I recently had a conversation with a young man named Shawn, who shared how he’s been struggling with a decision regarding the woman he loves.
He started off by sharing the story of how he met an awesome woman, and how she has exceeded his every desire. The two of them have been dating for over a year, and they’ve discussed all of the core topics including faith, finances, family and how they envision the future with one another. Shawn is ready to move forward with the next level of commitment and wants to propose to her. Everything seems perfect right?
Here’s his dilemma. Shawn works as a schoolteacher in the inner city and cannot currently afford the ring he knows she wants. His $37,000 salary doesn’t give him much of an opportunity to save at the rate necessary to meet his goal quickly. Shawn is currently contemplating the following alternatives:
*Purchase her desired engagement ring using a credit card or store financing.
*Purchase her desired engagement ring by borrowing money from a family member.
*Purchase an engagement ring that is more within his budget even though it isn’t the one he knows she desires.
Delay proposing for a few of months while he saves up some additional money. He can do this by taking on a second job, selling personal items, or sacrificing some nice-to-haves for a few months.
Shawn presented the above options and asked for my advice. I immediately ruled out the first two options because they require him to acquire debt, which puts him at a disadvantage. The last two options are both feasible, but I believe he should make the decision based on his comfort with the implications of each of them. If saving up for the ring requires him to work for multiple years, then I say go with option three. If he can realistically secure the additional savings via a second job or sacrificing discretionary income purchases, then I say go with option four.
I also offered this thought to him, “Love isn’t measured by the size or cost of the ring, but by the sacrifice one is willing to invest in the relationship.”
What advice would you share with Shawn?
Kenny Pugh is a Life & Relationship Strategist, Author of ‘Can You Do It Standing Up?’, Speaker, Host of the Chat Kafe Radio Show (http://www.chatkafeonline.com), singles leader and sought-after speaker on singleness, relationships, finances and life. You can find more information about Kenny at http://www.kennypugh.com. You can follow him on Facebook at Kenny Pugh or on Twitter @mrkennypugh.