Let’s talk about everyone’s favorite subject: debt. Sure, not all debt is bad debt and, yes, you can strategically go about debt and make it work for you. We aren’t here to Dave Ramsey you to death. However, with the average cost of an engagement ring pushing $6,000 (!!), we gotta have a chat.
You Aren’t Made of Money
If you are, well, this might not be for you. Also, please share your secrets with us, Mr. Monopoly. Let’s throw some figures at you real quick. Here’s a rapid-fire breakdown of types of debt that married couples tend to have (as of 2019).
- The average single person had $51,264 in debt
- The average married couple carried $112,627 in debt (more than twice the average single debt for those of you playing along at home)
- The average Millennial carried $78,396 in debt
- The average wedding debt is $11,737
Now, again, we know not all debt is bad. Some of this debt is a mortgage and student loans, and you can argue that both of those are worthwhile investments (at least for some people). Sure, we aren’t here to argue that. We just want to put things in perspective.
A Little History
You can thank the De Beers Company for giving rise to the nutty price of wedding rings and all accompanying accouterments, but that’s a story for another time. The short of it is that less than 100 years ago, the wedding ring industry ballooned in value and had the capital to drive a goliath of a marketing machine to make you feel the need to buy more than you can afford.
Ever heard the phrase “A Diamond Is Forever?” One of the most iconic marketing campaigns of all time was created by the De Beers Company (yep, they’re back) and drove a meteoric rise in engagement ring sales (and prices). Fun fact, the original De Beers campaign referenced two months’ salary as the proper price for a wedding ring instead of the three months that’s referenced today. Hmmm. In reality, the question of how much you should spend on an engagement ring is a deeply personal one and can’t be summed up in a quick and pithy bit of advice.
Source: shutterstock.com/Vadym Pastukh
Yes, We Know You Want the Best for Your Fiancée
And why shouldn’t you? You want to get the best for the love of your life, but what if more debt isn’t the best (hint: it’s not). The wedding industry is quite literally worth billions (60+ to be more precise). That means there is an industry that’s roughly equivalent to the GDP of Lebanon trying to coax you into more debt.
What Alternative Does Modern Gents Provide?
We’re glad you asked! Well, first and foremost, we offer an alternative. Ignore the three months’ salary rule. Ignore the average wedding ring cost. Ignore the petty battle to “keep up with the Joneses.” All those serve to sell you a ring that costs thousands of dollars and keep well-meaning people in debt.
We offer affordable engagement rings. Engagement rings in the three figures, not the four (or the five, for that matter). Yes, you want the best for your fiancée, and we understand. However, if you could get a ring that looks just as good as anything else out there for a fraction of the price, why wouldn’t you?
A few thousand dollars saved goes a long way. Throw it at a luxurious honeymoon or put it in your savings account. Whatever you choose, think long-term. Your wedding day is the first step in a lifelong story, so make a wise choice over the long term.