How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?

We are slowly approaching Engagement Season. One of the big questions you might ask yourself if you are planning a heart felt proposal is how much should you spend on an engagement ring. What should your budget be? And what are you basing this number on?


The old rule of thumb was that you were suppose to spend three months salary on an engagement ring. Does that rule still apply? Most believe that rule of thumb is a little antiquated. Who came up with the idea anyway?


Those days are long gone. While we are in a time of Instagram where many people live to show off their big fabulous lives Millennials are actually more likely to prefer experiences over materials such as a costly engagement ring leaving us to question what are the new rules to purchasing an engagement ring.


You can honestly come up with your own budget. Any number that you deem appropriate, but for those of you who need some kind of socially acceptable guideline let's discuss how you might decide on a budget for an engagement ring.


Three months salary might be a bit much for the average consumer but where you live may have an effect the average size and cost of a diamond ring. New York City and Chicago boast the biggest average diamonds, at 1.45 and 1.29 carats, respectively. A one carat engagement ring typically costs around $5,500, but most couples spend over $6,000—and 7 percent spend over $10,000.  


There’s no one-size-fits-all formula. How much you spend on an engagement ring is a very personal decision. Experts say you should consider your current and predicted income, expenses, and savings, then establish a budget and stick to it. Don’t go into debt just to keep up with the Instagram models and influencers. Consider input from your partner. Your future partner will surely be understanding of your budget. Some significant others may be willing to put in on the cost of the ring to get the one they really want.


Millennials are now discussing proposals, engagements, and picking out the ring together so there may be a little less guess work when picking the perfect ring and  staying on budget. Another thing to consider when creating a budget is to keep in mind how important a ring is to your significant other. Would your partner prefer an elaborate proposal in place of a large lavish ring? Make sure you are making the purchase based on what your partner actually wants and not based on your desire to show off to other how much money you spent of a ring.That little bit could save you a lot of money.



To help you get the most for your money when buying an engagement ring, experts suggest:

  • Consider buying a loose diamond online or with a wholesaler and have a local jeweler set it.
  • Buy a fractionally undersized diamond (.95 carat rather than 1.0, for example)—you may save up 20 percent.
  • Focus more on a high-quality cut—it can hide flaws in color, clarity, and carat.
  • Be open to alternative shapes and settings, which can make a splash without adding cost.
  • Focus on how a ring looks to the naked eye in sunlight.
  • Consider buying diamonds with Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or American Gem Society Laboratories (AGSL) grading to ensure you get what you paid for.

Although planning for this huge life event can be a little overwhelming try to enjoy the process. Remember its supposed to bring joy not misery. Gather all the facts and get the ring that not only looks beautiful but is also fits into your budget.