How Much Money Should You Spend On A Wedding Ring?

Why the 3 month's salary rule is a myth some old guys in De Beers' marketing team made up

A diamond ring surrounded by love hearts

How much are wedding rings?

In the US, the average wedding ring costs $1000. This varies from state to state, with the price ranging up to $3000.

The amount of money you should spend on a wedding ring is traditionally related to how much you spend on an engagement ring. It’s generally about ⅕ of the cost of an engagement ring. Which averages at $5k in the US.

All in, that’s 8000 bucks. In this economy?

Spoiler alert: you don’t actually have to follow this formula.

Look, we love love as much as the next money app. But your wedding as a whole, let alone your wedding ring, should not have to break the bank. And you definitely don’t want to start your married life in the shadow of massive debt.

A lot of the rules around how much a wedding should cost are totally outdated.

The myth of the 3 month’s salary rule

Heard of the rule that an engagement ring should cost 3 month’s salary?

This was literally invented by some old dead guys in diamond company De Beers’ marketing team in the 1930s. Following the Depression, they promoted the idea that a diamond ring was an important investment. This helped to justify the price at a time many Americans were down on their luck. (Turns out, diamonds always depreciate in value).

Nice one, De Beers 💖

There are so many reasons why this rule (and many rules imposed by deceased white men with ulterior motives) is BS. Firstly, unless you’re real old school, marriage isn’t always a case of a man buying his fiance a ring to prove he can provide for her.

Secondly, a monthly salary isn’t always an indicator of your financial situation. There are other factors at play, such as debt and monthly expenses.

There are so many ways to treat the person you love without ruining your finances. And, I’m no marriage counselor, but I’m pretty sure that weddings are a two-person job. Find out what your partner likes, and focus on finding a ring that your partner loves - that isn’t going to break your finances.

Where to find affordable wedding rings

If you don’t happen to have a beautiful family heirloom lying around, why not consider looking into estate jewelry. (This is a fancy word for second hand)

💎 If you’re looking for a precious gem, when it comes to second-hand jewelry, it’s better to go to a reputable jeweler so you know you’re not being swindled.

💎 Respected auctions are also a place to find second-hand jewelry that has been appraised by a professional.

💎 You also might save some money by shopping online. Places like Etsy have a wide range of vintage options, but be careful of sites like eBay and Craigslist.

⚠️ Wherever you shop from, make sure your gem comes with a certification from the  Gemological Institute of America, the American Gem Society, or the European Gemological Institute.

💎 Since the whole thing about engagement rings having to be diamonds is also a made up rule, why not consider a different gem? Sapphires are beautiful, much cheaper than diamonds, and (unlike other gems like emeralds) hard enough for everyday wear.

💎 Finally, a placeholder ring is a thing. This is where you get something for the meantime until you can afford something fancier. That your moneyouse.

The rise of casual weddings

The average wedding in the US costs $20,300. That is a lot of money. For some, it’s well worth it for their big day. But for many millennials and those at the older end of Gen Z, that’s money they’d rather spend on something else.

Enter the rise of casual weddings. You might have seen them on TikTok, if like me, the algorithm knows you’re cheap.

They usually go like this: hand picked flowers for the tables, a second-hand or dupe dress, and food cooked by friends and family.

If you are saving, this is a great way to avoid what you might consider unnecessary costs. Or maybe you consider a lavish wedding to be totally necessary.

Either way: you might wanna try the best money app in the world to set up a budget that works for you.

If you’re planning on getting engaged or married soon

It’s never too late or too soon to set up a quick budget.  Cleo can help with that, as well as give you daily reminders to help you stay on track and on top of your bills. Looking for other ways to save money? Our blog is full of money hacks, like how to get free gas.

To get started:

💙 Download the app,

💙 Sync your bank account (so Cleo’s AI can give you the most up-to-date information - don’t worry, you won’t be charged)

💙 Cleo will do the rest

And if you are popping the big question soon, congrats. Hope they say yes 💅

Still have questions? Find answers below.
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