How Much Should I Spend on an Engagement Ring? (2024)

It’s a big decision. Get it wrong, and you risk insulting your fiancee. Overdo it by enough, and you risk the health of your finances. Finding the right balance is a difficult matter, but what do the experts think? How much should you be spending on that all-important engagement ring?

According to tradition, the amount you choose to spend on an engagement ring should approximate the amount of your monthly salary times two. By this measure, anyone who earns $2,000 a month should be looking at models in the $4,000 range. For someone earning $10,000 a month, a $20,000 ring would be about right. Is this metric valid? Many modern analysts think not. Here are some reasons why.

Your Fiancee’s Feelings Matter

While your wife-to-be might tell you something different for the record, a killer engagement ring is probably something about which she has dreamed for most of her life. Once you’ve made it official, it’s something she expects to be wearing daily for decades and decades to come, and as much as she may deny it even to herself, it’s something she’ll be flaunting to her friends for quite some time.

While she knows you love her, a tiny ring with a nearly invisible diamond is sure to be a disappointment. If she needs a magnifying glass to get the stone’s full impact, she may even start to wonder if your feelings run as deeply as you claim. The truth is that all women want engagement rings of which they can be proud. While she doesn’t want the ring to send you to the poorhouse, she doesn’t want her friends feeling sorry for her either.

Your Financial Status Matters Too

Despite the feelings of your fiancee, the engagement ring you purchase should not be one that puts you into debt for years to come. In the United States, you can figure that a diamond engagement ring could cost you about $5,500 per carat. For that reason, you will need to consider:

  • The size of your current paycheck.
  • Your daily and monthly expenses.
  • Any car or student loans with far-in-the-future payoff dates.
  • The health of your savings account.

Are there any things on which you could skimp? You may not really need that expensive latte every morning, and a daily brown-bagging habit could offer some benefits to your health. Of course, this is also an appropriate time to consider your current and future job prospects. If you’re young, it’s likely that you have not yet reached your full earning potential. There could be a promotion in the offing.

Once you have given these financial matters your careful consideration, you’ll be in a better position to choose the size and price of ring that works for you. If you will be forced to borrow, you must also consider the impact of taking on additional debt. It’s best to burden yourself with no more than you can pay off in under a year. Of course, if you can purchase the ring of her dreams on an all-cash basis, you’re in the best position of all.

Additional Considerations

Before heading down to the nearest jewelry store, take the time to discuss the upcoming purchase with your fiancee. An open conversation will ensure that the two of you are on the same page. Your future together may include the purchase of a new home or other large item for which you will need to stash away money for a down payment. It is entirely possible that neither one of you will want to quash your chances of saving for a major future investment by buying a ring that you can’t afford.

As the two of you go over your options, you may be surprised to learn that your fiancee has no interest in wearing an expensive diamond and would be just as happy with a well-cut moissanite, zircon or cubic zirconia. The truth is that if she loves and respects you, she might not want you putting yourself head over heels in debt to buy her a ring that you really can’t afford.

On the other hand, you must be certain never to treat your fiancee with less consideration than you show yourself. It is a sure way to engender resentment, so if you are in the habit of spending heavily on your personal hobbies, collections and playthings, you will never get away with buying your fiancee’s engagement ring on the cheap.

How D&R House of Diamonds Can Save You Money

Whatever size and style of engagement ring you have in mind, D&R House of Diamonds is sure to have it at a price that meets your needs. Let our exclusive business model of low overhead and excellent wholesale connections help you purchase the perfect engagement ring at the perfect price. Remember, we’re D&R. Affordable luxury is our specialty.

How Much Should I Spend on an Engagement Ring? (2024)


How much should a man spend on an engagement ring? ›

Most people believe you should spend at least two months' salary on your engagement ring. If, for example, you are making $60,000 per year, you should spend $10,000 on the engagement ring.

What is a realistic budget for an engagement ring? ›

While engagement rings are a pricy investment, the usual cost tends to be below $10,000, with a national average of $6,000, according to The Knot's 2022 Jewelry and Engagement Study.

