How Much Should I Spend on an Engagement Ring?
So you’ve finally decided that it’s time to “pop the question” and ask your girlfriend to marry you. Congratulations! Now what?!
One of the first questions we hear from guys who are thinking about proposing is, “How much should I spend on the engagement ring?” Maybe you’ve already heard of the old-fashioned “2, 3 or 4 months salary rule.” That sounds nice and simple, but there are a ton of different factors that come into play here, one of the primary ones being how old you are. Couples in their 20’s may be in a completely different financial situation than those in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s etc. Plus, with people getting married later in life and most women earning an income of their own, this makes the “x-month salary rule” a bit obsolete.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a simple calculator to factor in the intricacies of your relationship, your history apart and together, etc. and spit out a number for you to spend? Well, there is (sort of). Check out Engagement Ring Calculator. I will forewarn you, however, that I filled in the blanks and the number it spit out seemed a bit low when compared to what my girlfriend has hinted that she wants.
This brings up one of the most important and often overlooked considerations when contemplating how much to spend on a diamond engagement ring… what are your girlfriend’s expectations? Has she always wanted the “perfect diamond engagement ring” – one that you need to stretch your budget on in order to buy and possibly even finance or go into debt for? Or, would she be happier having a more affordable ring and you not bringing debt into the marriage?
The leading diamond industry periodical, Rapaport Magazine, recently reported that that average amount spent on an engagement ring in the United States is $6,175.* This amount can deviate greatly based off where a couple lives, their age and socio-economic circle, family background and pressures, etc.
Ultimately, the question of the right amount to spend on a diamond engagement ring involves an honest assessment of your own financial, psychological and emotional beliefs. There is no right or wrong number. Remember that this is just the first of several large purchases (wedding bands, honeymoon, wedding, etc.) so it’s important to stay in your comfortable budget range. Just make sure that you speak with a jewelry professional who asks the right questions and has your best interests in mind.
Rapaport Magazine, page 38, July 2011