Most people considering proposing marriage know that the accepted price guide for an engagement ring is equivalent to two months' salary. But should you follow this guideline? Or should you come up with a more personalized dollar amount? Here are a few answers.
Is the Two-Month Rule Good For You?
Any traditional rule of thumb is made by parties not privy to your particular situation. That can make them unreliable guides for many individuals, especially today.
For instance, the two-month rule doesn't take into consideration that many young people proposing today have very different financial obligations than generations past. If you have large student loan debt or are just embarking on a career, taking on additional expenses may not be the right move. It may not even be practical depending on your career plans or personal hobbies.
In addition, feelings toward debt and consumerism have changed over the years. While many people still value a beautiful engagement ring, they may value even more that the diamond was ethically-sourced, that the ring represents who they are as a person, or that it 'bucks trends'. These other concerns and interests often override the traditional elements of a ring proposal.
How to Come Up With Your Own Budget
So, if you should find your own 'magic number', how can you do that? More and more couples are opting to discuss money and finances before getting engaged. This helps couples getting engaged. You might have a specific conversation where both parties lay out their finances so they know what they're working with. Or it could be more general conversations to talk about your priorities, financial goals, and wedding expectations.
Some couples go ring shopping together before the big proposal. You don't have to pick out an exact ring if you don't want to, though. You might look together at metals and gemstone choices, pick out some ring settings you like, and look at styles (such as Art Deco or Modern). The final selection would be up to the one popping the question. This visit allows you to set your own goals as a couple.
Where You Can Start
One good place to start is by talking with an experienced engagement ring jeweler in your area. These professionals have worked with clients in all financial situations and with all sorts of personal goals. They can show you the many choices available and help you maximize your ring choice without overreaching your budget.
If you're looking for engagement rings, reach out to a local jeweler.