The New Rule For Engagement Ring Buying

To all the ladies in the house, you’re in for a real treat! To all the fellas thinking about proposing, maybe not! It all depends on how materialistic you are in the first place. Even if you are already married ladies, point your hubby to this article and you might just get a ring upgrade!

It’s 2015, so what’s the new rule for engagement ring buying you ask? Well before we get into the most obvious new engagement buying rule all of society should follow, let’s discuss some of the current ridiculous rules that must be thrown out the window!


1) The Three Months Gross Salary Rule. This rule stipulates that if a man makes $80,000 a year, he should spend $20,000 on an engagement ring!  What kind of nut came up with that idea? There’s really no rhyme or reason why a man should spend 3 months of his gross salary on an engagement ring, let alone 2 months. After taxes, 3 months gross is equivalent to 1/3rd his take home pay. Imagine if the man makes $400,000 a year.  Is he supposed to buy her a $100,000 Harry Winston pink diamond?  Ridiculous.

1b) The Three Months Net Salary Rule. Crazy!

1c) The Two Months Gross or Net Salary Rule. Nuts!

1d) The 1 Month Gross or Net Salary Rule. OK, not so bad as it’s under 1/10th a man’s annual gross or net income. Again, here we go with the 1/10th rule for car buying, which hints at something beautiful.

2) The Age Rule. Another crazy rule is for the man to buy a quality ring whose size is equivalent to the age of the woman. For example, if the man proposes to a 32 year old woman, he should buy a 3.2 carat diamond engagement ring! Wow! Even if he gets em young at 18, that’s still 1.8 carats! What if you’re a late bloomer, or are simply into older women? Is a man supposed to buy a 50 year old vixen a 5.0 carat ring? Forget it! A very rich woman told this rule to me with a straight face at a bar one day. She showed me her 3 carat, E color, VVS1 yellow diamond as proof. Poor guy.

3) The Hotness Rule. This could be the most dangerous rule for men as it is all or none. Essentially, every man before proposing will say how beautiful his girlfriend is. The problem with showering her with praise such as, “You are the most beautiful woman in the world,” or “Your beauty makes the stars look dim” is that you are setting expectations incredibly high!  Your fiance will rightly think that if she really is the most beautiful woman in the world, she better get the biggest, most beautiful rock in the world! If I am a 10/10, then you better give me the most luxurious engagement ring among all my girlfriends. Women will pretend to tell you they don’t care what ring you get, but don’t listen, not for one second, unless you want to start sleeping on the coach for no good reason.


Now that you understand what silly rules there are for guys to follow when spending money on an engagement ring, you’ll now realize the absolute beauty of The Car Rule For Engagement Ring BuyingThe Car Rule simply states that a man should spend up to, but no more than the initial purchase price of his car!

Most guys like cars. The more obsessed he is about cars, the bigger and better your potential ring. We all realize that buying a car hurts our finances because it’s a depreciating asset. Yet, guys still overspend anyway, and in a big way. If a guy making $80,000 a year is dumb enough to buy a $50,000 Cadillac Escalade (78% of his net after tax income) you should most definitely demand he spend $50,000 on a 2 carat, Tiffany Novo ring that is an E color with VVS1 clarity! Blow up his finances with glee!

Conversely, if your man is fortunate enough to make $300,000 a year like Lyndon, but drives a 10 year old Honda Civic he bought for $3,000 8 years ago, then all you can really hope for is that he buys you a nice 0.25 carat, H color, VS2 ring from Jarrod’s. Unless you live in New York City, Boston, or Los Angeles where the average carat size is 1.8-2.0, the national average carat size is only 0.4, so stop being greedy!

Finally, if the man so happens to be the biggest nature lover on earth and takes the bus and rides his bike, well, you’re out of luck! There is no way you can demand anything more than a Push Pop ring from Topps!


Cars are to men what engagement rings and are to women. If your man can’t spend as much money for a ring as he does on his car, you’ve got a problem. He is being completely self-centered and selfish if he hints to you that spending money on a nice engagement ring is a waste of money. This is especially true if he’s sporting anything MORE than a $20,000 Honda Civic in his garage!

If a man follows the 1/10th rule for car buying, he’ll never be stuck in this engagement buying predicament. Of course, the woman can be incredibly gracious and tell him only love matters. But we all know you’re just being nice!

For those serious about growing their wealth please read, The Average Net Worth For The Above Average Married Couple.

Thoroughly updated on 2/9/2015 to account for the five-year long bull market we’ve been experiencing! If he’s buying himself fancy cars, fancy toys, and fancy clothes, but isn’t matching his spend on you, send him this post!


