How much do you spend on an engagement ring? You can decide the answer by balancing two factors: what your fiancée wants, and what your realistic budget is. Work out the answer by using these 10 steps below.
1. First, bust any price myths that don’t apply to you
Some people say you should spend two months salary on an engagement ring. Others say your ring’s price should be in accordance with the national average spend. However, spending two months salary is not a realistic option for everyone, and national newspapers have reported the national spend on diamond rings to range anywhere from £568 to £4,000. With so many different opinions, who knows what the norm is? It’s best to decide on your own budget.
2. Use the real rule: her dream ring VS your budget
To decide how much to spend on a ring, you should balance these two factors: (1) your partner’s dream ring and (2) your financial reality. You should both feel happy with the ring, knowing that it represents the very best that you can buy for her.
3. Understand WHY she expects a ring
Some people argue that an engagement ring isn’t necessary because love is all that matters. However, whether you consider it necessary or not, your fiancée may think a ring is important. Here’s why:
- Symbolism: An engagement ring is a physical representation of mutual love and commitment
- Peers: She wants a ring she feels proud showing to her friends
- Family and tradition: Her mother and grandmother may have had beautiful engagement rings from her father and grandfather, so she wants you to measure up
4. Compare the ring price to the price of your iPhone or other gadgets
Compare the price of an engagement ring with your gadgets to put things into perspective. How much does your car, iPhone or other tech cost? What is their lifespan? How do their prices compare to an engagement ring that needs to last a lifetime of wear and tear?
5. Find out EXACTLY what she wants
If you’re good with fashion and design, look at the existing jewellery she wears and buy a ring that matches that style. If you’re not good at picking out styles, ask for help. Her best friends or sisters are the best people to advise you because they’re her peers and know what she likes. You can also read our engagement ring shopping advice article.
6. Review your financial situation
Consider your current financial situation and your future before buying the ring. There are no right or wrong answers:
1. What is your income?
2. Do you have any savings?
3. What are your expenses?
4. Do you have any debts?
5. What are your priorities? Children, mortgage…
7. Do you need finance?
8. If financing, how much can you pay each month? And by when?
If you answer these questions honestly, you’re ready to decide on a budget.
7. Decide on the payment method
Read these 3 examples and decide which one represents you:
EXAMPLE 1: You have £2,000 in savings and you’re able to save around £250 per month
You have options: (1) Use all your savings on the ring. So you save for 6 months and then pay outright for a £1,500 – £2,000 ring. (2) You put £1,000 from your savings as a down-payment on a ring and pay for the rest with finance. If you pay it off quickly, you might get an 0% interest deal, which is ideal.
EXAMPLE 2: You have £500 in savings and you’re able to save around £50 or less per month.
You could (1) save for 6 months and pay for a £500-1,000 ring outright, or put it partially on finance as explained above. (2) If you don’t have a deposit saved up, you could put the ring on a low-interest credit card. (3) Borrow money from a family member.
EXAMPLE 3: You’d love to get her an amazing ring… but you just don’t have the money
Ultimately, your financial situation will dictate what you can spend. You might be paying off student loans, expecting a baby or just cannot afford an expensive ring right now. What you should do is buy as good a ring as possible on your budget. If you’d love to get her a more expensive ring, get an upgrade ring later for your 5th or 10th-anniversary.
8. Use these professional tips to get the best deal
Our jeweller, who knows the diamond business inside out, recommends these pro tips for getting the best deal for your money:
- Shop during sales, Black Friday & January are the best.
- Know what you want before you enter a shop so you can negotiate.
- Shop online as web stores have low overheads and offer better prices.
- Go for an alternative gem like sapphire or aquamarine instead of a diamond, so you’ll get a bigger stone for your money.
- Understand how the diamond sale process works to be at a knowledge-advantage and get the best buy.
- Make the diamond ring look bigger with a clever setting if you’re on a small budget but she wants a big ring.
9. Study these examples of engagement rings & prices to understand what you can get for your money
Here are 4 popular ring styles with starting prices:
Solitaire Rings – From £535
Sidestone rings – From £515
Illusion set rings – From £315
10. Finally, go ring shopping!
What you spend on an engagement ring is entirely up to you, and it’s nobody else’s business. You’ll want to make sure she is happy with the ring because it’s the most important piece of jewellery that she will ever wear. However, you don’t want to over-stretch your finances and struggle during your first year of marriage. In a nutshell, you should both feel truly happy with the ring, knowing it represents the very best that you can buy for her.
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