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Engagement costs

Whether it’s romantically planned or joyously spontaneous, your engagement is a special day.

September 2021 – 5 minute read

Key takeaways from this article:

  • How much should I spend on an engagement
  • Engagement goals
  • How to save for an engagement ring
  • How can I meet my budget
Engaged couple embracing each other in the park

Whether it’s romantically planned or joyously spontaneous, your engagement is a special day.

How much to spend on an engagement

We know it’s exciting popping the question. We also understand, it can be financially stressful. Whether you’re a planner, or a real spur of the moment person, we have the financial options to help you save and pay for your engagement.

How much should I spend on an engagement ring?

The traditional rule for engagement rings is to spend three months’ salary. However, your decision to get married should not be dictated by financial ratios. Choose the engagement ring that feels right and that you can afford.

You may have seen the perfect venue for a garden party and need to save for hiring costs, catering, etc. Perhaps you want to pop the question underwater on a long-planned for diving holiday because you’re both mad keen divers? Or you want to celebrate with your friends at home?

Engagement ring cost

According to a 2019 survey, the average amount spent on an engagement ring was around $5,300. The same survey found that around 80% of engagement rings featured a diamond.

What you spend on your engagement - on the rings or tokens, on the party or quiet dinner – comes down to how you want to express yourself. We can help you save and pay for your dream.

If you’re a saver and you have the time, then setting your savings goal and finding the right savings account can help you reach your financial goals.

But not all of us are savers, or have the time.

If your proposal is more spontaneous, we have other financial options that can help you pay for your engagement and the ring or expression of love you choose.

If you and your partner have something specific in mind for your engagement, you might want to consider a loan to fund it.

You may have joint savings you could use to part fund your engagement, which you might then supplement with a loan. We can help you calculate how much you can borrow and how to manage your repayments.

Taking out a loan could help you meet your engagement needs. You can read more about how a personal loan might help you here.

Setting your engagement goals

When it comes to what you can spend on your engagement, it’s totally up to you. You can find handcrafted rings for under $1000 or more than $100,000. You could be going away for a romantic weekend or celebrating your announcement with friends. How you finance your engagement is an important consideration.

How to save for an engagement ring

Step 1: Listen out for hints.

Often, if your partner is expecting a proposal they will drop hints about an engagement ring. Keep an ear out for any hints or suggestions.

Step 2: List out your goals.

If you want to propose in a specific place or location, factor in any cost. Also consider the costs of an engagement party.

Step 3: Research the costs.

Have a look online at typical engagement ring costs. If you know that your partner likes a specific kind of ring, be sure to check the associated costs.

Step 4: Choose a date.

Write down the dates you’d like to meet these goals. Even if it’s not an exact date, a certain time period will help you save up periodically.

Step 5: Set your limit.

Once you have a ballpark idea of the costs, decide how much you want to spend.

Step 6: Make a budget.

To ensure you’ll be on track to purchase the ring you’ve got your eye on, calculate how much you’ll have to save each month to meet the cost and date. Set up a budget and be disciplined.

Step 7: Look for a good deal.

When it comes time to purchase the ring, don’t just buy the first one you see. Check if the ring is available at different stores and enquire if there are any deals available.

Whether it’s setting up a savings account or considering a personal loan, or a combination, having a plan will help.

Meeting your engagement goals

If you’re paying for more than one goal – the party, a traditional ring or more contemporary personal tokens, the wedding, the honeymoon - consider how you can manage your long or short term goals in one account.

Thinking about using credit

You may want to think about making deposits or small incidental purchases using a credit card. We can help you find a credit card that suits your needs. For example, some credit cards can help you rack up frequent flyer points and rewards that you can use for your honeymoon or when you next travel together. We can also help you with your repayments through SmartPlan.

SmartPlan helps you structure credit card repayments by breaking them down into a number of regular monthly instalments.

For the savers

You might choose from a savings account that rewards you with bonus interest, or an online savings account with a great introductory interest rate, we can help you get the right account.

How can I meet my budget

Often meeting your budget comes with compromises. If you’re going in for an engagement ring with a gemstone, this is where the 4Cs matter.

The 4Cs and why they are important

Colour, clarity, carat, cut – these are the 4Cs behind the grading of any gemstone. The better the colour, the clearer the stone, the more weight (carat) and the style of cut - all add to the cost of the gemstone and so affect the price of your engagement ring. For example, many of the expensive rings use Princess or round cuts – there are nine popular cuts for gemstones.

What’s important to you when it comes to the 4Cs will help you find the perfect engagement ring.

Of course, there are many couples who would shy away from the traditional gemstone ring, choosing, instead, a token of love that expresses who they are and how they view their commitment. From a Claddagh Irish ring to shared tattoos, talking together about what you want and how you will achieve your dream is important.

The 5th C - compromise

You’ve done your sums. You know what you have and what you might need to borrow and comfortably manage financially. Deciding what matters to you and what you are willing to compromise on can help you decide where you might cut costs. It could be in the traditions, such as the ring. There are services which offer stone upgrades. You can buy a stone within your budget now but can upgrade the stone as time goes by returning the original and putting the value against the new stone.

You may decide you can pop the question without the expense of a special dinner or reduce the guest numbers at the party. Your choices can help you achieve the perfect engagement within your budget.

You may find these useful

Saving for a honeymoon

Plan for your top honeymoon destination and see how a honeymoon fund can help you get there.

Married life

How do married couples split their finances? Tips and tools for setting up your finances together.

Planning a wedding

Taking the overwhelm out of your dream day – tools and tips to help you plan and save.

Things you should know

This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness for the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice. Credit Criteria and terms and conditions apply.

© Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714