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Marriages fail, so a £1 engagement ring is a wise investment

All four avaliable engagement rings from Poundland. Photo: Supplied by Talker Tailor

All four avaliable engagement rings from Poundland. Photo: Supplied by Talker Tailor

Suppled by Talker Tailor

There are certain things that you should never buy on the cheap.

Red heart cut engagement ring from Poundland. Photo: Supplied by Talker TailorRed heart cut engagement ring from Poundland. Photo: Supplied by Talker Tailor

Shoes should be top-notch - unless you want to replace them every few months when the soles flap off and the puddle water seeps in. Anything other than best mince is a false economy - as demonstrated by the veneer of orange fat and the disappearance of the meat as you cook the cheap stuff.

Cheap furniture falls apart, and knock-down electronic items soon go on the blink.

But if you’re buying an engagement ring, go cheap, go bargain bucket, go low, then go lower.

Plenty of people seem to agree with me, as Poundland has sold 20,000 of its £1 engagement rings - including 200 in King’s Lynn, 72 in Thetford and 100 at Norwich Riverside.

A bride places ring on finger during a wedding ceremony   Picture: Getty Images/iStockphotoA bride places ring on finger during a wedding ceremony Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Penny-pinchers, skinflints, misers...I salute you. In fact, I prefer to call you prudent.

For let’s be honest about it, engagements don’t always result in marriage, and marriage quite often ends in divorce. If things go off the rails, having a ring that could have dropped out a cracker means you’ve lost nothing.

Weigh up the odds and invest accordingly. The clue is that going the distance is at best evens, at worst a serious outside chance.

Hopeless romantics out there (I’m a very hopeless romantic, which is why I’m single) will be horrified at my cynicism. They will say the bling ring is a key part of sealing the deal.

But it isn’t - or it shouldn’t be. If the value of the ring is important, you’ve both got your priorities wrong. And if your belle- or beau-to-be has a hissy fit because the ring is cheap, that tells you all you need to know about their value. It’s rock-bottom, so bin them.

The depth of commitment to each other is of immeasurable worth when compared to the price of the engagement ring or anything else that follows.

Partnerships have to be based on how much of your heart you invest in them - and how much you continue to invest day after day, year after year.

Horrifyingly, the 2017 average cost of a wedding was £27,161, which could have been used as a deposit for a house - something tangible, unlike a pricey wedding cake (eaten), a four-figure dress (worn once, left in wardrobe), Champagne for all (quaffed) or countless sprays and bouquets of flowers (dead).

Within that, the average cost of an engagement ring was £3,037. Utter madness.

That sum could furnish most of your house, pay for a run-around car or be the start of an ISA.

Younger people are apparently on their uppers, facing a perfect storm of high house prices, low wages, university fee repayments and extortionate car insurance.

So why splurge so much money on the fripperies that add a garish trim to a special event? Why feed your mother-in-law posh nosh when a cheese sandwich will suffice?

Start with a £1 engagement ring, add in a second-hand wedding dress, a suit from a charity shop, one wedding meal (a buffet), your mate’s band as entertainment, and a Spotify playlist for the intervals.

When you and your bride or groom look back at the special day, it’ll be the things that cost nothing that will be remembered: your eyes meeting as you say “I do”; the first dance; the chats with old friends; being driven away after the reception.

If you spend £27,161, the main thing you’ll feel is regret as you realise that a cheaper wedding would have enabled you to heat your house, pay for an MoT and put steak mince on your table.

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