How Much Should One Spend on an Engagement Ring?

ring shopping on a budget, for LDS grooms
Photo Courtesy of Whitney Lewis Photography

An engagement ring may be small, but it’s an incredibly important purchase. No girl really feels engaged until she has one securely around her finger, and what’s a proposal without a ring? If you haven’t already been ring shopping (or even if you have,) you might need some guidance on how much you should spend on an engagement ring.

LDS General Authorities say that we should avoid going into debt

Engagement rings and their diamonds come in a variety of styles, shapes, colors, sizes, and configurations. So it’s not surprising that there’s a great diversity in price. Depending on the ring, an engagement ring (setting plus stone) could cost less than $1,900, while others could set you back $5,000 or beyond.

Photo Courtesy of Jarvie

According to tradition, spending about two month’s worth of gross salary on a diamond ring is reasonable. Most people can probably quote the old “two month’s salary” adage by heart, but few actually know that it originated in 1940 from DeBeers, a diamond distributor. So while the “two month rule” may be a nice guideline, take it with a grain of salt. The ultimate determinant in how much you spend on an engagement ring should be your personal finances, not the agenda of the jeweler selling you the ring.

LDS General Authorities say that we should avoid going into debt except for in situations with no other alternative. These might include a house, schooling, or a car – but not an engagement ring. So save up before buying, rather than getting in on a monthly installment plan and paying interest for the next year. And if spending two month’s salary is going to put you in debt, opt for a more affordable ring.

Photo Courtesy of SugarHouse Pictures

There’s nothing to be ashamed of it you can only afford a modest engagement ring for the woman of your dreams right now. If a big diamond with lots of “wow” factor is out of your budget, then get a ring with several small diamonds instead of one large center stone. Or consider getting a ring with a small stone and plan on upgrading for your anniversary.

It’s hard to stay within your budget when buying an engagement ring for the woman who means everything to you, but be wise about how much you spend on an engagement ring. Two month’s salary is conventional wisdom, but a ring in any price range will be special to your girlfriend if it comes from you.

♥ Jenny Evans
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