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How much would you spend on an engagement ring?

engagement ring survey image

Is there anything better in a relationship than the exciting, romantic and an unforgettable moment between two people as one person declares their commitment by offering their partner a symbol of their undying love?

No, we’re not talking about graciously offering out the last Hobnob, even though to offer another person your last biscuit is the height of civility, especially in the UK. We’re talking about asking for your partner’s hand in marriage by offering them an engagement ring (duh).

Those little bands of metal are the traditional way to ask someone to marry them but they don’t exactly come cheap, with many costing hundreds if not thousands of pounds each. The bone of contention is how much you should spend on an engagement ring, especially when the meaning behind it is so powerful.

Before a flurry of wedding proposals on Valentine’s Day (14th February) and perhaps a few women proposing to men on Leap Day 2020 (29th February), we thought we would find out the public’s opinion on the matter to see how much the average Brit would spend on an engagement ring. Cue our survey: ‘How much would you spend on an engagement ring?’

How much should I spend on an engagement ring?

There isn’t an exact figure for how much you should spend on an engagement ring, and quite rightly the price will depend on individual taste, how much you can afford and what you consider to be a reasonable price.

Tradition dictates that a man should spend 3 month’s salary on buying an engagement ring, but nowadays the average person might not be able to save 3 months’ salary, so might be a bit more reserved on price.

The only saving grace is that there are finance options you can consider, allowing you to pay off a larger amount over a longer period, without paying interest. You can do the same thing with a 0% purchase credit card too, but it’s worth comparing credit cards to see how long you will get to pay off the full amount.

Engagement Ring Survey - Results

We created a survey to find out how much the general public were willing to spend on an engagement ring, breaking down the categories into 5 options:

  • £0 - £500
  • £500 - £2000
  • £2000 - £5000
  • £5000+
  • None of the above

We gathered responses from over 1500 people to find what their preference was for splashing out on a ring, and we’ve put together the most interesting results below.

Overall results

The consensus over the entire survey was that spending £0 - £500 was the most acceptable amount to spend on an engagement ring, with a few differences once you broke down the data. You can see a few of these discrepancies once we compare Gender, Age and Region in the UK.

Gender

If we compare the responses of men and women for each answer, we can find out which answer was the most popular with each gender. You can see these the most popular answer based on gender below:

  • Male - £0 - £500
  • Female - £0 - £500

This lowest answer seems to be the consensus across both genders, though the gap between £500 - £2000 is much lower for women. While the disparity between these answers for men is 11.3%, for women it is just 2.5%.

In addition, we can also look at each answer in detail to find out what percentage were male or female. In this way, we can pick out the one answer that each gender felt most strongly about:

  • Male - £5000+ (with £0 - £500 a close second)
  • Female - £500 - £2000

We can therefore surmise that women were more inclined to choose this second option and spend more on an engagement ring, compared to men who chose a much higher figure, though it must be noted that the lowest figure was a very close second place.

This reveals an interesting mixture of responses for men, indicating that men are unsure of whether to spend sensibly or to go all out and spend thousands on an engagement ring.

Age

If we broke down the results by age, there’s a few more interesting snippets we can pick out. Based purely on age alone, we can see the most popular answers from age groups below:

  • 18 – 24 - £2000 - £5000
  • 25 – 34 - £5000+
  • 35 – 44 - £500 - £2000
  • 45 – 54 - £0 - £500
  • 55 – 64 - £5000+
  • 65+ - £0 - £500

This intriguing spread of results shows that there isn’t a huge amount of correlation when looking at age vs how much to spend on an engagement ring, though it’s interesting that 25-34s and 55-64s both chose the highest amount.

We can break these figures down even more by picking out gender in different age groups. The following results are also worth highlighting:

  • Women aged between 18 - 44 were more inclined to spend £500 - £2000 whilst women aged over 45 would agree with their male counterparts by saying £0 - £500 was a more acceptable amount to spend.
  • Men across the board would be more inclined to spend £0 - £500, whatever their age. However, 18-24-year-old men were more inclined to spend £2000 - £5000 or £5000+ rather than spend £500 - £2000.

Once again, it shows that women would spend between £500 - £2000 whilst collectively, men across all age groups would go for the lowest amount of £0 - £500.

Region

Breaking our survey results down by region means we can see if there are any geographical differences in how much people are willing to spend on an engagement ring. First off, we can look at the most popular choice from each country in the UK:

  • England - £0 - £500
  • Scotland - £0 - £500
  • Wales - £0 - £500
  • Northern Ireland - £2000 - £5000 (£500 - £2000 in close second)

There are not many surprises for overall region here with most choosing the lowest option. It was only Northern Ireland that decided that spending more on an engagement ring was more appropriate.

Furthermore, we can look at regions in England to see if there are any more interesting results that we can pick out based on specific areas:

  • North West - £0 - £500
  • North East - £0 - £500
  • Yorkshire and the Humber - £0 - £500
  • East of England - £0 - £500 (£500 - £2000 a very close second)
  • East Midlands - £0 - £500
  • West Midlands - £500 - £2000
  • London - £0 - £500
  • South East - £0 - £500
  • South West - £0 - £500

Whilst most results are fairly predictable as most regions have chosen the lowest amount, it’s interesting to see that the West Midlands and (almost) the East of England are areas where people are more likely to spend slightly more on an engagement ring.

Summary

  • Most popular answer overall is £0 - £500
  • Men have a mixed response, with the most popular choice being £5000+, with £0 - £500 a close second
  • Women are more inclined to spend either £0 - £500 or £500 - £2000
  • Most generous age groups are 25-34 and 55-64
  • Least generous age groups are 45-54 and 65+
  • People from the East Midlands and East of England are the most likely to spend more compared to other regions in England

Now that we’ve delivered our survey results, it’s over to you! Are you thinking of proposing on Valentine’s Day or on Leap Day in 2020? Spread the cost of this significant purchase with a 0% purchase credit card – start your comparison journey today using the link below.

Good luck (you old romantic you)!

Robert Bester

Updated on 9th March 2020