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How Much Is Reasonable to Spend on Your Engagement Ring in 2020?

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If you’re thinking about popping the question, you’ve probably perused a few rings online or in a jewelry store. You might be shocked to see that some rings cost tens of thousands of dollars while others are under $1,000.

Is it worth spending the extra thousands? What should you really be spending? Use this guide to help you decide.

The Average

When determining the right budget for your ring, it might be helpful to look at what those around you are spending. To answer that question, the online retailer EstateDiamondJewelry.com performed a survey asking tens of thousands of couples what they spent on their engagement rings and how they went about purchasing them.

According to the results, the average budget for an engagement ring in the United States was $7,400 in 2018. Almost a quarter of couples said they planned to allocate a large budget to the purchase of their ring and 54 percent said they had a medium budget. Only 21 percent said they would put a small amount toward their engagement ring.

“Of course, this data only represents a relative figure that can only be understood based on each couple’s personal budget,” the study report states. “This statistic, however, belays the importance that couples in 2018 are placing on their engagement rings.”

The research also showed that more than 71 percent of couples had existing debt when they went to purchase their engagement rings. This information also shows that people are putting strong emphasis on their wedding rings as a financial priority.

For many, a luxurious engagement ring is a symbol of a long-term commitment. Therefore, they feel they can’t put a price on getting the perfect ring. If you feel that way, you might feel like a large budget for your engagement ring is well worth the cost.

The Consequences of Overspending

Of course, there will be consequences for spending too much on your engagement ring.

According to one study from Emory University, those consequences could mean divorce. Their research connected highly priced rings to higher divorce rates, indicating that a man who spent more money on his fiancée’s ring was more likely to end the marriage later on, largely because it contributes to financial stress, one of the most common factors in divorce.

The study ultimately concluded that an expensive wedding ring should not be considered a long-term commitment. “Our findings provide little evidence to support the validity of the

wedding industry’s general message that connects expensive weddings with positive marital

outcomes,” study authors wrote.

There can be financial consequences when overspending on a ring, even if it doesn’t lead to divorce. With the average consumer debt in America reaching $8,398 (not including cars, student loans, or mortgages), payment for a high-priced ring could be very difficult to manage.

Saving for the Wedding Ring of Your Dreams

While going into debt for a high-priced ring could have major financial repercussions, those who pay for an amazing ring out of pocket may find that it’s a worthwhile investment. Most of the reasons not to invest in a high-priced ring have to do with the financial risks, but an all-cash purchase would eliminate that stress and could be a worthwhile representation of your love, commitment, and hard work.

According to EBates research, 60 percent of men only spend six months researching a ring before popping the question. That’s not a lot of time to save up, but you could set aside a few thousand in that time depending on your income.

When you’ve built up a healthy savings account, search for rings in your price point—don’t even look at the more expensive options. You might only have $3,000 to spend on a ring, but it’s better than starting your marriage thousands of dollars in debt and setting yourself up for conflict with your spouse later.

Remember that you don’t have to get the most expensive diamond ring to make your fiancé happy. Most women can’t tell how much a ring costs just by looking at it, and there are options for staying on trend and saving money. Vintage rings are super trendy right now, and many vintage-style rings gorgeously sport more affordable jewels like emeralds, rubies, or sapphires.

“Shopping for your ring at a vintage store, looking for one online rather than in-person and getting a ring with a series of smaller stones surrounding the center stone (also known as a halo ring) are a few additional ways to save when buying a ring,” suggests a HuffPost article.

Ultimately, deciding how much to spend on a ring is up to you, but if you want to set your marriage up for success, don’t go too far in the hole for the ring. There are ways to buy the perfect ring for your fiancé without spending a fortune.

Image source: Pexels.


November Challenge – An Attitude Adjustment

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The challenge this month is not directly finance related, but I truly believe it can have a significant impact on our financial lives. How we view money. How we spend money. How we value what we can purchase with money.

Your challenge this Thanksgiving month is to truly turn it into a Thankful Month…start each day with an #AttitudeofGratitude!

  1. Each morning, before you roll out of bed, think of 3 things you are grateful for. Truly, anything!
  2. Throughout the day, say thank you for even the smallest act of service or kindness offered to you. And offer that thank you for sincerity and a smile.
  3. Before you turn off the lights for the night, think about 3 things that you were grateful for during the day.

(If you are really into it, write the 3 things you are grateful down in a journal. Even share this challenge with your family.)

Some optional pieces to this challenge:

  1. Post an image of something you are grateful for on Instagram. Use the hashtag #BADgratitude so other members of the BAD community can find you.
  2. Share the gratitude…we always read about people paying for others in the fast food line, buying someone coffee or even helping with yard work. Make a plan to give back somehow, some way every single week. And definitely come tell the BAD community about it.
  3. Any other suggestions?

The expected results…

My thought is that when we starting expressing thankfulness for even the most mundane things, we begin to value our lives more, the things in our lives more, the people in our lives more. I think this will lead to better spending habits when we know what we value.

It may not be immediate or conscientious change, but I believe it is a powerful one and a permanent one.


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