An Engagement Ring Story, BUT I'm Not Engaged...Yet

This post is long overdue!

I've always wondered how the BF and I would go about choosing an engagement ring. We've been together for 8.5 years now, and marriage is something we've talked about since the first year we've been together. (We're kinda crazy.)

Anyway, the BF is really bad at keeping secrets. Thus, I knew that he could never go through the whole e-ring process by himself, without mentioning anything to me. I mean, he can't even buy me a birthday gift or Christmas gift without asking me a ton of questions before finally revealing the truth!

We decided a year ago that we would go through the e-ring process together, since we are on the same page with our finances and he wanted me to be happy with a ring that I would wear for the rest of my life. I've had friends tell me that I should let him "surprise" me and pick out the ring himself, but we're unconventional and we decided to do it the way that works for us.

Since we're trying to be somewhat frugal about this, we've been researching and considering different options for over a year now. A few weeks ago we finally started the process and I'm now the proud owner of a beautiful diamond! It's exactly what I wanted (a cushion cut). We bought it at a wholesaler in San Francisco with my parents in tow, and purchased the diamond from the same saleswoman that sold my parents their rings.

It was a fun experience overall with my BF, dad, mom and little sister as we all closely examined and inspected different diamonds, then negotiated prices. We initially had a budget of $5,000 for the diamond, but my parents traded in my mom's diamond for $800 and applied that credit towards our purchase. Out of pocket, the BF paid $5,900 so we ended up going $900 over our budget. I didn't want to go over budget but the BF insisted that we could just spend less on the setting or lower our wedding budget. I'm really happy with our decision to do it this way and I fell absolutely in love with the diamond.

We're now looking at settings and we are going to design the ring with a local jeweler here in San Diego that we met a few months ago. I love his work and he is really helping us with keeping the costs low. We're going to purchase the wedding bands at the same time since it will be cheaper overall. We're aiming to spend no more than $4,000 on this, but trust me I would love to get that number lower!

After we finish designing the ring, I'm going to let the BF hold onto it until he's ready to propose. That way we can have somewhat of an element of surprise. BUT I do know that we plan to get married soon (in court) because we have been going over our finances and it just saves us more money to file our taxes together. Besides that, a wedding is definitely not in the near future since we plan to use our cash for a down payment on a condo first.

It's kinda funny how this all worked out. I didn't plan to do it this way but I am really happy to be involved. I sort of have a type A personality and I think this just worked out the best for us haha.

I also want to share our current state of finances and future plans in my next post. So many things have changed, and I'm looking at a lot more debt now (I was debt free just 2 years ago, CRAZY!!). The BF and I talk about our finances so much since we are together for the summer, and let's just say it's difficult to deal with a lot of debt, but it's also fun to plan and keep each other motivated to stay on track with savings and future goals.


Anyway -- I'd love to hear different stories about engagement rings. It sucks that I can't just go up to people and ask them how they paid for their e-rings and how much they costed. 

Question of the day - I know it's completely up to each couple, but I'm curious to know if you got your e-ring the traditional way or went an unconventional way. If you're not engaged or married - ideally what would you want to do?
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