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Blenheim

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I didn''t want to hijack allycat''s thread, so I''m just starting a new one.

In other threads about how much people can afford spending on jewelry, people usually advise them not to go into debt. Past that, how do you determine if you can afford an upgrade or a new piece of jewelry? Is it after all your other financial goals are met? When you can still meet your goals on schedule? When you determine that you can meet your other financial goals in not that much more time? (I noticed some people telling Ally to go for the larger diamond if it means that it will only take them a year or two more to meet certain goals.) Whenever the whim strikes?

Why am I wondering? Well, FI and I had talked about adding pear sides to my ring as a five year anniversary present, but FI let it slip recently that he''s really thinking of it as a wedding present or a birthday or Xmas present for next year. The diamond-loving part of me is thrilled, while the fiscally conservative part of me is wondering if we should wait a bit longer. We''ve set some financial goals that we want to accomplish within five years. While we haven''t met them yet, we should be able to do so pretty easily if we continue living off of one salary. We haven''t gotten a price quote on pear sides, but I don''t think it would really throw us off. I know that this kind of decision is very personal, but I was just wondering how other people decided and why.

By the way, if you choose to respond, it''s probably best security-wise to be relatively vague. I know that in the past, some people pointed out problems with telling everyone exactly how much you make or the square footage of your house.
 

Dee*Jay

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Blen, my situation is a little different that most people because I have a second job and the happy hubby INSISTS that I spend those earnings on ANYTHING I want. But beyond that, I think if your other financial needs are met and you are comfortable with spending a certain dollar amount on something it is OK to do it.

Here's a scenario: Winter rolls around and you want a new winter coat. Now the old coat is still in good condition and keeps you warm enough but you just want a different one, and so you go buy it. The $ that you spent on the coat is $ that you *could* have put toward paying off a house or car or toward Dylan's college fund (
), but instead you end up with new outerwear hanging in the hall closet. Is it OK to buy a new winter coat but not new (or an upgraded) diamond when there are (and almost always will be) other obligations or other opportunities to use the $ for (retirement WILL roll around some day)?

Do you see what I'm getting at here (in a more convoluted way than I started out toward--sorry!)? There will alway be something else you can do with the $, so you just have to decide when it's OK to splurge a little on yourself and get some jewelry. Now I'm obviously NOT saying go into debt for it or buy it when the $ is truly better used elsewhere (i.e., if your heating bill is overdue or you have to decide between paying your rent or getting the sparkle)--you know what I mean. And maybe that decision will center around a milestone or a big event (birthday, anniversary, etc.) or even be triggered by somehow stumbling across a really good deal.

This probably didn't help you at all but now that I've typed it all out (thinking as I go!) it's getting posted, LOL.
 

poptart

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I always look forward to new jewelry projects, but as for upgrading my ring or anything, I realize that I probably won''t be in a position to do that for about 10 years. Now, if you asked DH he would say we could do it NEXT year. But I am the conservative one who wants to save up ALL the money and spend that on several different things that I personally find more important. Just because we have the money for the jewelry doesn''t mean I necessarily want it. When we have extra money lying around... THEN we can talk, haha!

*M*
 

Madam Bijoux

Ideal_Rock
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Hi! I always make sure that I have enough saved to cover my utility bills, property taxes and any emergencies before I buy more jewelry. (Emergencies include replacing a heater, water heater, air conditioning, sewer pipes, any other plumbing, tree removal and possible medical expenses.)
 

Lynn B

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For me, there's a certain comfort level with this diamond obsession I apparently have. I was comfortable (FINE, in fact!) with our buying the first diamond (even though it was not a small chunk of change -- at least not to us!)... and the upgrade was only a few K more... so I felt like that was do-able and reasonable (well, at least as reasonable as spending thousands of dollars for a tiny little chunk of carbon!
) Anyway, I have NEVER regretted those purchases.

But, as much as I would love a 3.5+ carat diamond, I just don't think (short of inheriting a BUTT-LOAD of money, and I DOUBT that is gonna happen!) that I am *comfortable* spending ANY more money on this bauble.

There's just so many other places for our hard-earned money to go. I dunno... I really am a practical person, and to spend any more money on any more upgrades just doesn't seem fiscally responsible to me.