Sam @ Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship. Sam focuses on helping readers build more income in real estate, investing, entrepreneurship, and alternative investments in order to achieve financial independence sooner, rather than later.

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  1. Tina says

    I completely agree, complete BS. If you are obsessed with getting a huge diamond engagement ring, then there are so many ways you can buy a ring for much less than 3 months wages! Personally I didn’t mind my husband buying me a used engagement ring, we got it from at low discount diamond prices. I am happy with it and so was my husband.

    • Charles says

      Lol, I was looking for rings for my girlfriend tonight online and came across this article.. I LOVE buying her expensive things because I feel compelled to do so because she has given me so much in return. That said, I make 100,000 a year, and am planning on buying a roughly 10,000 ring. This blogger is typical gold digger trash who never really has been in love and is looking for material bullshit. I’m so happy I found a girl would would never write trash like this and doesn’t imply these things… And maybe she gets them anyway, but its not expected. My advice to you writer, grow a subtle personality, find someone who likes it and enjoy the finer things in life, with that I mean love and friendship. You will never be truely happy.

  2. Ann says

    I had a good laugh at this article. As a 20 something year old female whose friends are getting married/engaged left and right, I don’t get the entire buying a diamond because size does matter. I’ve noticed that whenever someone gets engaged, the first thing they’re asked is their ring. Wouldn’t it be better to spend the money on say a down payment for a house or car (lol) instead since they’re more practical items?
    Personally, it seems crazy to me that people go into debt planning weddings, getting rings, honeymoons when marriage is a long road ahead (if it’s done right) fraught with financial decisions.

    • neutrino says

      Wow. You are a diamond. No sarcasm there. A lady who appreciates financial wisdom above frivolity could, truthfully, command a large diamond from those of us out there with good income looking for a lifelong ‘partner’.

      Your post is refreshing to me, because my personal experience indicates that you are in a VERY small minority in today’s hyper consumerist world.

      Thank you for being who you are. I don’t care if your net worth is 5B or 5k, your logic makes you a true catch, no matter who you end up with!

  3. Alex says

    I’m a 30-something gay man thinking of proposing to my boyfriend in the next year or two. Since we have a healthy relationship and communicate, he jokingly passed this article on to me. My simple conclusion?

    Whoever wrote that article is a materialistic, sexist piece of junk. Women wonder why some men condescend them when it comes to finances and jewelry? Here’s an example of why:

    “If your man can’t spend as much money for a ring as he does on his car, you’ve got a problem.”

    Are you serious? A car is a tool – it’s a necessity required to go to work every day and get back. You spend hours a day in it, so comfort is important, as are things like reliability, resale value, and economy. A ring is JEWELRY. It has no function. It is not necessary. You would be just as engaged (or married) without a ring at all (or with a plastic cracker jack ring) as you would with a $100,000 ring. You would love your partner just as much (or in the case of this article, as little) regardless.

    Placing the value this joker places on jewelry should make any thinking person ashamed. But then, I guess the author doesn’t fall into that category, considering his/her posts in this thread.

    Unless Poe’s Law, in which case, DOH!

    • says

      Alex, you misinterpret the article, but I love your response anyway. The article actually serves to earn men of wasting so much money on a car that depreciates in value and also makes fun of the outrageous prices people spend on engagement rings.

      Go easy on your partner OK? Or sell your car quick and buy a bicycle instead!!

      • Tron says

        This article does ot help men. It reinforces the old sex roles which, in this case, benefits women. I do not think men should buy engagement rings. I think both people should go in on them together and that they should be very inexpensive. if a Wedding ring is to be bought then they should go in on his and her wedding rings. If he absolutely has to buy her a ring then let her pick it out and then tell her how many years of committment it will take to earn the ring. With the divorce rate as high as it is this process makes the most sense. The ruke has always been “Men pay for sex.”It may be a drink or a dinner or a ring, but either way it is paying for sex.

    • Tron says

      What ever happened to “equality.” I thought women wanted to be equal partners with men and they did until they realized that they would have to give up a few entitlements that they enjoyed when men and women behaved more traditionally under sex roles.

      I do not think women are necessarily entitled to a ring anymore. I think (if both people feel that rings are necessary) that both people can go in on an inexpensive pair of rings as a symbol of their love. This way they can save the money for a down payment on a house or something. Marriages do not last long anymore so it is not fair that the MAN make such an inevestment when the woman does not have to. Also, she will most likely get the kids most of the time in divorce so he will end up paying her tax free money (child support) that she is not accountable for. Women also want the big wedding which makes no sense (unless someone else is footing the bill). The majority of the couples time and money should be spent on working on the marriage instead of the ring and the wedding.

