Financial plan on how to use $37k

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Don't buy the ring on eBay. Don't buy the ring from wholsalers. You can buy a junky, crappy diamond that won't ever be worth anything, and will look crapp. Or you can buy the loose diamond online. Make absolutely sure you have a GIA or AGS certification. PM me for more info it you need to. $12k or so for a good quality 2ct loose round is about what I'd pay.

That said I'd agree with kantscholar--get her a really really high quality ring, put a moissanite in it and put one kid through college for a year. Tell her about it obviously--but at least it will shut her "friends" up. Spending money you don't have vs. saving and letting it grow, investing in your kids. This is FW afterall. Do you want to keep up with the Joneses or be able to relax someday without the pressure of debt crushing you?

I think the moissanite idea is a good one. However, can you imagine if her so called "friends" found out the ring was moissanite? Sounds like they're already giving the OP hell about not getting her a 2 carat diamond. I agree with the post above that she may need to get some new friends. Does she understand anything about diamonds (clarity, color, quality of the cut)? She seems awfully focused on only the size of a 2 carat diamond.

Ignore the haters, get her the ring as you said it's been a long time coming. Getting rid of all the debt will probably leave you feeling very good about your decisions with this money. After that start saving, utilize some of the methods like the Mango prepaid card to get 6% APY. As for cashing out the preferred stock, I'd say that depends on your expectations of their future value and if you would rather have the money invested there or elsewhere.

And to everyone not the OP, stop hating.

I'll echo one of the other comments from above, that it sounds like you have an overall spending problem that won't be remedied with a simple answer to your OP. With the amount of money you're making and the amount of debt you still have after 12 years (or however long) with wife and no savings, you need to explain to her that you would love to buy her the ring you promised and you'll still buy it....but first you need to focus on getting out of debt and getting your finances back on track.

Where is all of your money going each month that isn't allowing for any savings and which you have still recently been able to rack up so much debt?? I'm happy for you to buy your wife a nice/expensive ring but it's not the kind of thing you should be in debt for with NO savings and NO help for your kid going to college in 5 years. Instead, take a look at your monthly expenses and see where else you can cut back to get out of debt once and for all and get some savings collected, THEN buy the ring when you have some truly expendable cash.

Get cheaper wife

I am dedicated to a debt-free life (getting rid of the debt forever)
-I don't undersand the dilemma here? Just pay off your debt?

I need to get my wife an engagement ring (2 carat or higher only).
-This statement contradicts your first point. Either you want to live debt free, or buy fun & pretty stuff you don't need.

I need to save about 60k for college tuition for child.
-Let your kids pay for most of college themselves. It gives them more incentive to choose proper majors and get good grades if they have to pay for the investment themselves.

pwdbyndroid said:   woowoo2 said:   Pay off ALL debt, buy a cheaper ring, she will understand.

Cheaper ring not an option. She says she'll wait. I guess another option would be to take $10k and put it into special ring savings account. Add 5k more next year and she gets her ring.


Get the diamond off Craiglist and put it in a setting she likes. Save 60%.

pwdbyndroid said:   
(3) Should I consider cashing in on my restricted shares of stock for the ring payment?
No, you should sell these to pay off your debt and if there is any money left over, put some money towards your child's education!

pwdbyndroid said:   woowoo2 said:   Pay off ALL debt, buy a cheaper ring, she will understand.

Cheaper ring not an option. She says she'll wait. I guess another option would be to take $10k and put it into special ring savings account. Add 5k more next year and she gets her ring.


She'll wait? I have a solution - if you keep her waiting long enough this problem will resolve itself naturally . Seriously, that's quite a materialistic demand - my wife and I got our engagement rings from a pawn shop.....

pwdbyndroid said: Cheaper ring not an option. She says she'll wait. I guess another option would be to take $10k and put it into special ring savings account. Add 5k more next year and she gets her ring.Tell her you've started saving. Automatically set aside $50/month. When you have enough then buy ring.

