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Why You Shouldn’t Spend 3 Months’ Salary on an Engagement Ring

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The adage that you need to spend three months’ salary on an engagement ring is painfully outdated.

Where Did This Saying Come From?
The notion that you need to spend so many months’ salary on your engagement ring stemmed from a De Beers ad launched in the 1980s.

De Beers ran a series of “Two Months’ Salary” ads with tag lines like, “2 months’ salary showed the future Mrs. Smith what the future will be like,” that essentially put a monetary value on the emotional value of a couple’s relationship. The amount inflated over time from two months’ salary to three months’ gross salary; thus, we are left with the saying that you should spend three months’ salary on your ring.

De Beers "Two Months Salary" Campaign from 1980s

How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?
An engagement ring budget is entirely personal and there really isn’t a hard-and-fast rule to determine how much you should spend. But, if you’re looking for a ballpark figure, Americans spent, on average, $6,351 on an engagement ring in 2017 according to The Knot’s 2017 Real Weddings Study.

We hope this all helped dispel the belief that you need to spend three months’ salary on your engagement ring and, if you’re looking for ways to save on your ring, read our tips for how to cut costs on your ring without sacrificing style or quality here!