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How much should a groom spend on an engagement ring?
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So just how much is two months' salary?
While there is no real answer, we believe two months' salary refers to your gross salary, and not your net salary. (ie. the amount of money you make before taxes and deductions).
Here are some sample salaries and diamond engagement ring cost equivalents:
If you earn... $30,000: tradition states you're on the hook for a $5,000 diamond engagement ring. $50,000: rampant advertising suggests you buy a $8,333 rock. $80,000: say goodbye to $14,167 on a that piece of ice. $100,000: pray that for $16,667 she sticks around for a long time to come.
And... If you earn $100 billion, or the approximate Gross Domestic Product of New Zealand, you're looking at dropping $16 billion. On the bright side, however, you should be able to get a good quality cut, carat, color, clarity and cardiac arrest at that price.
There is no shame in purchasing an engagement ring of a certain level of cut, carat, color and clarity (and corresponding price point) but then later upgrading to a better quality diamond on your first, fifth or tenth anniversary, for example. Ultimately, you may never upgrade if your wife is satisfied with what you were able to purchase at the time you were married.
Does it have to be a diamond ring?
According to DeBeers, 83% of brides in the United States and Canada receive diamond engagement rings. Grooms should know, however, that this phenomena is truly a North American one. In many European countries, the concept of a diamond engagement ring is utterly foreign. Grooms should also note that not all women prefer diamonds. It will take a bit of research and observation to determine if your future bride is one of them, but this knowledge can allow you to purchase a larger stone if it is something other than a diamond, or allow you to simply save the money for a down payment on a house or car if size is not as critical to her.
Is two months' salary reasonable?
GroomGroove.com believes that the best way to figure out what to spend is by careful analysis of your budget. A groom may not be able to purchase the perfect engagement ring outright, and therefore many diamond resellers have payment plans that can last several months. Accordingly, you may wish to inquire with your local diamond shop or through an online retailer such as BlueNile.com.
Ultimately, in a society where a certain amount of conformity plays a role, grooms may want to have a frank discussion with their future wives about what they can reasonably spend on an engagement ring. Two months' salary can serve as a general guideline, but GroomGroove.com believes that the 21st century groom shouldn't buckle under the pressure, especially given competition in the industry from online sites. Spend only what you can afford, and don't be afraid to consult your girlfriend. After all, in the end, her happiness and love for you are of the utmost importance, and these things you simply can't quantify.[Page 2 of 2]
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