Money·2 min read

How Much Should You Spend On An Engagement Ring?

accessibility, couple hugging and showing engagement ring
Design: theSkimm | Photo: iStock
July 6, 2022

Getting engaged is a big moment — and a big investment. Even before you add the dress and venue to your wedding budget, you’ll have to think about how much you should spend on an engagement ring. And later on, you might need to account for wedding bands.

Luckily, we did the math on engagement and wedding ring costs. Plus, we found some affordable engagement rings if splurging isn’t in the spending plan.

How much should an engagement ring cost?

Traditionally, the expectation was that everyone should follow the three-month rule. So you’d spend one-fourth of your annual salary on an engagement ring. For example, if you were making $50,000 per year, you’d set aside $12,500 to buy an engagement ring. But let’s be clear: The three-month rule was created to drum up diamond sales. And most couples today don’t follow it.

Got it. So what does the average engagement ring cost these days?

According to a 2022 study from The Knot, couples spend an average of $5,800 on their engagement rings. Which was down slightly from 2021 when couples spent an average of $6,000. 

But that isn’t the guaranteed price tag. If you’re looking for more affordable engagement rings, you have tons of options — and company. Lots of couples cut that $5,800 price in half, and some spend around $1,000. Before you start shopping around, take some time to prep your budget by thinking about the ring details you’re going for. What cut do you prefer? What about carats and the clarity of diamond? Also, remember that diamonds aren’t the only option. Alternative stones and lab-created diamonds can be just as beautiful.

What about the average wedding ring cost?

Good news: wedding rings don’t usually cost as much as engagement rings. On average, they cost about $1,100 for women and around $550 for men, according to one estimate from The Knot. But the ultimate price often depends on the metal you choose. Are you sticking to yellow gold? Or are you splurging on white gold, or rose gold? 


When it comes to wedding jewelry, an engagement ring will probably cost the most. But the actual price will depend on the details (aka the gemstone and metal). And your budget, of course. 

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