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How much should I spend on a wedding ring? 26m/$100k salary/no debt/150k NW/living in Texas. Look forward to everyone's opinion!

likehelpfulfunny
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If a woman requires an expensive ring, she probably isn’t that in love with her SO. Wouldn’t the counter argument to that be that a person who isn’t willing to buy his SO an expensive ring isn’t that in love?

That being said, i don’t think you need to break the bank. I also don’t think this is a matter of what you should spend. You can afford what you can afford. IMO, most jewelry doesn’t really retain its value so it isn’t an investment. That probably changes when you are spending on large/flawless diamonds.

My husband did it brilliantly. He figured out what he could afford/was able to pay without carving into his savings/investments/opening credit. Pretty sure he set a budget and saving routine leading up to the purchase. He told me what the budget was, and i decided what styles/sizes/etc i liked within that realm. I think this worked well because it was me doing my own give and take. If i wanted a bigger rock, i could get a simpler band or go down in the color scale. I gave him a general idea of what i was thinking and he nailed it, under his budget (by almost 5k).

I suggest trying something like that. She may end up changing her mind on needing a specific brand. She may also surprise you and say that she thinks the budget is too high given what your other goals are.

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The issue isn’t with jewelry or rings in general, it’s to do with diamonds. Diamond rings depreciate in value massively the moment you walk out of the store with it.

22kt gold jewelry without a diamond depreciates when you walk out of the store with it, but nowhere to the same extent.

12 years ago, hubby was working at Big 4 making about 130k and had 150k in savings. I found out that he was about to buy a engagement ring through my one of my girlfriend. I told him not to buy a ring and use that money towards down payment of a house. It was the best decision we made together. We ended up buying a house that I liked a few months before to our small wedding ($10k). Most of his 150k savings went towards the downpayment. He instructed the escrow company to add my name onto the title before we were married, this to me means a lot more than an engagement ring that has no ROI.

Fast forward to today, that 130k downpayment and me foregoing the ring allowed us to trade up on our house. Our current house is valued at $1.8mm with a little more than $1mm in equity. Our combine income is around $600k today and we are beyond fortunate to be able to live comfortably without the need of budgeting expenses. We both came from families with no money so we shared similar beliefs in handling finances which to me is important in a marriage.

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Wow!!! Can you adopt me....

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My income is $300k and my fiancé’s is $400k. We live in SF and our combined NW will hit $1mil by end of year. We agreed he wouldn’t spend more than $500 on my ring, mostly bc I showed him how much diamonds are a true ripoff. Got a gorgeous forever-lasting gold ring with a precious gem that isn’t diamond and absolutely love it. Idk, think about the box is my suggestion. Traditional guidance is idiotic.

likesmartuplifting

Just seeing this @ Director 6. We’re both 28 and just started making this much 1.5-2 years ago. So doing pretty well at almost 1M 😛 we max out our 401ks and invest ~ 60-70% of our post tax income.

She wanted one that was 10k. Way too rich for my blood, but then I started thinking of it more as a long term investment. Her family has wealth that we will come into (and are very generous already), so if we started this thing out on the right foot I’m sure I’ll reap monetary benefits in the future. So 10k it was. I plan on this working out for life, so if it doesn’t maybe I’m a bad investor

funnylikesmart

Why do people care so much about what others think? I don't understand the status symbol thing either. Buy something that you think appropriately shows your love for her.

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Rule of thumb is 3 mo of salary (some say 3 years but that’s a bit of a stretch)

funnylike

It’s a great test on how much your wife-to-be is going to cost you. I’d be very wary of someone who has to walk around in a $100k+ ring in order to love you.

likesmart

Ask your future spouse. Our opinion is irrelevant.

But if you’re just curious, I spent $500 on my wedding band and my SO spent $200 on theirs.

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I think outside opinions create expectations that can cause problems.

From OPs other posts, it sounds like they’ve already had the conversation and his gf has expressed her wants.

My earlier statement was about our wedding bands, not the engagement ring. My SO spent 10k on a Tiffany ring when he proposed 10+ years ago. I haven’t worn it in years but I treasure my ring, my marriage, and the sentiments he expressed when he proposed (both in words and in the ring he chose).

Get her preference so you get an idea of a range, then see which aspect is high vs low priority. Lots of places do free lifetime upgrade.

like

I’d ask her to go ring shopping with you and see what she gravitates to.

My sister thought she loved one kind of ring until she put it on her finger and realized she didn’t.

My brother bought a customized handmade ring off of Etsy and never asked my SIL... I’m pretty sure my sis in law hates it.

My oldest sister was gifted our mom’s diamond from her ring, and then her husband just got the band for it.

