Men Are Spending WAY Less on Engagement Rings

Whether you're against the idea of the engagement ring or you're hoping yours will look something like Mary-Kate's, here's some more news that might change the way you look at the symbolic piece of jewelry. A recent study shows that although the recession has truly taken a toll on the pre-wedding tradition, men are still dropping their hard-earned cash on engagement rings — just not as much as they used to.

According to The Daily Mail, nearly 24 percent of men have admitted that they are spending less than two weeks' salary on engagement rings, not the two months' salary that tradition once suggested (but who made that rule up anyway?). The study, which was commissioned by the World of Wedmin, found that only 10 percent of men were still following the age-old rule of spending a good chunk of their paychecks.

However, a whopping 89 percent of men are still spending their money on one to pop the question. But that's not stopping the ladies from doing the asking — or buying their own engagement ring. The study found that 14 percent of women said that they were the ones who did the proposing.

So what are men and women actually spending on engagement rings? According to the most recent report form trade group Jewelers of America, Americans are spending an average of $4,000. That may still seem like a lot, but it's actually down 25 percent from 2006. Pre-recession, folks were spending $5,317.

While it seems like a majority of people are still on board with having a gorgeous engagement ring, it's nice to see that more couples are getting their priorities straight and are spending less on rings in order to save money for other important things in life, like houses and retirement. In fact, a recent survey by ERA Real Estate found that 50 percent of women in committed relationships would be willing to forgo a diamond ring in order to spend the money saved on a down payment for a house.

So, do all these findings make our generation less romantic or just more realistic? In my opinion, nothing says "I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you" more than a house. But a modest diamond ring would still be nice, too.