How much should you spend on an engagement ring?

  • #1
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Almost every girl I ask says that you should spend 2 months salary, but most would prefer 3.


Almost every guy I ask says that they would prefer to only spend 1 month to 6 weeks salary MAX.



To me it seems silly for couples to gain so much debt for a piece of jewelry. Wouldn't it be better to buy a smaller ring and use the rest of the money for a down payment on a house or to pay off a high interest loan or credit card debt?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
misgfool
Almost every girl I ask says that you should spend 2 months salary, but most would prefer 3.

To me it seems silly for couples to gain so much debt for a piece of jewelry. Wouldn't it be better to buy a smaller ring and use the rest of the money for a down payment on a house or to pay off a high interest loan or credit card debt?
If money is the important thing, then you should look at how long it takes to get the spent capital creating savings in the deal. Defining it is a bit hard, but lets see.

Lets assume that one successful bar night can cost you about $100 (average counted from all bar nights). If you make $4000 a month, then the overall cost would be $8000 which would be comparable to 80 successful bar nights. Say that you have success in a relationship 3 times a week. Then you would have to spend 26,7 weeks with her to make the deal profitable. But obviously this doesn't take into account the running costs of maintaining her. I don't know, it's hard bargain, really increases the risks of the portfolio and in the end has to be assessed based on the quality of goods.
 
  • #3
cristo
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Almost every girl I ask says that you should spend 2 months salary, but most would prefer 3.
Surely the important thing is what your financé wants, and not what other girls say. I would guess that one should know what one's own finance thinks about such a matter. Of course, it also depends on many other things like, how much do you earn, and whether you will lose out on anything important due to loss of money spent on the ring.
 
  • #4
Astronuc
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Fortunately, I married a woman who is rather practical and not concerned about jewelry.

We used her grandmother's ring for an engagement ring, and the money saved payed for her school loans - or part of down payment on a house.
 
  • #5
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I asked my gf if she would rather have a really expensive (symbolic, but egotistical I think) engagement ring or a small ring (symbolic) and a deposit on a new car... she chose small ring and deposit on a small car. I think that's a much more practical use than strapping 3 months of my salary on her finger :smile:

And besides that, if you're going to get maaried you both have to have a good idea about what the other thinks of finances. Buying a house together these days is probably more demanding of loyality in a relationship than marriage. If you both like to have fancy stuff, then start saving buddy. If you both understand money and are really in love, then I hate to say it, but a ring you made out of tinfoil should suffice. On a reasonable note, I would personally consider 2-3 months salary in the whole deal (ring/ring + downpayment on a house/car/schooling/children's college fund etc)
 
  • #6
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Shinnys object distracted her and she ran into a Buick.

Daimonds are forever. Write to de Beers, and ask them how much.

Then, there are women. What will her friends and family think? You are being rated.

(Where is the behavior and psychology folder in the PF forum? I would be pleased to hang out with the poor soules that would haunt such a folder.)
 
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  • #7
Fra
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Almost every girl I ask says that you should spend 2 months salary, but most would prefer 3.
I'm not sure where you are from or what the salary is but I think you need to meet som girls that at least have a justifiable perspective on reality.

It's not only a waste of money, but if that a girl expects her ring to cost 3 months salary to get engaged the whole things seems quite tasteless. You might as well buy yourself a new girlfriend instead and even make a saving.

/Fredrik
 
  • #8
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The way you present the ring is far more important than the price of it. Here's a helpful suggestion on spicing up the presentation:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30011573/" [Broken]

My wife chose her ring for herself and then I bought it. The stone was a ruby and it cost far below what I had budgeted. That was 20 years ago. In all those years she said many times that she wanted a diamond too, but we didn't get one until quite recently. It seems to me that prices had fallen quite a bit and that I got a bigger stone than I would have expected for the price, but I don't follow the market so I don't know. Even so, in the few short months (long months?) since then it seems that prices have continued to go down.
 
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  • #9
George Jones
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This depends on the couple involved.

Don't do anything too extravagant, and don't do anything that will cause hurt feelings. The meaning of "extravagant" and the cause of hurt feelings vary from couple to couple to couple.

This really is between you and your fiance and no one else.
 
  • #10
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Shinnys object distracted her and she ran into a Buick.

Daimonds are forever. Write to de Beers, and ask them how much.

Then, there are women. What will her friends and family think? You are being rated.

(Where is the behavior and psychology folder in the PF forum? I would be pleased to hang out with the poor soules that would haunt such a folder.)
Ha, technically diamonds spontaneously decompose into graphite, so diamonds really aren't forever :biggrin:


I have been looking at used jewelry or rings at pawn/antique shops. You can find rings that have a huge rock in them for a fraction of the cost.
 
