More than half of the UK go into debt to pay for an engagement ring

More than half of the UK go into debt to pay for an engagement ring
More than a third of those who have been engaged regret how much they spent on an engagement ring (Photo: Shutterstock)

New research has found that almost half of Brits will get into debt to pay for their engagement ring, and one in five of people will subsequently take between two and five years to pay it off.

More than a third of those who have been engaged regret how much they spent on an engagement ring, and admit they wish they’d spent less on it. Millennials were especially regretful – with more than half saying they spent too much on their engagement ring.

Average engagement ring costs £6,300

Salman Haqqi, money.co.uk personal finance expert, said, “Our research shows that the average amount of debt Brits incur buying an engagement ring is around £6,300, around 2.6 times the average monthly salary – an eye watering sum if you are getting into debt to pay for it.

“Spending outside of your means, even with the most romantic intentions, can lead to future financial difficulties that you should try to avoid. When it comes to the cost, the head should always lead the heart, so make sure you budget for your new bling and don’t let the seductive sparkle impact your spending.”

Surprisingly, the younger people are when they propose, the more debt they seem to get into. Gen Z (born after 1995) are the most extravagant incurring a debt of around £7,700 for the purchase of their engagement ring, while those aged 55 and over incur a debt of around £5,100.

How much can you afford to spend on an engagement ring?

To help romantics plan their spending, money.co.uk has created a special engagement ring cost calculator, designed to give people an accurate indication of how much they can afford to spend on an engagement ring.

Explaining how the new calculator works, said Salman Haqqi,  “It asks a few simple questions about people’s age, how long they’ve been engaged, their job, salary, and monthly outgoings to deliver users a personalised engagement ring cost in just a few minutes.

“We know that money can’t buy you love but, if you’re not careful, love can cost you far more than it needs to. Our engagement ring cost calculator can help you plan your finances properly and ensure you buy a ring that matches your personal financial situation.”

What are we prepared to pay?

The money.co.uk statistics show that 1 in 10 Brits believe they should spend around double their monthly salary on a ring to propose to their partner.

More than half of couples will choose a classic off-the-shelf diamond engagement ring to celebrate their engagement, the survey reveals. Though 14 per cent will have a bespoke diamond ring made especially for their engagement.

And while one in five couples will pay for their engagement ring using their credit card, around six in 10 people will save up for their engagement ring – with those aged over 55 the most likely to set aside cash pay for it.

Salman Haqqi added, “Our survey suggests that getting married, and therefore getting engaged, is actually further down the priority list for Brits in 2020 than it ever has been.

“In previous generations getting engaged and married was often first in the timeline of milestones. But, in 2020, other priorities like getting a house, travelling, socialising with friends and having the latest technology are all listed as higher priorities by most adults.

“In fact, our research shows that getting married or engaged – the top priority for just 4.8 per cent of the population – is only marginally more important than looking great on social media or buying a large wardrobe of clothes for most British adults.”