Chapter 1: How Much to Spend on an Engagement Ring
Before you hit the pavement to shop for an engagement ring, you first need to establish your budget. This will guide you through a sea of options and help keep you on track. Engagement rings are a significant purchase that represents the love you share. Just as you would not go shopping for a new car without a budget in mind, you shouldn’t shop for a valuable engagement ring without one, either.
Buying an engagement ring does not mean you have to go broke. Although it is an important purchase, you can find an engagement ring that fits your current budget and sweeps your girlfriend off her feet. In this chapter, we’ll help you determine a budget that’s comfortable for you.
How Much Should You Spend?
It’s normal if you feel a little conflicted about your engagement ring budget. On the one hand, you want to buy your girlfriend the most exquisite engagement ring you can find because she deserves the best. On the other hand, you do not want to go into debt and impact the financial future you will soon share with your significant other. How do you determine a price that’s just right?
You may have heard of the one-to-three-month salary rule, which says you should spend one to three month’s gross income on an engagement ring. However, it is worth noting that this “rule” began as a marketing guideline around the start of World War II. It may also be unrealistic in your situation, so there is no need to follow this rule. Instead, allow this rule to serve as a guideline.
To give you an idea of what other people are spending on engagement rings, consider the following. According to The Knot 2016 Real Wedding Study, Americans spend an average of $6,163 for an engagement ring. If six thousand dollars seems a little steep, try not to panic. There really is no rule on how much to spend. It is most important to choose a price that feels comfortable to you.
Consider Your Options
Engagement ring prices vary greatly and depend mainly on diamond quality, the type of metal used and the design of the ring. You do not need thousands of dollars to find a gorgeous ring that sparkles and captures your love. However, it may be worth spending extra for a larger diamond if that’s the ring you want to give to your soon-to-be-wife, but it is up to you and what you can afford.
It’s important to consider the type of engagement ring you are looking for as well. Do you wish to spend on a high-quality diamond or a large diamond? Do you want a simple design or a more ornate look? Figure out which elements are most valuable to you.
We will explore the different styles and diamond qualities later in this guide, but to give you a brief look at what to expect, here are a few style examples to consider:
- Heirloom and vintage: With this style, you can find a unique ring at an affordable price.
- Nontraditional gemstones: With colored diamonds or other gemstones, it is often easier to afford larger gemstones if that is important to you.
- Custom rings: A custom ring allows you to design a special one-of-a-kind engagement ring at a price that fits your budget.
Determine Your Budget
Now that you have a better idea of what to expect when it’s time to buy an engagement ring, here are the steps to choosing your budget.
First, figure out what your monthly bills are and your current income. Consider how that could change when you buy an engagement ring and decide what you are comfortable spending.
Next, consider your partner’s expectations. Think about her style and gifts she loved in the past. You could ask your partner to go window shopping with you if you want to know exactly what she likes. If you wish to keep it a surprise, though, ask her friends what she expects with a ring. If she has a Pinterest account, check out her pins. You might also look for clues around the house — like bookmarked bridal magazines, and you can even draw inspiration from any favorite décor pieces you know she loves.
Your girlfriend will likely appreciate a ring that represents her personality and your love and demonstrates your effort, rather than one with the biggest price tag.
How to Save for an Engagement Ring
You know you want to spend X amount of dollars on a ring your girlfriend will love. Unless you already have enough money stashed away, you’ll have to devise a savings plan.
To make a monthly savings plan, follow these steps:
- Know your budget: First, figure out about how much you want to spend.
- Create a savings timeline: For example, if you plan to spend $3,000 on an engagement ring in six months, you’ll need to save $500 a month.
- Set up an automatic bank transfer: To make sure you are saving what you need, contact your bank to transfer a certain amount of money from your checking to a savings account on a specific day each month.
- Save faster by making small sacrifices: Eliminate unnecessary expenses like cable or ordering take-out for lunch until you’ve saved enough money.
- Financing: You may also have the option to finance an engagement ring if your credit is approved. Financing an engagement ring allows you to pay for the engagement ring in convenient monthly payments. To learn more about the special financing programs we currently offer at Mountz Jewelers, contact us today or visit one of our locations.
Buying a beautiful engagement ring is within your reach with the right knowledge and a little planning!