Of course, dangle a gorgeous, 3.5 super-ideal cut diamond in front of me, and we'll see about my "resolve" then!!!
 

mrssalvo

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19,132
when hubby and I started talking about my upgrade there were a few factors that entered in. First, we had to have a fully funded emergency fund (3-6 months expenses in savings) and no other debt other than our house. We''ve always budgeted a certain amount of fun money for each of us to spend on whatever. I started using some of mine on saving for a new stone. He''d put some in the fund from time to time, just extra money that came in or was left from the monthly budget or a bonus or something. sure it could have gone to something else but that''s what was important to me and him at the time. Now we''ve moved on to other things for our fun money account. So, if it''s something you want and can afford it, I think a spluge is just fine
 

clammer

Shiny_Rock
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I lurk more than post, but I decided that it was time to start posting when I started referring about XXX said this and YYY like I actually knew them.

Anyway, hubby and I are in a little bit of a different situation. We moved to China for his job with the agreement that we bank as much money as possible before going home. We just discussed staying here three more years. Financially this makes sense, but I explained to hubby that I want some treats, and while I agree that we should live frugally I don''t want to live cheaply.

Hubby agreed to some treats, but since I''ve grown a bit recently, the agreement is I buy new clothes first since I only have sweats and one pair of jeans that fit.

Oops, veered off topic there for a minute. Anyway, I think when to get an upgrade is when you feel comfortable. There will always be more practical things to spend your money on. I know that right now we have the money to get my upgrade that I want, but then I remind myself that although right now we have no expenses when we go home we are going to have to purchase a home, cars, insurance, and all of the other bills. I''m just not sure I''m willing to take money now that can grow interest for four more years and buy me a better house or car.
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
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17,757
We don''t believe in going into debt buying things we want, of course. My husband is in sales, however, and is paid salary + commission, and his commission comes in the form of quarterly bonus checks. I also work, and we basically live and save off of our salaries. When he receives his bonus checks, we take some of that money and do something "fun" with it, some to save for a rainy day type thing, and some to kind of pay forward things like maybe a bit extra on the car payment, or stock up on pantry items/dogfood/whatever we''re low on at the time. Sometimes we''ve been known to blow 75% of that bonus on a vacation, but we make sure the bills and mortgage are paid first and foremost. We look at our household finances like a business...that''s the best way to describe it.

DH can be romantic and surprise me when he feels like it, but that doesn''t happen too often.
However, we''ve worked it out to where we both get kind of what we want in our marriage...i.e., when I "let" him go on a guy trip like Vegas or to Canada for fishing with no phone contact for like 10 days, he lets me pick out a "gift", and usually it''s in the form of jewelry...it''s kind of fun for us, a little game like, if you do a, I would like b or c in return. Same as when he picks up the tab for my Nordstrom card for the month or something, I take him out to dinner for being a total sweetie and understanding that there are certain things I need in life, LOL!
 

winternight

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
Messages
887
I think it varies from person to person. Maybe you can look at the purchase as a percentage of total savings/assets, look at your savings rate (esp. for retirement) and then make a decision. Sure I''d get to my goals faster if I didn''t buy anything but I''m enjoying the journey and I''m doing the things that I personally feel that I should - i.e. maxing out my 401k.
 

Stone Hunter

Ideal_Rock
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May 12, 2006
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6,387
I think it comes down to YOU have to be comfortable with the money being spent on it.

Some people have TONS of money but can''t spend on themselves... so sad.

Others charge food and heat ''cause they spent the money on fun stuff...so sad.

YOU get to decide how conservative you are with your money. But I''d say keep enough to pay the bills and keep some in savings. Then go for it. Maybe hit a sale or an online vendor that does upgrades. That depends on the type of jewelry you/I''m thinking of.
 

colorkitty

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
220
I believe we have a social responsibility to do the following: have enough to pay our bills, have enough to save for retirement, have at least one month salary saved for a safety net. After that, go to town. It can even be worth dipping into savings if you know you can replace them at a reasonable pace.

I know that seems conservative, but I worry for the women I know wearing 3 carat rings and living paycheck to paycheck. And I think it''s unfair for some people to spend all their money on fun things and leave worrying about how they''re going to fund their retirement or pay for emergencies to the rest of us.
 

asscherisme

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 6, 2006
Messages
2,734
I agree with colorkitty. I think one month salary emergency fund is too small of a safety net. Many experts recommend 6-9 months of living expenses save in case of a lay off.

I also think donating to charity is important.
 

ladykemma

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2,194
blenheim are you in a house yet? hammering at the mortgage? Is your/his student debt paid for in full?

i would hold off on jewels until you two are settled, jobs secure, house is at least halfway paid for and the student debt is gone.
 

Cehrabehra

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
11,071
Date: 12/14/2006 2:05:20 PM
Author:Blenheim
I didn''t want to hijack allycat''s thread, so I''m just starting a new one.

