(Closed) The 3 months salary rule when purchase an e-ring? Especially for high earners

posted 4 years ago in Rings
Post # 3
11760 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think you should spend what you can afford and what is best for you. Some people may want an expensive ring and be able to afford it, then go for it. Some people may be able to afford an expensive ring and not want it, that’s fine to.  Everyone has different priorities when it comes to finances.

My DH and I were on the same page about what we wanted in my e-ring.  We could afford it, it was fairly expensive and came to about 2-3 months of take home pay, but I didn’t feel like I had to spend $x amount because it was 3 months pay. I got what we liked/wanted and what we could afford.  

Post # 4
1329 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

That’s not a “rule”. It’s propoganda put out by the diamond industry to trick people into spending a lot of money on diamonds.

Totally ridiculous, in my opinion. But I also think spending money on diamonds is ridiculous to begin with.

Post # 5
2297 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

My FI makes 6 figures and definitely did not spend 3 months salary on my ring.  I don’t think I’d be comfortable wearing the equivalent of a car on my hand. He could have spent a lot more, but being the practical man he is, wanted to save money more for our future (i.e. a down payment on a house).  

ETA:  It’s the meaning behind the ring that matters most…isn’t that the point?

Post # 6
4442 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall

@feetwilltravel:  DH thought this was a total joke when we started ring shopping and refused to spend that amount.  Luckily we found a set that came in under his budget AND made me happy.

Post # 7
831 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

No way. It’s ridiculous, but especially those with lower incomes – that is a HUGE portion of your annual income.

If a man makes $60k, that’s like $42K after taxes, so that would be a $10,500 ring. That is insane if someone is making 60K. Like, it is so ridiculous it boggles my mind. It’s just financially irresponsible.

Now, if someone is making $350K, they could probably absorb a $50K ring and still put food on the table, but it’s still kind of ridiculous in my opinion.

Post # 8
922 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I think that “rule” is totally stupid.  Most men aren’t going to finance a ring and they don’t have that amount saved for an engagement ring.  I think my FI spent 1.5 months salary on mine, and I thought that was a lot.  He should spend whatever he is comfortable spending.

Post # 9
3221 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

I think rules like this are stupid, and that there should be no “expectations.” If anyone thinks they deserve a certain price ring, they should be prepared to front some of the money themselves. However, when you are a high earner, you tend to just buy more expensive things. My family seems appalled at my 1 carat diamond because 2+ is expected in their circle.

We didn’t follow the three month rule. Rather, we followed the “try on a bunch of rings with different center stones, and figure out which one felt more comfortable” rule instead. 

Post # 10
3574 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I thought it was two months…. but no, I think that’s crazy.  My FI spent around three weeks salary on mine. 

Post # 11
4479 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Mine didn’t, and doing so would be extremely out of character.  If he had, I would have thought he had a tumor and sent him to the doctor.


I agree with MrsWbs that it’s about what you can afford.  The 3 months salary rule’s fine if the couple is good at saving.  That, however, is quite rare these days, regardless of earnings.  I don’t think having a large salary changes the circumstances of the 3 month rule that much – when people earn more, they usually adjust their lifestyle accordingly.  I also think that being good with money isn’t necessarily related to income.  I’ve known people who earned a lot and figured out how to spend it all, while I’ve also known people with more modest incomes who are good at saving and have a safe financial cushion.


One more point: that 3 months salary rule makes a big difference if you’re talking pre or post tax income.  Most people think of just pre-tax income with rules like this, but if we’re talking post-tax, that 3 months salary can turn into 4 or more months salary.

Post # 12
6361 posts
Bee Keeper

We certainly did not follow that “rule.”

As high-earners that would have been a ridiculously expensive ring. We already got a ring in 18k with a diamond that was the most attractive size for my finger, with very good quality, for far less than that, and it is still a bloody expensive ring.

Like come on, it’s just a ring… for a high earner couple, 3 months’ salary is some major moolah…and it’s not like our fingers are so much fatter than people with lower incomes so why the heck would we need to blow way way more cash on it? How can we spend that much on it??! All the while knowing that more than 925 million people around the world can’t buy enough grains to fill their stomachs tonight. No, I don’t think so! We spent a lot, and that was enough! There is no way I’m wasting 3 months of my fiance’s salary on one silly ring.

Money is a form of power and with more power comes more responsibility.

Post # 13
115 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I used to always joke w/ my BF about that rule. But in reality I think it’s a balancing act of ensuring that you get something that the girl will love but at the same time is affordable and practical. 

Post # 14
831 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@MrsTVLover:  It DID used to be 2 months, then “they” changed it to 3 months.  I actually think it may have been 1 month back in the day.

Post # 16
2147 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

FI spent about 2 months salary,maybe closer to 3, BUT he used his tax return so it didn’t hurt him whatsoever.

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