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How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?

Key Takeaways

  • The average cost of an engagement ring in 2017 was $6,531.
  • Don’t pay attention to rules trying to connect your salary to the proper cost of a ring.
  • Overspending on a ring could delay the date of your wedding.

Ready to pop The Question? Then you’re probably in the market for an engagement ring. This jeweled band is meant to symbolize your love for that special someone as you two share the next steps in your journey together.

But somewhere along the way, the rules for how much to spend on an engagement ring got a tad twisted and dated. So if you’re ready to start shopping for a ring, here’s some helpful information to put you on the right path.

What is the average cost of an engagement ring?

In 2017, the average cost was $6,351, according to The Knot. That’s up 25% from 2011.

Meanwhile, it takes an average of 3.5 months to find the right ring, and another 4.4 months to plan the proposal. Conclusion? It’s OK to take your time with this!

What about the “three-months rule?” Is that a thing?

You may have heard people say that the “rule of thumb” is to spend three months’ gross salary on an engagement ring.

That’s not necessarily true.

Think about it — three months’ salary is a quarter of your yearly income. There’s no reason for someone making a $50,000 salary to pay $12,500 on an engagement ring. That’s more than twice the average cost listed above.

The same goes for any one-month or two-month rules. All of these “month” rules date back to the 1930s as part of an advertising campaign started by (you guessed it) a large diamond company.

What to remember

Forget about the months and focus on a price range that fits your budget. Today, there are more hands pulling at your paycheck — thank you, student debt — than back in your parents’ day or even when your grandparents were getting hitched. So while prior generations might have their thoughts and opinions on the subject, modern engagement is a whole new ballgame.

Besides, spending too much on a ring could delay your other goals — don’t forget, there’s a wedding to pay for. Just ask yourself: Is the price of this engagement ring really worth delaying the wedding for a year or more in order to recoup the extra expense?

Plus, there’s nothing wrong with buying a modest ring now and upgrading it at a later date for an anniversary or other special occasion. This could be the best move if you’re on a particularly tight budget.

More information

Asking your loved one to marry you is one of the most memorable moments of your life. Opening a separate savings account for an engagement ring can give you clear sight into how much you have saved and how much more you need to put away before getting down on a knee. To open a savings account, click here, call 1-877-360-2472, or visit your nearest Citizens Bank branch.

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