TODAY

TODAY   |  July 31, 2013

How much do people spend on engagement rings?

TODAY financial editor Jean Chatzky has the TODAY anchors putting their money where their mouths are, by betting on whether they can answer such questions as how much people spend on engagement rings and baby gifts.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> our money where our mouths are in a game we like to call funny money . i won this game the last time we played.

>> where pop culture meets finances. it's dealers choice.

>> who will come out on top today. jean will be the judge of that.

>> here is how this goes. i'll tell you the category. you each have $1,000 in today show bucks. you'll place your bets and then i'll ask the question.

>> all right.

>> so here we go. first category is name game and here's the -- place your bets. who ever gets closest gets the money.

>> you're going to do 300 too?

>> the world anxiously awaited the name of william and kate's new baby. according to a recent study a person's name can affect how much they earn. so what is it about a person's name that affects their earnings? what aspect of their name. write it down.

>> what aspect of their name.

>> what is it about their name?

>> i don't know.

>> how it affects their nickname.

>> nickname says al.

>> short name equals poor.

>> i said it opens doors.

>> carson is close.

>> the longer the name the more money you make.

>> no, shorter names actually earn more money. the optimal is five letters. you got it wrong. we'll let that ride and go to the second question. if you want to add to your bets. second category, love and marriage .

>> okay.

>> it's been reported that jennifer anniston 's engagement ring is 8 to 9 carats, worth $500,000. how much do people spend on average on engagement rings . i'm looking for a dollar figure here.

>> a dollar figure. okay.

>> no, that's ridiculous. i have no idea.

>> time is running out.

>> let's see.

>> 4,000 says al.

>> 5 says natalie . al wins the pot. $3,500 is the average.

>> the two months salary.

>> it's one months salary for an average guy and if you want to save a little bit, just go under a carat,.95 carats saves you 25%.

>> good to know.

>> next question, this is the credit crunch is the category. ante up.

>> i'll do two.

>> there you go. recently justin bieber became the latest celebrity to endorse a prepaid card . is using a prepaid card a good way to build credit, yes or no?

>> no is the answer. no it is not. especially if it's from the kardashians or justin bieber it's a bad idea.

>> because of the high fees but you are absolutely all right. the prepaid cards don't report to the credit bureaus . doesn't build credit at all. use a secured card. we'll let those bets ride. next category, new arrivals, if you want to add to the pot. new arrivals.

>> okay.

>> whether you're talking about kim and kanye or beyonce and jay-z, babies are huge news these days. how much are people spending on average for baby presens. give me a range here.

>> for one baby presen.

>> for one baby present.

>> like if you were buying me a baby present 20 years ago -- not 20 years ago but if i had a baby.

>> $40.

>> $40.

>> 75 to 100.

>> you are a generous gifter.

>> i said $25.

>> the average is 27 to 53. we'll give it to carson.

>> i said $25.

>> $27 to $53 is the range. and grandparents, aren't you nice.

>> we have one more.

>> i wouldn't do that in vegas. i would never do that.

>> school smarts is the category. everybody in. all in. in the 2003 comedy old school, wil ferrell, luke wilson and vince vaughn go back to school to relive their glory days . what's the average that a family pays for college these days? one year of college.

>> one year?

>> one year of college. this is according to a new report from sally mae . public and private.

>> i went to junior college . i have no idea. are you adding a zero to that.

>> natalie says $20, $15, $30, natalie is the big winner. $21,178 is the average. $21,178 is what the average family is paying for one year of college. so start saving right now.