You’ve decided the time is right and you’d like to ask for your partner’s hand in marriage. If you’re a traditionalist, you’ll have asked their father for approval and will now be thinking about planning the proposal and choosing a beautiful engagement ring.
So, when it comes to the ring, a big question that often gets asked by shoppers in the UK and around the world is “how much should I spend on an engagement ring?”
If you are also contemplating that question, read on for your answer. There is, of course, no set amount but there are certain indicators that can help you decide on your budget before you start shopping.
One month’s salary
In the 1930s, a popular De Beers advert suggested that men should spend one month’s salary on their partner’s engagement ring and this became the norm for a long time.
However, by the 1980s, the amount suggested by De Beers advertising had doubled to two months’ salary, and nowadays many people talk about three months instead (see below).
That being said, if you are willing to pay for a ring worth three months of your salary but you see the perfect ring for your partner for one and a half months’ worth, you should go for it.
While this blog post is about budgets, the most important aspect in all of this is that you choose an engagement ring that your partner loves — whether it’s a £5000 ring or a £500 ring.
Three months’ salary
Three months’ salary has long been the suggested spend amount for your beloved’s ring.
So, if you take home £1,200 per month, you’d be spending £3,600 on the ring according to this rule. Likewise, if you take home £1,900 per month, you’d spend £5,700.
However, you don’t need to be exact — this is just a general guide. The real amount will depend upon your monthly outgoings, your savings, and so on.
For example, if your monthly outgoings are high, then this rule would mean you’ll have to save for a while for the ring or buy on finance. We are proud to offer 0% finance on our engagement rings, meaning you can buy the ring when you want to and pay only the cost of the ring off over several years of manageable payments.
On the other hand, if you enjoy a good amount of disposable income, then you could quickly save up three months’ salary — or you may already have it in the bank.
It can be tricky to know the national average for ring spend but it’s a question you can ask your jeweller when you go in to view engagement rings — most will have a general idea from all the customers they have helped recently.
While average sounds reliable, you’re probably best off considering the salary rule as it is personal to you and your circumstances, rather than what others are spending.
Consult your partner
While you may not want to ruin a surprise proposal by discussing ring expectations with your partner, it can help you reach a quick answer to the ring budget question.
While some people will want a bling ring featuring one or several large diamonds, you’ll find that most people would rather you saved your money and spent a little less.
Having said that, if there’s ever a time to treat your partner, then this is it — they’ll be wearing this ring for the rest of their lives, after all!
Summary: How much you should spend on an engagement ring
Overall, there are only two important factors to consider in this scenario; your financial situation and your partner’s expectations. Nothing else matters beyond these two things, so make sure the budget you choose fits well with both.
Give thought to the money you earn, your monthly outgoings and your savings. In the meantime, talk to your partner’s friends to get some insider information on the type of ring you should be buying. You can also talk to your partner too if you are unsure. Then see what is available in your agreed price range and take it from there.
If you need to find out your partner’s ring size, there’s a blog post about that here, and you’ll find our magazine, Luxe, to be full of top engagement-related tips. If you’d like some proposal ideas, for example, you’ll be spoilt for choice!