What is the 3 months salary for an engagement ring? ›

It's known as the "three months' salary" rule, and it implies that a buyer should put three months of their salary toward a sparkler for their future spouse. For context, The Knot's 2023 Jewelry and Engagement study found that the average cost of an engagement ring in the US is $5,500.

Is $20000 too much for an engagement ring? ›

The answer to whether $20,000 is a lot for an engagement ring depends on your personal financial situation, preferences, and what you believe the ring represents. It's a significant amount of money for many people, but it's essential to find a balance that aligns with your values and budget.

What is the golden rule for engagement ring prices? ›

The 3-Month Salary Rule:

This is one of the most popular engagement ring cost rules, stipulating that one must shell out the equivalent of 3 months' gross or net salary for purchasing an engagement ring.

How do most people pay for an engagement ring? ›

It's best to stick with no-interest or low interest options when possible, which can include zero-interest credit cards, “buy now, pay later” payment plans or in-store financing. Personal loans for engagement rings are another popular option, but interest rates may be high depending on your credit score.

Should you ask how much engagement ring cost? ›

You may ask where they bought it if you are interested in similar rings, but it's rude to ask someone what something cost.

Am I spending too much on an engagement ring? ›

For example, if you bought a $5,000 engagement ring and lost it, would it force you to change your every day spending habits? If so, then $5,000 is too much. If $3,000 is an amount you could cope with (you'd still be upset) and not change your spending habits, then that should be the maximum budget you set.

What is the rule of thumb for engagement rings? ›

One rule suggests spending two months' salary/gross income on the engagement ring cost alone; however, this is really a personal decision and each couple should decide what's right for them.

How much should I spend on an engagement ring if I make 100000 a year? ›

Three months' salary looks very different for different people. Think about it. If you make $100,000 a year, you're supposed to spend $25,000 on an engagement ring. If you make $200,000, the ring clocks in at $50,0000.

What is the 2 month rule for engagement rings? ›

You may have heard of the "two-month rule," which suggests you should spend two months' worth of your income on an engagement ring. While this may be what you have heard, the reality is that there is no set rule on how much money you should spend on an engagement ring!

How much should I spend on an engagement ring if I make 50000 a year? ›

To put that number into perspective, the three-month rule means that someone making $50,000 per year ought to spend $12,500 on the engagement ring. If a budget of three months' income seems like too big of a stretch for your lifestyle, you've got plenty of company.

How many carats can 20k get you? ›

A diamond appropriate for 75% of a $20k engagement budget could range from 1 to 2.50 carats, or even higher, depending on the shape, and how it's graded in other areas. It may even be able to get you a diamond 3 carat or larger stone if you opt for a lab-grown diamond instead.

Is $10 000 enough for an engagement ring? ›

Perhaps one that offers a bit more than just a diamond? If so, then $10,000 is an excellent budget to work with. You may have heard by now that $10,000 engagement rings are becoming more and more popular. The average of spending $5,000 on your engagement ring may soon be a thing of the past.

How many carats is a $10000 engagement ring? ›

For $10,000, you can expect to find a high-quality diamond that is between 1 and 1.5 carats, depending on the other 'Cs'.

What is the rule for a man buying an engagement ring? ›

Traditionally, the man buys the woman's engagement ring without her present. However, it is becoming increasingly common for couples to purchase an engagement ring together or for a woman to choose her own ring. Buying an engagement ring for a man is no different. Ultimately, the decision is up to the couple.

Is $3000 a lot for an engagement ring? ›

Is $3,000 Enough for An Engagement Ring? Yes, $3,000 is definitely enough for an engagement ring. You can get a beautiful, high-quality diamond and a setting with this budget.

Is $2,500 a lot for an engagement ring? ›

It's true an engagement ring budget of $2500 is more modest than the median amount spent on diamond rings. While the national average cost of an engagement ring may be higher, everyone's situation is different and it is important to stay within your financial comfort zone.

What is an acceptable amount to pay for an engagement ring? ›

We have all heard of the saying 'an engagement ring should cost 3 months' salary' and although this is a great way to set a goal for saving there is no set rule for this.

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