Graduated Learning: Life after College

I got my degree, I got a job…now what?

How much would you spend on an engagement ring? April 5, 2011

Filed under: Personal Finance — Stephanie @ 11:01 pm
Tags: ,

The whole discussion about engagement rings started last night, when I saw this post on Savvy Sugar (now known as PopSugar Smart Living)  about the average cost of an engagement ring for 2010.  Their number?  $5,392.  This comes from a big list of average wedding expenses compiled by and  I feel like that list could fuel a few more posts on its own!  We could touch on the individual costs mentioned, or even how they compiled and analyzed the data.  Either way, I was blown away.  You know I’m not keen on the idea of spending a lot on a wedding.  To be honest, I have no good concept of how much engagement rings cost.  But that number seemed really high.

So, I shared that article on Google Reader, which also means it showed up in my Google Buzz.   And then so many friends started commenting.  Some friends thought the number looked about right, some too high, some too low.  We’d heard the rule of thumb being 1 month’s salary, 3 months’ salary, or Michael Scott’s confused 3 years in “The Office”.

There was a discussion about not wanting “blood diamonds”, and one friend suggested conflict-free diamonds that he bought for his fiancée through Brilliant Earth.

The discussion was among single, coupled/dating, engaged, and married people.  We didn’t come to one solid conclusion on what you should spend.  Rather, we seemed to agree that it is up to the individual on what to spend.  Some would rather spend the money on a honeymoon or a house.  A nice ring is important to some people.

It really was quite the discussion.  I think that’s the longest discussion I’ve seen among my friends on Buzz.  Definitely the longest non-politics discussion!

So, how much would you spend (or did you spend)?  Do you think an expensive ring is an important part of the wedding and/or the marriage?  Would you skip the diamond all together and opt for a nontraditional engagement ring?


10 Responses to “How much would you spend on an engagement ring?”

  1. E.C. Says:

    My fiance spent $450 on a pretty emerald ring for me. I was fine with the idea of skipping a ring altogether, but he wanted the “tradition” (silly and relatively modern though I may find it). I was more than a bit ambivalent about him spending so much even though I absolutely love my ring, and I offered to pay for it myself as I’d been working full-time for a couple of years and he’s still a broke student, but he wouldn’t hear of it.

    I spent $550 on the first engagement ring I gave him, which he lost within a week. His current engagement ring is a plain silver band and cost $13.10, including tax. He’s kept up with it for over two weeks so far. 🙂


  2. Keira Says:

    I actually bought my ring myself years ago. It’s just what I want and since it’s long gone and paid for, it really doesn’t matter what it cost (nothing ridiculous promise… probably between $300 and $500, gotta find that recipe!). You’re not alone thinking weddings are too expensive. I’d rather take that kind of money and do 2 things with it… HONEYMOON and down payment for HOUSE. My idea of a perfect wedding? Courthouse. Reception? At the parents house or skip it and go for the honeymoon sooner.


  3. Keira Says:

    I mean receipt*** not recipe.


  4. Erica Says:

    I don’t think an expensive ring is needed. personally I would be happy with a family ring. My grandmother has a beautiful ring that my mother knows I want, so I hope whenever that guy comes around to ask my parents if he can marry me they tell him about the ring, or I get the chance to tell him sooner. Should he decide he want’s to get me a ring, I hope he does not spend more then $1,000. Beautiful rings don’t need to cost a lot.


  5. SP Says:

    I think my husband spent between 3k and 5k. That’s a fairly big range, but it was towards the lower end. I have very mixed feelings on what one *should* spend, and whether rings are necessary at all… but i do quite like it. 🙂


  6. […] Graduated Learning asks how much would you spend on an engagement ring? […]


  7. Slinky Says:

    My engagement ring cost $1500. Mine is untraditional with an on-point princess cut sapphire and a more intricate, “vintage” style setting. Most of the cost was actually the setting since the sapphire is smaller (since I have tiny fingers anyway) and man made as well. I love it and get tons of compliments on it. 🙂


  8. I told my BF that I didn’t want a ring at all, I get kind of uncomfortable when people make a big deal about personal things, so the idea of people (especially acquaintances) making a fuss on a ring weirds me out. But he’s pretty traditional and wants to get one, so I agreed that I’m okay with that, since it means so much to him. I’ve been thinking lately that a non traditional ring might be a good idea, because then it’s special to us and not exactly the same as other rings.


  9. Jon Says:

    I don’t think it matters how much you spend on an engagement ring. If she’s going to say yes then it doesn’t matter on the ring! My girlfriend and I have a very open dialogue about finances, and together we have planned a budget for if I ever decide to buy her a ring. I think that’s the healthiest, and safest way to do it – then there’s no risk of her being upset/disappointed if I spend too much/too little!


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