Figuring out how much money to spend on an engagement ring is not easy – the practice of buying an engagement ring is quite a minefield, and there are a lot of potential pitfalls – spend too much, and it can seem like an attempt to pressure a yes. Spend too little, and you can cause offence and look cheap. Using an engagement ring calculator is a good way to avoid some of the pitfalls of making a bad purchase.
Using Salary As a Benchmark
As a rule of thumb, you should spend two months of your salary on an engagement ring. This is a rather old-fashioned way of working out how much to spend, though – and while it can work for some people who are affluent and who have minimal outgoings, it’s not ideal for everyone. An engagement ring calculator can offer a more focused answer to the age-old question, and help you to plan a better purchase.
The old 2 month salary rule was started by De Beers – the person who owned a huge number of diamond mines – he popularised the idea that diamonds are a desirable status symbol, and many people still follow that rule. The problem with it is that the rule by itself doesn’t include debts, expenses, or the lifestyle that the couple leads. A couple that lives together, vacations often and already has a home together will probably want a smaller ring and to put the money saved on the purchase of the ring to things that they can both enjoy.
There are engagement ring calculators that are better at taking those extra expenses into account – and you can use them to figure out what you are looking at buying. One option is to look at the ‘average spend’, and to spend that amount, assuming that you can afford it. You can get a great ring for $5,000 – $7,000, so if you feel like that’s a fair amount then it’s a good option. For those on lower incomes, and for those who are highly affluent, though, it’s not ideal to spend that much money.
Spreading Your Money Out & Planning For The Future
There are engagement rings available for $1,000, and there are rings for $20,000 – no one ring is better than any other – and a couple that has a low income and a lot of debt would be better served paying down that debt instead of buying a ring that they will find stressful to wear (what if it gets lost, stolen or damaged?). It makes far more sense to start the marriage on a positive footing by paying down as much of your debt as you can – or to put the money towards the wedding or the honeymoon; events that you will remember far more than the possessions.
General Guidelines When Purchasing
An engagement ring calculator is just another set of guidelines – and while they do try to take into account things like debt, lifestyle, the importance of the ring to you and your partner, and your income, they can’t cover everything. You’ll be much better off if you simply talk to your partner about your collective priorities, and try to reach an agreement that works for both of you and that meshes with your lifestyle. A rock is just a rock – a ring is a static piece of jewelry, and as much as it’s nice to have something flashy, everyone has their own priorities and you would not be wrong to decide that yours lie somewhere else. Why not work together to figure out what will make you both happy.