For most men, the process of choosing an engagement ring is an intimidating experience. Though there is no shortage of jewelry stores to shop and engagement rings to browse, it can be difficult to know whether or not you are getting a good deal. However, there are some simple things that you can do to improve your odds of making a wise buying decision.
Shop With a Budget
Before setting out to look at rings, you should determine how much you plan on spending on the engagement ring. The jewelry industry recommends a budget equivalent to three months of your salary, but that number may not be realistic for you depending on your financial situation. If you are struggling to pay your bills or reduce debt, it makes little sense to spend a small fortune on an engagement ring. If you cannot afford the ring that you want, consider buying an affordable ring and having the diamond replaced with a larger one in the future.
Learn About Diamonds
The price of a diamond varies depending on a number of factors, beyond just the carat size. Diamond prices also vary depending on the clarity, cut and color of the diamond. Though you do not need to be a diamond expert to buy an engagement ring, learning about the basic differences between diamonds can help you to compare rings and determine which ring is the right one for your specific situation.
Comparison Shop for the Best Deal
Though engagement rings are more expensive than most other purchases, the shopping experience is similar. You should carefully shop a variety of retailers to learn about the rings available on the market and to compare prices. You should also look for rings that are on sale, discontinued or otherwise offered for less than retail. Through careful shopping, you can likely find the ring that you want to buy, or one very close to it, at a great price.
Manage Financing Costs
If you need to borrow money to purchase an engagement ring, an important financial consideration is the cost to finance. Most jewelry stores offer in-store financing plans, but these plans often have high interest rates. These high interest rates can easily cause you to pay two or three times the cost of the ring before the loan is paid off. However, there are other lower cost ways to borrow money which will save you money such as borrowing through a personal loan from a bank or credit union or borrowing through a home equity loan.
Plan For Problems
When shopping for an engagement ring, be certain to fully understand the retailer’s warranty and return policy. For example, a number of retailers offer a full refund with-in a certain amount of time, but will offer store credit for a longer period. Jewelry buyers typically must take some action, such as having the ring inspected annually, to keep a store warranty in effect. By making certain to understand the warranty and return policy, you can avoid making a potentially serious financial mistake.
Though engagement rings can be an expensive purchase, you can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars by simply following these tips and taking your time on deciding which ring to buy. With the savings, you can spend more on the wedding, honeymoon or simply to save for a future need.