How Much to Pay for an Engagement Ring
“How much do I need to spend on an engagement ring?” often precedes asking your partner to marry you. The question has no straightforward answer because the matter is that of the heart and personal finance. To be fair, you are not the only one baffled about the ballpark figure to go around when shopping for the most exquisite ring that will make its wearer the happiest in the world.
As you research, speak with friends or ask random people on the internet, you will come across lots of opinions, including the exact dollar amount you are allowed to spend. It is hard to find real advice because your circumstances are unique, and you know your spending capacity best.
To help you, here are certain rules that shed light on the matter and, hopefully, lead you to an informed decision.
Rule no. 1: Forget about the “X months’ worth of salary” rule
A company struck gold when its marketing campaign about dedicating two months of one’s salary to an engagement ring stuck with people ever since. This “rule” is a myth and a foregone conclusion if you have student loans and are sorting your life at the moment.
If you look at the historical data from the U.S. Census Bureau, people are marrying late into their 20s, which is often spent adjusting to work, finding a career path, etc. For men, their median age to get married is 29.8 years old, which is slightly older than the median of 26.1 years old back in 1980. Women have a similar trend in which they get hitched at 27.8 years old, older than their counterparts in 1890, who said “I do” at 22.
Rule no. 2: Learn from Jay-Z
Jay-Z is a rapper, a pop-culture icon and a personal finance guru, if you pay attention to his lyrics about money. One quote that is widely attributed to him is “You can’t afford something unless you can buy it twice.”
The mantra does not apply to every expense in life, but it can serve as a gentle reminder for significant purchases, like a ring. You can shell out $3,000 for the ring, but can you buy it again? If you answer yes, then you can afford it. Otherwise, you may have to draw a more realistic budget.
Rule no. 3: Save for the ring
You know that hard facts and numbers can fly out the window when emotions get into the picture. Engagement rings are primary examples of emotional purchases; they are never meant for investments. And the ring’s price often plays secondary to the joy of seeing your partner happy and satisfied.
Against that backdrop, you may as well prepare for the purchase. You can save up for the full price or the down payment and finance the rest. For starters, set up an automatic savings plan in which a portion of your earnings goes straight to your bank account regularly.
Rule no. 4: Ask your partner outright
Another tradition about engagement rings is that they ought to be kept a surprise until the big reveal. It is a great idea with some loopholes, mainly that the intended recipient of the ring may not like it. This uncertainty makes buying an engagement ring a lot more complicated than it is.
The only way to get past it is by asking the person who will eventually wear the ring. Ask them about their preferred diamond shape, style and setting. It is also the opportune time to broach the subject of budget so you are on the same page. You can keep mum about the engagement date.
Rule no. 5: Always compare
Go online first to check how diamond engagement rings are priced. Online jewelers are known to price their products lower than physical or local stores do. You may be able to use the price points online as leverage to negotiate.
Visit the jewelers’ store to look at the rings. Armed with the knowledge of what your partner wants, it won’t be too difficult to find the perfect fit for your partner. It also pays to know about the 4 Cs (i.e., cut, carat, color and clarity) of diamonds before you step into the store. This reduces the likelihood of being talked into buying a ring that exceeds your budget.
Size still matters
Good thing that you are doing what you can in earnest to get your significant other only the best engagement ring within your means. If there is one last bit that you must know, it is that size matters.
Of the four Cs, carat is the closest associated with the size, although it refers to the weight of the diamond. A two-carat diamond ring, for example, is bigger than its one-carat counterpart and is also more expensive. The size, as accentuated with the classic solitaire setting, makes two-carat diamond rings a popular and sparkling choice. You can shop online to find this diamond ring that will make your partner say “Yes.”
This article aims to help you with certain aspects of your decision to find the amount you are most comfortable with for the engagement ring. The ring holds so much significance and effect on your future lives that it merits a hard look at your finances and an eye for beauty and sparkle.