When you decide to get engaged, it’s an amazing moment. You’re with a person that you want to share your life with and you’re ready to showcase your love to the entire world. Of course, it’s easy to get wrapped up in these emotions (and that’s fun to do!) but it’s important to remember that you still need to pay some attention to practicality. Yes, this is about love and emotion, but your budget still matters.
Not only does the amount that you spend on an engagement ring matter, but you’ll need to remember that the engagement ring is just the first of your expenses. Once you get engaged, it’s time to start planning your wedding, and that means you’ll need to budget for clothing, a venue, a photographer, food, music, entertainment, and more. So you might not want to spend all of your money on your engagement ring, since you’ll still need to afford the wedding as well.
That means, unless you have an unlimited amount of money to spend (and who does?), you’ll need to create a budget for your engagement ring. Here are some tips.
Setting a Budget for your Engagement Ring
The first thing to remember is that everyone’s budget is different. You may have heard of “rules” such as spending two months’ salary or three months’ salary on an engagement ring, but these are more guidelines than they are rules. Your budget will depend on your particular financial situation and your financial responsibilities. For instance, if you have a lot of debt or if you have other large expenses to deal with (a mortgage, children, education, etc.) then your budget will be different than someone who does not have these obligations.
It’s also not a good idea to put yourself into a serious financial hole to afford a certain engagement ring. Remember, your wedding is coming up. This not only means that added expenses are coming, but it’s also the beginning of your life with another person. You may not want to start this new chapter in debt.
Here are some tips for setting an engagement ring budget:
Figure out what you can afford
- Sit down and realistically think about what you can fit into your budget. There are great engagement rings available at various price ranges, so don’t feel like you have to spend more than you can afford to get something great.
Set your priorities
- Once you have your budget, think of what really matters to you (and what will matter to her.) For instance, is a large stone important or would you rather choose a smaller diamond that is a higher quality? In general, this is what we would recommend, but it’s up to you to decide what is important.
- Once you have a budget in mind, check out various jewelers to see what they have in your price range. The more you learn about what’s out there, the better ring you’ll be able to choose.
Remember that you can always upgrade your engagement ring later. If you simply don’t have the budget to afford the engagement ring of your dreams right now, in the future you could buy your special someone a new ring to celebrate your fifth, tenth, or twentieth anniversary, for example. The ring you buy today isn’t the only ring you’ll ever buy. When you’re setting your budget, think of how you can get the best ring possible that you can afford today and realize that you may be in a different financial situation many years from now.
Where To Spend Money on an Engagement Ring
When it comes to spending money on your engagement ring, you’ll want to know that there are certain areas where it makes more sense to spend than others. For example, the cut of a diamond best determines the sparkle of a diamond, and therefore its beauty. This means that a diamond that is well cut will look better than one that isn’t, even if the second diamond is larger or clearer. Therefore, it's often a good idea to focus on the cut of the diamond and dedicate your spending there. In general, it's better to sacrifice carat weight due to a limited budget than it is to pay for a diamond that is larger, but with a lower quality cut.
For more information on cut, color, clarity, and carat weight (the 4 Cs of diamond quality) as well as many other key tips on how to get a great diamond ring at any budget, please check out our 4 Cs of diamond quality