Be prepared for the big purchase.

ring with blue ring box

An engagement ring is often one of the most meaningful purchases in a lifetime, but it also can be one of the most expensive. Don't let the stress of paying for the engagement ring let you forget about the meaning behind it. If you can't afford to pay for the entire ring in one go (which is pretty common!), know that you have options. Here, two jewelers offer tips on how to finance that important diamond ring.

Before you do anything else, set a budget.

Jewelry designer Liza Shtromberg knows that finances can be a huge stressor for clients, and the overall budget is one of the biggest deciding factors in choosing a ring. "I usually recommend that clients create a budget, either individually if the proposal is a surprise or as a couple if they're selecting a ring together, so that they know which rings are realistic options," she explains. Do this early, she urges, as it's a good idea to go into your first appointment with a jeweler with a general price range in mind. By knowing what you can afford to spend, the pros will be able to show you options that you can seriously consider.

Start shopping early.

Engagement rings are an investment, and like any other big-ticket purchase, you'll want to give yourself time to save. That's why Bri Hartgers of Hartgers Jewelers says it's important to start putting aside funds before you shop, and then shopping a few months before you'd like to propose. This ensures you have time to save up, but also allows for some breathing room between the big purchase and the actual proposal. "I typically find that most people start saving about three to six months before they plan on popping the question," she says. "That way when they come in to start looking at diamonds they feel much more relaxed and comfortable with their budget."

Consider making the purchase on a credit card.

Many rewards cards offer a bonus when you sign up, and a large purchase like an engagement ring will ensure you hit the minimum spend in order to receive it. In addition to a cash bonus and the ability to be able to make payments towards the ring, Hartgers says there's another big reason why men should think about putting this purchase on a credit card: This purchase could help fund your honeymoon. "I always remind guys that if they want to use their credit card, they can use the points from the ring towards their honeymoon which is a fun for them to get excited about," she explains. Consult the terms of your cards and see which one offers the best benefits for you.

Ask about in-store financing.

Most jewelry stores offer in-store financing options, and some of these may be more appealing than putting the purchase on a credit card. Make sure you understand the terms before you commit to this option, as you're often required to pay off the ring before the end of a promotional period in order to avoid large interest payments.

Get a personal loan.

If credit cards and in-store financing just won't work for you, personal loans are another option to think about. You'll have to pay interest, especially if you don't have good credit, but you'll know exactly what fixed amount will come out of your account each month. Another option is to turn to family instead of a lender. Many couples receive financial assistance from their relatives when purchasing an engagement ring, so if you think your loved ones might be in a position to help, it's always worth asking. Whatever you do, make sure you put the agreement in writing and agree to repayment terms so that everyone is on the same page.


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