Now that we’re in the midst of proposal season, it’s time we had a little chat. We’ve all heard the three-month rule — that an engagement ring should cost three-month’s salary — but as it turns out, that’s not exactly true. So how much should you really spend? Josh Levkoff has the answer.
Everyone’s financial situation is different, and a strategic plan based on your specific situation is what matters most, not some silly rule. What phase of life you are in will dictate how much to spend, what’s feasible and what’s appropriate. Are you in school? Are you in debt? Are you established and financially secure? Are you financially independent? Are you getting help from your parents? Don’t make a financially reckless decision based on a rule — make a decision based on your situation.
We tell our clients this is as an emotional of a purchase as you will ever make so rules won’t apply and follow what your feel. Over spend if you want to, under spend if you want to — do what feels right. If you can afford to go bigger, but she’s not flashy, then DON’T. Stay true to yourself and your future fiancé.
We tell our clients to spend whatever “makes you comfortable and doesn’t alter your lifestyle.” You shouldn’t spend 3 months or even 6 months salary on your dream ring if it’s going to ultimately burden your everyday lifestyle. Would you buy your dream car but then not have enough money for gas to drive it? No. The same rule applies here. When clients get discouraged on what they should be spending, we strategically help them to maximize the budget they do have to get the most value.
Where you purchase the ring will affect the cost and value. If you buy from a big box retailer, you could be overpaying. But if you go to a boutique jeweler like Josh Levkoff Private Jeweler, your dollar goes further, so you don’t have to spend as much to get the same.
A nice ring doesn’t have to be expensive; a ring could be affordable, but very rich in meaning. For example, consider resetting an heirloom stone or recreate her grandmother’s ring — get creative and go the sentimental route.
We’re starting to see couples design and purchase the ring together. Since you’re no longer relying on one partner’s income, you may be able to a nicer ring.
If you can’t afford to buy the dream ring when you find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, don’t let that alter destiny and your plans. Propose with a ring you can afford now, and remember you can always upgrade later. It gives her something to look forward to, and you can even turn that ring into another piece of jewelry later on in life.