I think it's worth talking to your prospective ring-wearer about what she likes (I assume she, could be wanting to buy a ring for a guy I suppose). Anyway, you might be surprised at the cost (in a wow too high or wow lower than I thought way) of what she wants - which helps you plan. Also, she may not want a diamond ring, which would really change your money considerations. Just food for thought. But I would really not spend much on the ring - do what is financially reasonable at the time. But I am also perhaps an atypical girl... I think my ring is too big, too expensive and it was pretty cheap by engagement ring standards. Also shop around and tell stores that you are - I had a friend get a ring for about half the price by bargaining with the sales people of two stores.