The average couple in the USA spends $6,351 on an engagement ring, according to The Knot’s 2017 Real Weddings Study. That’s a pretty big chunk of cash to splash, especially if you need to save up before you can buy. With that in mind, we’ve broken it down into some stats and figures to help you along your way.
To save up $6,351, you could cut out…
Takeaway coffee. The average price of a regular cappuccino is $3.98. If you usually buy a cup on your way to work and one or two while out and about on the weekend, that’s $1448.72 per year. Yep, foregoing your daily Starbucks will get you almost 23% of the way to your savings target. Plus, you wean your body off of addictive caffeine. Worth a shot, no?
Cigarettes. A 20-pack of cigarettes costs, on average, $7.00. Say a pack and a half lasts you a week, that’s $42 per month or $504 over a year. That’s just shy of another 8% towards your goal. Each cigarette you smoke takes 11 minutes off your life expectancy too, so giving them up means you get to spend a whole 26 extra hours on this earth with your better half.
Beer. A half litre of domestic beer costs an average of $4.00. Drinking just one less beer than normal on a Saturday night is an extra $208 (or 3.3%) saved. In case you we’re wondering, you’ve now saved up $2,160.72 – over a third of what you need just by giving up one coffee a day, one beer a week and cutting out – or cutting down on – cigarettes.
Public Transport. Obviously it’s not possible to cut this out completely for most people. But cutting down is doable – especially if you make regular short hops on the subway, train or bus. The national average of a one-way ticket is $2.25. Let’s say you take the subway three stops to get to your local supermarket, and you go there three times a week. Switch the subway for a bike and you save $6.75 per week or $351 per year. Just remember to stay safe!
So now you’ve saved $2,511.72. But after say, three months of cutting back on caffeine and beer, you’ll be ready to adjust your savings a little more. Giving up that second coffee per day and a second beer per week – for the next nine months of the year – saves you another $1146.96, bringing your grand total of savings to $3,658.69. That’s just over 57% of the way to your target of $6,351, just by changing three small lifestyle habits!
Keep those small savings up, and you’ll be ready to purchase a ring in another 10 months. Make some even bigger savings and you’ll get there even faster, such as;
Gym membership. The average cost per month for a fitness club is $36.22. If you switch out treadmills for jogging through your local park or join a team sport instead of hitting the free weights, you’ll still get the exercise you need and save $434.64 over one year.
Restaurant Meals. If you eat out for dinner twice a month, you’re spending $1200 on average per year on fancy food. Switch it up and organise a dinner club with a group of friends instead – every fortnight, one person from the group cooks at home for the rest. That’s an extra 19% bump towards your goal, bringing you up to $5,293 after 12 months of all of the above.
You still need $1,058 to hit that 6.3k target, but let’s put all of this into perspective. So far you’ve saved $441 per month. You need time to find the perfect ring for her. In fact, it takes the average guy around 2 months to pick out ‘the’ ring. Keep up your saving habits as you begin your search, and you’ll easily hit the target by the time it comes to making the final payment.
It may seem like an unachievable feat at first, but saving up for the engagement ring of her dreams doesn’t have to be a huge challenge. It’s worth keeping in mind that these are all average prices, too. Her dream ring may end up costing less than the average, in which case you’ve already made a start on the wedding fund!
Happy saving 🙂