It’s proposal season–and we’re not talking about business proposals.
We’re referring to sparkly-ring marriage proposals. And according to TheKnot, December is the most popular month for said engagements.
Of course, much like the actual ring, not all marriage proposals look exactly alike. Some have marching bands! Some have flash mobs! Some are completely devoid of witnesses–and some prefer it that way.
If you plan to propose this holiday season, as an early engagement gift to you, we’ve looked into the costs of some of the most elaborate proposals out there–as well as the best post-proposal financial practices.
What People Are Spending on … the Ring
It’s an age-old question, complete with a handful of inexact estimates floating around the Internet as to how much you should shell out for the ring: two months worth of salary, 25% of your annual income, $2,500.
Fact-wise, TheKnot.com reports that the average cost of an engagement ring is $5,200–and it takes the average person three months to find the right one.
The truth is that there isn’t a hard-and-fast rule as to how much a person should pay for a ring, just like there isn’t a rule about how much people are expected to spend on wedding presents.
In other words, it’s less about what you should spend, and more about what you can afford to pay.
“It’s really important to budget for an engagement ring,” advises LearnVest Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) Sophia Bera. “Don’t use all of your savings to buy it–your emergency savings should be separate from your ring savings.”
Translation: The ideal amount to spend on a ring is different for everyone–and it doesn’t necessarily need to be something that you take on alone. ”Maybe this is unromantic, but I think it’s important to talk to your significant other about what they want, and the price range they have in mind,” adds Sophia.
Perhaps it isn’t so unromantic: TheKnot also reports that 65% of brides have at least some say in their engagement rings, while 31% shopped for and/or purchased the ring with their groom.
In some cases, the ring is only a blip on the proposal budget–a new trend in over-the-top proposals means that the ring isn’t always the sparkliest part of the moment.