      I think all “rules” are stupid. Marriage should be an equal partnership.

      I think

    • Tron says


      How about forgetting about the engagement ring and just going in together on twin wedding rings. It is interesting that women get very traditional during courtship but then speak out against sexism in other arenas. The divorce rate is high and men get screwed financially. If I was getting married and she wanted a 5000 dollar ring I would say, “Ok but I need a committment from you first. That ring is worth about 10 years of committment. If you absolutley have to have it then we will set aside a certain amount each year for 10 years and then it is yours. However, I need the committment first. Women would not like that but it would be more fair.

  4. Guy that can do math says

    What the hell? Its ridiculous to spend 20k on an engagement ring with the 3 month rule but you want people to spend as much on the initial purchase of their car? A decent new car is easily 20-30k? Stupid Rules same outcome.

    This article is trash.

  5. Jon says

    Most things that I read on the internet don’t usually bother me, but this article actually makes me angry that someone so utterly retarded exists in society. Let me get this straight, if I make 90000 a year and buy a new toyota, that I plan to keep for 15 years, that cost 30k then I’m supposed to buy a 30000 dollar ring? What if I work in construction making 80k a year, but buy a 40000 diesel truck, required for my job, then I’m supposed to spend roughly 90% of my annual take home? Truck drivers (owner/operators) often pay 150-200k for their rig, make 80-100k and are expected to spend 150k on a ring? The author of this article cannot possibly be a self-supporting adult, because there’s no way someone so stupid would survive, even in our world of govt handouts.

  6. jon says

    Yeah, dipshit. I read your other shitty article and heroin addicts are more financially savvy than you. Last time I checked a fucking Prius couldn’t pull a 20,000 pound trailer with construction equipment to Maine! Moreover, my last vehicle was a tacoma purchased new for 30k. I’ve done all my own maintenance (literally nothing but oil and filter every 5k) and it’s in perfect condition. Show me a 3000$ civic (it’ll have about 250,000 miles on it) that will reliably go an additional 250,000 miles without serious repairs.

  7. metal says

    What happens when the groom’s parent has bought him a car every couple of years, So hence, over the years he has spend 0 on cars?

    He bought me a nice big brilliant rock anyway, but I insisted for our upgrade that I trade-in at least 4 rings that I had sitting around. I don’t want him to pay more than he has to, so we trading in my 4 rings, and got up 4 grand toward the upgrade. But still, some guys have parents who do buy them cars like mine. We have no car payments whatsoever, so he can afford to get me a really nice ring anyway – which he did! He says “I deserve to wear a nice rock like this!” Just my kind of man. We’ve been married for over 25 years too!

    • says

      Not sure I know of any cases where a grown man’s parents still buy him a car every couple years. Maybe have the groom’s parents buy the bride the ring then?

      I guess this article is targeted towards folks who pay their own way.

      • metal says

        I know plenty of people whose parents buy them a car. My mother got my sister a car and uncle paid for half of my cousin’s car in addition to giving his son a car. (All those relatives who got free cars are in their mid-to-late 20s.) I can go on and on. In fact, my mother got a one-carat wedding ring for my sister. The groom didn’t pay anything. I’m glad for them, but at that same time, I want them to be financially independent. I also have a good friend who got her car from her mother before she passed. And I also have a male friend who got a car from his dad as well. It’s a pretty common thing. I feel, however, that it’s more important to be financially independent. I also have older adult friends who got a very expensive car as a gift from another friend. I could go on and on, but I can think of plenty of adults in their mid-20s and beyond who do get free cars from either friends or family members.

  8. stan lee says

    I am not sure I get this at all. Someone making $200,000 should be buying a car at about 20k. That makes zero sense. 200k is a great living. No way that person is driving a 20k$ car. I personally make about 300k and I drive a 60k car, easy. I save a good amount of money and I own my condo with over a 1/3 put down into the deposit. I wear watches that can cost up to 20k. I just bought a ring. I spent 24k on a nearly perfect diamond that is 1.64 and is in a platinum setting. I think the article comes from a good place, but the logic is way flawed. I don’t know one person spending 1/10 their income on a car.

  9. joel says

    Are you out of your mind? What exactly does the chick bring to the table? The pleasure of her company? Rules like this are antiquated and need to be stopped – we’ve outgrown them as a society. Plus, that money is, in effect, coming out of both spouse’s pockets so time to access where it’s really needed.

  10. Steve says

    What about pegging it to your own jewelry?

    I own two cars, both Mercedes Benzes. One was $47,000 and the other $55,000. Do I go with the cheapest or most expensive or split the difference and go with the average? If it’s the latter, I’m buying an old $500 beater to statistically lower the average!

