One of my all time favorite posts is my April Fool’s Day post from last year on the Raymond Lee Jewelers blog.
I had so much fun writing it, drawing on overheard snippets of conversation, terrible advice from women’s magazines, and – horrifyingly – actual words spoken by jewelry professionals. It was a great exercise in nonsense, and proved to me, once again, that I’d be utterly lost without the calculator app. Words > numbers in my book.
Anyway, people saw the graphic and they. were. MAD. Which was my intention. It was an April Fool’s Day prank, after all! And I even included a little tip in the fine print, which everyone should always read. But it definitely struck a chord with people who saw it, and for good reason. No one can (or should!) tell you how to spend your money. And to some, the entirely-made-up figure I arrived at was an absurd amount to spend on an engagement ring.
And others tend to take things too personally – not everything on the internet is written at you. Your Facebook friend didn’t get a 2 carat engagement ring to belittle your 1 carat. Tacori didn’t design the RoyalT collection to make you feel bad about your Dantela halo, you know?
But I get it, an engagement ring is an emotional purchase. It’s a highly charged symbol with big, yuuuuge implications. And it’s usually a relatively large chunk of cash for the buyer, regardless of your budget. But take out the emotional aspect that gets people so riled up and, ahem, opinionated, and it reminds me of another big purchase. And a question you don’t hear quite as often.
How much should you spend on a car?
Maybe you finally made it, bro, and you want to drive a Maserati. It’s your money, no one can tell you how to spend your cash (or credit.) Maybe to you, that’s way too flashy and you’d prefer a luxurious, but more sensible, Mercedes. Maybe money is no object whatsoever and you just buy a fleet of Bentleys to be pulled by white tigers.
Maybe, you’re more practically minded, and want to invest your money elsewhere, so you buy a high quality, new Toyota that will last its lifetime. Or maybe you just don’t have the money to drop on a new car right now, so you buy a nice pre-owned one that’s perfect for you. Maybe you’ll upgrade in a few years. Maybe you won’t.
Maybe you don’t give a flying f*** about cars and you’d rather ride your bike everywhere!
There are as many individual scenarios as there are transportation options. And if anyone asked how much you should spend on a car, you’d likely say “Well that depends, what kind of car are you looking for?” Ditto for diamonds!
Your budget should always reflect your personal financial situation and your desires. There is no magic formula (anyone who tells you otherwise is an extra from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.) The two month’s salary rule is not a real thing. There is no hard and fast rule – ultimately it’s up to you how much you feel comfortable spending and what type of engagement ring you want!
So, if you are looking for a formula, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Though you can feel free to use the one I made up last year. Here’s looking at you Mr. White Tiger Bentley (that’s illegal and wrong, BTW.)