An engagement ring is one of the most significant purchases people make in their lives. When you begin looking for a ring, you've found the person you want to spend the rest of your life alongside.
For such a monumental and beautiful occasion, you naturally want to give your loved one a stunning ring. However, the average cost for an engagement ring is $6,351, which requires saving for most people to afford.
It's more than possible to save for a ring quickly and efficiently. Read on to learn how to save up for an engagement ring as well as ways to find an affordable and beautiful ring that's within your budget.
The Top Eight Ways to Save for an Engagement Ring
It's possible to quickly save enough for a dream engagement ring by utilizing a few money-savvy strategies. Here are eight ways to begin saving for a gorgeous engagement ring today.
1. Do Your Research
The first step in saving for an engagement ring is to conduct thorough research. An engagement ring is similar to any other big purchase, such as a new car — before buying a vehicle, you would research everything you could about the model and the seller.
Similarly, spend time researching before setting a budget for your ring purchase. Don't solely rely on the information other people give you — visit jewelers and examine different rings yourself. Talk or give hints to your significant other to find out what they like in a ring, and decide what features are essential and which ones aren't.
Familiarize yourself with the typical prices for the different aspects of engagement rings, such as materials and settings. If you research before you begin shopping, you will be better able to objectively choose a ring and set a realistic savings plan.
2. Break It Down Month by Month
Once you know your general budget for an engagement ring, think of when you'd like to propose and determine how many months you have until the big day.
After you give yourself a loose deadline, break down your overall savings goal into monthly increments:
- How much will you need to put aside each month to reach your goal? Creating smaller, monthly benchmarks helps make your overall savings goal more attainable and less overwhelming. These smaller objectives also keep you on track, so you put aside enough to reach your goal.
- Knowing how many months you have until the proposal can also be an exciting countdown. It keeps saving for the ring in perspective, reminding you why you're doing this — you want to give your significant other a beautiful proposal with a beautiful ring, and it's getting closer every day!
3. Set up Automatic Transfers
If you use online banking, try automating your engagement savings. One easy way to make sure you put aside enough each month is to set up automatic transfers. These transfers will automatically move a set amount of money from your checking account to your savings account at a set interval, like every two weeks or every month. When you set up an automatic transfer to your engagement ring savings account, you never have to worry about willpower or forgetting to save during a busy month.
If you decide to use automatic transfers, make sure you name your savings fund something discreet in case your loved one sees it.
4. Stick to a Budget
While you're saving for an engagement ring, keep yourself to a strict budget. Even if you don't normally budget, creating one to help you save for a ring is a beneficial discipline. A budget helps you identify which expenses are essential and which ones aren't, giving you insight into where your paycheck goes each month.
A budget will show you the areas where you can cut back. For example, you might love cinema and see several new films in theaters each month. Until you budget, you might not be aware of just how many you see — once you have an average of how many times you go to the movies each month, you could decide to cut back to only one or two times. Budgeting allows you to make small cuts across many categories, increasing the amount you're able to set aside toward an engagement ring.
5. Skip the Other Big Purchases
This tip requires you to put some of your plans on hold for a few months, but the result is well worth the sacrifice.
When you're saving for an engagement ring, put other big purchases aside until you reach your goal. For example, if you were saving up for a new car or a new entertainment console, funnel the money you would have saved for those things into your engagement ring fund. Most likely, these types of purchases aren't an urgent need — unless, for example, your car has broken down and you need to fix it. The majority of our "big investments" aren't essential for our happiness or daily functioning, and in the long-run, they are probably less significant than an engagement ring.
6. Save Lump Sums
Another way to quickly save money is to set aside any lump sums. It's often much easier to save gifts, bonuses or other windfalls than taking money out of your paycheck. For example, if your work gives you a holiday bonus, put the money into your engagement ring savings fund. Unexpected tax refunds, birthday presents or other gifts — whenever you receive a lump sum of cash beyond your paycheck, stash it away instantly into your savings account.
Saving lump sums is one of the fastest and most painless ways to reach your goal — they don't affect your monthly budgeting or your standard of living, and they will help you save enough money even faster than you anticipated.
7. Look for Cheap Date Ideas
One way to reduce your monthly expenses is to reduce your spending on dates. While you and your significant other may love elegant dining or going to the movies every weekend, these outings can quickly add up. When you're saving for an engagement ring, you'll also soon be saving for a wedding. For the time being, consider spending time together in inexpensive ways.
Inexpensive doesn't mean boring or unromantic. You can find ways to do all of your favorite things but with a less-costly price tag. Often, looking for inexpensive date night ideas exposes you to more of your local culture:
- If you both love concerts, look for local bands playing for free at bars or parks.
- See if any local art galleries are hosting art shows.
- Find a new hole-in-the-wall restaurant and challenge each other to try a dish you've never eaten before.
- A day spent hiking or a sunset picnic are beautiful ways to enjoy time together and in nature.
Central Pennsylvania overflows with gorgeous scenery and plenty of fun, unique date opportunities — from listening to the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra to a trip to a nearby museum, the Keystone State is filled with romantic, adventurous and affordable ways to spend time with your significant other.