    What about pegging it to your own jewelry? I have a $15,000 Rolex. I always figured what’s good enough for me, in terms of my absolute best of piece of jewelry, is fair for an engagement ring.

    I think that’s a better financial investment comparison than one’s car. I always figured that if I ever bought an engagement ring, I’d like for something is neighborhood of my watch like $12,000 – $20,000.

    Honestly, is there a noticeable difference to the average person between a $20,000 diamond and $50,000 one.

    • says

      I think you’ve got to buy a $102,000 ring since $47,000 + $55,000 = $102,000. If you buy her a cheaper ring, what does that say about your love for her vs. the love of cars?

      • josh says

        I guess the same comparison could be implied to a woman and her purse. If a women buys a $1000 purse for her self on Christmas she must buy her husband something of equal value to contest her love for him. This is how you sound when you blog! You truly should stop blogging because you sound incredibly dumb!

  11. James says

    Ok so according to this article, you are supposed to spend 1/10th of what you spent on a vehicle. I’ve spent $600 on a vehicle and $12,000 on a vehicle. Add them up and you get $12,600. So 1/10th of that is $1,260. So are you saying I’m supposed to spend $1,260 on a ring? My vehicles aren’t Mercedes, or BMW, or Hummers or anything like that. They are simple vehicles to get me from point A to point B. I don’t have a love for vehicles like some guys do. As long as it runs and gets me to where I need to go, I’m fine. Does this make me cheap? Am I supposed to spend more? And why is everybody worried about how much you spend and how on earth does it relate to the type of love you show for a woman? This is ridiculous in my opinion. Your love shouldn’t be dependent on the jewelery you buy her. I think its all about commercialism and how its warped their fragile little minds. (Goes along with the whole Valentines Day thing)

  12. Ryan says

    Theres so many factors at play with this that a single rule wouldn’t do it justice. Of course people earn more on the west coast than where I live, the midwest. It also depends on how soon you marry. If the couple is in their early 20’s, i wouldn’t expect much more than $1000 to be spent on a ring. But mid 30’s, you should be more financially set and looking in the $10,000 range. I however, have a great rule that you should follow: Buy a bigger ring than her friends have. Lets be honest, she only cares about flaunting it around and making her friends jealous anyway.

    I think we should be spending more on the band instead of the diamond. Diamonds are worthless; they depreciate and are hard to resell. A gold band is literally worth its weight in gold. Just try explaining that to your fiance, hehe..

  13. DC says

    Lets run your 1/10 rule in reverse. Even basic new cars start at 17 to 20 thousand dollars. So according to you, in order to buy one of these basic cars, I should be making at least 170 thousand per year. If people followed that logic, car companies would be out of business. Just out of curiosity, what you drive?

  14. Tron says

    Women only want equality when it comes to MAKING money. They switch to the traditional roles when it comes to SPENDING money. Courtship is where women play the traditional role because they have ENTITLMENTS under those rules (e.g. free drinks, free dinners, free ring…etc). The cost of the rings should be shared like the house work, child care etc.

  15. Carlton says

    Gentlemen, When it comes to articles or studies or messages, I was taught that one needs to keep in mind the source of the information as well as the motivation behind the message. Just because something is in black-and-white does not mean it is true. For example was the author of the article an employee or friend of the diamond association? It appears this article was written to start rumors/conversations in regards to what constitutes the appropriate amount to spend on a diamond.

    We all know that most people with expensive cars have spent more than they should on those cars. Can you imagine those same people purchasing diamonds well beyond their means? That is a recipe for disaster. It’s no wonder that a lot of people have financial difficulties and are on the precipice of bankruptcy.

    Just use your common sense and purchase what feels right for you and your loved one. It matters only to you and her. Try not to buy into the sales pitch and the idea that you need to keep up with the neighbors.

    • says

      Skepticism is good Carlton! After all, you can’t trust everything you read on the internet.

      That would be sweet if I was able to earn money b/c I’m from the diamond association, but I’m not. I’m just a personal finance blogger who loves to write about money, relationships, retirement, and so forth. Check out my About page. I’m an ex-Wall Streeter.

  16. Daniel McCain says

    After going through the article and all comments I must say that I find the author to be amateurish in several ways. Here’s my elaborated viewpoint –

    1- Car/Ring analogy – The fundamental concept is deeply flawed and nonsensical. Cars are the necessities of our life used mostly for our work commute. As overwhelming majority of commentrators have already stated – There is absolutely no relation between vehicle cost and ring cost simply as various vehicles that are owned by people are utility vehicle.

