Should You Finance an Engagement Ring?

by Alexa Mason · 13 comments

You’ve finally decided that she’s “the one,” and you’re ready to pop the question. There’s only one problem: you don’t have enough cash to buy the engagement ring.

You’re in a bind. Should you finance an expensive ring that she’ll love, save money and postpone your engagement, or buy a smaller ring that you can afford?

There are pros and cons to all three of these options. Let’s take a look.

Finance a Ring

Sometimes love makes us do crazy things. And, since the average price of an engagement ring hovers right around $5,500, financing may seem like a good option. The pro is obviously getting your girl a ring that will bring her to tears (in a good way). It comes at a high cost, however.

While some jewelers do offer low-interest financing, you’ll still be faced with a pretty high monthly payment for several years. Even worse, if you put the ring on your credit card, you could be paying an astronomical 20 percent in interest. Unless you tackle the debt quickly, you’ll end up paying much, much more for the ring than it’s actually worth.

Financing a ring will mean starting your marriage with added debt. Since money issues are one of the biggest marital problems, financing a ring could get your impending marriage off to a rocky start.

Save for a Ring

Depending on the amount you need for the ring, saving up cash could take you quite a while. This means delaying your engagement until your ring fund is complete.

While this isn’t always the most enjoyable route to go, it’s smart financially. However, love and smart financial decisions don’t always go hand in hand.

If you’re ready to get engaged now but don’t want to go into debt, then the next option is a better fit for you.

Buy Small Now & Big Later

If you’re not thrilled with either of the options above, you could buy a smaller, less expensive ring now, then save to buy a more extravagant ring in the future.

If you’re able to openly communicate with your love, this shouldn’t be a problem. You can satisfy your need to propose now and promise her the ring of her dreams later. Just make sure you keep your promise.

This option will also give you plenty of time to look at rings, compare prices, and figure out what the best deal is.

Big or Small, How Do You Choose?

You would think you just walk into the jewelry store, pick something out, head home, and that’s that.

If only life were so simple.

Here’s what my friend AJ had to do…

Where to Shop?

I headed to a trusted jewelry shop near my home called Shane Co. with my future in-laws. I asked a few people where they had gone, but the catchy commercials are what initially sparked my interest. Shane Co. is fantastic for a few reasons: the employees don’t work on commission, they have free maintenance on rings, they do appraisals for free in the shop and they have a high-tech coffee machine. (Yes, coffee is that important to me :))

I have heard a number of horror stories about shoppers at jewelry stores where employees fight for customers to earn more commission. Without commission, I was passed along to the employee that would fit my needs the best. She had no incentive to sell me the more expensive ring, she simply wanted to help me find the perfect one. She was in no rush and was very helpful all along the way.

Maintenance is important. My fiancée’s ring has already had to be re-dipped once and she gets it cleaned every few months. Many places do both of these for free, whereas some stores will charge a fee for everything you do after you purchase a ring.

If you want to insure your ring (as I did), you will need to get an appraisal. Finding a store that will help you along in this process is vital.

how to buy the perfect engagement ringRing Education

What does your future wife want in a ring? I knew my fiancée wanted certain things in her ring, which is why I brought her family along to help me shop. There are so many options to choose from, covering a wide range of sizes and price tags.

Settings come in many different shapes and sizes. There are skinny bands, thick bands, silver bands, gold bands, and more. Some have diamonds in the setting, while others do not. Find out what fits best for your situation. Keep in mind that white gold will fade to gold over time and may need to be re-dipped.

When choosing a diamond, I had to go through the four-c’s education. These are color, cut, clarity, and carat. I was shown rings that differed in each category. I knew the carat size I was looking for and I found that color was the most noticeable trait of the other three. When put next to a white background, I could tell the difference between white and not so white. You will need to do your own education at the jewelry store to determine which of the four-c’s are most important to you. It’s important to remember that each level you go towards the perfect diamond means a higher price as well.

Bottom Line

Getting engaged will be one of the most exciting and memorable times in your life. If you want to start your marriage out on a solid financial foundation, then financing a ring isn’t for you. With patience and hard work, you can meet in the middle and enjoy the best of both worlds.

In the end, the only thing that should matter is your love for each other – not how much you spend on a ring.

