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Finding the perfect engagement ring can seem like a daunting task. After the initial wave of excitement of having found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with passes, the stress of finding the perfect engagement ring sets in. What if they don’t like the look? What if they were expecting more, or disappointed that you went over the top? Should you include them in the decision making process? One of the biggest questions someone looking to get married might ask is, “How much should I spend on an engagement ring?”

The answer is complicated, because it varies based on income and preference, among many other factors. But one fact remains: your significant other will not be swayed into saying yes or no based on the price of the ring placed around their finger.

Income Matters

Figuring out how much to spend on an engagement ring is very dependent on how much money you make and how much you are willing to spend. These two factors go hand in hand because it can be assumed that someone making six figures a year may consider a much more expensive ring than someone making half that. However, if the person making half is willing to spend more on the ring than the wealthier person, they may end up with a pricier ring. It all comes down to affordability and the shift in perspective that one’s income causes. A $10,000 ring is clearly unaffordable for some and very affordable for others.

First, consider your annual income. Subtract major expenses like housing, transportation, regular monthly bills and you will arrive at your total discretionary income. Consider the amount of money you have saved as well as any lucrative assets you have, which can help offset the negative income factors. Many people who buy engagement rings will finance their purchase using a credit card as opposed to paying the full price up front. While this can cushion the initial cost, the total cost of the ring should be factored into the decision making process, along with your discretionary income.

The Two Months’ Income Rule




Like buying a house or car, there are age-old “tricks” in figuring out how much to spend on big purchases. Who hasn’t heard the “three year’s salary” rule for house buying? In the same sense, many jewelers suggest spending about two months’ worth of income on an engagement ring. A hard rule like this is antiquated and misleading. It is too simplistic and general for most consumers because factors like debt, expenses and savings are not considered. And again, this purchase is not about how much you are able to spend. It is about how much you want to spend. Knowing your limit is good, but remember that it is not a limit that has to be reached.

Average Engagement Ring Cost


According to a survey conducted by The Knot click here, the average engagement ring price is just under $6,000. Does this mean that a $3,000 ring or family heirloom is not good enough? Of course not! Does it mean that $10,000 ring of your dreams is too much even if you can afford it? Absolutely not. The most important thing to keep in mind is what will make you and your significant other the happiest and most financially secure.

How Shopping Together Affects How Much You Spend




Consider your significant other and whether or not they would want to be involved in the process of picking out and purchasing an engagement ring. It is not uncommon for both parties in a relationship to be a part of the engagement process. Remember, your spouse’s idea of how much to spend on engagement ring may differ from yours.

Traditionalists will say this ruins the surprise of an engagement, but most modern couples discuss getting engaged long before they tie the knot. Keeping them involved early on could address some of your partner’s concerns with cost and design preference. Only you know what your future spouse would prefer when it comes to being included or surprised, but they will inevitably find out how much you spent.

Maintain Realistic Expectations

The most important thing to remember is that an engagement ring is a symbol of love, and love does not have a price tag. An expensive, extravagant ring may be the most accurate reflection of the couple getting married just like a modest, simple ring may best reflect a different couple. While the excitement of marriage and starting a new life with this person is incredible, it is crucial to stay realistic when determining how much to spend on an engagement ring. Factors like income, debt, personal preferences as well as your spouse’s preferences all have to be considered.