Now that you have decided to take your commitment to the next level, there is that critical issue about engagement rings. The ring plays a crucial role in the proposal, and if you choose the right one, it adds more meaning to the proposal. A brilliant bespoke diamond engagement ring, for instance, will sweep your spouse off the floor and this special moment will have indelible memories.

At this point, you have to consider another important factor; how much to spend on an engagement ring. If you have plans to go down on your knees, there is so much to think about when it comes to buying the ideal and cheap engagement rings for the occasion, and the cost should be one of the priorities. There are a lot of myths, misconceptions, theories and ideas on exactly how much couples should spend on these rings.

Well, this article delves into different factors which can help you set the right budget for an engagement ring in 2018. Keep reading.

What Americans Are Spending on Engagement Rings

While every couple’s spending power is different, the Knot’s 2017 Real Weddings Study says the average engagement ring cost for Americans is $6,351. The average cost has risen from $6,163 in 2016 with an analysis of the results indicating this is an all-time high. The double-digit increase in the cost of these rings over the course of five years shows couples in the country now go to extra lengths to mark this special occasion. If you have plans to move your relationship to the next level, such findings on cost are important, but they should not be the basis of your spending.

Debunking the One Month’s Salary Myth

As you continue your research, you will come across a popular rule developed back in the 1950s. The One month’s salary rule states that you should spend an equivalent of an entire month’s salary on an engagement ring. There is one big problem with this idea. It borrows from a marketing slogan by DeBeers, the largest diamond company in the world. Over the years, the rule has changed to advise couples to spend two and three month’s salary on these rings.

There are glaring weaknesses in this rule starting with the fact that it is supposed to mislead Americans to spend more on jewelry which benefits the sellers. Secondly, it is illogical to use an idea coined over half a century back when buying a ring for your partner in 2018.

More importantly, it is not advisable to allow someone else dictate your spending. When you come across the one/two/three month’s salary rule on an engagement ring, remember it is a marketing gimmick to entice you to spend more.

Engagement Ring Calculators Don’t Save Money

In your shopping journey for unique diamond rings for an engagement, you will most likely come across an engagement ring calculator. They are everywhere, and the idea behind the technology is to help couples make a purchase based on their income. In essence, you will be giving a machine control of your spending and expect to make savings. While these online calculators might help you understand your spending power, they cannot decide your spending. It is not possible to provide all the information required to determine a budget for the ring. There are more factors which you can’t express in numbers and for this reason, don’t blindly spend what this calculator advises.

How to Determine Your Spending For an Engagement Ring

The last thing you want is to start your married life in debt and for this reason; you need a plan when shopping for an engagement ring. Some of the things to consider in your plan include:

  1. Your current financial situation: Take a frank assessment of your finances and if possible talk to your financial advisor. Your current income, debts and expected income are some of the crucial factors you need to consider when assessing your finances.
  2. Create a budget: Never start shopping for any item without a budget in mind. Consider the engagement ring price you can comfortably pay without straining your finances.
  3. Don’t go into debt for a ring: Most households today have a debt burden that started with student loans, credit card debt among other borrowings. You should avoid borrowing to buy an engagement ring because this is not an investment. Worse still, your partner will not like it, and for these reasons, you better start saving for that dream ring today.
  4. Focus on the meaningfulness of the ring, not the cost: A well-thought-out ring which has symbolic meaning and one which reflects your relationship is more valuable than the largest diamond ring you can ever buy.

How to Save on the Cost of an Engagement Ring

Truth be told, the average engagement ring price keeps going up, and it will create a dent in your finances. But there are clever ways of saving money and still buying a beautiful ring. Take a look:

  1. Buy online: You can save up to 40-50% by buying your engagement ring online.
  2. Use a reputable jeweler: Seek referrals and recommendations to find a reliable online jeweler with an extensive range of rings for you. You will get good value for money by buying a piece with GIA’s or American Gem Society (AGS) rating.
  3. Understand the complex aspects of jewelry: Research on the 4C’s to understand which qualities you can sacrifice to cut costs while still retaining a high-quality ring.

Determining how much to spend on engagement rings is tricky, but you should always remember that the meaning of the ring is more important than the price tag. Also, don’t allow marketing ploys to guide your spending, don’t go into debt over an engagement ring and listen keenly to your partner’s expectations before spending any amount on a ring.