Engagement rings: Getting on the same page

Talking about budgeting for engagement rings may not be romantic, but I sure was excited to do it! Mostly because I knew my now-husband and I were ready to get married, and I wanted us to be on the same page. Even more so because this was going to be the first big purchase we would make as a couple. 

Now, purchasing an engagement ring looks different for every couple. Some couples choose to split the cost between the two parties, and others decide to forgo getting an engagement ring entirely. But no matter what you decide, getting on the same page is the most important part. Below are a few talking points to help you process together, as a couple.

Who’s paying?

It’s been a long-held tradition that one party pays for the entire ring, but that’s been shifting in recent years. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for both parties to chip in for an engagement ring. 

You might already have assumed how things will work, but have you shared your thoughts with your partner? If not, then do that! And afterwards, listen to their thoughts. Does your partner feel strongly about splitting the cost? Why or not why? Does it make sense for one person to pay? If you don’t share and listen, you could end up in a situation where you two are on completely different pages when it comes time to make the purchase, which only makes things more challenging. And remember, there’s no right or wrong answer here. There’s only what works for you both. 

After you talk and come to a decision about who’s covering the cost of the ring, talk about what the budget will be. If you’re both paying, does that mean the ring budget goes up, or will it stay the same because you’ve capped the total price? You might also talk about whether one person will pay more. 

If you plan to go the more traditional route with one person paying for the engagement ring, that person should have a bigger say in what the budget will be. If you’ve already started saving up, one thing you might consider sharing with your partner is the budget you have in mind. That comes in handy if you’d like their input in picking out the ring. Or, do you plan to keep the budget and ring a total surprise? Discuss that with your partner. 

My now-husband and I talked extensively about who would pay. I do think of an engagement ring as a gift from the proposer to the proposee, but I still chose to offer to pay because I knew our finances would merge one day anyway, and I didn’t think that paying for some of the ring would make it any less of a gift. In the end, he chose to pay for the engagement ring and wedding band for me, and I picked up the tab for his wedding band. 

Talk about expectations

Not just about money, but also about the ring itself. Maybe only one person will wear an engagement ring (which isn’t always the case!), but oftentimes both parties like to have the opportunity to give input into what the ring will look like. Now, this doesn’t mean that ring can’t be a surprise. If you planned on keeping the final look hidden, you can still talk generally about expectations. 

This is also a great time to figure out if expectations outweigh the budget so that they can be adjusted to match. Once my husband and I landed on a budget, I tried to find styles and stones that matched my style that were also within that budget. 

The good news is there are so many options of metal type, stone, sizes, etc. that you’ll definitely find something you both love that works with whatever budget you set. 

If you haven’t started saving, start now!

If you can, it’s best to pay for the ring (and wedding!) in cash. If you haven’t started saving yet, there’s no better time than now! Trying making a Goal Envelope for the ring (and wedding) purchase, so you’re prepared when the time comes. 

Happy budgeting, 

Karisa

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