An engagement ring is a once-in-a-lifetime purchase. A symbol of love and commitment, that is worn every day.
With so much weight riding on this purchase, doesn’t it seem a little crass to talk about a budget?
Not quite. You might be surprised at how a budget can actually help you to find the perfect ring. Let’s take a closer look.
Determine Your Financial Status
Before you step foot in a jewellery store, it’s essential to know how much you can afford. This is especially true if you plan on combining finances as a newly married couple. A huge unanticipated purchase could affect your financial well-being for years to come.
The following steps can help you to determine your overall financial status.
#1 - First, tally up all of your income. If you are combining finances, include all sources of income for both of you. This includes salary, wages, royalties and any other inflows you collect regularly.
#2 - Next, collect a record of your expenses. Don’t forget to include the following:
- Rent or mortgage
- Debt payments
- Car loan payments
- Car expenses
- Gifts, entertainment and other expenses
It’s tempting to underestimate your expenditures but resist the urge. A realistic budget will help you to set the stage for a stable financial life together.
#3 - Compare your income with your expenses. If your costs exceed your income, look for ways to pare back your spending so you can start saving for a ring. If your income is higher than your expenses, you’re in good shape.
How Much and From Where?
With a solid budget as your framework, you have the information you need to determine how much you want to spend and from where you will source the funds. Consider these sources:
If you have a savings account, decide how much you’d like to use for funding the engagement ring. The upside of using your savings is that you won’t owe interest on the purchase. The downside is that you won’t have the money available for a rainy day.
If you purchase the ring on credit or using a combination of savings and credit, determine how much credit you can get. More important, decide how much credit you feel comfortable using. Remember that if you purchase the ring on credit, the payments will probably follow you into the marriage. Find out if your fiancee is agreeable to the arrangement--you don’t want to have to disclose unpleasant financial revelations later on.
Jewellery Store Credit
Some jewellery shops offer credit programs with better rates and terms than you can find through credit card companies. For instance, some stores offer “no interest” plans that allow you to pay off the ring over time as long as you meet the conditions.
Pinpoint a Range
It’s all about balance. Set a budget that will allow you to purchase a ring she’ll love without compromising your future finances.
So give yourself a range you’re comfortable with and then stick to it. At first, you may feel that a budget puts limitations on your shopping, but once you start looking around you’ll notice that the selection is seemingly endless.
With so many shops offering so many stunning rings, the selection can be completely overwhelming. By narrowing your possibilities down to the rings within your price range, you do yourself a big favour.
Learn to Maximise Your Budget
Still, there will be times when you wish your budget were larger. Fortunately, there are things you can do to stretch your budget. Here are a few:
Go for the Gold
Some metals are more expensive than others. In particular, platinum significantly increases the price of an engagement ring. If she loves the look of platinum, but you find that it’s just too far out of your price range, go for white gold instead.
Yellow gold and rose gold are also good options for ring shoppers on budgets, and both of these metals are seeing a resurgence in popularity right now. If you keep up with celebrity engagement announcements on Instagram, you’ve probably already noticed these trends.
Select a Detailed Setting
If she loves sparkle, consider a halo setting instead of a standard solitaire. Halo settings, with their ring of smaller diamonds surrounding a centre stone, pack a powerful punch for much less than a similar sized single stone.
Another popular alternative is a setting with smaller side stones accenting the central stone. The shape is different, but the effect is similar: one stone becomes a cluster of gorgeous diamonds.
Consider Fancy Shapes
Because 75% of engagement rings feature round diamonds, fancy-shaped diamonds are more affordable. In fact, some shapes cost up to 40% less.
If you’re unfamiliar with fancy shapes, look into princess cuts, cushions, ovals, pears, marquise and hearts. They’re eye-catching and unique, and they may be the perfect way to stretch your engagement ring budget.
Choose a Diamond Just Under Carat Weight Cutoffs
Want a one-carat diamond? You’ll pay a premium. Therefore, choose a diamond whose weight totals 0.9 carats. You may be able to save substantially without any noticeable difference in looks.
Consider Lab-Created Diamonds
You can save about 30% on the stone by choosing a lab-created diamond. These diamonds share the same chemical, optical and physical properties as diamonds mined from the earth.
Opt for a Coloured Gemstone
Not all engagement rings feature diamonds. In fact, recent trends point toward coloured gemstones like emeralds, sapphires and rubies. In most cases, gems cost less than diamonds, and, fortunately, colour is definitely in style.
From Olivia Wilde’s emerald-haloed diamond to Kate Middleton’s sapphire stunner, gemstone engagement rings have arrived in style.
Look for a Band without a Centre Ring
Some brides prefer engagement rings without a large centre stone. It may be a matter of style or perhaps an active lifestyle. Today’s stackable rings provide a stylish, budget-conscious solution.
Bands with diamond accents, filigree work or mixed metals offer a unique take on traditional engagement rings. We’re seeing floral designs, braidwork and twisted bands that can be stacked or worn all by themselves.
Don’t Forget to Insure Your Ring
The engagement ring you choose will be the result of hard work, much deliberation and careful selection. Additionally, it will be cherished as a memento of your love and affection.
Do what you can to protect it from loss, theft and damage by insuring it with Jewel Cover. With our jewellery insurance, your engagement ring will be covered anywhere you go. If something happens to it, you’ll be able to return to your original jeweller for repairs or replacement.
Start by receiving a free quote. You’ll be surprised by how affordable it is to protect the things you love. We wish you all the very best with your upcoming wedding! Congratulations!