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If you’ve recently decided to start shopping for an engagement ring, a big congrats. This next step will either be exciting or incredibly overwhelming. Maybe both. First you’ll need to decide how much money you can drop on this ring. Before you even step foot inside a jewelry store or start browsing online, you’ll need to crunch the numbers. You might even be familiar with the infamous three month rule. If this freaks you out, don’t panic. There’s plenty of other options besides blowing a decent size chunk of your yearly salary on a ring, let’s take a look below:Engagement Ring How Many Monthly Salary 1

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The three month rule
Decades ago De Beers posted an advertisement that essentially promoted this traditional rule of thumb. When shopping for a ring, it’s expected for men to spend about three months of their salary, they said. This rule caught on quickly and spread across the world. Though times have changed a bit, many men stick to this rule when it comes to shopping. If you have the cash to spend, go for it! Spoil your lady with a large, sparking diamond.

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One month rule
This rule might make you feel better if you’re on a tight budget. More women aren’t concerned about the size of the ring. Some partners want their men to be realistic and buy what they can afford. There’s no need to start a marriage off in debt. Platinum Guild International interviewed several hundred married Japanese women about their thoughts on the engagement ring guide. More than half believed that men should spend only one month of their salary on an engagement ring.

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The car rule
Some guys are following a new rule when it comes to buying an engagement ring. Basically take half of the amount of money you’d spend on a new car and spend that cash on a ring. Most guys are usually obsessed with cars so this might be a great way for you to base your price range on. Would you be willing to spend half of a new BMW on a ring? It puts your engagement in perspective.

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Buy what you can afford
This rule should be common sense. If you aren’t bringing home a large salary, don’t try to splurge on a 4 carat diamond. It’s important to be realistic. If your girl cannot understand this and is extremely picky about the size and sparkle of the ring, you might want to reevaluate your relationship.

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Make your own rules
Be honest. Who really cares what you spend on the engagement ring? You and your partner should be focused on the marriage and love you have for each other. Buy what you can afford and maybe but a bigger ring later in life when you’ve made more money.

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Diamond alternatives = less expensive
Many brides are also opting for a different gemstone rather than a diamond, which can put your wallet at ease. You can choose from emeralds, blue, white, and pink sapphires, morganites, aquamarines, and pearls. The possibilities are endless. Don’t feel as if you have to splurge on a cookie cutter solitaire diamond ring. Be open about what you both want to spend and get her input. She’s the one who will be wearing this ring every day for the rest of her life.

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