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How To Plan & Budget For An Engagement Ring

how to plan budget for an engagement ring

An engagement ring is a major purchase, but don’t let this intimidate you. With the right budgeting and planning, you can get down on one knee with a gorgeous diamond ring. 

In this guide, we’re going to teach you:

  • How to save up for an engagement ring 

  • How to save money on an engagement ring

  • Ways to make your diamond look bigger

  • How to pay for your ring

How To Save Up For An Engagement Ring

1. Establish a budget.

Keep in mind - you don’t need to spend three months’ salary on an engagement ring. At Ritani, we believe you should spend whatever is right for you. Remember: you don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars to have a beautiful engagement ring. 

Most people in the market for an engagement ring want to know the average engagement ring cost. In 2019, Ritani customers spent an average of $6,480 on an engagement ring - but that doesn’t mean you need to spend this much. 

It’s important to choose a budget that won’t put you into debt. Setting a budget is essential so that you don’t end up paying more than necessary. Once you propose, you’ll have a wedding and honeymoon to pay for down the line, too.  

2. Set up a separate savings account.

Based on your budget, calculate how much money will need to be transferred into your savings account each month. Set up automatic transfers so you don’t forget. 

Look into opening a high-yield (or high interest) savings account. Online-only banks can offer much higher interest rates, allowing your savings to expand more easily.

3. Cut out what you don’t need.

Now is the time to evaluate what you don’t need to be paying for, like that streaming service you haven’t used in months. You should also cut down on spending in other areas in your life, such as shopping, traveling, and eating out. 

If the thought of cutting down on spending in different areas of your life makes you cringe, just remember - it’s only temporary. Millions of people have done it before, so you can do it, too.

You can also make it easier on yourself by choosing to finance the ring. For example, you can pay for half of the ring upfront and then finance the rest.


4. Choose more affordable date night options.

Saving money doesn't need to be boring. Saving for an engagement ring and then eventually a wedding often brings additional stress into a relationship. Consider getting more creative with date nights and trying something new like ordering a kit from The Adventure Challenge. When you start to get more creative with dates, they become more meaningful. Your partner will see exactly how much thought you have put into spending quality time with them. You will save money and allocate much-needed time for each other. 

Save even more by using the code RITANI at checkout for 10% off your purchase on any date night kit!

How To Save Money On An Engagement Ring

In order to save money on an engagement ring, you first need to educate yourself on diamonds so that you don’t get ripped off. If you haven’t learned about the 4 Cs yet, click here

Here are some tips to save money on your diamond:

1. Buy Shy.

Buying just shy of popular carat weights can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. For example, if you are shopping for a 1-carat diamond, look into .90-carat diamonds instead. A .90 carat diamond will appear identical in size to a 1-carat diamond.

diamond price comparison

2. Stick With Near-Colorless Stones.

diamond color scale

Colorless diamonds (D - F) are the rarest and are therefore the most expensive. Purchase a near-colorless diamond instead. Near-colorless diamonds (G - J) will face up as white. 

If you are choosing a rose gold or yellow gold setting, you can save even more money by purchasing a K or L colored diamond. The warm color of yellow and rose gold will offset the yellowness of the diamond.

3. Choose Eye Clean Diamonds.

diamond clarity scale

Flawless and Internally Flawless diamonds are the rarest, making them the most expensive. VS1 and VS2 diamonds are a great choice for someone trying to save on an engagement ring because they are generally eye-clean. SI1 and SI2 diamonds cost even less and can sometimes be eye-clean, but not always. 

Always request HD images of your diamond before making a purchase. 

Note: Step-cut diamonds such as emeralds and Asschers will reveal inclusions easily. For step-cut diamonds, don’t skimp on clarity. Clarity should be at least VS2 or better.

4. Pass on Platinum.

Platinum is incredibly rare, making it more expensive. Instead, choose 14kt or 18kt white gold as it looks the same as platinum. 14kt white gold costs even less than 18kt white gold. 

If you have concerns about skin sensitivity, we can create nickel-free 18kt white gold rings for an additional $100 - just contact a member of our customer service team. 

5. Consider Lab-Grown Diamonds. 

Lab-grown diamonds can cost 30%-50% less than earth-grown diamonds, which is great news because they are REAL diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds have the same chemical make-up as earth-grown diamonds, and when placed side by side, they are indistinguishable.


6. Opt For Fancy-Shaped Diamonds.

Round-cut diamonds are the most expensive shape. They are in high demand because not only are they a classic choice, but they create the most sparkle. Fancy-shaped diamonds are much more affordable - they can cost 10% to 40% less than round-shaped diamonds. 

7. Pay via Bank Wire.

At Ritani, you can receive a 1.5% discount by paying for your engagement ring via bank wire. You also have the option to pay for a portion of the ring via bank wire to receive this discount and finance the rest of it. 

Ways To Make Your Diamond Look Bigger

While shopping for your engagement ring, try these hacks for a larger looking stone.

1. Choose the best cut grade possible.

Only round-cut diamonds receive a cut grade from the GIA. The best cut grade possible for round-cuts is an Ideal cut. 

While fancy-cut diamonds do not receive a cut grade from the GIA, our gemologists asses each stone and assign them one. For fancy-cut diamonds, choose a Very Good cut grade. 

A diamond that is cut too deeply will receive a low cut grade and appear smaller than diamonds of the same carat weight. Well-cut diamonds have the best proportions. 

Plus, a well-cut diamond will produce more sparkle - and who doesn’t want a sparkly diamond?

2. Select a thinner band.

A wide engagement ring band (or shank) will take away from your center stone and make it appear smaller. Instead, choose a thinner band to let your diamond make a statement.

3. Shop for fancy-shaped diamonds.

Another reason to choose fancy-shaped diamonds: they appear larger. Shapes like ovals, pears, and marquise-shaped diamonds have larger surface areas than other diamond shapes, so they look bigger than other diamond shapes that have the same carat weight.  

Note: Fancy-shaped diamonds like Asscher cuts have the smallest surface area, so they look smaller than diamonds of the same carat weight.

4. Consider a halo setting.

Halo engagement ring settings feature tiny diamonds surrounding the center stone.

halo engaegment ring

These tiny diamonds will make your center stone appear much larger and add even more sparkle to your ring. 

Remember, you can always upgrade your diamond at a later point in time for a larger stone.

How To Pay For Your Ring

You chose a gorgeous diamond and setting. Now it’s time to place your order so we can handcraft your ring. 

Here are some ways you can pay for your ring.

1. Financing

Pay for your ring in easy monthly payments. At Ritani, you can apply for a credit card through Synchrony

Through Synchrony, you can choose the following payment plans: 

  • No Interest for 12 Months

  • 9.99% APR for 36 months

  • 9.99% APR for 60 months

Keep in mind that if you choose to finance, you still should purchase a ring within your means - you likely have other bills on top of your monthly engagement ring payment.

2. Bank Wire

You can pay for your engagement ring via bank wire transfer and receive a 1.5% discount. You can also pay for a portion of your engagement ring via bank wire to receive this discount, and then pay for the rest via financing.

3. The Old Fashioned Way

At Ritani, we accept all major debit/credit cards. You can also use Amazon Pay at checkout. 


Now that you’ve completed reading our diamond-buying tips, design your engagement ring today!

Start Designing

Ring Recommender
We’ll find the perfect diamond and setting within your budget. Just answer a few simple questions and we’ll put together a beautiful engagement ring. We promise it won’t be as complicated as filling out your tax returns.
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