There's a ridiculous engagement ring formula floating around the web that says you should spend 2-3 months of your salary. Jewelers originated this myth in an advertising campaign years ago. They want you to spend more and may have convinced you that you need to but you don't! I don't just love beautiful wedding rings, I believe everyone should have them! But I don't think you should put yourself in insurmountable debt for them.
Here are a few tips to save on that fancy wedding set you'll need for the Big Day.
1. Be realistic.
Most people can't tell the difference between a 1 carat ring and a 3/4 carat ring with the naked eye. Beyond those early months of engagement and marriage nobody is going to ask you about your carats, trust me! Save the money and buy a fraction lower.
2. Don't buy in the busy season.
They say that December is the height of Engagement Season and that prices will inflate a bit because of that.
My own husband proposed on Christmas Day because we were surrounded by family and the holiday excitement. It was magical! But he purchased his ring loooong before that, pocketed the savings, and just waited for December.
3. Research online BEFORE going into the store.
Look into purchasing your rings online. Those retailers have far more competition and much less overhead than an on-site retailer and their prices are typically lower due to that reason alone.
If you're not comfortable buying online, do some research at the very least. Go into the store with an idea of what you're willing to spend and what kind of ring your money can buy. It can get overwhelming with all of those diamonds in one place!
4. Have a budget and stick with it.
Only you can know what amount you're comfortable spending. Many of us are guilty of spending just a touch more on wedding items than we planned. A good rule to follow is to under-budget so you can stay on budget!
And don't buy in the heat of the moment! If the ring you want is a bit more expensive, sleep on it. It's not going anywhere and will be at the store tomorrow.
5. Visit a smaller jeweler.
Avoid visiting large chain stores when you're shopping around. Oftentimes a smaller jeweler will have more bargaining flexibility and you can put your negotiating skills to good use.
Yes, I'd love a Tiffany's ring. What woman wouldn't? But I'm sensible enough to know that there are better things we can spend our money on and more affordable places we can go.
6. Get out of the wedding section.
Yes, that's right. Walk away from the wedding section. Most of the rings in that area have slightly elevated prices because jewelers know a wedding is a specialoccasion. But a diamond is still a diamond on the other side of store.
I searched that particular area for a wedding band for months and just couldn't find anything I liked. Out of desperation, I wandered over to the regular ring section and found exactly what I was looking for.
No, it's not the typical way to shop for wedding rings. But I haven't met another woman with a set like mine and I prefer it that way!
7. Insure it before you leave!
I was moving heavy boxes once when I slipped, a box landed on my left hand, and my diamond flew across the room! We had insurance on the ring so I took it in and it was fixed for free. Can you imagine the costs if it hadn't been? Insure your rings now so you can save money in the long run.
Don't let yourself feel the pressure to keep up with the Jones' and buy an overly expensive ring. Stay within your budget by purchasing in a low season and doing all of the right research. Don't forget to check out a smaller jeweler for lower prices. And if you can't find the ring you want, head out of the wedding section and you just might stumble on what you're looking for.
How do you save money on wedding rings? Did you follow the 2-3 months formula?