Every year, we have hundreds of young men come into our store to find the perfect diamond engagement ring for their future bride. We truly believe that what we do is important. There are a lot of critics out there that say diamonds are a waste of money, but after years of seeing smiles and tears of joy from successful engagements – we respectfully disagree.
But should a diamond purchase linger with you long after the actual engagement has happened? Let’s take a look below.
Should you finance a diamond engagement ring?
Cash is always the best way to go
Ultimately, buying an engagement ring with cash is the most financially responsible way to go about purchasing a diamond engagement ring.
While we don’t believe in the traditional “save up three months of salary” here at Jonathan’s, we do believe that there is a lot of value in only purchasing what you can pay cash for after diligently saving up.
It’s simple really. Marriage tends to be a very expensive endeavor. In addition to the cost of an engagement ring and wedding band, there’s the wedding itself and a honeymoon to plan for as well.
The last thing that you want to do when entering a serious legal and financial contract with another person (aka your future wife) is create a high-debt burden that could lead to stress in the marriage early on.
Saving up and paying cash isn’t the sexy or fast way to go about anything, but it’s definitely the cheapest. It also carries the least amount of risk, and could force you to spend less on a ring because you’ll feel the financial hit more than you would with a loan or a credit card.
Be weary of retail store offers…
Mall jewelry stores love to snag customers into their exclusive financing offers. The big 0% interest introductory offers may seem enticing, but remember, they’re only introductory.
One that initial 0% rate goes away, you could be looking at as much as 24% apr. Many jewelry stores like Kay Jewelers have 12 month no interest pricing, but they’re betting that you won’t actually pay for the ring in-full within one year.
If you do decide that you want to go with financing through a jewelry store, just make sure you fully understand the terms of the loan, and run it through a calculator like this one to see exactly how much you’ll be paying for the ring with interest.
Credit cards are common, but expensive
Credit cards are obviously an easy way to purchase anything (including a diamond engagement ring), but that ease of use comes with drawbacks. It’s expensive, and might cause you to spend much more than you originally intended.
Based on a very popular Dun & Bradstreet study on credit card usage, the firm found that people who use credit cards to purchase items tend to spend 12% – 15% more on average than those who opt to save up and pay cash for items.
With an item that can be as expensive as an engagement ring, 12% or more can add a huge amount to the final price tag.
Credit cards also give you more flexibility to impulse buy or upgrade to something you weren’t planning on originally. If you can find an introductory 0% offer and plan to pay off the ring before the offer expires, great.
If you aren’t sure that you can manage to pay off the ring before the offer expires, you’ll want to avoid the plastic altogether.
Can you find a 0% personal loan?
Compared to a credit card or store financing, a personal loan might be a better way to go. Depending on the financial institution you bank with, you may be able to get reasonable rates on a personal loan that will save you more money over the long run.
The best place to check? Credit unions. Typically credit unions have the ability to be more flexible with their rates and loan terms than a larger bank.
Another nice perk to opting for a personal loan is that you can limit the amount that you’ve been approved to borrow, which will keep you from spending more than you originally wanted to in an impulse buy situation.
Don’t be afraid to get creative
Do you have jewelry that you can trade in exchange for credit towards your diamond? Is there a payment plan that would work for you that you’d like to ask about?
Obviously you won’t be able to take advantage of those options with a mall jeweler or an online store, but smaller family-owned jewelers may be able to work with you to come with a more creative (and cheaper) solution for buying your diamond engagement ring.
Another option? Ask your parents for a loan. It’s obviously not the most glamorous way to come up with the money for an engagement ring, but there’s a good chance that your interest rate will be much lower than traditional financing methods.
Final thoughts on financing diamond engagement rings
In the world of shopping for and buying engagement rings, cash is king. Ultimately you need to choose a realistic budget for yourself and start saving ASAP. If you absolutely have to finance, be meticulous with your research and weigh all of the options before jumping in.
Are you interested in creating your engagement ring with a loose diamond from our inventory? Contact Sergio@jfjco.com to schedule an appointment and find the perfect diamond today.
Want to see some examples of our work? Take a look at our engagement ring photo gallery and video gallery. You can keep up with Jonathan’s on Facebook, Twitter, and even follow our personal Instagram accounts below: