Personal Finance and …. Bling?

Is there a place for jewelry in the mind of the 30 year old former debt addict?  Do I dare delve into temporary debt and pull out the credit card for a pair of diamond earrings? 

I’ve been doing so well with the debt snowball, my monthly budget, living below my means and a number of other things a fiscally responsible individual is supposed to do.   And yet here I am, at the ledge looking down, pondering a financial move so obviously inconsistent with my long-term goals.  Am I not recovered from my addiction … do I just need a little taste of financial frivolity?

My girlfriend – who I actually adore and can’t believe I do because I have  never adored a woman I was dating before (but that’s a whole different blog) – is graduating in May and getting her Doctorate in Physical Therapy.  I consider this a big deal and a signficant accomplishment … perhaps even something worthy of diverging from the saintly path of responsible personal finance. 

She is not an unreasonable woman, is aware of my past addictions (credit has been just one of my ‘dark passengers’), supports my current personal finance efforts and has no expectation of some lavish gift that I can’t afford at the moment. 

But damn it … can’t you cheat just once in a while?!  I read all of you saintly, ascetic personal finance bloggers with your lessons on frugality, your personal net worths, and your rah rah  rants against plastic and debt.  And you know what … I’m a believer in your church, I kneel at your altar and I repent for my past financial indiscretions.   Oh and there’s the pontiff Ramsey bellowing “live like no one else, so you can live like no one else”. 

Yes … the force is weak in this one and I am considering a brief venture to the Dark Side … temporary credit card debt. 

I love this girl and think there are occasions in life that need to be celebrated appropriately.  And in my mind … this girl has worked extremely hard to accomplish this goal and if her boyfriend can’t make a big deal out of it, who can? 

“Oh silly man … there are other ways to acknowledge her accomplishment and not go into debt.  If she’s such a great girl she’ll understand and wouldn’t want you to succumb to the Dark Passenger of Debt!”

So what does a man on the road to recovery do?  Have any of you personal finance experts ever diverged from your righteous paths for a girl?  a special occasion?  an important milestone?

Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not boast, it is not proud …

 …. but does Love ever just say, “The hell with that.  I’m buying this beautiful girl who I love a big pair of diamond earrings to show her, albeit in a silly consumerist driven splurge, just how proud I am of her!”

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5 Responses to Personal Finance and …. Bling?

  1. The Baglady says:

    Hey there, you left a comment on my blog about my cheap ex asking for some advice. This advice may seem a bit of a killjoy but I would say don’t go into debt if you love her, and especially if you intend to marry her someday because you will share that debt with her. Granted, I don’t know your girl at all, but this seems like an unnecessary expense and you can show her that you love her in other ways.

    • mrmilwaukee says:

      Baglady – thanks for the reply. Hearing from you and Robin – two obviously savvy financial ladies – was helpful. You guys have obviously been at this personal finance, out of debt thing longer than me … and your right, there’s nothing sexy about sharing debt with somebody down the road. Hopefully a more reasonable graduation gift doesn’t condemn me to ‘cheap boyfriend’ blog somewhere down the road : )

  2. Robin says:

    Hey, found your question on Wisebread and followed your link. Love your writing style…
    About the earrings–has she specified she wants earrings? Diamonds are really pricey, and buying one diamond(like in a necklace or ring) might be cheaper than buying 2 diamonds in earrings.

    Of course, you don’t have to go for diamonds. You can make a big statement with her birthstone, which might be cheaper. My husband recently bowled me over with lovely large pearl earrings with small diamonds–for about $200 on sale. (We women are easily impressed by the one we love.)Malls and jewelry shops can be the most expensive places to shop. Check out Blue Nile online. (I think that’s the name.)

    My personal opinion is that you ought to get her something special, but within your ability to pay it off in 1-2 months.

    • mrmilwaukee says:

      Robin –

      She hasn’t specified earrings … but I just thought she’d look so good with something sparkling in her ears : )

      I like to think I’m normally a pretty practical guy … but I think I might marry this girl (can’t believe I’m saying that). Yours truly was actually online looking at engagment rings (a first for me) and contemplating when would be appropriate to have a chat with her father (another first). Seriously, I don’t even know who this ‘actually thinking about marriage’ guy is … it’s a bit unsettling.

      Anyways – I like your idea about finding something I can pay off in a couple of months (maybe I’ll divert Debt Snowball funds for a couple of months). And Blue Nile … great site! Found some 3/4 ct tw, IF’s, D color in platinum settings that were exactly what I would have wanted to get her.

      I visited your site – very cool! I’d like to poll your audience sometime down the road on whether or not I should splurge if/when it becomes ring time? I’ll justify a more reasonable purchase now with excess down the road.

      Thanks for taking a look and I appreciate you talking me off the ‘ledge’.

  3. Robin says:

    Glad you are backing away from a BIG splurge. You’re right that if you’re thinking serious like marriage, there are a lot of expenses that might come up around that time. And just remember, the size of the jewel has nothing to do with the size of the commitment. 🙂

    Jewelry is not an asset that grows. The wealth makers put their money into assets that grow, like a house you might buy with spouse. Making the marriage step is a big commitment, but a rewarding one.

    Thanks for looking at TheSilverPurse site. We’re under a redesign now and will look/function even better around mid-May. As far as polls, I don’t have any forum for comments at this point. I’d suggest putting your question up on Wisebread.

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