Whether you have £400 or £40,000 to spend, sussing out how much to allocate can be a stressful process. It’s great that your girlfriend likes to pore over the best celebrity engagement rings for inspiration, but dropping Range Rover cash on an engagement ring just isn’t a reality for most of us.
The love affair between women and the priciest arrangement of carbon atoms is one of them though. Diamonds are expensive. So what should you spend? Fear not guys, we’re here to help.
We’ve compiled as many different engagement ring spend conventions as we could, so both you and your friends will thank us when it’s time to bite the gold, platinum or silver bullet...!
Keep scrolling for our SIX guides and see what other guys are spending.
Guide #1 Three month's salary.
According to an expert-fuelled report on Brides.com, the purchaser should spend about three full months’ salary on the ring.
Rendering to this convention, a guy on the UK average salary of £28,000 should spend £7000.
This is a great marketers rule of thumb, but not always practical if you are, “trying to get on the property ladder” (we know London prices!) or concerned about job security - you’d be right to scale back a bit.
Guide #2 One month's salary.
You may have heard the widespread rule of thumb that you should spend around a months’ salary on the ring, you have diamond manufacturers De Beers to thank for this eighty-year-old marketing gem. Bowing to this, a guy on the City of London average salary of £48,000 should spend £4000 and a guy on the UK average salary would spend £2300.
Guide #3 Split the difference.
If three months feels like a stretch but one month feels stingy, there are some contemporary ways of thinking that suggest you compromise and spend two months’ salary on the ring. This is a great option if you’re looking to spend a small fortune without wrecking your finances!
Guide #4 Find out what she expects.
What you spend is down to you, but bringing up the ring discussion could certainly help set both of your expectations. You may find that a bigger diamond doesn't interest her – or maybe she’s envisaged a big rock. It’s helpful for you to know and for her to understand your own financial standing – you’re no Bernie Ecclestone here.
This might bring the conversation around different styles for maximum impact without such huge investment. Which brings us to our next point.
Guide #5 Save-money-get-size ring styles.
There are some pretty savvy things you can do to make sure you get the most bang for your engagement ring buck. One of which is to add Tiffany-famous halo designs into the mix (small diamonds around a diamond). For hundred’s you can stick to your one, two, or three-month budget while adding 2-carat sizes of ‘look’ to her forever ring.
Solitare styles (one stand-alone diamond in a ring) will always increase what you need to spend with a girlfriend that wants bling.
Guide #6 Forget the rules.
In our minds, the amount spent on an engagement ring should be 100% up to the individual buying it. Forget the rules - don’t overstretch yourself!
Buying a ring in one's late thirties’ vs. a guy in his late twenty’s is ten years more saving power! Put that in perspective, saving just £200 a year (£3.40 a week) for ten years would equate to £2000 extra ring spend.
Nevertheless, most of all, women consider the sentiment of your forever commitment and thought-put-in is so much more significant than the amount you spend. Trust us.
So what ARE guys spending?
What are your friends are dropping on their engagement rings? We’ve seen guys spend anywhere from £1000 to £80,000+.
While most mid-twenty millennials popping the qu haven’t had time to save, a few are dropping big bucks. Bonus pay, inheritance or parents help are a just a few of the reasons. Guys in the banking sector tend to spend more - £8000 and up regularly. Out of London clients tend to have less to spend with an average of £2000-£3000 on a bespoke rock.
But, all in all, the amount you decide to spend on her engagement ring is entirely up to you. “A lot of women wouldn’t want their fiancé to spend that much money on a ring,” Kit Yarrow, a former jewellery dealer turned professor of psychology at Golden Gate University, told AskMen.com. As engagement ring specialists, we know this to be true. So don’t overstretch yourselves guys. It’s the sentiment that’s key!