a fellow from France and we are both professional and well off and think the same way about money and life. When we married I said I would perfer to elope really since I dislike fuss, but, he wanted a ceremony for our families. Basically, we eloped in Hawaii by ourselves and over the summer had a very small ceremony.
    I just don’t think the fellow in this story should go through with marriage to this woman because there is not agreement about money. When you put a price tag on rings that’s major red flag territory there. I mean demanding a $20,000 ring? Just wow. That’s some serious gall. I think with the rest of the demands in regards to travel and private schools as well this guy is on the road to enabling the princess her whole life. That kind of thinking isn’t in my nature. I still don’t know how much my ring cost but I didn’t care either. I know what type of man my husband is and that was the most important thing to me, not what he can buy me or give to me beyond the emotional.

  66. What’s there to get worked up about? Daddy has no problems sending his baby girl to Europe so she can spend her thousand euros. Why should daddy change once she’s married.
    Daddy will keep them afloat.

  67. Almost everything has been said that I want to say except that she really knows nothing about rings. My wife’s ring cost $1000 and everyone loves it. People always comment on it and how it is very pretty, unique, etc.

    Price does not directly relate to quality, looks, or how much you will like it.

  68. Tell your friend to RUN! The fact that they are on different planets with regards to money, does not bode well for them. For all the people saying she’s a gold digger, she’s much closer to the gold- he just has a mine? She’s marrying DOWN and that definitely is not the way to go. Money= power. Eventually he will feel emasculated by trying to support her “needs” or be miserable because he can’t. I’ve always been taught to take care of myself, and never assume that someone else will do it for me. I can’t imagine wanting a $20K ring, but that’s relative to my income level. Had I been brought up in private schools and European vacations that may be reasonable-just not for someone making $30K.

  69. La BellaDonna says:

    She’s very young, and HE’S the one who’s looking at marrying money. They need to figure out if they’re going to be living on their own income, or her parents’ income. She’s doing what everyone else she knows does; the problem is, the guy she loves is not from the same neighborhood. It can work if she learns what living on the income they earn will permit; it can work if he doesn’t panic around people who have more money than he ever will … unless she inherits. If she needs a BIG ring to impress Teh Girls, that’s not a problem; there are fabulous grown diamonds that test the same as a mined diamond, for a tenth the price; he can get her a ring like a Roc’s egg. She can have a nice seven or nine-carat white topaz set in diamonds; a lot of bang for the buck, but well under $3,000; better yet, she can go for a great big rock of a different caliber altogether, and say (truthfully) (and with just a touch of a slightly superior attitude), “Well, it was MADE for me.” I’m wearing a 20-carat ruby ring right now, and I’m po’ folks (no, it wasn’t the ring that made me poor; I shop carefully). She can buy her jewels at a gem show, 30-70% off retail prices; I learned this when I found that a love for gems wasn’t compatible with being poor. I make most of my own jewelry, and the gem shows offer both parts and finished product (including some eyepopping gems) at great savings.

    It’s time for him to ask the tough question: do you love me enough to live on what we make together, owing nobody else anything? That is, unless his plan all along was to manage on what she’ll inherit; then he just needs a strategy for implementing a holding pattern until that happens.

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