Would You Spend Less Than $100 On An Engagement Ring?

Buying an engagement ring can be an emotionally draining purchase. For most people, it’s more than jewelry: It’s a symbol of love and affection and of the serious commitment they want to make to a lifelong partner.  For years, it’s been bandied that the diamond industry spearheaded this notion that you have to spend 3 months of your salary on an engagement ring.  As we have witnessed millennials and now generation Z changing the way we do many things in their lives, are they going to change what we spend on engagement rings?  How much is love worth?

In a recent study that was one, here is what late-stage millennials and generation Z had to say about engagement rings:

 Engagement rings should cost…

  • Less than $100: 11 percent of Gen Z and 8 percent of young Millennials 
  • Between $100 and $999: 43 percent of Gen Z and 31 percent of young Millennials 
  • $1,000 to $2,499: 28 percent of Gen Z and 30 percent of young Millennials 
  • $2,500 to $4,999: 11 percent of Gen Z and 18 percent of young Millennials 
  • $5,000 to $10,000: 5 percent of Gen Z and 10 percent of young Millennials 

When it comes to spending money, you should really only spend what you can afford on an engagement ring. Under no circumstances should you pile up a bunch of credit-card or personal debt to buy an engagement ring.  And, the whole notion of three months’ salary for a ring would put some folks at $30,000 for a ring.  We certainly don’t want to take the example of what was recently given to Cardi B, which was reported at $500,000.  That just doesn’t seem responsible at all.

Part of the reason these generations are spending less money on engagement rings is the mounting level of student debt and that more couples are having to bear the cost of paying for their own wedding.  With overall student debt north of $1.6 trillion, those that do want to get married don’t want to drive their financial situation to be worse than it is currently.  Also, we are seeing a shift in what these generations value.  These generations would much rather spend the money on an amazing and memorable honeymoon than a physical worldly possession such as an engagement ring.

We are also seeing a shift in buying patterns and the types of functional rings that are available.  One of the emerging new companies in functional rings is QALO, who specializes in silicone rings that are stylish and functional at the same time.  With a cost on average of $20, you don’t have to worry as much about losing your ring and you can create a variety of rings for you and your spouse to wear.  Some people are also substituting diamond rings for moissanite rings, which have properties that look very similar to diamonds but at a much lower cost.  Last, some people are just getting ring tattoos and foregoing jewelry altogether.

One of the most interesting changes is that women are feeling more strongly than men that rings should be less expensive.   I’m not sure if the cost of rings will all go under $1,000 on average or as low as $100 on average, but one thing is true…. the cost of an engagement ring is getting lower each and every year.  Maybe people are realizing love is more important than money.

About the author  ⁄ Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves


My friends and family all think I’m a workaholic, but I say I’m just a guy that loves to help people do better in life.

My mother is still the only one that calls me by my real name Theodore Michael, my wife calls me Teddy, but for the rest of you it is just plain old Ted.

Ever since I was a little kid, I always loved money and being an entrepreneur. In fact, I still have cassette tapes of me talking to my grandmother at the age of five and my mother tells me all the time how much I played with money as a kid...

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Ted Jenkin is a frequent guest columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Headline News Weekend Express. He is the co-CEO of oXYGen Financial. You can follow him on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/theceoadvisor or on Twitter @tedjenkin.

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra Investment Services, LLC or Kestra Advisory Services, LLC. This is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor regarding your individual situation. 

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