It is approximated that the average American spends a little over $3,000 on an engagement ring for their loved one. Taking into account the average national wage of approximately $2200 per month, one can, with several assumptions, reach the conclusion that an average American spends more than one month’s salary on an engagement ring. The question is whether the financial burden incurred by this culture of extravagance is simply worth the price. |
Marketed as the epitome of a ‘traditional American wedding,’ a stunning diamond or amethyst engagement ring costs an arm and a leg. It is crucial to ask the question, in the economic culture of debt that we live in, as to whether engagement rings are worth the financial burden they impose on their buyers. More and more Americans are buying their engagement rings on credit since they cannot simply afford to pay for it with money that they do have. It is virtually impossible for any middle class American citizen to spare two months of their salary in order to pay for it.
Many describe cheap engagement rings as a good long term investment option. While there is no doubt that gemstones serve as an excellent store of value during inflationary times, it is important to take into account the fact that when you are in debt, you are best off having highly liquid savings, so that you can draw on them when needed to prevent a buildup of interest on your loans. An engagement ring does not serve as an investment that you can buy and sell regularly – rather, it serves as a mere store of value which you do not even consider selling.
As a result, engagement rings often end up being a financial burden that causes more trouble than benefits in a marriage. One of the leading causes of divorce in the United States of America is financial insecurity, and engagement ring credit is often a major factor. Rather than buying an engagement ring, many believe that the money that is put aside for it should be invested in a stable fund, so that the couple has something to fall back on when they need it most.
Besides the financial aspect of purchasing engagement rings, many have called into question what they represent. Many feminists have called for elimination of the diamond ring culture, saying it suggests that a man can buy a woman’s commitment with a beautiful ring. Moreover, many others feel that it suggests an inequality between gender roles in the modern world, since women, even today, largely do not purchase engagement rings for their boyfriends.
Whether or not cheap engagement rings are the right way to go about declaring your love for someone, the fact of the matter is that they are an inherent part of our culture. Most girls expect a stunning engagement ring when their boyfriends take their relationship onto the next level, and likewise, most men do not disappoint. Having said that, it remains to be seen how long this tradition lasts in the modern world.
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