    2- Income relation? – I know proper millionaires who live in lofty houses but own basic family cars and I also know people on measly salary who have bought expensive cars through financing. Simply put – Even when they aren’t in work/utility category there is no corelation between disposable income and car price as people have different needs and desires. Again. it show absolute lack of human understanding.

    3- Gender roles – The article was probably written in 1920 or something like that as it clings to an bygone era. It would be a much better article if author was rational and realistic about our society. It could have talked about discussing the ring cost, financial goals and that groom and bride should go to store together to chose the perfect ring but alas…..

    4- Inability to take criticism – What genuinely surprised me was the authors hostile attitude towards most posters. You made a mistake then own up to it and be courteous and sincere to the posters. That will show maturity and willingness to learn from mistakes to become better but unfortunately the author is being very hostile to posters posting stuff like ‘Sorry you don’t have much money. But with the way you write it’s obvious why. Nobody’s fault but your own boy! Now get back to work in hauling crap for a living’…. WOW!

    This is sincere advice from a concerned reader. Learn from it or you WILL lose all traffic to your site. Best Regards.

    • Justin says

      I agree with Daniel completely. The author’s hostility and inability to take criticism or remain open to other points is bothersome. The premise of the article was an interesting take but I wont bother reading any more from this wall street “retiree” after 13 long years (ie flunked out in 2008-2009, now makes his living selling ad space on an obscure blog) who stands by and tries to force a senseless rule down his reader’s throats and insults them when their particular situation doesn’t match his one-size-fits-all nonsense. Particularly bothersome was the fact that Warren Buffet here couldn’t come to terms with one of the earlier commentor’s note (the crap hauler) that some vehicles are a BUSINESS EXPENSE. And since you seem to like the term cash flow so much I’m curious to hear your “solution” for the average joe who is single and spends 1/10th on a 3k dollar hooptie (median individual income is less than 30k) who is hit with his first couple 2k+ repair costs. Put it on a high interest credit card?

        • men says

          Right on, Financial Samurai!

          I found the article very helpful to form some way to gauge what my partner and I should aim for value-wise in this awkwardly subjective situation. He and I want to be reasonable and fair.

          Her rules, imo, offer some perspective and suggest a responsible take on what to spend in relation to income — I don’t think anyone should take any online advice as hard set rules that must be followed — she’s just giving you a scale to Consider.

          I got a bone to pick with all these nay-saying selfish money hoarding male critics here, tho. First, I completely advocate everyone spending Anything within reason. Second, most men don’t buy utility vehicles out of necessity (very few do, like my partner). Third, it’s just an analogy comparing the expense of a ring to another big ticket purchase most guys really care about and are willing to invest/fork up cash for!!!

          Although Im a feminist, the expense of a ring should still hold true. Honest to god, having a lifelong partner enhances one’s quality of life in all areas – at least that’s why I bother partnering up lol. What does that improvement mean to you? If you short change your partner that’s just a reflection of you. Case in point, my dad upgraded my Mom’s ring and it still was under 1ct. Do I think that’s fair – hell no!! She covered all the groceries, utilities, half the mortgage, all 3 of her kids’ tuition (at a well known private school to biit) and Then some …. .. . She’s been devoted to him and a down right saint while he splurged on cars, shoes and other non-essential items.

          When my Mom defends my dad’s reason for her diamond [due to him not being able to afford more] I just look at her so sadly. He knew she desperately needed to stay with his lame ass because of cultural/social norms and so he reduced her value as a partner to not even a carat. He’s attempted cheating in different respects and got away with it bc she couldn’t find herself alone, or picture herself as a divorcé or raise her kids with that dybamic or see herself meeting anyone else. She takes her vows seriously till the day she dies.

          In my case, I’m glad I came across this article. I won’t expect the 1/10 rule from my partner because I think the size would look gaudy on my tiny, skinny fingers (lucky for him) and I’d rather we save for our house and future savings (I’m ridiculously frugal on daily living expenses)….. but it’s nice to know I’m not asking for too much also.

          So, thank you Financial Samurai :) keep it up!

          • says

            Glad you enjoyed the article, and thanks for your perspective. I particularly appreciate it from your perspective and sharing your parent’s situation. You’ve totally got the gist of the underlying meaning of the article.

            • LC says

              While there are many reasons for one to get on you about your blog and political comments, this post is riddled with humor that I can appreciate and laugh at. When it comes to engagement rings, women (or the receiver of an engagement ring) get a little silly.

              To me – given that my wedding rings are the ONLY piece of jewelry that I wear (and plan on wearing until I die – 40-50 years after my marriage), it was worth the money and well above the 1/10th rule of thumb. We didn’t sacrifice a down payment on a home for it, we did it over time (upgraded after 5 years) and it will outlast any car that I will purchase over my lifetime. Most importantly, he paid cash for it (don’t get me started on financed weddings and rings – ugh!!!).

