Buying a ring isn’t just a big step in your relationship, it’s also a huge financial investment—nevertheless a meaningful one. Of course, with any large purchase, you want to make sure that it’s handled responsibly from the start. Whether you’re buying a ring for your partner or purchasing it for yourself, getting to the point where you can comfortably shop for an engagement ring takes a little bit of financial planning. Today, we’ll be sharing with you 4 tips that will help you as you search for an engagement ring on a budget.
How much should you budget for an engagement ring?
Before you begin your engagement ring search, it may be helpful to have a set budget in place. As we mentioned before, purchasing a diamond ring is a huge investment and having a budget in place will help guide your decisions going forward. For your reference, the average cost of an engagement ring in 2019 is $5,900. This cost will likely be significantly less if you choose a lab grown diamond.
Fortunately, the final cost varies from couple to couple and how much of a ring you can afford will depend on your unique financial situation, which we’ll be getting into below.
Your Financial Situation
When it comes to determining how much you can realistically afford on an engagement ring, you’ll need to take a good look at your current financial situation and go over all the aspects of it including:
Your monthly income: Your take-home pay—if you’re purchasing a ring with your partner add their income as well.
Current expenses: This includes things such as food, bills and debts you’re paying off, like student loans and car notes.
Your savings: How much you’re putting in your savings account each month.
Also, add any potential income: Do you have a promotion coming up or a job with tons of growth potential? Factor it into your budget, but don’t overestimate.
Once you’re done, you will have a better idea of what you can comfortably afford in a ring without going into the red. Ideally, you want to purchase a ring without financing to avoid acquiring any more debt or one that you can realistically finish paying off in a short period of time—let’s say a couple of months.
What do I need to know before buying an engagement ring?
With a budget completely set, you might think it’s time to buy, but there are a few things you need to know before purchasing an engagement ring. For starters, you’ll need to have a clear idea of what you’re looking for and knowledge about rings in general.
Is there a particular cut you have in mind? Would you prefer gold or platinum metal for the band? You’ll need to have the answers to these basic questions in order to find the ring you’re dreaming of. Below are a few common jewelry terms and facts that will help you select a high-quality engagement ring with ease:
Shape and Cut: The shape refers to the general silhouette of the stone, while the cut refers to how well the facets interact with light.
Setting: It’s the metal framework that holds the stone in place and will set the tone for the entire look.
Metals: Platinum rings are a great option because they are durable and hypoallergenic, but gold is the most popular option and comes in a variety of colors including rose, white and yellow. Other than gold and platinum, there’s also palladium which looks similar to platinum but is less likely to tarnish over time.
The Four Cs: The most important qualities to look for in a diamond—cut, color, clarity and carat weight.
Can you pay for an engagement ring in installments?
Yes, you can certainly finance a ring and pay off the installments over time. In fact, you have several options when it comes to payments. One option is getting your ring financed directly through a jeweler. Some offer 0% deferred financing for up to 12 months, which means you can finance your ring and not pay any interest if you pay off the balance within the promotional period. Some may even offer a No Credit Needed lease-to-own payment plan with a 6-month early buyout option. If your jeweler doesn’t offer a plan that suits you, think about getting a plan through a private insurer such as Jewelers Mutual.
Opening up a new credit card that features a 0% APR promotional period is another great option for financing a ring. Again, to take advantage of the 0% rate you’ll need to pay off the balance before the promotional period ends or face an increased interest rate.
Lastly, you can take out a personal loan to cover the ring. This kind of loan does feature a big drawback—set interest rates, but the monthly payment is fixed and the interest rate won’t change in the future.
Be sure to stick to your budget, read the fine print and ask questions before you sign a payment agreement.
How can I save money to buy an engagement ring?
With a price point for your ring all set, you can see where you can set aside money within your current budget. As you put aside money for the engagement ring, you should know that you can save even more cash by being open to selecting inexpensive, but still stunning materials. For example, you can opt for 14k or 18k white gold instead of platinum, or lab grown diamonds instead of mined diamonds. These options can help you save thousands without sacrificing quality.
You also don’t want to forget about shopping online! Online jewelry stores have more amazing deals compared to brick-and-mortar jewelry stores. For instance, 12FIFTEEN Diamonds is where you can find a variety of striking lab grown diamond engagement rings at affordable prices. You can even design a meaningful engagement ring that will perfectly suit you or your partner’s one-of-a-kind style.
By using these 4 tips to help you buy your ring on a budget, you’ll be able to save money and finally shop for that dream engagement ring.