With Valentine’s Day around the corner, many couples are thinking of taking the plunge into marriage. Shopping for a ring is not always the easiest part of getting engaged and for some can be the most daunting. Not only can finding the right style and diamond be difficult, but so can figuring out the right price point. There are many “rules” to how much you should be spending on an engagement ring. According to a study by Brides’ Wedding Society, the average amount to spend on an engagement ring in 2018 was about $7,000. However, in today’s debt-heavy society, spending a large amount of money on a ring might just not be practical. If you are thinking of popping the question on Valentine’s day, here are some things to consider to make sure you find the right ring without burning a hole in your wallet:

1,2, or 3 months salary? :

If anyone has ever told you to spend at least two or three months salary on a ring, you might not want to take that rule too seriously. The original rule was to spend at least one month of one’s salary on an engagement ring. That rule has escalated to two or three months of salary on a ring. Few people realize that the rule originally came about because of an advertising campaign started by diamond marketers in the 1930’s. The campaign came on the trails of the Great Depression and Pre-World War II and was a push to get people to purchase more diamonds. So, feel free to throw out this “rule” out. Instead of following this rule, consider more practical financial factors.

What to consider before shopping:

  • Financial Situation –

Now that we’ve debunked the salary myth, let’s look at actual financial factors you should consider before buying a ring. You will want to consider your current salary and your current financial obligations. You never want to create more debt for yourself especially if it can be avoided. Whether you are choosing to full pay the ring or make monthly payments, you should think about how this extra expense will affect your regular spending and budget.

  • Partner Expectations –

Along with establishing your budget, you will want to make sure your budget-friendly ring is your partner’s perfect pick. Just as you want to fulfill their checklist for a dream ring, you also want to tame their expectations if you know your budget might be on the lower end. Shopping together or creating a Pinterest board together might not create an element of surprise but it does make things more straightforward for shopping. Figure out the style they want and find ways to get the same look that fits into your set budget.  

engagement ring

Ways to Cut Costs:

  • Buy online –

Purchasing a ring online can be risky, but you can save hundreds of dollars on a ring online as long as you do your research and shop carefully. Another option is to buy diamonds online individually and take it to a jewelers to create a custom setting.

  • Play around with the 4Cs –

A great way to cut costs is to play around with the 4Cs. Some cuts of diamonds cost more than others so choosing a more cost effective cut could help save money without sacrificing quality. Another C that you can consider playing around with is carats. Choosing a smaller carat center diamond can save some money. Using a smaller central diamond but adding accents that create a look of a larger diamond is a great way to stay on budget.

Buying an engagement ring can be both exciting and stressful. However, creating a budget and sticking to that budget can help you find the perfect ring with the perfect price tag. Remember, it’s not the size or cost of the ring that matters, but the significance it shows of your love for one another.

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