I finally got down on one knee and asked Mrs. Distilled Dollar if she wanted to actually become Mrs. Distilled Dollar! 😉 Luckily for me, she said, “It’s about damn time!” So, in other words, “yes”. (queue the music and drop the balloons!)

This article will briefly talk about the process of getting an engagement ring (it is a BIG expense afterall) along with the our other marriage (bank).

About a month before the engagement, we also decided to get, “bank married.” I didn’t know the term before hand, but it means we both deposit our paychecks and utilize one bank account for all expenses.

My girlfriend fiance will be keeping her other checking account open as it is with a credit union. I’m not 100% sure if there are benefits to keeping it open or if we can expect any type of preferential treatment in terms of mortgages, but that is where we are today. If you know any details, feel free to chime in below.

So, last month was a big month for us. We’re now engaged AND bank married!

The engagement was obviously a long time coming. When I asked my future father-in-law for his blessing, he basically grilled me on one point: “What the hell did you wait so long for?!”

I’m crossing my fingers that my girlfriend fiance (this will take some getting used to) will let me discuss the ring details in the future, but for now, she prefers to keep that under our veil of anonymity.

Here’s what I can share about the ring:

If you’re looking to get an engagement ring in 2016, then finding the stone separately will typically cost less than purchasing the stone directly from a jeweler whether you’re buying a ready to wear piece or having one custom made. When dealing with a 1.5 carats, the savings can be substantial, so it is definitely worth taking the time to find the best deal on a loose stone.

I had the ring custom made, which is an added benefit because if the stone falls out, the ring manufacturer will replace it, for life.

Appraising a ring cost me $90 here in Chicago, so that might be on the high end. The appraiser mentioned it is not uncommon for the appraised value to run about 1.5-2x the cost of the ring because the appraisal value will hold for many years. If, say the ring were to be stolen in ten years, the chances are high the cost of the ring would go up with inflation.

Lastly, the insurance component was simple (for us anyway). Since we rent, I placed a phone call into my renter’s insurance policy and asked to have the engagement ring included in our policy. This cost me about ~$10 per $1,000 I spent on the ring.

My overall piece of advice for when you get engaged is plan ahead.

Such a large expense was obviously coming up and I made the smart decision to allocate funds towards the future purchase.

I also spaced out the purchase of the stone and the ring nearly 8 months apart. That wasn’t 100% intentional, but it made it a little easier for me to cover the costs.

Anyway, we couldn’t be any more excited!! 🙂

I feel we’ve come a long way and we’ll continue to find new levels to take our relationship to. We know we’re on the same page, but we’re constantly looking for ways to accelerate the rate at which we’re moving in the right direction. Financial freedom is a great goal that we’re pursuing and I’m glad we’ll have this blog to help us celebrate each step of the way.

Do you and your significant other share bank accounts? Do you prefer to keep things separate? Was there anything different you learned after going through the engagement ring purchasing process? Any big expenses planned in your future? 😉

Master Distiller

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