So no one else is noticing that the OP appears to have said that he paid cash for a house instead of paying off student loans? And he's supposedly bothered by debt.

I know I'm going to pay cash for a house that I could mortgage for an effective interest rate of maybe 3% so that I can keep student loans around that can't be discharged and likely have a higher interest rate.

That makes a lot of sense. And if just so happens that the OP got one of those rare consolidation deals for his student loans he should never pay more than the minimum. You always take cheap financing that is at or below the average inflation rate. Long term you stand a good chance of beating that rate chasing in deposit accounts even and that doesn't even include using risk assets.

cbdo2007 said:   I'll echo one of the other comments from above, that it sounds like you have an overall spending problem that won't be remedied with a simple answer to your OP. With the amount of money you're making and the amount of debt you still have after 12 years (or however long) with wife and no savings, you need to explain to her that you would love to buy her the ring you promised and you'll still buy it....but first you need to focus on getting out of debt and getting your finances back on track.

Where is all of your money going each month that isn't allowing for any savings and which you have still recently been able to rack up so much debt?? I'm happy for you to buy your wife a nice/expensive ring but it's not the kind of thing you should be in debt for with NO savings and NO help for your kid going to college in 5 years. Instead, take a look at your monthly expenses and see where else you can cut back to get out of debt once and for all and get some savings collected, THEN buy the ring when you have some truly expendable cash.


It sounds like based on one of his posts he paid cash for his house. Dumb, dumb, dumb!

Give your wife the money to pick out her 2 carat diamond wedding ring. I'm sure she's "earned it" by now, and she's been patient. She probably thought you already had been setting aside money each year so you could buy her a ring. It's obviously important to her. (Think how much men like an expensive new car.)

On our 25th wedding anniversary, my husband gave me $10,000 in Monopoly money so I could pick out a two-carat diamond ring. I had always wanted a large diamond, also. It was a wonderful surprise and I spend a long time looking at deals. Eventually, I found what I wanted for $13,000, and I bought it. Shopping for the ring was half the fun. (I could have bought the ring for myself years ago but it meant a lot more coming as a gift from my husband.)

1) pay off all non-mortgage and non-vehicle debt
2) establish a six month emergency fund
3) setup some type of retirement fund (you don't have to max both IRAs and 401k to start, but something)
4) pay off any vehicle debt
5) then ring.. boat.. toys.. etc..

I agree with the above post, only in reverse order. I live life by my own rules and by the edge of my seat.

I dont see the point in an expensive ring, it's only a status symbol. Why spend money just to try to impress others? Especially on something that's such a horrible investment.

Pay off your debt, establish savings, then consider dumb stuff.

I wouldn't suggest lying to your wife, but her "friends" couldn't spot the difference between a diamond and a sugar crystal. You don't need to give in, your wife needs to get things in perspective and her friends need hit in the head with a shovel.

pwdbyndroid said:   I got a 30k bonus this year. Usually, it's only half of this much. Not sure what to expect next year (or the year after that). I also expect about a $7000 tax return (IRS)

I have about $15,000 in debt (no kidding). I am inclined to cut that down to $4k. I am dedicated to a debt-free life (getting rid of the debt forever).

I need to get my wife an engagement ring (2 carat or higher only). My best guess is that a good quality ring will be $15,000. (She didn't get one when we got married because she wanted 2 carat...and still does). Too many years later, I really need to resolve this.

I need to save about 60k for college tuition for child (6 years left until college) (and I should probably have money in savings anyway...all depleted)

I have this problem every year. I don't know what the best way is to deal with such a windfall.


Any advice? If I pay off all of my debt and buy the ring, I will have $7,000 left. If I leave about $4,000 in debt, I can have $4,000 toward savings. Maybe the question is whether $4000 would be better to get rid of all my debt or put into savings to increase savings amount?

