f you’re planning on proposing this Valentine’s Day, you might want to take another look at your bank balance first.
Almost half of the people proposing to their lover will get into debt to pay for their engagement ring, according to new national research ahead of V Day on Friday.
One in five of those who get into debt will then take between two to five years to pay off the cost of that engagement ring – with most people using a credit card to buy the thing. Which might put a slight dampener on wedding planning.
The research, conducted by money.co.uk, found that more than a third regret how much they spent on an engagement ring and admit they wish they had spent less on it.
Millennials were especially regretful – with more than half saying they spent too much on their engagement ring.
Romantically, one in four men said they have put off proposing because of Brexit uncertainty. So cheers for that, Boris.
How much should you spend on an engagement ring?
Tradition dictates that someone must spend at least three months’ salary on the ring, but this means the actual figure could vary dramatically depending on how much a person earns.
However, experts say that there’s a new trend among couples, with most spending around one month’s salary.
The money.co.uk research shows that 1 in 10 Brits believe they should spend around double their monthly salary on a ring to propose to their partner.
But really, how much you decide to spend is entirely personal. And you really shouldn’t get yourself into financial difficulty for the sake of aligning with old traditions.
‘Our research shows that the average amount of debt Brits incur buying an engagement ring is around £6,300, around 2.6 times the average monthly salary – an eye-watering sum if you are getting into debt to pay for it,’ says Salman Haqqi, money.co.uk personal finance expert.
‘Spending outside of your means, even with the most romantic intentions, can lead to future financial difficulties that you should try to avoid.
‘When it comes to the cost, the head should always lead the heart, so make sure you budget for your new bling and don’t let the seductive sparkle impact your spending.’
Interestingly, the younger people are when they propose, the more debt they seem to get into.
Gen Z (born after 1995) is the most extravagant, incurring a debt of around £7,700 for the purchase of their ring, while those aged 55 and over, spend closer to £5,000.
To help romantics plan their spending, money.co.uk has created an engagement ring cost calculator, designed to give people an accurate indication of how much they can afford to spend on an engagement ring.
‘We know that money can’t buy you love but, if you’re not careful, love can cost you far more than it needs to,’ adds Salman. ‘Our engagement ring cost calculator can help you plan your finances properly and ensure you buy a ring that matches your personal financial situation.’
So if you’re planning to pop the question, remember that the gesture isn’t about the worth of the ring – love is priceless.