11. The Engagement Ring Rule of Thumb
Let’s talk about the rule of thumb first. The commonly accepted idea is to spend three months’ salary on an engagement ring. Like I said, some of my friends make six figures a year. While $25,000 sound incredible to spend on jewelry, it’s actually more incredible to expect someone who makes $3,000 a month to spend $9,000 on an engagement ring. That’s because someone making $3,000 is probably not saving an awful lot, especially if he’s living on his own. That $9,000 could amount to years of savings.
Is a groom expected to start their financial journey from scratch again, just because he wants to commit to the relationship? Yes, spending a fortune does, in a way, show how much he’s willing to commit. However, it could be bankrupting the future husband before his new life even gets stared. I guess it’s still better than borrowing money on his credit card to buy a ring, which is sadly very common.
10. Here’s the Truth
The “how else can three months salary last forever” schtick? It’s fake. Completely made up. It’s nothing more than marketing slogan invented by companies wanting you to spend more on their rings. That number is nuts to me, to be honest. This rule of thumb means an engagement ring basically costs as much as a common sedan. That’s crazy. Don’t put yourself into a major financial hole just because you’ve been swayed by some nifty advertising. Do some math and make a choice that you can live with — and pay for.
Otherwise, you could be making the life changing event of marrying someone you love to a financially life changing event of being in debt for years. You’ll regret it and having to make those debt payments may even create a rift between you and your bride.