The road to your wedding—the planning, the researching, and the saving—can be a long one. Many modern couples take months, or even years, to plan their weddings.
And while it used to be tradition that a bride’s family would foot the bill, it’s become increasingly common for both families to pitch in. In some cases, the couple will handle costs themselves without any familial help (or with the help of crowdfunding campaigns for weddings).
Before you plan and pay for your dream wedding, you should consider the cost of engagement rings. We have some tips for choosing and paying for the right engagement ring for you, your partner and both your budgets.
Financing the Engagement Ring
For couples who haven’t saved for the engagement ring in addition to the wedding, or for those who prefer not to dip into the wedding day coffers just yet, engagement ring financing is a smart move for budget buffering. Many jewelers offer financing options—sometimes with low or 0% APR introductory rates—but accumulating an additional line of credit (and monthly bill) may not be ideal. Instead, couples who are already considering wedding loans can calculate the cost of the engagement ring (and wedding rings too) into the total amount they’d like to borrow.
Tips for the Perfect Affordable Engagement Ring
Here are three guidelines for keeping your purchase affordable:
- Spend What Is Comfortable. In the 1930’s, De Beers ran ads advising people to spend a month’s salary on an engagement ring. Today, the average amount spent on an engagement ring has increased to more than $6,000. This means some couples are spending much less than the old “2 months’ salary” rule of thumb—and others are spending more. Spend what you’re comfortable with and you’re more likely to start the joining of your finances off on the right foot.
- Learn Your Partner’s Ring Preference. Try to learn your betrothed’s likes and dislikes when it comes to engagement rings—the stone, the cut, the setting. If you want to keep it a surprise, employ a little help from friends or family. This will help you determine the style and size you want, and determine whether or not it fits into your budget. See our guide to the ring-buying process here.
- Know Your Financing Options. With a finite engagement ring budget, you might want to look for ways to cut costs. Buying at the jewelry store means you’re not only purchasing the stone, you’re also purchasing the band as well, which could have drawbacks. These include promotional introductory rates of 0% for six to twelve months that can increase to 25% interest if the ring isn’t paid off in time. One alternative that could save you some money is to purchase the diamond directly and to get it set by a jeweler separately. There are several reliable companies that sell certified, loose diamonds. You will still have to buy a band and have the diamond set, but the amount you save from buying the diamond separately could be meaningful.
Now that you’ve set the budget and found the ring, it’s time to figure out how to pay for the ring without increasing your financial stress.
The Personal Loan Plan
One key to a happy marriage is financial stability. A great way to reduce engagement and wedding stress is to keep your purchases manageable and know your costs. Using a personal loan in place of engagement ring financing from a retailer is a step in the right direction, considering the average cost of an engagement ring can be pretty steep.
One way to manage these wedding-related expenses is to choose a personal loan for an engagement ring. It may offer greater flexibility than some of the in-store financing offered by your jeweler. Plus you can avoid some of the drawbacks of in-store financing mentioned above, like promotional introductory interest rates that could end up meaning the ring costs you a lot more if you don’t pay it off in time.
By working with an established lender, you’ll be able to secure competitive interest rates with flexible loan repayment terms. You also work with a loan professional who wants to get you a loan you can afford, instead of making a sale on a more expensive engagement ring. And, with a Discover® personal loan, you may also secure a low interest rate, which could make it easier to pay for the reception or even a beach honeymoon and pay back the loan with manageable fixed payments.
Choosing an engagement ring can be stressful, as can figuring out how to pay for it, but with a little planning you can get the ring your fiancé will love and start a smarter, safer financial future together.