              If this posts hits a nerve, that’s a good thing. Getting us to think about our money and what we spend it on will get us closer to those milestones that you speak of. Your rules are recommendations, not laws.

  17. Sniper512 says

    Whom ever wrote this article is an absolute moron. For one, last time I checked, my 67 Z/28 Camaro sitting in my garage is worth about 20x what it was brand new back in 1967 (so much for depreciation there). Then there is the fact that most people spread the cost of a vehicle over a 5yr period (Finance, I’m sure it’s something the writer has heard of) where as most engagement ring purchases are paid in full up front.

    The way I look at it is pay what you can afford how you feel comfortable affording it and even if it’s $1k (or even under that), if she’s not happy with it, then she’s probably not worth it anyways. Now this is not to say that someone who makes say $100k a year should buy a $1k ring, just buy what you can afford and what you feel she is worth.

      • rock says

        It won’t go over well, I can promise you. I’m sitting here with my big anniversary rock; however, before I had it, I had to endure my husband splurging on all kinds of nonsense. When I brought that up to him, he realized he was wrong and very selfish. Even he had a change of heart and purchased an anniversary ring that most women only dream about.

  18. skeptical57 says

    I am dating a woman for two years and get along with her very well. We compliment each other and make each other better people. However, I learned today that her mom expects her to have a >$70,000 ring, even if I need to take a loan. My gf is against it, but I worry she may not be able to resist her mom. What is worse is her mom is putting pressure for us to marry soon. I am angry and will obviously not buy a ring any where near that amount. I drive a 2004 ford Taurus by the way and believe in living in your means. Financially I am doing well, but am certainly not rich. I can’t believe that I am dealing with the bs now. She is not like this at all.

    • rock says

      Some women are demanding. The mother-in-law sounds like a narcissist. Although my mother has a ring that’s worth 100k — yes that right, it’s worth one-hundred thousand dollars and she purchased it herself — when she saw the ring my husband got me, even she was well pleased. It’s not worth 100k, but it’s stunning and within a reasonable amount of money — $12,500.

  19. Matthew says

    I love this! Not only do I not need to spend $20k on an engagement ring, (that seemed excessive,) it looks like I’m fine just picking one up from a crackerjacks box since I don’t own a car either. Reading the 1/10th rule though, I should probably go ahead and spend $700 on the ring, since I do own a nice bicycle (well, it was nice 6 years and 25,000 miles ago…)

  20. RtoR says

    1st of all NO ONE SHOULD EVER GET MARRIED before AGE 50, it does not make any financial sense. 50% of all people who get married end up in Divorce, 90% of all Divorces end up with the man PAYING MORE THAN 48% OF HIS SALARY IN CHILD SUPPORT AND ALIMONY.

    Some states like CA, can have you paying Alimony for LIFE and Alimony I most cases is 40-50% of the child support and alimony.

    Think about it, cut your salary in half, the court does not care how you are going to live….YOU WILL PAY PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!

    Tell the lady you will buy a house with her but don’t get married until after age 50, marriages that occur after age 50 have a 90% success rate, so now the odds are in your favor.

    Tell her you are against marriage or you don’t believe in it but if you are together long enough then you would be willing to consider it.

    My GF was all hot and heavy for getting married and I said no way, we can buy a house together and split everything 50/50.

    As far as buying a Ring, I said we can either spend the money on remolding the kitchen or your ring and she gets to choose her ring.

    850 for ring, 15k on the kitchen….well 7k each!

    You guys need to treat this marriage thing like a business arrangement, that is the way the court will do it and if you go into a divorce you can bet your bottom dollar that she will to, no matter how sweet and sexy they seem now. When a Lawyer gets them in a room you are done for.

  21. Michelle says

    I don’t think it’s fair to say that women expect men to spend that much money on an engagement ring. SOME women, yes, but not all. The author’s generalization of women is extremely unfair. That’s like saying that because women in porn let men do X to her, that they ALL will, which, as I’m sure even the author has discovered, is not true.

    And $20k-$50k? Are you insane? Where’s my damn house? If my SO proposed to me with something that cost that much, I don’t care how much money he makes (which is NOT enough to justify spending that much) he’d be returning it and buying something sensibly priced. It is not about “what she is worth” or “how beautiful you say she is” or “how much your fucking car costs”. Any woman who sees their SO’s car and says/thinks “well, if he can spend $50k on something that will only lower in value but is actually a useful, functional item, then he should spend at least that on my ring” needs her head examined and possibly to be sterilized so she cannot infect her children with that ridiculous way of thinking.

