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How much should I spend on an engagement ring?

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How much I should spend on an engagement ring

How much I should spend on an engagement ring

A common question for young men is, “How much should I spend on an engagement ring?” There are several answers to this question, and the answer itself has changed over time.

Engagement rings became popular when the act of seducing a young woman before marriage and without marrying her was no longer a crime. A broken promise to marry a woman was no longer actionable in court by the 1930s. How then could women require an investment by men to show that he was serious about marriage and protect herself if she were seduced before the wedding? The engagement ring as a type of dower grew in popularity. This of course meant the more expensive the ring, the better.

This is why the engagement ring is expected to be expensive. Initially, the rule was one month of his pay. The rule became that an engagement ring should be worth three months worth of his paycheck came from Debeer’s diamonds, purportedly to sell more expensive engagement rings. After all, three months pay means selling three times as expensive diamond rings as before.

Women didn’t complain. After all, the greater the value of the engagement ring, the less likely he was to break the engagement. Legally, if he breaks off the engagement, she gets to keep the ring, whether to sell or alter as she sees fit is her decision.

Putting a higher price tag on engagement rings put a high price on breaking up. It also forced men to truly consider the engagement rather than pop the question on impulse. The price of the engagement ring can’t be blamed on the falling marriage rate since the 1990s, though the price of weddings (which approaches or exceeds the price of a new car) may be partially to blame. So is the fact that marriage is seen as a capstone instead of milestone in life, where people delay marriage until life is perfect instead of getting married and getting on with life. Another contributor is the decoupling of marriage and childbearing, with many women getting “engaged” to a fiance for years before getting married.

So what is the answer to “How much should I spend on an engagement ring?”
If you can afford it, go ahead and spend three months of pay on the engagement ring. How do you know if you can afford it? Never go into debt to buy the engagement ring, and never drain your emergency fund to purchase it. If you can’t do three months, spend one month’s pay on the engagement ring.

What if she demands a more expensive ring? Then she may be too shallow and materialistic to marry, at which point the engagement has been broken off by her via the rejection of the ring and you’ve saved money and time relative to getting divorced later in life.

What if you already have kids together and can’t afford an expensive engagement ring? Buy a simple diamond engagement ring and wedding ring set, also called a bridal set. These are available for a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. If you have a family, it is silly to wait to save up for a fancy wedding – get married to ensure your rights to your kids and inheritance rights with each other. Don’t spend money on an engagement ring that you need to pay the bills.

What if you are young and won’t get married for another few years, such as after you’ve finished college? Buy a cheaper “promise ring” as a placeholder for a fancier engagement ring, or give her a promise ring in place of an engagement ring.

Weddings don’t have to be big, fancy affairs. The classic wedding ring is a simple gold band for each spouse, a few hundred dollars to a thousand dollars per ring. The engagement ring is a nice to have status symbol, but don’t let the price of an engagement ring delay the marriage if you want to get married or cause you to start your life in a financially precarious position trying to spend as much as a fancy jewelry brand made “standard” nearly a century ago.

If you’d like to give her a lovely engagement ring and can’t afford what you think she deserves, ask family members – particularly divorced ones – if they have a family ring you could give her. Failing that, hit the pawn shop with a friend who knows how to distinguish between real diamonds and fake ones.

How much should I spend on an engagement ring?  Photos

How much I should spend on an engagement ring

How much I should spend on an engagement ring

How much I should spend on an engagement ring

How much I should spend on an engagement ring

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