Prepare yourselves for a tirade. Most of us have heard that the man should spend 3 months salary on an engagement ring–thank you DeBeers for that huge pile of hogwash. I totally disagree. In the current economy, how many men of marrying age do you know with 3 months salary saved up for a rainy day fund let alone an engagement ring? So then how to determine how much to spend on an engagement ring? I think a gentleman should spend what he can reasonably afford to match the expectations of his girlfriend. Reason should trump expectations. In more concrete terms, a man should spend up to the equivalent of 40% of his savings. That does not mean actually spend your rainy day fund mind you, it simply means a reasonable amount to pay for an engagement ring can be up to 40% of the amount of your savings. In some cases this will be less than 3 months salary and in some cases it will be more but it’s a more rational way of thinking about it.
Jean & Alex, emerald-cut engagement ring set in platinum. Available by special order.
If a guy doesn’t have any savings, expecting him to spend 3 months salary on an engagement ring is preposterous and bad financial planning. Remember that the two of you are getting married so his financial woes become yours. Your priority should be building a healthy habits and a strong future for the two of you. OK, enough doom and gloom. The fact is, proper fiscal planning now means a brighter happily ever after. So maybe you compromise on the flash now–who’s to say you can’t upgrade your ring in the future when doing so is more appropriate to your circumstances? My father always told me that jewelry should be appropriate to your age, experience and circumstances. If you haven’t earned it in experience or age it winds up looking terribly gauche.
So take heart in the fact that your boyfriend loves you and you’re building a wonderful future together. He loves you enough to marry you, trust that he also will do everything in his power to make you happy. If that means getting your dream engagement ring, he will do his best using all the means available to him at present. You should also have him read my post about priorities when selecting and engagement ring to ensure you get the biggest and best diamond for his budget. Here’s to happily ever after.
Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,