If you are planning on buying an engagement ring the first thing you need to remember is: only spend as much as you can afford. You may have heard the age-old rule that says you should spend 2 to 3 months salary on an engagement ring. Well, that rule was invented by marketers working for diamond companies. The last thing you want to bring into a new marriage is crippling debt brought on by an overzealous purchase.
Here’s what you should consider when deciding how much to spend on an engagement ring:
- Your Savings – If you’ve been saving up specifically for this moment in your life you may already know how much you can spend. That being said, be mindful not to fall into the trap of using what you saved for a ring as simply a downpayment for a ring that is outside of your budget – unless that is what the savings were originally meant for.
- Your Current Income – While you shouldn’t base your decision of how much to spend on the old rule of 2 months salary, your income should certainly factor into how much you spend – especially if you are financing your engagement ring. This again goes back to the first rule of only spending what you can afford.
- Your Expenses – It really doesn’t matter how much money you make if it’s going out as fast as it’s coming in. Look at your expenses versus your income to determine how much leeway you have, specifically if you are financing the ring or putting it on a credit card.
- Expectations – Finally, you should consider your significant other’s expectations. Consider that the ring will be the most important piece of jewelry that your lover wears and you will want the ring to express that. Again, don’t spend what you can’t afford, but if you feel that expectations are higher or that you want to “go all out”, try to plan ahead by starting a savings fund ahead of time so you can get the best ring possible.
Think Meaningful, Not Expensive
When deciding how much you should spend on an engagement ring, you may be surprised that you can find beautiful rings that your partner will love without spending a fortune. The ring doesn’t have to have an outrageous price tag to be meaningful. This is where you will want to do some research into what your partner likes and dislikes. You will likely be able to find a ring that is well under $10,000 that your partner will absolutely love.
If you found the perfect ring but it’s outside your budget, consider looking into ways to cut your monthly expenses or make some sacrifices in order to save up the money. Bottom line, don’t make the price a priority, focus more on what will be meaningful to your partner.