My girlfriend and I have been together for about 2 years now, and we are both close to graduating our programs. I love her more than anything and want to ask her to be my wife. I’ve been working extra hours to save up for an engagement ring. In the past, she has mentioned in conversations with her friends that she wants a designer engagement ring. After researching it, they cost about three times my budget. It’s money that I don’t think I’ll ever have to drop on one item like that (about $10,000). I worry that if I don’t get it, she will be really disappointed, but she’s the kind of girl who would pretend to love any ring for my sake. I want to impress her but stay within my budget. What do I do?
Congratulations! It’s awesome that you have found a great girl to spend your life with. Let’s start with a reality check: $10,000 is a HUGE amount of money to spend on an engagement ring. Though the ring is one of the most expensive parts of a wedding, if you can’t afford it, do not buy it. It will set you behind financially at a time when you will need to really budget for the wedding. There are so many options out there now, and you can get a stunning ring for under $3,000. Decide what is important to you when buying a ring- size of the diamond, quality of the stone, etc. Prioritize your must haves, and it will help keep you in budget. Work with a professional who is honest and who won’t over-sell you. Bring a parent with you to help you decide because they have been in your shoes before! It sounds like your future fiancé is a sweet gal who will be so excited in the moment that her last concern should be where you bought the ring or how much you spent. The truth is, without a big name label, you will get a lot more for your money. Many girls would agree that it’s more important that their ring is their style, rather than a brand name. After all, you can’t see a brand name when it’s on their finger anyway! (Just make sure you buy from an ethical company who offers warranties- it’s a big purchase and you want to be insured!)
I currently live with two other people in an apartment near campus. My one roommate, “Katie,” has a boyfriend who is always over… and I mean always. He sleeps at our place at least 5 out of 7 nights a week, showers, eats our food, watches TV, etc. I feel like he has become our fourth roommate. I don’t think it’s fair that he doesn’t pay any rent, but uses all of our utilities and eats our groceries. My other roommate agrees with me but is too scared to say anything to “Katie.” What do I do?
You need to have a roommate meeting, without the boyfriend present. If you and your other roommate are OK with him spending time at your place, try explaining to “Katie” that you BOTH feel her boyfriend should contribute financially because he is using your resources. If she is not open to this, or if you and your other roommate would prefer they not be at your place so much, ask that they spend more time at his place to even things out. Explain to “Katie” that you like her boyfriend but would like to spend some time with her alone, having a girls night (..or three) each week. You all agreed to live together for a reason, and you miss having her around for roommate time!