In other threads about how much people can afford spending on jewelry, people usually advise them not to go into debt. Past that, how do you determine if you can afford an upgrade or a new piece of jewelry? Is it after all your other financial goals are met? When you can still meet your goals on schedule? When you determine that you can meet your other financial goals in not that much more time? (I noticed some people telling Ally to go for the larger diamond if it means that it will only take them a year or two more to meet certain goals.) Whenever the whim strikes?

Why am I wondering? Well, FI and I had talked about adding pear sides to my ring as a five year anniversary present, but FI let it slip recently that he''s really thinking of it as a wedding present or a birthday or Xmas present for next year. The diamond-loving part of me is thrilled, while the fiscally conservative part of me is wondering if we should wait a bit longer. We''ve set some financial goals that we want to accomplish within five years. While we haven''t met them yet, we should be able to do so pretty easily if we continue living off of one salary. We haven''t gotten a price quote on pear sides, but I don''t think it would really throw us off. I know that this kind of decision is very personal, but I was just wondering how other people decided and why.

By the way, if you choose to respond, it''s probably best security-wise to be relatively vague. I know that in the past, some people pointed out problems with telling everyone exactly how much you make or the square footage of your house.
I would wait - not so much for financial reasons as just... I dunno - what''s the rush? It''s nice to linger and love what you have for a while before moving on. I know that''s practically heresy here, but it''s nice when things aren''t so replacable or disposable. AND you can save money for other things now and spend later.

What was the turning point here? We''d been saving for 10 years to move back to and buy in CA and it was slow growing. On paper we look like we are doing great, but when you want 500k cash or more for a downpayment on a house with a single income, it takes sacrifice and patience and can be very frustrating. Because of a land deal that I''ve orchistrated, we''re going to be coming into shall we say *plenty* money for the move in the next couple years and that relaxed the desperate grip on money that my dh has had (he *desperately* wants to move back to socal) and because we wouldn''t be making that $ if I hadn''t insisted on the investment, I was able to let him spend the money without guilt that I was taking from his dream.

We''re still investing in things like college funds and retirement, but at some point you have to live and not *just* plan :)
 

grapegravity

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 24, 2003
Messages
486
For me, if I want a piece of jewelry or upgrade (which I just did 3 days ago), I just go ahead and tell my boyfriend... And for the past 9 years, he always my wish comes true
(like I wanted a $2k LV bag for my b-day and he went and bought it for me)...

And of course he has lots of saving going around so he''s not in debt for my expensive taste...

So I don''t know how to answer your question... sorry...
 

psaddict

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2006
Messages
105
I would personally wait, a 5 year anniversary isn't all that far away and the time will go by much faster than you'd realize. Also, after 5 years of watching your savings grow, you can probably get those sidestones totally guilt-free (right now it sounds like you are wrestling with whether to do it or not, and you want to be able to get them without worrying or feeling even a tad bit guilty!)

When I first got out of college and was living on my own, I was told by parents & others that I should try to have at a minimum 3 to 4 months expenses (rent, food, bills, etc) in savings as a safety net. I would imagine that for a homeowner or for someone with kids, they'd want a larger safety net because there's much more to lose. It's sad to see all those reposessed homes on craigslist real estate.


Also what I've always been taught is that saving money while young is much, much more important than saving when you're middle aged. The savings you stick in mutual funds at age 25 or 30 will have been gathering interest for 30 to 40 years by the time you retire! You can just let the money do the work for you.
Money you put in savings when you're 45 will only have 20 years to earn interest before you want to cash it out. So getting some savings in while you're young ends up paying off big time.
 

Blenheim

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Date: 12/15/2006 6:08:09 PM
Author: ladykemma
blenheim are you in a house yet? hammering at the mortgage? Is your/his student debt paid for in full?


i would hold off on jewels until you two are settled, jobs secure, house is at least halfway paid for and the student debt is gone.
We''re not in a house yet. We''re only going to be here for four and a half more years, and given the current real estate market we don''t really think it makes sense to buy. One of those financial goals I mentioned is saving up a decent sized down payment by the time that we move. Rental also decreases the chance of many of the emergencies that Madam Bijoux mentioned (not that that would keep us from buying once we move out of the area.)

No debt, at all. Neither of us incurred student debt.


In terms of wanting X number of months salary in savings, how did people come up with those numbers? We''re arbitrarily aiming towards about 4 at the moment, although once we max out our retirement contributions (another one of those goals) we''ll only have two months combined salary in the bank. That''s part of the reason I''m not sure that now is the best time, although a year from now might be a different situation. (Actually, reading psaddict''s reply, we have at least 3-4 months expenses in the bank.)