    You can also take diamonds and stick them up your ass; I don’t really like them. And that’s another thing: how is your SO supposed to divine what style of ring YOU will want to wear for the rest of your life? Why does he get to choose it? My SO would NEVER have even found the ring I picked, never mind known that it’s what I would want. He would have gone to some jewelry store and picked out [insert generic diamond solitaire engagement ring here] because what does he know about buying rings except that jewelry stores sell them and that diamonds are “tradition” (created by the diamond industry to convince non-rich people to buy diamonds)?

    That also leaves out those couples who live together and have joint finances BEFORE getting engaged. If HE bought me an engagement ring it would be US paying for it because the money would come out of our single, JOINT account. HE is not expected to pay for anything. WE are making a decision together with OUR money. And my ring will likely only cost $3000. I say “only” as compared to $20k. $3000 is a lot of money to many people, me included.

      • rock says

        Most women won’t agree~! I think most women will be pretty upset when their husband drives a fancy corvette, gets a new expensive Apple computer, $900 cell phone and then the wife gets a crackerjack ring?! Well, I brought that up to my husband and sure enough, he got me a very beautiful ring. I did give him some old gold to help with a trade-in, since I never wear the stuff. He paid 90% of the ring in cash. The other ten percent was from the old gold I gave him to trade-in for the ring. We’re both very happy with the arrangement. He couldn’t live with himself knowing that he drove a corvette, had an expensive apple computer & cell phone and what did he get me??! I got a gorgeous big rock to wear everyday! Even my husband likes the ring and shows it off to all who will listen. The whole point is to make each other happy! :)

  22. CamCam says

    This article is quite interesting. The beauty of this topic is that no two people are the same. It’s like politics. Yes, there are two major sides but the lines blur when you get into the deeper arguments. I can speak from experience to say that the size of “the ring” usually correlates to a person’s feeling of worth. The man wants to either be practical and make a financially sound decision and does, he could get bullied into a larger and pricier ring because he does not want to argue and does not wear the pants in the relationship or he feels that he needs or wants to show off his worth to others and splurges.
    On to my second point, women wear large rocks for other women. We want to show the world that we value ourselves and we make good decisions in finding a partner. Those that talk about “feminism” do not understand the true nature of man. We are primitive creatures that still uphold the “hunter, gatherer” traditions. We want to show that our mate is powerful and successful (think Lion King here), and that we are attractive and the best possible mates.
    Very simple way of dealing with this…. Make the best possible decision for your wallet, your future and your place in life and work on making the future marriage a successful one.

  23. komook says

    I appreciate this article. I agree the old “rules” for engagement rings are ridiculous. For the past year or so I’ve brought up the fact to my husband that he LOVES cars, and wastes so much money on them and jewelry to me is like cars to him; only my jewelry will never lose its value, yet every car hes ever owned or will own will just become a hunk of wasted money and junk over a short period of time with absolutely NOTHING to show for it in the end.

    cars= shiny metallic objects, rust, break, fall apart, cost to upkeep, always in demand of repairs/service, tires, oil, road tax/license fees, cost more than the original price, quickly depreciating value; yet still somehow brings owner happiness
    jewelry = shiny metallic objects that never lose value, rarely cost more than the original price, small amounts or service usually free anyway, won’t depreciate; brings happiness to owner

    My husband is really a bit of a not-so-nice when it comes to the combination of me and jewelry. I really don’t ask for much of anything, but I do love and appreciate jewelry. I don’t wear expensive clothing or waste money on handbags, clothing, hairstyles or jewelry or anything really. Over the past 11 years or so I’ve bought him PS4, ifad this, ifad that, phones, cameras, expensive watches etc, expensive clothing, whatever he desired; totalling many thousands of dollars, all paid with my own hard saved money, not OUR money. He has always earned about 4x what I make. He has a new, leased or new/used car every few years. I’m grateful that I’ve had a couple of nice cars too. And I do adore my husband. But as soon as I bring up jewelry, he literally just “cant’t stand it” and “it’s a waste of money” and has no patience for any of it.
    In fairness to him he has bought me a couple of jewelry items that I do love and are valuable, but if we’re talking “fairness” in respect to money spent on each other, I’ve spent FAR MORE on him and his toys.

    I will admit that yes, because he earns more, he spends more on upkeep of our home and lifestyle; but again I dont ask for much, and once in a while, when I do want a nice piece of jewelry ($150-500), it would be nice if he would think about how much it means to ME, and not so much about what it means to him. Do I love him – yes. Does he love me – yes. Is he generally a wonderful person – yes. I’m not trying to say “poor me” or say that hes a terrible husband or person, because he’s not.

