The recent parade of celebrities getting engaged and flashing their new finger bling might make anyone feel nervous and pressured about popping the big question to a significant other. However, the differences between you and those high-profile people are paparazzi (or the absence thereof) and a budget. A marriage proposal goes beyond merely shopping for a sizable diamond ring. It also involves planning, scheming, and budgeting!
Unless you’re a billionaire to whom a million dollars is just a drop in the bucket, budgeting for an engagement ring is something you’ll want to do before you start shopping.
Take a good, long look at your financial situation.
The traditional budget for an engagement ring is three months’ salary, but in today’s world, it pays to be a little more realistic. The average shopper pays about $5,000 for an engagement ring.
There are some important questions that you should answer before deciding on your real budget. Are you in debt? Do you have enough savings to cover a $5,000 diamond ring? Is your job secure enough for you to get an advance or a loan? Budgeting for an engagement ring purchase requires an honest, realistic look at your financial situation. If you have financial problems that weight heavily on your shoulders, then it’s probably best to postpone the engagement until you’ve reached a more comfortable spot. It doesn’t make sense to begin a life together with a sizable loan just to buy an impressive diamond ring. Besides, you’ll only have, on average, a year to pay it off before the wedding expenses hit you.
Observe and learn about your partner’s taste in jewelry.
If you and your partner have been together for some time now, it might be easier to peg their taste in jewelry, especially with rings. Consider what kind of precious metals they prefer, or if they are allergic to any. Also, you shouldn’t limit yourself to a diamond ring, especially if your sweetheart is a birthstone fanatic. Diamonds weren’t even popular for engagement rings until the 1930s. If you aren’t too sure, ask your partner’s close family and friends. Chances are that they’ve mentioned something about their dream ring to someone, if not to you. If you’re a more modern couple, you might even consider getting your partner involved in the process to take all the guessing out of the equation.
Get the best quality ring you can within your established budget.
Whatever your budget, it’s best to spend some time collecting information so that you can get the best quality ring possible.
Take advantage of free professional advice and engagement ring guides. A professional jewelry company like Brilliance.com is registered with the Better Business Bureau and trade associations, so you can shop with confidence and security. These companies also offer valuable advice when it comes to shopping for engagement rings, because they want you to end up with the best match and fit for your partner’s personality and your budget. Don’t be afraid to approach a respected jeweler for professional advice, especially if you’re interested in a customized ring. They will be able to help you come up with a budget, and help you narrow down your choices.
Look for financing tricks.
Most jewelers will offer better pricing if you pay in cash or with wire transfers, but if you don’t feel like tying up a lot of money like that, there are other options available. Services such as PayPal’s Bill Me Later allow you to make purchases with a finance plan, even if the company you are purchasing from does not offer financing directly. Some crafty shoppers also take advantage of low or zero percent APR offers from major credit cards to establish their own finance plans and pay off their engagement ring purchase at a more comfortable rate.
The bottom line is that with a little bit of planning and some research, it’s really very easy to stretch that dollar when it comes to popping the question with the perfect ring. Just be honest with yourself and true to your partner’s style and you’ll be assured of a “Yes!” answer.