How much should you spend on an engagement ring?

Shirley Liu 15 January 2016

How much should you spend on an engagement ring-450

Tradition dictates that the groom needs to spend around one to three month's salary on a ring. But who says you have to follow tradition?

Engagement rings come in all shapes and sizes. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the price of an engagement ring - some people spend lavish amounts on rings. Brad Pitt reportedly spent $500,000 on his ring for Angelina Jolie. Some people say $5,000 is a good amount to spend while others take out loans as large as $40,000.

So there is a lot of variation and depends on a few factors. There are a few points to take into consideration when purchasing an engagement ring. These points will help you decide how much to spend on your bride-to-be.

Rules of engagement

  • Feel free to break tradition

As mentioned above, breaking the tradition is always liberating, and in this case, it could save you some serious money. Priorities have shifted in this day and age. According to Kit Yarrow, a professor of psychology, women don’t want men to spend too much money on an engagement ring and would prefer to save the money for a loan on a house.

Traditional gold and silver bands with diamonds are no longer the style nowadays. Many have gone with stainless steel as an inexpensive alternative. Stainless steel looks identical to silver but it rarely gets damaged and essentially lasts a lifetime. Rings with a combination of metals are also becoming a popular thing with a blend of gold and silver. This combination is more versatile and will complement other accessories.

  • Your lifestyle matters

If you have an active lifestyle, a huge diamond is probably not the most practical jewellery to wear. Large solitaire diamonds are very expensive, so instead of buying one big diamond, buy a collection of smaller diamonds. This way, you still get an impressive array of sparkle but for a much cheaper price. Some of you might not want to wear your ring all the time so purchasing a single large diamond might be the choice for you. If you decide you would rather place your ring on display than wear it, this will help narrow the decision about what type of ring and stone you would like to buy.

  • Know the four C’s

The four C’s are: carat, clarity, colour and cut. The stone is typically the most expensive when it comes to the ring. Some people spend hundreds and others thousands just on the diamond alone. Get to know the four C’s and determine the best stone for your fiancee.

Carat is the term given to the mass of the stone. Two carats equal the same weight as a paper clip. Clarity illustrates the specifics that are observed through magnification. Perfect diamonds are the most valuable and expensive. Some diamonds have shades of colour. These shades are graded from D-Z. The term that defines the number, placement and shape of your ring is called the cut. The diamond's sparkle can be attributed to light refraction off the facet. The significance of each “C” is dependant on personal preference. If you like a diamond to sparkle, you should focus on the cut. If size matters, you will need to sacrifice money on the cut, clarity and colour and focus on the carat.

  • Timing is not everything

There is no time limit when you’re shopping for the perfect ring. This is going to be one of your most important purchases you make in your life. Now you probably won’t find the perfect ring in just one afternoon of shopping. You will likely have to visit numerous jewellers to find the right one. Don’t be afraid to ask the staff for help with choosing the ring. Try negotiating with the seller since diamonds are commodities, you can almost always negotiate the price.

How can you save some money on engagement rings?

The most important thing is that you stay within your parameters and keep yourself out of debt. Your emergency relief fund should not be spent on a diamond ring. If you are struggling to pull some money together to buy a ring, try opening a savings account and regularly deposit into it a few months before you buy the ring.

You can turn $1,000 into $5,000 in just a few short years. If you need to save for the ring or want to build up your savings after purchasing the ring, a bonus savings account could help you out.

By adding small amounts into the savings account every month, as long as you meet the other conditions, you could reach your goal in a few years.

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