An engagement ring is an expensive investment, not only of money but also of the care taken to find just the right style of ring your intended will love and the emotional investment of proposing a lifetime commitment symbolized by this very special ring. But when it comes to your financial investment in an engagement ring, what does affordable mean for your budget?

Affordable Engagement Rings

How Much You Should Spend on an Engagement Ring

There is a great deal of conventional advice about what an appropriate price for an engagement ring ought to be. One conventional idea is that the ring's cost ought to equal 2-3 months of income, but that figure is largely contrived and perpetuated by diamond dealers hoping to encourage higher priced sales. Furthermore, an income-based price estimate does not take into account other living expenses or financial obligations, and is thus unreasonable for many couples.

Another common way to set a budget for an engagement ring is to follow the "average" engagement ring price, but that number is also flawed, because there is no central database on engagement ring sales and what real couples are spending. Instead, simple surveys may give unreasonable averages, especially when the highly publicized – and astronomically high – prices of celebrity or other high profile engagement rings could be included in the calculation.

 engagement ring

Determining What Your Engagement Ring Budget Should REALLY Be

Instead of relying on generic advice or unreasonable numbers, every couple should set their own budget and individually decide what affordable means to them. This starts with a frank, honest discussion of the couple's financial situation and expectations, including…

• Current income, taking into account job security and any upcoming raises, promotions or new job prospects, including whether the couple hopes to be a one- or two-income family

• Existing debt, such as student loans, car payments, credit card debt, unpaid fines or fees and any personal IOUs that ought to be settled as quickly as possible

• Living expenses for the couple's combined household, including all regular bills and planning for an emergency fund and savings

• Near-future purchases, including the wedding as well as other major items the couple may need, such as a new car, buying a house or starting a family

• Personal preferences, such as individual frugality and comfort with how much to spend on a piece of jewelry, including reasonable expectations for the type of jewelry to buy

There is no single number that is ideal for everyone's budget, and what is an affordable ring to one couple might be outrageously expensive or ridiculously cheap for another couple. By carefully examining your budget as a couple, you can learn what your definition of affordable is, and you can plan for the purchase – even saving up if necessary – without accruing unnecessary debt before you ever walk down the aisle.

Finding an Affordable Engagement Ring

Once you know your budget, no matter what it may be, there are many options you can consider for a beautiful engagement ring, and affordable doesn't mean cheap or low quality – it only means sticking to the budget you can personally afford. Opting for a different gemstone can be a beautiful and unique choice that may be more affordable than a diamond. Many antique engagement rings or estate rings are also wonderful options that don't carry as high of price tags as more modern, cutting edge rings. Selecting the ring's setting carefully, such as choosing a halo ring rather than a solitaire, is another way to influence the ring's price without going over budget or sacrificing beauty. No matter what the ring's price, you can find a beautiful, high quality ring that is affordable for you.

The Most Important Price

Above all, remember that it isn't the dollar price of the engagement ring that truly matters – it is the thoughtfulness, intention and love behind the ring that is most important. If you choose a ring your partner will love, one that reflects their style and preferences and symbolizes the deep relationship you share, it will be a priceless ring – no matter how affordable its price tag may be.

Browse our complete collection of affordable engagement rings with many unique and stunning rings well under $1,000 to find the perfect ring to perfectly fit your budget!

affordable engagement ring