What do you think about financing engagement rings?

Money Saving Tip: An incredibly effective way to save more is to reduce your monthly Internet and TV costs. Click here for the current Verizon FiOS promotion codes and promos to see if you can save more money every month from now on.

{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Bert says:

    The ring is sentimental, to be sure, but overpaying for a diamond is crazy. Diamonds are controlled within an artificial market place. primarily by the DeBeers family of Amsterdam and South Africa. If this is ever seriously challenged, if the truth becomes widely known, the value of your investment could be rendered completely worthless. There are many thousands of diamonds out there in storage, held in abeyance to ensure a high price due to supposed shortages. Do you know how a jeweler tells if a diamond is fake or not? The fake is PERFECT, no flaws. How is this cubic zirconium considered worthless when compared to the natural diamond, which is identified through it’s imperfections?

  • Anne says:

    My ex husband proposed 22 yrs ago. We were finishing graduate school, and we were correspondingly poor. He gave me a beautiful 1 carat ring. I loved it. I said yes. We got married 8 months later. Two weeks after the wedding he presented me with the coupon book for the ring loan. He financed it through a high interest loan company. That’s when I found out about his bad credit. So, I took over all the finances, and wrote the darn monthly check for my engagement ring until it was paid off. And all the other checks until I got sick of him ten years later. His credit was squeaky clean when I divorced him. Don’t finance rings.

  • Julia says:

    My opinion is that you need to search a lot, and to choose something that you can afford. My fiance insisted that I show him what I want, because he is not good at choosing it for me, and than said that he was saving money for this, so I found the perfect diamond engagement ring at a good deal, and both of us is happy.

  • Simon says:

    Engagement rings are rather over-rated! So No, I wouldn’t finance one.
    One only needs to look at the divorce statistics, the costs of weddings and costs of bringing up a family to realize financing an it is a rather dumb move. There will be time to shower your sweetheart with expensive and ostenatious gifts…just not before you even get your foot into the marriage door.
    Then again people in love do strange things…logic is almost non-existent. Who knows, when the time comes I might be at the front of the queue asking for the dotted line to append my signature and get the financing…lol

  • Daisy Coleman says:

    If I was a guy I personally wouldn’t chose to finance the ring. After marriage comes houses and babies for a lot of people, and having a big fat monthly installment for the next five years way be a big hinder! Buying a small ring and replacing it with something better in the feature is a lovely idea! Although I agree completely with Dojo.

  • Michelle says:

    I don’t think rings should be financed. However, if it is at 0% and they are just trying to take advantage of that, then there may be a positive to that.

    • Alexa Mason says:

      I can understand the 0% financing to a point if the plan is to pay off the ring within the set terms. That would make sense.

  • dojo says:

    I don’t think it’s worth marrying someone who expects you to pay thousands for a ring. Come on, it’s not a car, it’s not a home, it’s a RING. I wouldn’t have been comfortable receiving such a ring from my husband, knowing he’s gonna pay for months to come just so that I can feel like a ‘princess’. We skipped the engagement ring and got our wedding bands together (he paid for them). He had some old rings from home, so we paid only for the creation of the 2 wedding bands. They’re small, simple and VERY elegant and classy. Both cost us close to what our grocery bill is for 2 weeks.

    • Alexa Mason says:

      I think that’s awesome! I agree in the fact that it should be about love. Not the size of the ring. Good for the both of you!

  • John S says:

    That would be a tough situation to be in. I would think that the final option would be best as long as both are open with their communication. Thankfully I had been given my Grandmother’s ring and I gave that to my wife so we got to use the saved money towards the honeymoon.

  • Jon says:

    I refused to go into debt for a ring or the wedding for that matter. My fiance feels the same way. Would we have liked to have gotten married sooner, sure, but we didn’t have the money. As important as a wedding is, there is no point in going into debt for the ring or the wedding when it is just one day of the rest of our lives.

    • Alexa Mason says:

      I agree. And I’m a pretty simple girl. I would definitely forgo an expensive wedding and ring to marry the man I loved.

  • Property Marbella says:

    Why not try to find a second hand diamond ring on any auction, ebay, or similar web pages to a much lower price? Bring it to a jeweler to polish it up so it looks new.

Leave a Comment