50% of Women Would Prefer This Over an Engagement Ring

Forget sparkling diamonds — the most grand proposal gesture of all might also be the most practical!

ERA Real Estate surveyed 1,000 people in committed relationships and found that 50% of female respondents in their 20s would rather forgo a diamond engagement ring and put that cash towards a down payment on a house. (In fact, 18 percent of participants said they had already skipped getting a ring for this very reason.) Interestingly, there appears to be a generational gap with this perception: only eight percent of women in their 50s and two percent of women in their 60s agreed.

new home owners
Photo Credit: iStock

Furthermore, from those surveyed in the ERA study, 89 percent said their love bond was strengthened by buying a home together. With rising housing costs, socking away every little bit counts — according to U.S. Census data, the median sales price of new homes sold in the U.S. was $260,100 in January 2014Factor in an unstable job market, student debt, and another potentially huge purchase to save up for — the wedding! — and our dollars are stretched now more than ever before. 

Exactly how much would you save by opting not to put a ring on it? Of course, that depends on the quality and size of the diamond, but just as a general ballpark figure, couples paid an average of $4,000 on engagement rings in 2012, according to Jewelers of America. Some grooms spend much more than that: The New York Times reports that the current benchmark price for a high-quality, one-carat diamond is $12,700. 

Let's take a vote, BG brides: How many of you skipped the engagement ring in order to save money for your future together? For all of the nearly-engaged ladies out there, would you be thrilled or secretly disappointed if your fiancé didn't pop the question with a ring box in hand?

Plus, check out this creative proposal we came across online where the bride-to-be was gifted an "engagement car!"

engagement ring car surprise
Photo by: Brian Leahy on Wedding Chicks via Lover.ly

—Stefania Sainato