Grab Bag Weekend: The Woman I Love Is So Powerful!

Question: A reader shoots me an e-mail with the subject, “The woman I love is so powerful, how much should I spend on her engagement ring?”

I get a lot of emails and can't answer every single one. But that intriguing subject caught my eye. Buying an engagement ring is a big decision. And I've helped several friends go through the process. So I wanted to learn more about this reader's situation and see how I could help out.

The Woman I Love Is So Powerful

The Woman I Love Is So Powerful

The reader writes, “Sam, how's it going man? I just found your blog searching for diamond engagement rings and I want to thank you for your “Bling Bling” article.

I'm wondering, what size rock do you think I should get for my woman?

I ask because the woman I love is so powerful. She makes literally 5X more than me and is a Senior Vice President at one of the major retail companies.

She has over 100 people working for her in the marketing department. I've seen her crack the whip on others before, and it's scary! However, when she's with me, she's a completely different person. A jokester, goofy, and SO caring.

I love her to death, and I want to give her the best. But, I'm a middle school teacher, and only make $47,000 a year! I can maybe spend $10,000, but that's going to be really tight for me, and basically wipe out my savings. We're both in our mid 30's and have been dating for over 5 years now. Thoughts?  Thanks! John”

How Much Should You Spend On An Engagement Ring?

When you're in love, there may come a day when you too want to pop the question. But before you do, you need to get an engagement ring. And engagement ring shopping can be a daunting task!

Perhaps you also are wondering, “The woman I love is powerful too! Is she going to expect a huge rock?” Getting up the courage to pop the question is hard enough. You don't want unnecessary stress about finding the right engagement ring and going broke trying.

Engagement Ring Guides

Here are some great articles I've written on engagement rings.

Start Your Marriage Off Right

Once you pop the question and get an emphatic “YES!” be sure to consider having a budget wedding so you don't go into debt. There are many great advantages to having a simple wedding!

Focus on your financial future and long-term marital happiness. That's what my wife and I did and we're so happy we started our marriage on the right foot.

I also highly recommend you check out my top financial products recommendations. Then, check out these articles on family finances for more inspiration.

Make Your Powerful Woman Happy

The woman I love is powerful too and I've learned so much from her. When we first met, however, neither of us had any money. We met in college and grew our careers alongside each other.

We're both frugal by nature and share similar financial goals. This has helped immensely in our relationship, desire to save and invest, our net worth targets, and overall happiness.

Now in case you're curious, here's how I responded to John's email about engagement ring shopping for his powerful woman.

Response: Hi John, thanks for your e-mail inquiry. Welcome to Financial Samurai! First of all, I want to commend you for being a school teacher. The state should be paying you guys the big bucks, and not Andrew Hall from Citigroup his $100,000,000 bonus!

There are several ways to answer your question, so let me offer some suggestions. I asked your question to a number of my female friends today as well so I can give you a balanced answer.

It sounds like you guys are in love, and there's a good chance she'll say “YES!” Given the high likelihood of success, you don't have to get her something extravagant to woo her over. She's already yours.

Show Your Powerful Woman You've Done Research

The most important thing is you show that you've done your research, and get her something she has shown interest in. She must be aware of your rough income level, and the massive budget cuts and therefore potential pay cuts in education.

Therefore, it is highly unlikely she expects something more than you can afford. You should take her for a stroll in a shopping district and wander into a jewelry store to help her naturally reveal her tastes.

Your girlfriend might regularly hob knob with similarly wealthy people, but it is you that she wants to be with. By choosing you, she's showing she doesn't care about how much money you make. She may have a lot of expensive clothes and accessories, but that doesn't compare to anything you give her.

Many financially successful and single women have revealed in the past that they would give up their fancy title and big paycheck if they could find the man of their dreams. After all, what's the use of making so much if you have nobody to share it with?

Your Powerful Woman Loves You

Your woman is already highly confident. Even if you spent just $3,500 and got her a 0.5 carat, G, VS2 ring, I'm sure she will LOVE IT and treasure it forever. I don't think she'll care what her friends think because she'll be so happy she's engaged!

She definitely won't care what her subordinates thinks, and may actually appreciate not having something so extravagant to show off.

Sure she can afford a 3 carat Tiffany's if she wants to. But that's nothing special because it won't be from YOU. At the end of the day, put in the research, focus on quality over size, and plan something romantic and well thought out.

Time and time again women tell us it's the thought that really counts. With all your research so far, it's clear you are going to do the right thing!

Readers, any advice you have for John? Are you thinking, “The woman I love is powerful too!” Please keep your e-mail questions coming! It'll be great to discuss the trend towards more female breadwinners at a later point. I have a feeling that many guys would love to have a sugar mama, especially after this recession. I know I would!


Financial Samurai – “Slice Through Money's Mysteries”

3 thoughts on “Grab Bag Weekend: The Woman I Love Is So Powerful!”

  1. I think the research & time you put into picking and purchasing a ring means more than just plopping down cash for the first thing you see (and you can’t afford!).

    I bought a diamond through Tony at Union Diamond (, and bought the engagement/wedding ring set separately. Learn the 4 C’s, do your research, and you should be able to get a great deal.

    Good luck!

    1. Jason – Good stuff, however John’s real dilemma is how to please his girlfriend who is a very powerful, perhaps scary woman, who makes 5X he does and can afford all the luxuries in the world!

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