When you’re ready to ask the big question, the thing that can be a little daunting is figuring out how to afford a ring. Living the broke life means you probably don’t want to get a high interest loan, or add more debt to your credit card, so what can you do instead? You can save. If you haven’t started saving yet, now is a good time to start. Because if you want her to say, “I do”, you’ll probably want to put a ring on it.
Set a Budget
Start with a reasonable (for you) budget in mind. If you’re slinging burgers and hustling Uber rides for money, it’s likely that a $10,000 ring isn’t right for you. While old-school experts say you should plan to spend 2-3 months salary on a diamond, new research shows that’s not the case anymore.
The truth is, you decide on a budget that works for you. Pick a number, and plan to stick to it. It can be easy to get carried away later on, but if you know how much you have to spend, it becomes easier to stick with the budget.
Split it Up Over Several Months
If you’re thinking about marriage but not ready to ask just yet, it’s a great time to start setting aside money each month. Once you’ve figured out how much you want to spend on a diamond ring, you can figure out how much you need to have on hand. Let’s say you want to spend $2400, you would need to set aside $200/month to have enough money for it in a year.
Be a Cheap Date
Setting financial goals, means you might need to make some sacrifices. If you aren’t already frugal in some areas of your life, it’s probably time to start so you can get that ring. There are plenty of ways to go out with your loved one without spending a fortune every time. Go out to eat less each month. Rent movies instead of seeing them at the theater. Don’t splurge on expensive trips.
Find Affordable Rings
The truth is you don’t need a ring with a diamond the size of the crown jewels to pop the question. Princess cut engagement rings are one of the most affordable cuts and one jeweler, Diamond Nexus, has several sparkly options for under $1000. If you got frugal enough, you could save for one of these beauties in just a few months.
It’s hard to spend your money if you can’t see it in your bank account. Automate your saving using the tools your bank offers or even using an app. Forbes mentions in this article that one of the best ways to save money is through automation. Some people even use apps that round up their savings. It’s a great way to set aside your “spare change” from purchases you already make.
Check Your Entertainment Budget
If you’re paying for 7 streaming services plus cable, internet, and 14 other subscription services, maybe it’s time to say goodbye to some of these or try to do more free and outdoor activities. Once you fill your time with sunshine, maybe you can say, “see you later.” Some people save as much as $300/month by cutting subscription services or getting smaller cable and internet packages.
Change Your Insurance Company
Insurance costs a lot of money over time. There is insurance for your home, your car, your health, and even your death. One way to cut costs to save up for that engagement ring is to switch insurance companies. While you may not be able to choose your health insurance, you can save big when you switch your car, home, and life insurance. Some people are overpaying on these important items by thousands of dollars a year.
It’s easy to save up for your engagement when you put your mind to it. The best thing about saving up and paying cash for a diamond ring is the peace of mind you gain by not having to worry about paying for it later. You can get down on that knee and ask for her hand in marriage without the dark cloud of debt. And with these good savings practices put in place, you’ll set the stage for a healthy financial future in your marriage.