Do You Really Need To Follow The “3 Month Salary” Rule When Buying an Engagement Ring?

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By Luciana Oliveira

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for determining how much you should spend on an engagement ring.

Every relationship is different, depending on your comfort level, wishes, and personal budget. 

However, the one-size-fits-all advice for purchasing engagement rings is to avoid excessive debt.

When purchasing an engagement ring, spend what you are comfortable with.

Engagement rings do not always have to include diamonds or be extremely costly; it is OK to deviate from the convention on occasion.

When it comes to how many months’ pay to spend on an engagement ring, you may have heard of the “3 Month Salary Rule.”

So, do you need to follow the 3-month salary rule when buying an engagement ring?

What is the 3 Month Salary Rule?

This rule states that you should spend about three months of your gross salary on an engagement ring.

Generally, this concept began as a “one-month pay rule” by diamond marketers around World War II to increase sales.

Since then, the one-month pay rule has evolved into a two-month salary and, finally, a three-month compensation rule.

And while this is a good place to start, it should not be your only consideration because it does not consider your net pay, inflation, or debt load.

Rather than succumbing to this outdated custom, choose an engagement ring budget that corresponds to your degree of comfort.

Considerations When Purchasing an Engagement Ring

How you buy your engagement ring should evolve away from the old-fashioned three-month wage norm, in which the primary purpose is to generate sales.

Weddings and engagements are important events in your life; therefore, everything about them should reflect your personal preferences.

So, before choosing the right engagement ring, consider the following points.

Your Financial Situation

A decent engagement ring does not necessarily have to be the greatest, brightest, or largest.

So don’t worry about underspending if it’s something that your lover and your financial account will appreciate.

Before you enter a jewelry store, make a budget in mind. Your budget will influence what type of stone you buy, how big it is, and how sophisticated the band is. 

Consider your present financial obligations, such as rent or mortgage payments, auto payments, and school debts.

Make sure you can afford the ring budget without jeopardizing your other financial obligations.

You should also consider if you have plans that need a large portion of budget allocation, such as purchasing a new house or saving up for your children’s education.

This will significantly help you set a limit on how much you are willing to pay for an engagement ring.

Partner’s Preferences

The beauty of an engagement ring is in what it represents: your love for your spouse and your dedication to them no matter what life throws at you.

While that emotion will see you through the ups and downs of married life, the last thing you want to do is buy a ring your partner is uncomfortable wearing. 

A ring chosen particularly for your spouse that expresses their style, ethics, and beliefs is far more precious than the price tag.

So, disregard the flawed ‘three-month income’ norm and consider the passion behind that piece of jewelry. 

Affordable Alternatives

Another strategy to save money before your proposal is to look for a less expensive alternative to the typical diamond ring.

Instead of this expensive stone, you might choose a gem with the same appeal and uniqueness.

The following gemstones can be substituted for the diamond:

  1. Ruby
  2. Emerald
  3. Sapphire
  4. Opal
  5. Moonstone

You can also use lab-grown diamonds. They frequently have fewer impurities than mined diamonds and are substantially less expensive.

You may cut up to 80% off the cost of a mined diamond when you use a lab-grown.

They’re ethically sourced, carbon-based, and just as beautiful as their mined counterparts.

Feel free to customize the jewelry by selecting a diamond in the color of your partner’s favorite.

In fact, deviating from the typical white diamond might result in a 75 percent cost savings.

Additionally, you may consult a private jeweler who can provide money-saving advice based on your desires.

They can develop imaginative solutions to get you what you want within your budget because of their decades of knowledge in jewelry.

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Luciana joined our team as a mum blogger in 2020. A dedicated mum to a lively daughter and a dog, Luna, Luciana brings authenticity and passion to every post. Her expertise in parenting and lifestyle topics offers practical, relatable advice for real-life situations.

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