Like many women, I really want THE ring from my boyfriend, but I’m also very aware of how expensive engagement rings are and somewhat materialistic it is for me to want someone to spend thousands of dollars on me as proof that he wants to marry me. Because of this, I’ve thought of 10 alternatives to a diamond ring that would show my guy’s commitment to me and also be a better use of his money.
A down payment on a house.
Real estate is costly these days but remains one of the best investments you can make. Depending on the city you live in, your down payment could require a few years’ salary, and that’s no joke. As long as the house was in both of our names and he made the down payment to mark our engagement, I’d be okay with it. To me, it shows an investment in both of us, a commitment to our future, and celebrates the life we are going to build together.
A few pieces of nice jewelry, not just one diamond ring
Every girl wants a pair of beautiful diamond earrings, right? I know I do. I think that it would be super thoughtful and efficient of him to spread his money out over a couple of pieces of nice jewelry and get more bang for his buck than just paying for one huge rock (even though one huge rock would be amazing).
An engagement puppy
I know it seems a bit cliche but I’ve always wanted a pedigree puppy. They can be kind of expensive depending on the breed and the breeder, but if my guy went out of his way to find us the perfect dog, it would warm my heart and that’s all I would need.
A fabulous once in a lifetime vacation
I’m taking trim and all the fixings, y’all. I’m talking Antartica or a wild African safari. I’m talking first class seats and some kind of luxurious hotel spot for a least some of the time. Triple points if he researches and plans it himself too. I want him to take me on a vacation so few people have ever been on that will be hard for me to ever replicate again.
An original piece of artwork for our home
Art is expensive, and rightfully so, but for most people, it’s really hard to justify a splurge on a piece of art without some planning. However, if my guy located an awesome emerging artist and sort of commissioned the work, I’d love it. If the work reflected our bond, it could mean so much more than just an engagement ring.
Cash for the wedding dress of my dreams
Wedding dresses can also be extremely expensive. Sure, it’s a dress for only one day, but what if it’s a dress that will look amazing in photos for years and years to come? What if it was custom made for me? Sometimes the wedding dress can be one of the most expensive items for the wedding and if my guy helped me pay for it, I would absolutely welcome that.
Cash toward my retirement fund
Putting the money toward my IRA would be generous and show that he’s invested in my future. Retirement funds are super important and frankly, kind of necessary for financial independence. If my guy put a substantial amount of money into that fund, it would show his commitment to me in a meaningful way that actually would be more valuable down the road.
A rare vintage antique find
You ever go to an antique shop and find a really cool piece and then find out that it costs a couple thousand dollars? Yeah, same. If my guy found me the perfect item like a beautiful piece of furniture or a beautifully engraved frame or something to go in our home that stands out, I would love that instead of a ring. It would have to be the perfect thing, though, and he’d really have to know my taste, otherwise I might not be into it.
A new wardrobe of timeless, staple items
You know that $1500 leather jacket that we all want but just can’t afford? Or that $1000 pair of black pumps that go with every single outfit you own? Each of these items would serve a greater function than just the pretty little ring on my finger and they’re things that have much more function and utility than a diamond ring will ever have. I’m less inclined to feel good about this, however, because these are things that I could get for myself.
I go back and forth about these. I have a few tattoos already and I believe in the power of the tattoo and using the body as a vessel for expression. Engraving something meaningful into my skin to represent the commitment between my guy and me is really captivating. At the same time, it’s extremely permanent. I don’t believe in removing tattoos because I think that they are all about who you are at the moment you get inked that matters. But, in the event that we don’t make it to the altar or don’t make very much past the altar, I wouldn’t really want that kind of reminder on my body every single day. I’d have to really think about it before I did it.
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