8. Consider a Financing Plan
Besides setting aside money each month, consider working with a jeweler to find a financing option that works for your budget and timeline. Financing programs allow you to quickly afford your ideal engagement ring without saving for months or years — you can purchase a ring, drop down on one knee, and give your significant other the ring of their dreams. Financing plans mean you can purchase a beautiful ring now and gradually pay for it in increments, letting you and your loved one begin planning your wedding as soon as you want.
Saving for a stunning engagement ring is possible, and it is all worth it when you see the look of joy and surprise on your loved one's face. Mountz Jewelers works with Wells Fargo to offer special interest financing plans, so you can pop the question on your timeline. And once you set your budget and decide on financing, you can find stunning and affordable engagement ring options that will be treasured and passed down for generations.
Four Ways to Find Affordable Engagement Rings
Once you set your budget, explore our wide range of engagement ring styles and designs. You'll quickly notice that some fit more smoothly into your price range than others.
What elements should you look for in an elegant and affordable ring? Here are four ways to find a ring that is both beautiful and economical, one that will stun your loved one without costing you all of your savings.
1. Know the 4Cs
Shopping for a diamond engagement rings centers around the 4Cs:
- Cut: The cut of a diamond refers to how it refracts light — different cuts give different levels of brilliance and visual appeal. They are graded on a scale of 0 to 10, with a cut grade of 0 being optimal.
- Color: In general, the more colorless a diamond, the more valuable and rare it is. Colorless diamonds are graded on a scale from D to F, with other gradings given to diamonds with flaws or slight coloring. The only exception is in fancy color diamonds, where the more intense the color, the more valuable the gemstone.
- Clarity: The clarity score of a diamond describes the level of imperfection in the gemstone. A clarity score of "flawless" is ideal, but most diamonds appear flawless to the untrained eye — many of the flaws in diamonds are not noticeable except under extreme magnification.
- Carat: Carat indicates the weight of the gemstone, where one carat equals two-tenths of a gram. A heavier gemstone doesn't necessarily mean it has greater value — other factors like color and clarity will impact the price more than the diamond's carat.
Decide which of the 4Cs is the most important to you as you look for a ring. One way to make your ring more affordable is to "buy shy" — diamond prices tend to take huge jumps at the carat and half-carat mark. For the best prices, look for gemstones just shy of these common marks — for example, a 1.8-carat diamond will probably be much more affordable than a 2-carat gem. Besides the price tag, the difference hardlywill be noticeable.
2. Play Around With Settings
By choosing the right setting, you can make almost any diamond appear large, luxurious and brilliant. As you look for the right ring, play around with different styles — even if your budget doesn't allow you to choose the large carat diamond you wanted, you could make a smaller gemstone seem just as opulent with strategic design.
In a halo setting, small, delicate gemstones surround the center gemstone, making the primary diamond appear large and vintage. Typically, less metal used in a ring will indicate a lower cost. If you want to cut down costs on your ring, choose a more minimal, prong setting:
- A prong ring setting holds the gemstone above the band, almost like a tripod.
- More of the gemstone is visible in a prong setting, which allows the gemstone to stand out and draw notice.
- Additionally, it's much easier to clean a prong setting than other designs, which will increase the longevity of the ring.
If your significant other loves the look of a sparkling, covered-in-jewels ring, consider trying a setting filled with pavé diamonds. Pavé diamonds are tiny, sparkling diamonds that line the band of a ring. They add the distinctive and gorgeous "crushed ice" effect to an engagement ring, taking a smooth setting from minimalist chic to stunning elegance. Consider purchasing a slightly smaller diamond and then paving the band with pavé diamonds. These gems allow you to have all the glamour and sparkle of a large gemstone without the high price.
3. Go for Gold
When choosing the metal of the ring, consider gold if you need to stick to a strict budget. While platinum is a gorgeous, durable and on-trend metal, it is 30 times rarer than gold. If your loved one wants a silver sheen to their ring, consider white gold instead.
White gold gives all the fashion-forward sophistication of platinum at a lower price. Besides its beauty, white gold is enduring and highly resistant to tarnish, corrosion and rust, making it a perfect and affordable choice if your significant other lives an active lifestyle.
4. Consider a Custom Ring
If you have searched for months and still can't find a gemstone or style you love, consider designing a custom engagement ring. A custom design allows you to give a personal and romantic touch to the engagement ring — your significant other will treasure the ring even more once they know how much time and effort you poured into its design. A custom ring can also be more affordable than traditional styles.
One option is to take a simple setting and add some flair with personalized elements. This is a wonderful option if you have a ring that is a family heirloom — adding some small adjustments or switching out gemstones is a perfect way to tailor a family treasure for your significant other.
If you love the thought of a new, custom style or setting, you could also design an engagement ring from scratch. Compile pictures of rings that you want to imitate and begin experimenting with settings and gemstones — online templates provide an easy way to begin the process, although working closely with a professional jeweler will give you the best results.
At Mountz Jewelers, we are committed to providing an extraordinary jewelry experience. From our premium jewelry to our knowledgeable team, we are dedicated to helping you find a beautiful ring for your proposal. Finding the perfect ring has never been so accessible — contact us about our financing plans and "Trust Your Special Moments to Mountz!"