The fabulous alternative to getting an engagement ring.

They say someone proposing a marriage should spend three months salary on an engagement ring.

In Australia, according to the average monthly income of Australian males, that would be between $15,000 and $20,000.

I’m not quite convinced Australian men are dedicated to following this tradition. (That would be a lot of very expensive hands walking about.)

Instead, the average Australian male is spending around $5,000 for an engagement ring. That’s still a lot of money sitting on one small finger.

Yes, yes, I understand the sentiment behind a diamond ring. That diamonds are forever. That most girls have dreamed about the grand gesture of a wedding proposal, and a shiny, sparkly forever-stone to go along with it.

But what else this money might be spent on?

A friend of mine is musical. She really, really wanted a bass guitar. She knew her boyfriend of seven years wanted to propose. She asked for the guitar instead of the ring. He loved the idea. Now, they are married. Have matching wedding bands. And a baby is on the way. She is happier than ever with her bass guitar and her husband and her little family-to-be.

There are other options too.


You could open a travel fund, or book two around-the-world tickets, with the money put aside for an engagement ring. The memories you will make while travelling, plus the way it will test strengthen you as a couple, will be invaluable in the long-run.

Maybe you both love hiking, or surfing or skiing. You could spend the money on equipment you will use for these adventures. Keeping you both doing what you most love to do, for years to come… Together. Now that is investment.



Particularly in Sydney, you’re going to need a lot of engagement rings to afford a house. But the price of a diamond might also be a large chunk of a deposit. Or might help kick-start your savings to buy somewhere to live together.


This is a quirky idea (not as quirky as the bass guitar) but it also has longevity and sentiment. You could spend the money in choosing a collection of the most expensive wine you can find. You might then decide together the events for which you will open each bottle. Your 10 year anniversary. The birth of your first child. Your 20 year anniversary. Your retirement together. For the price of an engagement ring, you can afford a lifetime of celebration. (Quite literally.)


Pay off a student debt

This is not romantic at all. (And I think I’d take the diamond). But by paying off your student debt you will be able to start a life free of financial stress together. That would be a relief.


Go to Disneyland

For some reason, this specific idea is trending on Reddit. A trip to Disneyland instead of an engagement ring. Granted, Disneyland is meant to be ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’, and maybe the perfect place to seal your engagement.