When it comes time to buy an engagement ring, there are many different factors to keep in mind. One of these, of course, is budget. And budget is important. You don’t want to put yourself in a difficult (or even disastrous) financial situation right before your wedding. While everyone would love to be able to afford every engagement ring out there, this isn’t the reality for the vast majority of us.
That’s why it’s important that you set your engagement ring budget before you shop.
When you set a budget before you start shopping for an engagement ring, you narrow down the selection of rings you’ll be looking at. There are thousands and thousands of different engagement rings available, and there’s no way you can see them all, so anything you can do to focus your search is a good idea. If you set your budget before you go shopping, you’ll spare yourself the time of looking at a bunch of rings that you ultimately won’t be able to afford.
With that in mind, here are some tips for setting your engagement ring budget.
How to Set a Budget for an Engagement Ring
Review your Current Expenses
When you’re setting a budget for an engagement ring, you’ll need to know that guidelines such as “two months’ salary” or “three months’ salary” aren’t written in stone. The information that you should take from these sayings is that it’s important that your budget match your financial situation. But that doesn’t just mean your salary.
You will also need to take your current expenses and debts into account when setting your budget. Sit down and write out an actual budget, rather than trust a hunch or a catchy saying. Start by writing down your income. Then write down whatever money you have saved. Now, you’ll need to list your expenses such as mortgage or rent payments, monthly bills, credit card payments, car payments, etc. as well as variable expenses such as entertainment costs, transportation spending, groceries, and anything else that you spend money on each month.
Subtract your monthly expenses from your monthly income, and you’ll be left with an idea of how much you can afford. Feel free to add in some of the money from your savings too, if you haven’t allocated it somewhere else. If you don’t think you have enough money right now to afford an engagement ring, use this budget to come up with a savings plan so you can buy one in the future.
Coming up with a budget in this manner won’t just help you buy a ring, but it will also make financial planning easier in every aspect of your life. Remember, once you propose, you’ll need to focus on paying for your wedding and honeymoon, so it makes sense to get your finances in order now.
Getting Good Value in your Engagement Ring
Now that you’ve set your budget, you’ll want to focus on getting the best value for your dollar. Here are some tips for buying an engagement ring that fits your budget.
- Out of the 4 Cs, cut is the aspect that has the most impact on the sparkle of a diamond. If you get a ring with an excellent cut, it will look great, even if the other factors are slightly lower. The opposite is also true. A high-quality diamond that isn’t cut well will look dull and uninteresting.
Be Smart with Carat Weight
- Another one of the 4 Cs is carat weight. This refers to the weight of the diamond. You can save by buying a diamond that is slightly shy of a full carat in size. For example, a diamond that is .9 carats will cost less than a 1-carat diamond, but the difference in size will barely be noticeable at all.
Consider Shopping Online
- You can save quite a lot of money by shopping for an engagement ring online. Online jewelers don’t have to spend money on expensive showrooms and storefronts, so they can sell diamonds for less. Plus, shopping online makes it really easy to compare prices and quality between various different jewelers.