Purchasing an engagement ring is, without a doubt, a big decision. It does not only represent your commitment to your partner, but it also entails a financial concern.
According to a recent study by jeweler Blue Nile, 70% of buyers report feeling more stressed about financing the ring than proposing to their significant other. In the United States, WeddingWire’s Newlywed Report 2020 indicates that the average cost of an engagement ring is around $5,000.
With a hefty price tag, couples must decide how much they can reasonably spend on an engagement ring and how the purchase can fit their budget before hitting the jewellery stores.
Find a balance between expectations and capabilities
Before popping the big question, the other thought that will pop up in your head is “How much should I spend on the ring?”
While it’s good to know the average figure as a ballpark range, you don’t have to set a budget for your engagement ring based on what others spend. Every couple’s situation is different and it is important to know where you stand.
Look at personal factors such as your financial situation, her expectations, and the style of engagement ring that she prefers.
You might have heard of the golden rule of spending three months’ salary on a ring – keep in mind not to rely on an outdated salary rule to influence your purchasing decision. In fact, the rule was originally created as a marketing ad by diamond company, De Beers to encourage more spending on a diamond ring.
Look into your financial situation
Just like any other major purchases, setting a budget is a crucial step. A good tip is to ensure that you are not putting yourself in huge amounts of debt for the ring. After all, you have your future to think about too, and finances merge when couples get married.
There are several considerations to help determine your financial capability:
– Your current salary: how much is your monthly income?
– Your expenses: what are you currently paying for? Things like groceries, bills and debts like loans and car payments.
– Your savings: if you cut down on your spending, how much can you save monthly? And how much do you have saved up already?
You may also wish to include your future potential income into your consideration, depending if you are expecting a promotion or there is job growth potential within the next several years.
With these factors, you can get control over your financial life and estimate how much you are able to spend on a ring – whether you wish to opt for a lower price point or splurge a little.
Ideally, you would want to purchase the ring without borrowing so you don’t incur debt. Otherwise, it should be paid off in a few months so it does not affect your wedding budget in the near future. It’s also good to consider when you would like to propose, so you can give yourself a timeline to save up in the coming months and make it happen.
Understand her expectations
Choosing a ring that meets her expectations is important – it represents your love and commitment, and it is a sentimental piece she would love to cherish and show off.
Knowing what your partner prefers will help you narrow down on the cost. Whether she prefers a diamond or gemstone, or a gold or platinum band, this knowledge will help inform your purchase.
While some people make the ring a surprise, it is not uncommon for couples nowadays to search for the right ring together. Some women hint at what they wanted, while others shopped with their partner and was present when the ring was purchased. If she wants to be involved in the ring shopping, have an open conversation about what she prefers. Otherwise, you can seek her friends and family members for some help with the ring style.
Factors affecting the ring price and preferences
At the start of your search, you might come across the 4Cs of a diamond: cut, clarity, carat and colour. They have different grades that will affect the prices and determine how sparkly and brilliant the diamond is for the ring.
You can also consider the following:
– The shape of the diamond
– The type of setting that matches her fashion sense/lifestyle
– The colour of ring band
– How often she will wear the ring: depends on job/practicality
The size of the diamond, or carat, isn’t always everything! In general, a 1 carat diamond price falls between $1,800 and $12,000, depending on cut quality. A 12 grand price tag may not be a feasible budget for everyone – so choose a lesser size diamond with a better cut that will still radiate brilliance and catch instant attention. Similarly, clarity, or the lack of inclusions, also affects a diamond’s fire and sparkle.
Be comfortable with your decision
The good news is: there are engagement ring options to fit any budget. Expensive may not be the same as thoughtfulness – prioritise the ring design as well as your financial goals. Taking the time and effort to choose a beautiful engagement ring for her adds more meaning and significance that she will appreciate.
Ultimately, how much you spend on a ring is a personal choice that will work for the both of you. It’s just a matter of figuring out all the different considerations to decide the right one for you and your fiancée-to-be.
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