    What sparked all of this conversation and me finding this website, was HIM getting tipsy one night and ALL OF HIS OWN ACCORD, telling me that for our anniversary I could pick out my “dream ring” with a budget of $5K, and then says he doesn’t remember it and it’s way too much money. All the while he’s planning to get himself an new/used car for $10-40k in the next year, and I have never once told him he can’t do it.

    Sorry darling, I love you, but you REALLY hurt my feelings, and make me feel like I’m not worth as much to you as your wants and your expensive car habits.

  24. briddy says

    why should it really be so influenced by the circumstance of the giver, when it is the receiver who will be wearing it every single day for the rest of their life. a good test is to ask the girl how much she would spend on her own ring, and what cut she would choose, if the girl was supposed to buy her own ring, and there’s your answer. if you would be happier spending more/less make the diamond a tiny bit bigger/smaller, or choose a more/less expensive metal in the same colour scheme i.e. replace silver with white gold or white gold with platinum.

  25. Samantha says

    I love all these jaded, divorce-obsessed men defending their sleek and shiny assertions of phallic dominance!

    I’m all about modesty in the ring department (let’s get real – does this woman wearing her 3 carat, E color, VVS1 yellow diamond not feel absurd making sandwiches and flushing toilets with that hand?). I’m also all about going Dutch, or finding a wedding band for the groom that is just as flashy and fabulous!

    However – in response to all of these risk-assessment fellows who insist that true feminists don’t deserve engagement rings, and especially in response to the gentleman who suggested that a woman’s only contribution to a marriage is her swell company, I pose the question: do you have the expectation that your wife will bear any children?

    Maybe we should calculate what 9 months of pregnancy and the experience of childbirth is worth to you? Your child is essentially renting her uterus, after all. A studio apartment can sometimes go for $500/month; is that not an adequate comparison? So far you’re looking at a $4.5k ring. Double that if you want two kids. Triple it for three.

    If a guy isn’t willing to shell out a couple of grand on principle because a lady’s contribution is inadequate, perhaps this lady isn’t unjustified in suggesting that she bear some other, better-looking guy’s child…aw, hell, just adopt a bunch of cats. After all, what is HIS sperm really contributing to marriage?

    Is this argument absurd? OF COURSE. But so is the suggestion that someone you love and care about enough to promise the best years of your life to doesn’t ‘deserve’ a potentially expensive item just because, you know….they got the right to vote, so just shut up already.

    • Julia says

      Samantha: I was just about to post the exact same argument, then I read your post. I totally agree.

      To the guys who think women who want an engagement ring are shallow, money-grabbing bitches, please ask yourself: Do you want children? Do you want your future spouse to personally donate her eggs for your children? Do you want her to personally nurture that baby in her uterus for nine months, all the while experiencing the following non-exclusive list of symptoms: Morning sickness; frequent urination; vaginal discharge; gas and bloating; bleeding gums; constipation; excessive salivation; hemorrhoids; itchy skin; nosebleeds; swollen extremities (edema); yeast infections, and possible other life-threatening complications? At the conclusion of those nine months, do you expert her to push that baby out of her vagina while experiencing horrific pain and more possible life-threatening complications (if you don’t believe labor is painful, consider watching see Do you expect her to do this, possibly multiple times, for free?

      I won’t go into the costs of actually raising the child once it’s born: as a feminist, I’m assuming that both partners will take equal responsibility for that. But, the one thing men can’t do is pregnancy. Generally, it costs somewhere around $100,000.00-$150,000.00 to hire a surrogate mother. And, the surrogate mother isn’t supplying the egg. That will cost you more. Thus, I think a reasonable estimate of the value of a wife supplying you children is likely at least around $100,000.00 PER CHILD. It should be noted that every women I’ve talked to, regardless of whether they desire children, has had multiple nightmares about pregnancy. Although I may want a child or two, my worst nightmare has been, hands down, about giving birth. I’m guessing you expect your future wife to go through this horror FOR FREE because she loves you.

      In contrast, the average engagement ring costs around $5,000.00.

      Do I believe that a man should spend $100,000.00 on an engagement ring? NO. Do I think a man should go into debt for an engagement ring? NO. But, given our current cultural norms and the expectation that you may have a child or two after marriage, if a man isn’t willing to spend some reasonable amount on whatever a woman wants as an engagement gift because he can’t see the value of everything (let alone the pregnancies) she’s promising to contribute in their marriage, the guy is not marriage material. If she wants something sparkly, so be it. If she wants a bank account, so be it. If she wants to take a vacation with you, consider yourself lucky.


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