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Budgeting Tips for Buying an Engagement Ring

When a couple chooses to make a commitment to each other, planning for a wedding usually begins. One of the first expenses that come with choosing to get married and planning a wedding is purchasing an engagement ring. Engagement rings can be very expensive but despite the price, they are an important symbol of love and commitment in a relationship. Therefore, it is really important that you find a ring that is reflective of your values. Choosing a ring can be an involved process and requires a lot of planning and thought. One of the most important aspects of purchasing an engagement ring is setting a budget and saving the money needed to fund the purchase.

It is important to remember that an engagement ring is not a necessity. It is something you want rather than need. Without proper planning many couples will not be able to make this purchase. If your finances are limited, many couples forgo the engagement ring and only purchase their wedding bands. If an engagement ring is important to you and your fiancé, here is some advice that will help you make this major purchase.

  1. The first step to purchasing an engagement ring is to set a budget. Ensuring that you don’t go into debt to make this purchase is important. Without a budget you risk adding unnecessary financial stress to your relationship. Getting married should be a time of celebration, not stress. Budgeting will help you ensure that is the case. There is a general rule of thumb that you spend roughly two to three months’ salary on an engagement ring. But this is just a guideline. Set a budge that is right for you and allows you to achieve your other financial goals.
  2. Research the different types of rings and price ranges. You will have to consider the type of metal (gold, platinum, silver, etc.), stone (diamond, sapphire, emerald, etc.) and setting. Explore options and the price range for the combination you are looking for.
  3. Spend time researching and choosing a jeweler. Referrals from family and friends are a great way to start. Determining whether you want a custom made ring or buy something off the shelf will be an important factor when choosing your jeweler. Be sure to understand your jeweler’s return, exchange and ring sizing policy.
  4. Maximize your budget by considering the following tactics:
    • Choose a stone that is just under that next carat size up. For instance, if you are looking for a 1-carat diamond, purchase a diamond that is 0.75 carat. The size different is negligible to the naked eye but will save a lot of money.
    • Forego platinum and choose white or yellow gold instead. Gold is far cheaper than platinum.
    • Consider choosing a stone other than a diamond. Sapphires and emeralds are beautiful alternatives to diamonds.
    • Shop around and don’t be shy to negotiate. Ask for a discount and comparison shop. Talk with the jeweler or store manager about getting the best price for your ring.
    • Understand the care and maintenance required for the ring. Depending on the annual cost, it may be worthwhile to purchase a care and maintenance plan or package upfront for your ring.
    • Consider purchasing your ring online. Due to the lower overhead, prices online tend to be lower. Be sure you choose a reputable online store with a solid return policy.
    • Avoid expensive store credit by saving for this major purchase well in advance.

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