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Article: What Is The 3-Month Rule for Engagement Rings?

What Is The 3-Month Rule for Engagement Rings?

What Is The 3-Month Rule for Engagement Rings?

The so-called 3-month rule for engagement rings has been hotly debated and discussed for years, with some sticking to it and others dismissing it as outdated.

The 3-month rule for engagement rings suggests that the cost of an engagement ring should be equivalent to about three months' worth of the proposer's salary.

In this blog post, we will explore the origins and rationale behind the 3-month rule, its relevance in today's society, and alternative approaches to setting a budget for an engagement ring.

We will also discuss engagement ring trends in Australia and provide practical tips for those planning to propose.

What Is The 3-Month Rule for Engagement Rings?

Origins of the 3-Month Rule

The history of the 3-month rule for engagement rings can be traced back to the mid-20th century and a marketing campaign. De Beers, a global diamond corporation, launched a marketing campaign encouraging people to invest in diamond engagement rings.

Their advertisements promoted the idea that the cost of the ring should be equivalent to three months' salary, establishing a standard that persisted for decades.

Evolution of the rule over time

Although the 3-month rule has its roots in a marketing campaign, it became widely accepted as a guideline for engagement ring purchases.

Over time, the rule has been both followed and challenged, with many questioning its relevance and practicality in modern society.

The 3-Month Rule Explained

The basis for the rule

The 3-month rule was designed to encourage people to invest in a high-quality, valuable diamond engagement ring, symbolising their love and commitment.

By tying the cost of the ring to a significant portion of one's salary, the rule aimed to convey the importance of the engagement ring as an investment in the relationship.

How it is calculated

To calculate the 3-month rule, one would simply take their gross monthly salary and multiply it by three. This amount would then be used as a guideline for the engagement ring budget.

So, for someone earning AUD 5,000 per month, would be expected to spend AUD 15,000 on an engagement ring.

Pros and Cons of the 3-Month Rule For Engagement Rings

The 3-month rule for engagement ring budgets has its merits and drawbacks. Let's explore them in more detail, both in text and a summary table.


  • Simple guideline: The 3-month rule offers a straightforward method for determining a budget, providing an easily calculable guideline for those unsure of how much to spend.
  • Investment in quality: Following the rule can lead to the purchase of a high-quality, valuable ring, ensuring a long-lasting symbol of love and commitment.
  • Established tradition: Adhering to the 3-month rule can appeal to those who value traditional practices and enjoy following established norms.


  • Financial strain: Strictly following the 3-month rule may result in spending beyond one's means, leading to financial strain and potential debt.
  • Ignoring personal finances: The rule does not consider individual financial situations or priorities, which could lead to an unrealistic and unsustainable budget.
  • Outdated concept: The 3-month rule is rooted in a marketing campaign from decades ago, making it an outdated concept that may not align with modern values and financial practices.



Simple guideline

Financial strain

Investment in quality

Ignoring personal finances

Established tradition

Outdated concept

Personalised Budgeting vs. the 3-Month Rule for Engagement Rings

Setting a personalised budget

Rather than adhering to the 3-month rule, couples should consider their financial situations, priorities, and values when setting a budget for an engagement ring.

This personalised approach allows for greater flexibility and financial responsibility.

Considering financial priorities

It is important to weigh the cost of the engagement ring against other financial priorities, such as saving for a home, planning a wedding, or managing existing debts.

Couples should determine what they can realistically afford without jeopardising their financial stability.

Ethical and sustainable ring choices

In addition to budget considerations, couples may want to explore ethical and sustainable ring options, such as lab-grown diamonds, recycled metals, or alternative gemstones.

These choices can align with personal values and preferences while still symbolising love and commitment.

Engagement Ring Trends in Australia

Popular styles and designs

Australian engagement ring trends vary, with popular styles including solitaire, halo, and three-stone designs.

Many couples opt for classic round or princess-cut diamonds, while others may choose alternative gemstones such as sapphires, emeralds, or moissanites. Minimalist and contemporary styles have become popular.

Price ranges and spending habits

Engagement ring spending habits in Australia vary widely, with couples choosing to invest in rings at various price points based on their financial situations and personal preferences.

While some may adhere to the 3-month rule, many others opt for more affordable options or prioritise ethical and sustainable choices.

Influence of social media and celebrities on engagement ring choices

Social media platforms, such as Instagram and Pinterest, along with celebrity engagement ring styles, have a significant impact on Australian engagement ring trends.

Many couples draw inspiration from these sources when selecting their rings, seeking out designs that reflect current trends and their personal style.

Tips for Setting a Budget for an Engagement Ring

Assessing personal finances

It's important to evaluate your finances, including income, savings, debts, and future financial goals. This assessment will help determine a realistic and responsible budget for your ring.

Balancing expectations with reality

A beautiful, high-quality engagement ring has to be balanced with the reality of your financial situation. Consider discussing your expectations and priorities with your partner to ensure you are both on the same page regarding the ring budget.

Researching and comparing ring options

Take the time to research various ring styles, materials, and prices to make an informed decision. Compare offerings from different jewellers and consider alternative options, such as custom designs, ethical choices, or pre-owned rings, to find the perfect ring within your budget.


The 3-month rule for engagement rings may have been a popular guideline in the past, but it is essential to consider your personal preferences, values, and financial situation when setting a budget for a ring. A more personalised approach to ring budgeting can lead to greater satisfaction and financial stability.

As you plan your proposal and select an engagement ring, remember that the love and commitment shared between you and your partner are the most important factors.

By focusing on your unique relationship and financial situation, you can move beyond the 3-month rule and choose a ring that truly symbolises your love story.

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