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Until debt do us part; lovers get into years of debt to pay for engagement rings

Almost half of Brits proposing to their lover will get into debt to pay for their engagement ring, according to new research by money.co.uk
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  • Average ring cost is £6,300 (2.6 times the average monthly salary) but a third of Brits wish they had spent less

  • One in five take up to five years to pay the debt they incur proposing with credit cards being the preferred payment option

  • New Engagement Ring Cost calculator launches to help plan the cost of the ring

  • One in four men have put off proposing because of Brexit uncertainty Settling down to start a family and buying a house are the top priorities for UK couples in 2020

  • Getting engaged or married languishing towards the bottom of the priority list, alongside looking as good as possible on social media

One in five of people will subsequently take between 2 - 5 years to pay off the cost of that engagement ring, according to the nationwide study by financial comparison site money.co.uk today. 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. 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. 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. Salman Haqqi, explaining how the new calculator works, said: "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."

So, what should an engagement ring cost those planning to propose in 2020? 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% 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% 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." With Britain leaving the EU a big talking point this year - almost a quarter of men admit they have actually put off proposing to their lover because of fears over the unknown effect and cost of Brexit. TOP 10 MILESTONES FOR COUPLES IN 2020 1. Settling down and starting a family 2. Getting a house 3. Going on regular holidays 4. As much disposable income as possible 5. Going out with friends 6. Getting a car 7. Having all the latest technology 8. Getting engaged/married 9. Looking as good as possible on social media 10. Having a large wardrobe of clothes

Use the money.co.uk engagement ring cost calculator and find out how much you could be spending on an engagement ring plus how best to finance it.

ENDS Notes to editors *money.co.uk polled 2,006 UK adults via Censuswide in 3-7 February 2020.


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Salman Haqqi

Salman Haqqi, Personal Finance Editor

Salman Haqqi spent 10 years as a journalist reporting in several countries around the world. Salman left the world of journalism and moved to the UK to pursue a passion for personal finance and a desire to help people make informed financial decisions.

Read Salman Haqqi's articles and guides
Joel Kempson

Joel Kempson, Personal Finance Writer

Joel Kempson devotes his time to helping people navigate the world of personal finance and make informed decisions about their money. He spent his early career writing about TV, movies, comic books and rock music.

Read Joel Kempson's articles and guides