  • #11
Monique
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I never knew that engagement rings would be expressed in monthly salaries.. I think it is more important to know the design and kind of stone (if applicable) you and your fiancee want, you then go out and look what's available in your prize range. I received a platinum friendship ring with three diamonds. Normally it would have been too expensive, but by negotiating we got a 40% discount on the prize.
 
  • #12
Evo
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The rule of thumb used to be 1 month's salary.

I personally think buying an expensive engagement ring is ridiculous. I used a small diamond that was in my mother's original engagement ring and had it set in a plain brushed gold band, I paid for the rings myself, cost me about $100.

It's really a personal matter, but it is foolish, IMO, to spend so much when you are young and just getting started. If she wants something big and flashy, get her a cubic zirconia. If she takes it to a jewelry store and has it tested, I would run away.
 
  • #13
BobG
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Then, there are women. What will her friends and family think? You are being rated.

Hate to say it, but this is what engagement rings are all about. The engagement ring is to show her family and her friends that she's very successful. Probably more relevant in the days in which a woman's worth was defined solely by the quality of husband she was able to obtain.

If you get engaged to a woman emotionally involved in her own career, you might get away with a cheaper ring. Don't count on it, though, since the amount of money you spend is still a sign of how commitment and how much sacrifice you're willing to make.

Marry a woman with no job or a job that's just killing time until she gets married, you better fork out the money.
 
  • #14
I think that expensive engagement rings are ridiculous. I also think that expensive extravagent weddings are ridiculous.

Personally, if I ever find a woman to marry, I want to make the ring myself (preferably not out of tin foil) and elope.
 
  • #15
Fra
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since the amount of money you spend is still a sign of how commitment and how much sacrifice you're willing to make.
Or it's a sign of your good judgment on how to best make use of money, just to show her parents that this is a guy that really has got his priorities right. Something I would appreciate if I was a dad to a daughter.

But then I'm swedish.

/Fredrik
 
  • #16
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I was making really good money at the time I got married, so my wife's ring was only about 1 week's salary. In addition, I proposed drunk on the kitchen floor. It was very romantic.
 
  • #17
Evo
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I was making really good money at the time I got married, so my wife's ring was only about 1 week's salary. In addition, I proposed drunk on the kitchen floor. It was very romantic.
Ahahaha. Well, they say that the "real you" comes out when you're drunk.
 
  • #18
Ivan Seeking
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Or it's a sign of your good judgment on how to best make use of money, just to show her parents that this is a guy that really has got his priorities right. Something I would appreciate if I was a dad to a daughter.

But then I'm swedish.

/Fredrik
Let's see, should I make life at home tolerable, or try to impress the father-in-law?

I have never slept with my father-in-law. :confused:
 
  • #19
Ivan Seeking
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and don't do anything that will cause hurt feelings.
That's the point that rings true for me. This is not something to get wrong.

The other thing is to plan ahead. Once you are standing in front of the jewelry case, there is no way that a budget-wise choice will seem appealing.

One big area to save money is the quality of the diamond. A relatively large diamond of moderate quality will cost no more than a small diamond of very high quality. And no one can tell the difference but a jeweler. If you go to a large dealer you will have many more choices wrt quality - no malls!
 
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  • #20
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Or it's a sign of your good judgment on how to best make use of money, just to show her parents that this is a guy that really has got his priorities right. Something I would appreciate if I was a dad to a daughter.

But then I'm swedish.

/Fredrik
It could also be a sign of poor judgment.
 
  • #21
BobG
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Or it's a sign of your good judgment on how to best make use of money, just to show her parents that this is a guy that really has got his priorities right. Something I would appreciate if I was a dad to a daughter.

But then I'm swedish.

/Fredrik
If the guy spends 3 months salary on his bride to be and later gets hit by a bus, at least the widow can sell the ring and has 3 months to find a new husband before she has to resort to sponging off of her parents. I think I would appreciate that as a dad that's already converted my daughter's old bedroom into my own personal home theater and video game room.

Besides, the guy's guaranteed to not have a lick of sense, anyway. If he didn't invest his money in something that would retain its value, he would have just blown it on cheap beer.
 
  • #22
Borek
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Engagement ring is a sexism and chauvinism combined in one object. Depending on the point of view it is either a signal (send to other men) marking woman as already owned by someone, or a signal (send to other women) "I have already found an idiot ready to buy me this and other trinkets".

Both versions are politically incorrect, thus engagement rings should be abolished.
 
  • #24
Ivan Seeking
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The idea that a man should spend about two months' wages for an engagement ring originated from De Beers marketing materials in the early 20th century, in an effort to increase the sale of diamonds
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engagement_ring
 
  • #25
Monique
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Apparently that marketing was effective.

Obviously what you make in a month does not correlate with the amount of money that you've got to spend. Some people have a huge mortgage on their house, or go on expensive vacations, or simple have a debt to pay off.

In the Netherlands we have very simple rings (usually just a band), nothing like the huge contraptions that you see on (a selection of) women in the US.
 

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