And yes, it’s usually expensive.
However, it seems like this is just the way it is. Or is it? An interesting write up on Yahoo that I recently read suggests that an engagement ring isn’t necessarily something that’s the top priority to women in their 20s. Apparently, per a study reference in the article, 50% of those surveyed indicated that they would prefer a down payment on a home to a ring.
That’s not something I would have expected to read, but on the surface it would appear to be a vote for practicality over the emotional desire for a decorative yet symbolic item. Females in their 20’s are looking at things with an eye on something different than what traditional expectations might be. I say that reinforced by this follow-up bit of information from the article indicating that respondents in their 50s and 60s saw things differently. It seems that only 8% and 2%, respectively, shared the same view that a home down payment would be preferred.
That’s quite a generational difference!
What is this telling us?
I wonder if it’s simply a function of the economy being different today than it was in a prior generation, so people are forced to think a little bit more practically. Or, it simply a sign of changing tastes and a lower level of interest in symbolic jewelry?
It seems to me like the answer is more likely to be the former. My feeling is that it’s a matter of economics and that the desire for a nice ring hasn’t disappeared, but lower prices for one might change the equation a bit.
Maybe there are other reasons behind this. In any event, the idea that so many people would prefer a down payment on a house over a ring is interesting.
Though on the other hand, while a down payment on a house might seem practical, it might not be the best use of the money. I say that because putting money down on a house generally means that a home will be purchased and for a newly married couple this usually entails a mortgage. Thus, instead of buying a ring, money is allocated toward a purchase that will generate a ton of debt.
Now this is a debatable perspective, and I’m of course not saying that buying a home is a bad thing. It’s just a different choice than a ring, and it most assuredly involves quite a bit of money. Maybe a home would be purchased anyway if a ring was bought, but can we say that the loan would be more in that case? There’s no guarantee of that.
Anyway, I found it to be an interesting statistic and one that brings about those aforementioned questions on why this might be happening and whether it’s just a matter of being a different expense instead of sign of practicality.
As an aside, when I was position to make that decision, I chose to purchase a ring – and the home down payment part never crossed my mind. A ring purchase still seems like the preferred route for me, but maybe I’m not as practical as I like to believe I am 🙂
My Questions for You
What are your thoughts on these survey results?
Do you think this reflects changing values, economic realities, or something else?
What would your preference be, if you were in that situation?