How to Choose an Engagement Ring Without Breaking the Bank

engagement rings

Any couple in the process of planning a wedding or engagement has money on their minds: it’s inevitable. Considering that couples are spending more than ever to tie the knot (over $32,000 on average in 2015), it’s no surprise that just as many couples are looking for ways to cut corners and trim the fat when it comes to their weddings. However, how can you go about keeping costs down and still make memories that will last a lifetime?

Weddings and rings go hand-in-hand, quite literally, meaning that there’s perhaps nothing more important than picking the perfect ring. At the same time, rings can quickly become pricey if you don’t know what you’re looking for or don’t have a plan when it comes to picking one out. After all, what’s a wedding without an insane amount of planning?

By devising a plan and understanding the in’s and out’s of what to look for in an engagement ring, you can keep money in your pocket and pick a stone that’ll be a topic of conversation for years to come.

Take Your Time

Rushing into anything, especially buying a ring, can result in unnecessary spending and rash decisions. By taking a month or two to looking at local jewelry stores or browsing online or even looking for vintage rings, you can narrow down what you’re looking for in a ring rather than picking at random. While choosing a ring isn’t the be-all, end-all of your engagement, you should pick out exactly what you want rather than settling, if possible.

Create a Checklist

Once you’ve browsed and have an understanding of what you want, craft a checklist detailing the ideal ring. The two most important aspects of your checklist include…

Budget – The average cost of an engagement ring sits just under $5,000, which definitely has the potential to set you back. Likewise, the old “three month’s salary” rule of engagement rings is considered by many to be somewhat antiquated these days. From diamonds to metals, you may have to adjust your expectations slightly in order to stay within your budget; however, once you have a dollar amount in mind, stick to it.

Color – If you’re looking into a diamond ring, choosing a diamond color is much more complicated than simply picking whatever catches your eye. For example, few people can actually tell the difference between grades of diamonds without careful attention to detail. By familiarizing yourself with the various grades and colors of diamonds, you can get what you want and avoid getting ripped off.

Investing in Quality

Rings aren’t only an investment in your romantic future, but your financial future as well. In addition to picking the ideal ring, make sure you protect yourself and your investment. Consider engagement ring insurance (which often costs $1 or $2 per $100 spent on the ring annually) if you’re spending big; likewise, make sure that you buy from a reputable dealer. Whether through word of mouth or online ratings and reviews, do your research before laying down the cash.

Take the financial and emotional stress out of your engagement by devising a plan for buying the perfect ring. By doing some simple homework, you can keep big money in your pocket when it comes time to pop the question.

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