The engagement ring is the ultimate symbol of your love and commitment to the person you want to marry, something she will wear for the rest of her life (you hope), and there are a lot of myths and misinformation out there about exactly how much money you should be spending on this ring. Nobody wants to be seen as cheap when it comes to engagement ring shopping and popping the question, so here’s a quick guide to help you spend a reasonable amount on this important piece of jewelry.
How Many Months’ Salary?
There is an old tradition out there that says men should plan to spend about two month’s salary on their engagement ring—and in some circles you might even hear that go as high as three month’s salary. For a person making $40,000 a year, that amounts to anywhere between $6,700 and $10,000 on an engagement ring.
If you don’t have that cash on hand and you decide to put it on a credit card (one with an average interest rate of 15.07, which is the national average according to creditcards.com), you will be paying several hundred dollars a month for the next several years to get it paid down. In fact, it will take almost four years to pay off the balance if you put $300 a month toward the card, and almost twice as long (79 months) if you can only afford to pay $200 a month on the balance.
For most couples, this kind of rigid and arbitrary number is just setting you up to have a huge amount of debt right off the bat in your marriage, which is never a good idea. Before you spend too much, talk to your future fiancée about her expectations with regard to the cost of the ring and make sure it falls in line with your own.
Design or Buy Something With Meaning
Beyond simply purchasing a huge diamond that costs a lot of money, couples should think about finding a ring that has a special meaning to them. For example, you may choose to custom design a ring that matches a special heirloom ring that has been in your family for generations, or find a smaller diamond in a beautiful setting that won’t break the bank. You might also consider purchasing a ring with a center stone that is not a diamond, and instead is a birthstone, or her favorite color.
Check Financing Options
Many reputable jewelry stores in Utah will also have financing options that will allow you to get the ring you really want for a low (or even 0 percent) interest rate. Be sure to read the fine print on these agreements before you dive in, and get a picture of what your payment will look like to ensure you will be able to afford to pay it off quickly, preferably within about 12 months.
Rather than sticking to a specific figure that may or may not reflect your financial reality, the best answer to how much you should spend on an engagement ring is “the amount you can afford”. You can also shop for jewelry when it’s on sale, which will allow you to get a bigger diamond for the same price. Talk to a jeweler today to find out more.