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5 ways to decide how much to spend on an engagement ring

how much to spend on an engagement ring

Proposing to your one and only may well be one of the biggest moments of your whole life! And the nerves of hoping they will actually say yes will quickly be followed by hoping you made the right choice when it comes to the all-important ring! Deciding how much to spend is always going to be a personal decision, you may find yourself carefully balancing traditions with your financial priorities. But to help get you started, we've put together our 5 top tips for getting it right.  

1. Salary and engagement rings

The commonly heard rule of thumb is that an engagement ring should cost one-three months salary. But does this really stack up nowadays? Say you earn £1500 a month and you're ready to pop the question. If you follow the rule of three months salary, you'd be talking about £4500! That'll be quite the rock! 

Above all else, the ring is a sign of commitment to your partner - so consider their thoughts on the matter. Would they hanker for a luxurious ring? Or are they more down-to-earth and would want something less flashy? Maybe they would rather have that £4.5k towards the wedding itself! If you can answer these questions then you'll find it easier to move forward with setting a budget. 

2. Be realistic

Take a step back from 'the rules' and think about your current financial situation. Are you struggling with monthly expsenses or are things at all tight? If so, it might be wise to forget about the supposed rules and think in terms of what you can realistically afford. 

Budget for the engagement ring like you would any large expense. Maybe you can save over time. If you and your partner struggle with finances, showing the commitment you've made to saving will be a wonderful gesture. Some jewellers may allow you to pay in instalments, which may help you save up. Getting into debt to buy an engagement ring wouldn't be the best start to your engagement or future marriage, so I would avoid going down this road.  

3. Hang on to the receipt

While you may think you know exactly what your partner is looking for in their engagement ring - you wouldn't be the first person who got it a bit wrong! And hey, they'll (hopefully) be wearing it every day for the rest of their life - so they mat as well love it! Be aware of the return policy on your ring and hang onto the receipt - just in case. And you may want to save any personalisation such as engravings for later too. Even ring sizing adjustments may make a difference, so make sure you know all this in advance.

4. Don’t forget the actual wedding

So you popped the question and the answer was 'yes'! Congratulations! Remember to consider this bit in your engagement ring planning, as the next step is where the real expenses lie: the wedding! You and your partner will decide what kind of wedding you want together, but it doesn't do any harm to consider this if you're tempted to overstretch yourself for the ring. 

4. Does it have to be diamonds?

Have you thought about what kind of ring you'd actually like to get? Or more importantly, the kind of ring your potential fiance actually wants? Diamonds are the obvious choice and feel traditional. But did you know that this tradition is not an old one and is actually a fairly recent phenomenom that has been brilliantly marketed over the years? 

Diamond alternatives are growing in popularity, and if you're ready to go in this direction, there're plenty of choices. Coloured gemstones such as emeralds and rubies, or even white sapphires - which have a similar beauty to diamonds without the price tag are all good choices. But again, it would be sensible to find out the expectations of your significant other if you're not sure. Picking out a ring together can be a lovely experience, but make sure you're clear on budgets beforehand! 

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Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk. Representative example: APR 1270% if borrowing £400 for 4 months. Interest rate: 292% p.a. (fixed). Total amount repayable: £665.48 by four instalments of £166.37. Maximum representative APR: 1604% if full loan repaid after 7 days.