How Much Should You Spend On An Engagement Ring?

Determining the right budget for an engagement ring can be daunting. This blog offers guidance and insights on how to choose a meaningful ring that aligns with your financial situation, ensuring your proposal is a reflection of your love and commitment, without breaking the bank.

Engagement Rings

Alright, ring shoppers, grab your wallets, and put on your thinking caps! 

We’re diving into the costs of engagement rings. 

It’s an exciting time, but let's face it: figuring out how much to spend on that sparkly circle can be as nerve-wracking as the proposal itself. 

But fret not, my financially frazzled friends! 

In this ultimate guide, we're breaking down the dos and don'ts of engagement ring budgets so you can pop the question without popping your bank account. 

Let’s bling it on!

Historical Perspectives on Ring Spending

Once upon a time, people said you should drop a whopping three months’ salary on a ring. 

Yikes, right? 

This unwritten rule dates back to marketing campaigns that aimed to make us cough up as much as possible. 

Ah, the good ol' days of unabashed consumerism. We thank Don Draper, or his real-life equivalent, for that!

Evolution of Spending Habits Over the Years

Fast forward to today, and we've evolved. Modern lovebirds are opting for savvy spending over outrageous opulence. 

A recent survey shows the average spend on engagement rings in the U.S. is around $5,500. 

A far cry from the triple-salary doctrine of yore, but still not a shy amount of cash!

Modern-Day Spending Trends

Speaking of trends, many are opting for more than just a diamond. 

Sapphires, emeralds, you name it! 

The rise of eclectic stones shows we're all about personality, not just price tags. 

Millennials, particularly, are embracing this, with two in five choosing non-traditionalstones.

Think Moissanite or lab-grown diamonds - both offer the same elegance as natural diamonds without a considerable price tag.

The Engagement Ring Budget Theories

The "Two Months' Salary" Rule and Its Origin

Ah, the infamous "two months’ salary" rule - a less intense version of its older sibling, the three-month salary rule, but still a whopper. 

Historically, this comes from another marketing scheme that was just a tad more lenient. 

Or so they thought.

Welcome to the 21st century, where everything is far pricier than the original days of marketing back in the 50s.

The "One Month's Salary" Rule and Its Historical Context

Going even softer is the "one month's salary" rule. 

A bit more digestible, right?

This rule comes from the thought that an engagement ring should be a significant but not debilitating expense. 

After all, you've still got a wedding to plan!

The "Average Cost" Approach Based on National Averages

The average-cost approach is like the voice of reason in a chaotic crowd. 

No arbitrary rules, just good ol' data. If the average spend in the U.S. is $5,500, aligning your budget with this ballpark figure can be a rational choice.

Besides, who wants to be average?

Your engagement, budget, and choice - the sentiment truly matters!

The "Average Diamond Size" Approach

Size matters, but bigger isn't always better.

The average diamond size forengagement rings is around 1.2-1.5 carats. So, if you’re more about the rock and less about the shock, this approach is your buddy.

And remember a 1.5 carat lab-grown diamond of the same quality as a natural diamond will eat into less of your budget.

It's worth checking out because both are still naturaldiamonds.

No one will know the difference unless you’re waving the receipt around!

Factors To Consider When Setting A Budget

Personal Financial Standing and Avoiding Debt

Let’s be honest. 

Are you going into debt over a ring? 

Not romantic. 

Financial worries are one of the most significant strains on a relationship, and you don’t want to start your marriage off on the wrong foot.

Your financial standing is paramount. If you can only afford so much, stick to it. The sentiment counts, not the zeros on the price tag.

The Significance of the Ring to Both Partners

Remember, the ring isn't just for show. 

It's a symbol of your love and commitment. 

If both you and your partner adore bling, maybe shelling out a little more makes sense. 

But it must be a joint decision.

Don’t be swayed by the opinions of others; they mean nothing so long as the two of you are committed to creating a lifetime of happiness together.

The Couple's Combined Financial Situation and Future Plans

Planning to buy a house? 

Have kids? 

Those are hefty expenses, too. 

The ring is just the start of your financial journey together, so make sure you're setting yourselves up for a sparkling future, not just a sparkling finger.

Also, if you have a job or life where you use your hands A LOT, you should avoid a gigantic diamond destined to get scratched or damaged.

Remember, a beautiful diamond requires regular care and is expensive if you want to routinely get it cleaned professionally!

Ways To Save On Engagement Rings

Opting for Lower-Carat Diamonds or Alternative Stones

You can still have a jaw-dropping ring without a jaw-dropping price. 

Opting for asmaller carat diamond or an alternative stone can save you big bucks.

Lab-grown diamonds,moissanite, rubies, and sapphires all are brilliant alternatives.

Focus on the ring's details or ask your family, perhaps theirs, about an heirloom they’ve been waiting to pass down or would love to repurpose!

The Rise of Custom Designs and Their Cost Implications

Custom designs offer a unique, personal touch and sometimes even save you money. 

If your partner’s more into individuality than traditional glam, a custom ring could be a win-win!

Again, it mainly comes down to the size and quality of the gemstone you wish to use - you can check out our blog on the 4 Cs of diamonds to learn everything there is to know!

Opting for Cheaper Metals

Gold is excellent, but what about platinum or even tungsten? 

Different metals can drastically affect the ring’s cost, so explore your options.

They’re as strong as your marriage, requiring far less maintenance over the years!

Beyond the Diamonds

Rubies,sapphires, and emeralds, oh my! 

There's a whole world of beautiful stones out there that can make an engagement ring unique. 

If diamonds aren't your thing, these alternatives offer an array of colors and costs that can make your ring truly one-of-a-kind.

Engage in the Details

Navigating the sparkling sea of engagement ring options can be tricky. 

But remember, it’s not about how much you spend, but the love the ring represents. 

From the traditionalists sticking to the three-month salary rule to the modern mavericks choosing custom designs, there's a budget for every love story. 

Now that you’re armed with this dazzling knowledge go forth and find that perfect ring.

Still need a helping hand?

Drop by our showroom or speak with our engagement experts online - we’ll find you the dream ring for your happily ever after!

Be a part of this dazzling revolution!

Peter Manka Jr

Peter Manka Jr. - Owner at Ben Garelick

Peter Manka Jr. is a passionate member of the family business who joined Ben Garelick in the early 2000s after working in product licensing for Sesame Workshop & The Jim Henson Company for many years. He obtained a degree in diamonds and jewelry from the prestigious Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in order to sharpen his jewelry skills. He takes great pride in providing exceptional customer service and helping clients find the perfect piece of jewelry.

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