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Planning to propose but not sure how much to spend on an engagement ring? It's a common dilemma faced by many soon-to-be fiancés. While tradition and societal expectations may play a role, it's important to first consider your own financial situation and priorities.
In this article we will explore different perspectives and provide guidance to help you make a decision about what an engagement ring should cost in your situation.
Engagement Ring Cost Myths
The tradition of giving an engagement ring dates back centuries, but the idea that it should cost a certain percentage of your income is a more recent phenomenon.
With the average cost of engagement rings steadily increasing, it's no wonder that many people feel overwhelmed by the pressure to spend a significant amount of money. They look for the best place to buy an engagement ring that will maximize their value.
But determining how much to spend on an engagement ring is a personal decision that should be based on various factors, such as your budget, financial goals, and the values you both share.
The Two or Three Months Salary "Rule"
These salary rules are meant to be a guideline or tradition suggesting that an individual should spend 2 or 3 months' worth of their salary on the engagement ring they buy for their partner.
This rule is often used as a benchmark for determining the appropriate budget for purchasing an engagement ring, taking into consideration financial stability and commitment.
But it's really not a good rule to go by. There's so much more that should be considered - and we go into detail in our how to buy an engagement ring guide .
Generally speaking cost should be the least important factor when buying an engagement ring, choosing to focus instead on meaning, style preferences and values.
The Bigger the Better
Another pervasive myth about choosing an engagement ring based on cost is the idea that the bigger the ring and the rock, the better.
But this is also not true, nor a good "rule" to go by.
Size alone does not determine the quality or value of a ring, nor your love/commitment to your partner. What the ring's design says about you, your partner, your values/styles and your relationship story is what makes a ring "better" or "worse."
Further, when it comes to the stone itself there are several factors to consider when choosing, for example, a diamond. The cut, clarity, color, and carat weight all determine how "valuable" the stone is. While a larger diamond may appear more impressive, it does not guarantee that it will be of high quality or have a desirable sparkle.
You should focus on the overall quality and beauty of the ring - and more importantly, the "story" it tells about you, your partner and your relationship - rather than solely considering its size or cost.
How Much Should an Engagement Ring Cost?
So now that we know how not to VALUE your choice of engagement ring. Let's talk about some actual numbers.
We can't tell you exactly how much to spend on an engagement ring, but we can give you some food for thought that will help you determine that.
After that, we'll get into some tips on buying an engagement ring that fits your budget and is still something remarkable.
The Average Cost of an Engagement Ring
The overall cost of your engagement ring will vary depending on several factors like the quality and size of the gemstone, the type of metal used for the band, the overall design and, possibly, even the brand of the ring - yes, designer engagement rings are a thing.
As for average cost, according to a survey conducted by The Knot, the average cost of an engagement ring in the United States is around $5,900.
However, it is important to note that this is just an average, and the actual cost can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on what we're talking about.
Having said that, this "average cost" number is often a useful guide in determining what you want to spend.
Trends Shaping Engagement Ring Spending
People are marrying later in life and have a stronger sense of self. The desire for more uniqueness is very prevelent. Several trends have emerged as a result, including using unconventional stones, settings, colors, shapes, and styles of engagement ring.
Factors such as uniqueness, affordability and ethical sourcing often dictate what people are buying, and thus, what people are spending.
According to AmericanExpress , 70% of millennial couples buy traditional diamonds for their rings, where it was 80% back in 1990. Further, older couples who re-marry are now also seeking unique engagement rings that reflect their personalities, styles and values.
Does the price of an engagement ring matter?
Once upon a time, the size and cost of your engagement ring was literally everything.
But in truth, engagement rings (and their cost/size) are not as important as they once were in the minds of people. People care more about other things - there's much less emphasis on the material factors of one's possessions.
It's been said that half of women say they'd rather have an epic, fairy-tale experience for their proposal instead of a giant and expensive engagement ring.
So factor this into your decision, as well.
Tips for Pricing and Buying an Engagement Ring
So you don't have to spend a ton of money on a giant engagement ring. That's not even what's "in" nowadays.
Focus more on the story, the values, you and your partner's style/preferences and, of course, the experience itself.
It Doesn't Have to Be a Diamond
Finally, remember that you don't have to drop a ton of money on a giant, over-price diamond for your engagement ring. Even trends are turning around where people are opting for other gemstones like moissannite, rubies, sapphires and more.
Lab Grown Diamonds
Another alternative that can save you money - and may even be more aligned with your values - are lab grown diamonds .
These are diamonds that are chemically identical to natural, earth-mined dimaonds but they're created (or grown) in a lab by mimicking the pressure that creates them out in the wild.
They're a more affordable option for those who want to opt for a diamond as the main gemstone in an engagement ring.
Set a Budget
Setting a budget for an engagement ring can be a challenging task. Firstly, it is important to assess your own financial situation and determine how much can be comfortably spent without causing any financial strain.
That's most important. You do not want to go broke trying to buy the most expensive engagement ring within your reach.
Secondly, it is crucial to consider the style, preferences, values and expectations of the person who will be receiving the ring. Understanding their tastes can help determine the appropriate budget range.
Additionally, researching the current market prices and understanding the different factors that influence the cost of a ring setting and gemstone can provide a good framework of what to expect within various budgets.
Determine a Ring Style, Then Shop Around
The first thing to do is determine the kind of ring you want to buy. Factor in all of the "considerations" we've discussed in this article to come up with a rough idea of what you're looking for - metal type, design/style, gemstone, etc.
A good way to do this is by using an online custom engagement ring designer .
The beauty of the internet is that there are limitless options in everything. Once you have an idea of what you're looking for, you can easily shop around to determine the ideal choice for your situation.
Pay Attention to Sales Seasons
Of course, in our world today there are countless sales happening throughout the year. But there are certain seasons where you're bound to find lots of sales from lots of retailers.
If you can work it, try to make your engagement ring purchase during a sale season. These include Black Friday, Christmas, and the starts of Spring and Summer.
There's a good chance you'll be able to save some money if you can time your purchase correctly.
Don't Try to Keep Up With the Jones'
The idea of "keeping up with the Jones'" relates to bending over backwards to play status symbol games with your peers and neighbours. Don't think you are competing with other people in the amount of money you have and spend, or the status you hold across your peer group.
It's a road to misery and poverty.
You don't have to "prove" anything to other people with the purchases you make. You only have to prove your love and commitment to your partner.
So when you're trying to figure out how much an engagement ring should cost, tune out all of that outside noise.
Concluding Thoughts on What to Spend on an Engagement Ring
Bottom line, don't let the number on the price tage determine what engagement ring you buy. How much an engagement ring costs should be determined by your specific situation.
You don't have to spend an arm and a leg on a giant ring and stone just to express your love and commitment.
Instead, focus on what the ring means - it's shape/design, the metal used, the gemstone and the story behind it all - when determining how much to spend on an engagement ring.
Having that frame of mind is unlikely to steer you wrong.
Disclaimer: The above is a sponsored post, the views expressed are those of the sponsor/author and do not represent the stand and views of Outlook Editorial.