Whether or Not You Should Strike a Deal on Your Dream Ring
When it comes to major life purchases, we’d put an engagement ring right up there at the very top of the list. It’s no surprise an engagement ring is a major investment—so it makes sense to want shop smart…but is it worth trying to strike a deal in the process? While jewelers might run occasional sales, this question really comes down to setting a realistic budget and thinking about the timing of future wedding expenses. Today, then, we’re offering our top tips for all you need to know about whether you should—or shouldn’t—try to save money when shopping for your partner’s dream ring.
Start with some simple questions
Before you start looking for steals and deals, sit down and answer the following questions.
- What is your budget?
- How much do you currently have saved?
- How soon do you want/need to purchase the ring?
- What kind of ring details do you have in mind?
- Do you want to build a custom engagement ring?
- How soon after proposing do you think you’ll start planning your wedding?
Answering these questions will give you a comprehensive idea of your budget as it relates to your timeline and other upcoming expenses. If you don’t currently have much (or anything) saved and you have some time to shop around, then looking for deals might be in your best interest. On the other hand, if you’re in a rush to purchase and have some seriously dreamy ring details in mind (like designing a custom engagement ring on Blue Nile or James Allen or finding a rare diamond shape), then focusing on finding a deal probably shouldn’t be your main concern.
Once you have a solid idea of your budget as it relates to your engagement and wedding-planning timeline, browse the below two categories to see where your proposal and wedding planning scenario fits in.
Reasons you might need to “save money” on the ring
- You don’t have a lot saved and don’t want to finance the ring. If you’ve been unable to save up for a ring and don’t want to purchase it on a line of credit, then looking for deals is likely in your best interest. (PRO TIP: check out our piece on the best ways to shop for an engagement ring to help you along the way!)
- You don’t plan on popping the question soon. If you have a while before you plan on proposing, this allows you a little wiggle room to spend time shopping around for the perfect ring and the perfect price. Call jewelers, look for specials online, and research the best time to purchase rings at a lower price. (PRO TIP: The peak period for engagement ring purchases tends to be between Thanksgiving and New Years—so waiting until spring or summer to purchase might allow you to find a better deal.)
- You think you and your partner will jump straight into wedding planning. If you will be paying for the wedding—or most of it—yourself, you’ll need to have money set aside for paying deposits to secure the wedding vendors you want. If you think wedding planning is in your near future after getting engaged, then you’ll want to make sure you have a budget for vendor deposits. This might mean spending a little less on the ring in order to ensure you’re at a good place to start planning immediately after your engagement.
Reasons you shouldn’t try to “save money” on the ring
- You have a specific vision in mind. If you have specific ring details in mind or a vision of a certain “dream ring” that you just can’t shake, then your primary concern should be finding something that fits that bill…as opposed to looking for a deal. This is especially true if you’re planning on designing a custom engagement ring.
- You don’t plan on upgrading. Many couples purchase their first engagement ring with the knowledge that they’ll eventually “upgrade” it as the years go on and their financial status evolves. If you and your partner are more sentimental and you’d prefer this ring to be her or his ring for life, then you should probably focus on making sure it’s perfect, as opposed to concentrating on finding a low price.
- You’re someone who always goes for quality. It’s no surprise that less expensive doesn’t exactly equal better. If you’re a shopper who tends who purchase quality items over cheaper items, you probably want to approach ring shopping the same way. Purchasing an engagement ring is a major investment, after all—so it’s always best to seek the best possible quality for your budget.