4 Reasons To Debunk the Two-Month Rule

Author Allison
Date Apr 23, 2021

The rule of thumb said most often is that a suitor should spend two months' salary on a diamond engagement ring. This shouldn't be thought of as a hard-and-fast "rule," but it is helpful when it's time to talk about expectations and costs when shopping for a ring.

1. Do What Feels Right

In truth, two months' salary is just a starting point of the discussion that should include your rough budget and general financial situation, your comfort level, your significant other's taste, and your future plans. But a lot more factors should be considered before simply dividing your annual salary by six and walking into a jewelry store to see what you can buy.

You really should only be spending what you feel comfortable spending. Some people spend more than two months' salary and some people spend less. Everyone is different and your comfort is key. Ask yourself, "What am I comfortable paying?" Can you afford to spend a little more? Do you need to spend less? Above all, spend within your means.

2. Decide What's Important

Depending on where you are in life, two months' salary could give you a budget of anywhere between $2,000 and $30,000. But even if you fall on the low end of that scale, you can still afford a nice ring. Consider the 4Cs of any diamond -- cut, color, clarity, carat. Take these into consideration when you think about which ones are the most important to the person you're buying for and rank them in order of importance to see what fits into your budget.

Don't be afraid to talk to your jeweler openly and let him guide you in the right direction. They have the expertise to suggest a bit larger diamond with a little less clarity or a slightly smaller diamond that is higher quality -- there are a lot of characteristics to consider. And if you let them know what's important to you, they can help you navigate through what's available and what fits your budget best.

3. Stay Within Your Budget

Think about buying a car. If you're set on a BMW but only have $8,000 to spend, you're probably not going to end up happy. Sometimes it's important to adjust your expectations based on the reality of your situation. Would you rather have a rusted, beat-up BMW or a brand new Chevy Impala? Decide what's important and be realistic about your budget.

Remember, you can always trade in that Impala for a tricked out BMW down the line when your income increases. The same can be said for your ring. Don't get hung up on trying to buy the best diamond ring in the case -- buy the best diamond ring you can afford. This may mean getting a slightly smaller diamond but one with more fire or setting it in 18K White Gold as opposed to Platinum. It is a balancing act and there are ways to be savvy without spending more than what you have.

Over the years, there are many ways to upgrade either by adding stones, changing the setting, or trading your ring for an entirely new one.

4. Above All, Have Fun With It

Getting engaged is a special moment and buying the ring should be fun. Don’t get hung up on mathematical equations so much that you get yourself too far in a financial hole to build a new life together. Spend what you're comfortable spending and then go enjoy the moment.

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