You Should Spend How Much on an Engagement Ring?

One question many guys ask when they are planning a proposal is, “How much should I spend on an engagement ring?” You will get many differing answers to this question, but the truth is that the cost of the engagement ring is entirely for you to decide.

The 3-Month Salary “Rule”

engagement ring costYou may hear somewhere that the general rule is to spend the equivalent to three months of your annual salary on the engagement ring. This would mean that if you make $50,000 per year, you should spend $12,500 on the engagement ring. Let that gigantic number wash over you. I’m here to tell you that the three-month salary rule is purely a marketing ploy by jewelry companies in an attempt to get you to spend more of your hard-earned money. What better way for these companies to sell more expensive rings than to implant the belief in you that you are somehow letting down your future fiancé if you spend less than this number. The truth is that you can spend less than three-months salary and it is perfectly fine.

If out of curiosity you would like a peak at how your annual salary would work with this “rule” take a look at this engagement ring cost calculator.

How Much is a Ring ?

So, if you are not required to spend three-months salary, how much should you spend? My answer would be to spend whatever you feel comfortable with. Prices of course depend on the size and quality of the ring, but in 2012 the average cost of an engagement ring was $3,329. Do not over extend yourself financially, because in the end it is going to be you and what the ring symbolizes that make her happy, not the ring itself. That being said, an engagement ring is still a major purchase and will most likely be an expensive one.

How to Budget for an Engagement Ring Purchase

A few things to consider when setting a budget for the ring:

  • Wedding Cost: It may not be wise to spend your life savings on the ring, because you will most likely have additional costs to consider and pay for the wedding itself.
  • Your Partner’s Ring Expectations: While you get to determine how much to spend on a ring, what you feel to be an acceptable cost may not necessarily be the same as your partner’s. You can remedy this situation by discussing it with your partner if you decide to choose a ring together with her. If you truly feel that the ring your partner expects is out of your budget, you may need to adjust her expectations by discussing the situation with her.
  • What You Can Afford: Funding the purchase of an expensive engagement ring with credit cards or a loan is never a good idea. You should set a budget that you can comfortably afford using money you already have.

If you are planning a marriage proposal, how much will you spend on her engagement ring?
If you’ve already proposed, what advice do you have when it comes to ring cost?
Let us know in the comments.


Read the Guys Guide to Proposing Marriage eBook for more information about how much to spend on engagement rings.

Shawn Waite

Shawn Waite is husband to a wonderful woman and father to identical twin daughters. He is the author of the Guys Guide to Proposing Marriage, which helps you plan the marriage proposal of her dreams. You can follow Shawn on Twitter @GG2Proposing.

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