Edit: I also have employment related resricted shares of stock that I am looking to cash out on any day now. I expect to cash out on those around $30k or so (which would probably go toward child's college education)
LOL, NEEDS a 2 carat diamond ring... If it's so important to her, why not save up for that ring for your 30th anniversary (which I'd imagine would be some time from now). BTW, if you get an expensive ring, you'll HAVE TO insure it! Also don't think for a second that something bad won't happen to that ring, my mom's engagement ring got stolen like 7 years after she got married but because it was insured, she took the $4000 and bought an IBM XT!

Can we please see the pics of both the OP and the chick? If she's way out of his league an expensive ring might be justified.

LCH59 said:   On our 25th wedding anniversary, my husband gave me $10,000 in Monopoly money so I could pick out a two-carat diamond ring.

Wtf I'd like to see what classifies as "real" money then For my next anniversary all I was thinking about was a "congrats you survived 15 years of me" t-shirt.

Wedding bands and medical treatment for the kids are two things you shouldn't go fwf on...

pwdbyndroid said:   Cheaper ring not an option. She says she'll wait.

Then keep her waiting. Pay off your debt.

lostjake said:   Wedding bands and medical treatment for the kids are two things you shouldn't go fwf on...

I guess I did the wedding band thing wrong -- mine cost $35.

stm69 said:   LCH59 said:   On our 25th wedding anniversary, my husband gave me $10,000 in Monopoly money so I could pick out a two-carat diamond ring.

Wtf I'd like to see what classifies as "real" money then For my next anniversary all I was thinking about was a "congrats you survived 15 years of me" t-shirt.

You might as well just go all the way and get a "congrats you survived 15 years of me" e-card.

Table83 said:   I am dedicated to a debt-free life (getting rid of the debt forever)
-I don't undersand the dilemma here? Just pay off your debt?

I need to get my wife an engagement ring (2 carat or higher only).
-This statement contradicts your first point. Either you want to live debt free, or buy fun & pretty stuff you don't need.

I need to save about 60k for college tuition for child.
-Let your kids pay for most of college themselves. It gives them more incentive to choose proper majors and get good grades if they have to pay for the investment themselves.


You make an interesting point (3rd comment). I am a bit lost on the whole college tuition thing. I went to college back when it only cost $10k-17k a year for private college (and I lived at home). I got a few of the standard grants (pell grant), small national heritage scholarships, work study, and federal loans, and I still ended up with a boatload of loans. With the cost of tuition nowadays, the possibility of room and boarding costs, I just don't know how my kids are going to be able to go to a good school without me pitching in.

(1) One idea that I had was not paying for anything up front and making the kid think that going to school would be on kid's dime (with the intention that I would pay off a portion of the student loans if the kid did well in school)

(2) However, not sure if the above would work entirely because I believe that there are caps on federal loans. When I hear about some 2nd tier schools costing $40-50k a year, I just don't understand how my kid can get that kind of financing (realistically) without me having to pitch in something up front. Even if my kid is smart enough to get a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) degree, I doubt they would be able to afford paying off such huge school loans.

TravelerMSY said:   Can we please see the pics of both the OP and the chick? If she's way out of his league an expensive ring might be justified.

We are about the same.

stm69 said:   LCH59 said:   On our 25th wedding anniversary, my husband gave me $10,000 in Monopoly money so I could pick out a two-carat diamond ring.

Wtf I'd like to see what classifies as "real" money then For my next anniversary all I was thinking about was a "congrats you survived 15 years of me" t-shirt.


The monopoly money was a representation of hard cash in the bank. He had recently received an inheritance and had decided to spend some of it on a luxury item for me. ( He's usually extremely thrifty so it was a very big surprise to me.) OP's $30K bonus seems like an unexpected windfall that he should want to share with his significant other without her having to ask for it. Yes, you have to buy insurance on the ring but I still have it and wear it daily, and it is still worth about the same that I paid for it five years ago. Maybe more.



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