Cehra -- I think that''s part of the reason I''m not sure about getting them now. I kind of like the anticipation.
 

darling

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
Messages
185
In our twenties and thirties we worked on completing our education, getting jobs, buing a house and having babies. In eight years my oldest child (of three) will be going to college. So when do you allow yourself to buy expensive jewelry? We decided that now is our "small" window in time to do that without feeling guilty, because up until now we did the "responsible" things.
 

simplysplendid

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Messages
1,772
To me, once you have sufficient savings in the bank and you don''t have to worry about mortgage, utilities, food, child care bills and you still have some left over, then you can spend the rest on litte luxuries. I agree that the responsible things should come first and one should not get into debt over luxuries..
 

phoenixgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 20, 2003
Messages
3,369
I wish there were some type of online calculator that took into account your income, your savings, and your goals, and then told you how much it was safe to "blow." Because I honestly haven''t a clue. We''re in our mid/late 20''s without children and with a nice nest egg/inheritance, but we''re not making money out the wazoo. So how much can we safely spend? I''m in my fifth year of teaching and have about half a year''s salary (gross) in my tax-sheltered annuity, so I think I''m being pretty responsible (I don''t know anyone else around my age who signed up for one), but I really have no idea what that will translate into in the future.

My husband is a financial advisor, and most people come to him when retirement is within the next ten years (because most people put off thinking about it these days). But I also think it''s a lot easier to chart a course when there are more knowns. We don''t know what our income will be like in the future or how many kids we''ll have or what our house will cost. We have some ideas, but we can''t be sure. We don''t want me to work when our children are young, so that will be another consideration.

Actually, I think if DH had his druthers, *he''d* be the one to stay home. He''s always talking about it. We met up with an old friend from high school whom he''d lost touch with. This guy has no kids, but his wife stays at home. DH announced later that he was really jealous when he heard that. At first I thought he meant that he was jealous not to have a wife who cleans the house all day and has dinner and his cocktail prepared when he comes home. But then he said, "I wish I could stay home! Can''t you become a principal or something?" Maybe that''s what we should do because I really have a need to work. It''s funny -- I work really hard and look forward to vacations. But then when it''s summer time, depression hits. I need responsibilities or else I''ll just sit around on PS all day.


So anyway, money is not easy to figure out, even when it''s your husband''s business. But I guess in my mind, there are different tiers when it comes to spending money, ranging from essential to luxury. Food, utilities, basic clothing, basic housing, and basic transportation are essential. Upgrades beyond the basics in that category come pretty close (cars & house that reflect your income), along with services we would only cancel if times were hard -- cable, cell phone, internet, gym membership, etc. But people''s lists of what they would only do without in hard times will differ. And then there are the luxuries, things that are only purchased in good times or when other goals are accomplished. These are vacations, entertainment, expensive jewelry, etc. Again, within that category, you must figure out your priorities.

If you don''t want the upgrade now, don''t do it. That doesn''t mean you have to wait until five years, but if you''d rather wait and evaluate your finances at a later date, then I say sit on it for a while.
 

ladykemma

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Date: 12/15/2006 7:32:26 PM
Author: Blenheim

Date: 12/15/2006 6:08:09 PM
Author: ladykemma
blenheim are you in a house yet? hammering at the mortgage? Is your/his student debt paid for in full?


i would hold off on jewels until you two are settled, jobs secure, house is at least halfway paid for and the student debt is gone.
We''re not in a house yet. We''re only going to be here for four and a half more years, and given the current real estate market we don''t really think it makes sense to buy. One of those financial goals I mentioned is saving up a decent sized down payment by the time that we move. Rental also decreases the chance of many of the emergencies that Madam Bijoux mentioned (not that that would keep us from buying once we move out of the area.)

No debt, at all. Neither of us incurred student debt.


In terms of wanting X number of months salary in savings, how did people come up with those numbers? We''re arbitrarily aiming towards about 4 at the moment, although once we max out our retirement contributions (another one of those goals) we''ll only have two months combined salary in the bank. That''s part of the reason I''m not sure that now is the best time, although a year from now might be a different situation. (Actually, reading psaddict''s reply, we have at least 3-4 months expenses in the bank.)

Cehra -- I think that''s part of the reason I''m not sure about getting them now. I kind of like the anticipation.
yes, and sometimes the wanting is more fun than the having. i think that''s why i like lay-away so much.

it sounds like your financial duckies are in a row, and two pears on either side of setting aren''t going to be much. Mlopros (diamond delights) on ebay frequently has what you are looiing for.
 
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