You’ve been with your partner for long enough to know that it is true love, and you know in your heart of hearts that the time has come to start considering proposals and engagement rings. That moment of realisation that you have found your life partner is one you will never forget. Soon, you will be ready to start a brand new life together, with a future filled with promise.
What many happy couples don’t often remember however is that a large part of your future happiness lies in having minimal stress factors that could put a damper on those big plans and dreams you have as a couple. Money worries are one of the biggest stressors on any relationship especially, which is why it is so important to ensure that you start off your marriage without financial burdens.
Despite the fact that diamonds are without a doubt an investment, buying diamond engagement rings that end up putting you in debt is never a good way to start the marriage. Wedding costs can put even more pressure on your budget, and, depending on how long the engagement lasts before the wedding plans begin, having two major expenses to worry about does not do much to keep stress at bay.
How do you ensure that you give your loved one a ring that she will truly treasure forever, while still avoiding debt and potential financial trouble further down the line?
How to Budget for Engagement Rings Simply and Sensibly
You can never put a price on love, but when it comes to shopping for engagement rings, setting a sensible, realistic budget is absolutely vital. Instead of listening to ‘tradition’, taking out major loans that will be difficult to pay back or wasting your life savings before you’ve even started saving enough for your first home, consider these practical tips…
- Set a budget before you do anything else
This is the most important step of all. You will need to sit down and take a good, long look at your current finances, your projected income for the next few months, your expenses and your savings. Getting the best that you can afford is very different to spending a fortune that you will be paying off for many years to come. It is often a better idea to set aside funds and save for a while rather than rush things and take out a loan that may not be easy to pay back before the wedding. You can also start doing some basic research to get some idea of how much rings in your estimated budget would cost. A good jeweller that does custom designed rings often works out to your advantage, as you can determine what stones, band and details are available within your budget.
- Surprising her with a ring versus shopping for the ring together
Some guys like to surprise their beloveds with a ring, while others prefer to pop the question and then look for rings together after she says ‘yes’. While both options have their advantages, shopping together has the luxury of having all the info you need on sizing, preference and style. This way you can be 100% sure of what she wants, rather than taking a risk by doing your own investigation on her jewellery tastes.
- Consider the setting and stone size carefully
A single large stone is a lot pricier than a few small stones, but both can be equally impressive. A halo setting that has a circle of small stones ringed around a centre stone gives the illusion of size, along with plenty of sparkle. This type of ring is also a more eye-catching than solitaire rings, giving an alluring vintage look.
- Find a balance in diamond grading
The colour and clarity of a diamond reveal its grading, as well as its price. Very often, occlusions or changes in the clarity or colour can only be seen under magnification, and not by the naked eye. Paying extra for perfection that cannot be seen can end up costing you a lot more than you bargain for, while choosing a slightly lower grade means that you will have a ring that looks no less beautiful, but at a lower price. Look for ‘eye clean’ stones that look perfect but do not cost the earth, for the ideal balance.
- Choose the band metal wisely
Platinum is a popular choice for engagement ring bands, as this type of band is durable, shiny and always flawless. It is also extremely costly. There are a number of other metals to choose from that can be equally impressive, while also costing a more reasonable amount. White gold looks much like platinum and is also durable, while some of the more unusual modern bands can include rose gold (with its pretty copper tint), yellow gold (for a bold, classic tint) and even the very rare green gold (perfect for those who like to stand out from the crowd).
With a bit of planning beforehand, you can be sure that you find the perfect choice of engagement rings that symbolises your eternal love… without overspending or getting into debt.