It’s true what they say: “You can’t put a price tag on LOVE”. Maybe that’s why guys spend a small fortune on engagement rings. A University of Colorado Boulder study reveals that LOVE causes us to abandon budgets when purchasing sentimental objects for loved ones.
From cupcakes, to engagement rings, the study found that when shopping for such gifts, people will opt for the more expensive option—even when items in question are of the same quality.
In one experiment, when participants were presented two engagement rings—one more expensive with a bigger carat and the other less expensive with a smaller carat—the test subjects almost always chose the more expensive option. Besides passing up the less expensive, people would refrain from seeking out the lower prices all together. They would even avoid negotiating steep price tags!
Lead author of the study and associate professor of marketing and psychology at CU-Boulder, Peter McGraw, said, “People’s buying behavior changes when they’re making purchases out of love because it feels wrong to engage in cost-saving measures. People abandon cost-saving measures when it comes to sentimental buys because they want to avoid having to decide what is the right amount of money to spend on a loving relationship.” In other words, they can’t put a price tag on their LOVE.
But, just because we’re willing to burn a whole in our wallet for a loved one, doesn’t mean we’ll love them more or less. In fact, a separate study out of Emory University found that men who spent $2,000 to $4,000 on a rock were more likely to wind up divorced than men who spent $500 to $2,000. The same also applies for weddings. Couples who spent more than $20,000 to tie the knot were 3.5 times more likely to split than those who spent under $10,000.
While not putting a price tag on LOVE may seem romantic, if your purchasing outside your means, than you’re just being dumb.
“It’s important to be aware of this tendency not to seek cost savings because, over a lifetime, consumers make many purchases that are symbolic of love – whether for weddings, funerals, birthdays, anniversaries and even potlucks,” said McGraw. “The loss of savings can really add up and put people in compromising financial situations.”
The most common reason for a marriage’s end is financial stress, after all. So spend wisely, Lovebirds…