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RULE #5: Spend as little as you can get away with on the ring

Dec. 9, 2013
Personal Finance
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December is the most popular time to get engaged, with 18% of engagements happening during this holiday month. There’s something magical about the season and the opportunity to share this special event with loved ones. Part of the engagement ritual is that all-important ring. How much should you spend for that special someone in your life?

NerdWallet surveyed 100 financial advisors, and they came back with a mix of practical answers:

  • 48% recommended buying the smallest ring your beloved will accept!
  • 50% said one or two months’ salary
  • A mere 2% pushed into the three months’ salary category


1. Don’t let emotion cloud your judgment:

“Beware getting taken in by diamond salesmen…Diamonds don’t make the marriage better, you do!” – James Hiles, ChFC (Shrewsbury, NJ)

2. Seize the opportunity to talk about money and your relationship:

“It’s a great time to start communicating about money. If your relationship doesn’t survive this conversation, you might want to rethink marriage!” – Gary Alt, CFP ® (Pleasanton, CA)

3. You can always upgrade later:

“Buy a ring that is affordable for your situation now.  You can always upgrade in the future when you have become a successful professional.      If your fiance is forcing you to take on significant debt for a ring BEFORE you are married to buy a huge ring, you may need to consider what type of debt she will be willing to take on AFTER you have said your “I do’s”.  Make sure you have the “money” talk before marriage – including how you were raised with money and how that impacts your money habits now.” – Brian Matter, CFP® (San Diego, CA)


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