You could see if anyone is planning on passing down a generational diamond.. otherwise, I suggest a fun date night trying on rings at different places.

likeuplifting

Ring spend pressure is similar to di*k size convos. Personally I capped it at $5k, as even that was high in my opinion. I am also a firm believer that the amount of money you spend on a wedding (relative to your current earnings) is inversely proportional to your marriage happiness. Good luck and best wishes!

likesmart

Definitely, and if the woman you propose to focuses on the price first that's a bad sign. When I bought an engagement ring for my ex wife I figured out she didn't like big or ostentatious jewelry but did like thought and quality. So I got her a .6c diamond in the shape she likes but found one that was utterly perfect in quality i.e. colorless and internally flawless. It was about $3-4k. I gave it to her and said it reminded me of her, perfect at its core. She treasured it.

like

You've gotta know your partner. I'm female and don't want anything expensive. Like literally the cheapest thing that still looks nice. But then again, I travel a ton and I'm not even comfortable wearing expensive jewelry.

If your partner had been dreaming about the day that get married since they were 5, they may have grander expectations that require more spend. If that's the case, balance that with how much you are comfortable spending.

Don't go broke on the ring and Engagement parties and wedding. But make sure you're getting something she is happy with (maybe ask a friend or sibling or something). Like someone else mentioned, don't start this off by asking them to be tied to you for life with something they don't like (and something they are expected to wear and show off to people).

like

Yup. If she’s got her heart set on something, it might be hard to be happy with anything else.

Although, you can tell her that while it might not be exactly what she wants now (you can get some custom made that looks like Tiffany or Tacori), on your n-th anniversary, you could upgrade it to what she wanted and more?

like

Plan to propose later this year so I bought $3k worth of ETH towards the ring.

Size of the ring will be determined by how much I can afford with that ETH when time comes 🤷🏼‍♂️

likefunny

I’ll hold the ETH but the value is going to determine the budget 🚀

I don’t think there is any right set amount, but if a large diamond is important your girl, then a great compromise is a lab diamond. Literally no average person can tell the difference and they’re substantially cheaper. Also do research on which of the 4 Cs you want to spend money on. Generally, Cut/Carat are the most important to a woman. Those determine size and sparkle. In contrast, you can save a lot of money on clarity, for instance. The levels of clarity above VS2 are pretty much only distinguishable under a microscope. Likewise, you can go for a smaller main stone if you go for a halo ring. They are very, very in right now and they can “increase” the stone size by up to 30%

Signed,
A girl who has done a LOT of research on this because $5-10K on a piece of jewelry sounds ridiculous to me, but knows diamonds are awesome

likefunny

Have her best friend chat with her about this and secretly tell you. If my hubby had done that he'd have saved his money. I personally would be fine with a 3 carat moissonite in an 18k rose gold setting. But be he wanted it to be a surprise he ended up getting what he thought I wanted, a real diamond in a different size, different setting and different color.

likesmart

My husband did this. He asked my best friend what I would like. She and I were out shopping one day, and she goes into a jewelry store. We were looking at various items and she starts asking me casually about rings and then I described which ones I liked and didn’t. I ended up with the exact ring I wanted a few months later!! I had no clue at the time and it was all just so casual, two girlfriends chatting.

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As much as u want.

like

I'm the luckiest in that I am married to another woman. We both picked out what we wanted and it ended up about the same, roughly $9k each. Marry a dude, save money.

JK she's worth the ring for sure. Talk about it with her first. A proposal should be a pleasant surprise not a total shock.

likefunny

K1 because apparently the gay people that fought for marriage were smart enough to realize that part was a scam.

like

Straight people are insane 👀 we bought our engagement rings on Etsy for $50 👬

likeuplifting

My uncles got each other engagement rolexes... so to each their own 😂

likesmart

My husband was at a similar salary and spent about $8k. Went to a jeweler a friend had used and got a great deal on a stone that would’ve been 50% more through a name brand jeweler. I would’ve been uncomfortable with him spending more than he did.

Don’t spend more than you’re comfortable with. Also maybe she doesn’t realize that a $10k ring from Tiffany is going to mean a trade off in other things (as in, stone will be <1ct if size matters to her). Does she care about the name more than she cares about the rock? Things to think about.

like

I did exactly the same - my now wife was crying so much that I could have gone cheaper and it would not have mattered 😂

like

Rule of thumb is 3x net worth.

funnylike

The ring IS your net worth. 🧠

like

Get what she wants, but not too crazy. Don’t want to become a target. No 3 years salary (The Office?) ring.

For reference, we spent 3k for engagement, 1.5k for wedding ring. $75 for my ring (x4- I’ve lost a few). Married 10 years.

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Yesss this!!!

My friends all in their late 20s making the same spent 10-20.

funnylike

Zales has some for $299

funnylike

My husband used James Allen to buy, and diamdb.Com to spec out measurements. He spent 15k. Brought it to a jeweler (name brand) for a cleaning before the wedding and a similar ring with crappy diamond retailed for 38k.

The name brand thing is such a trap. Carat size can be tricky as well because it’s a weight. Diamonds that are cut deep can weight 2 carats but face up less. That website i linked helps figure out what carat fits the hand you have based on cut, and you can check measurements to make sure it faces up correctly. We found that you can buy shy, and the diamond will still face up at higher than its actual weight without being shallow. Saves you a ton.

likehelpful

I’m already married and I still go on there and play 😂

3x salary is the rule bro

funnylike

Pretax or post tax? 😂

likefunny

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