Is Your Engagement Ring Worth More Debt?
Engagements rings are a long-held matrimonial tradition. However, it’s worth considering a few key factors before you drop any cash on an engagement ring.
How much do Canadian couples spend on engagement rings? According to a March 2016 Global News article, the average cost for each one is around $4,700. After including the typical event and honeymoon costs, the total price tag for a wedding can reach almost $40,000. Cutting expenses can be challenging for couples who want to tie the knot. That’s why it’s worth considering a few key factors before you drop any cash on an engagement ring.
Behind the Engagement Ring “Rules”
You may have heard of the supposed “rules” for buying engagement rings. Depending on who you ask, the ring should cost either two or three times one’s monthly salary. Statistics Canada’s 2017 figures revealed that the average weekly salary is around $986. That means the typical Canadian earns almost $4,000 per month before deductions. With these figures, following the oft-repeated rule on rings results in a price tag between $8,000 and $12,000.
How did these modern engagement ring purchasing practices develop? Money Under 30’s David Weliver divulges that they originated with a shrewd marketing campaign launched by the London-based diamond company De Beers. He also contends that they aren’t practical for younger couples because of typical debt burdens and lower salaries. To lower costs, he suggests a few alternatives:
- Pay for the ring with cash.
- Select a family heirloom piece.
- Choose gemstones that are less expensive than diamonds.
Pros and Cons of Financing Your Ring
If there’s no room in your budget to purchase an engagement ring in full, you may be tempted to finance it. Your credit history will determine the types of offers you receive along with spending limits and interest rates. Individuals with favorable credit can choose from many options:
- Personal loans
- Vendor’s credit cards or revolving credit lines
- Major credit cards issued by financial institutions
At the same time, you’ll need to think about how this new debt will impact your upcoming marriage. NerdWallet’s Erin El Issa points out that each spouse is liable for individually incurred debts. This is true regardless of whether they originated before or after the wedding. Yet those debts still affect the couple’s overall financial health. A significant debt load can make it difficult to purchase a home together, contribute to a savings account, or plan for retirement.
In another Money Under 30 article, David Weliver offers suggestions for people desiring to purchase engagement rings on credit. While he still warns readers not to buy rings that they cannot afford, he discusses some favorable financing options. Some jewelry retailers may offer 0 percent financing or no interest and payments for a predetermined time period. Weliver strongly suggests reviewing each offer’s terms. With some, you’ll pay a much higher interest rate after the promotional period expires.
Depending on your credit score, you may qualify for cards that come with 0 percent interest on new purchases for up to one year. Be sure you know what your new APR will be. Also, you should assess whether you can pay off the ring before the promotion ends. Purchase your ring from a reliable online jeweler. Buying online could save you a significant amount of money, letting you spend as little as 50 percent of the brick-and-mortar retailer price. Make sure you request a shipment method with tracking and a signature requirement as well as insurance to cover the ring itself.
Choose Your Credit Options Carefully
In the past, society judged a man’s ability to provide for his future wife by the type of engagement ring he gave her. It’s true that some still take notice at an elaborate ring with a decent-sized diamond. Ultimately, you must consider the effects of purchasing one either with cash or credit. After all, part of your goal should be making smart decisions for your joint financial future.
Ditch Diamond Rings With These Significant Stones
When selecting an engagement ring, there are many other beautiful stones to consider besides the traditional diamond ring.
For years, diamonds have remained the most popular stones when it comes to engagement rings. It’s easy to see why. The dazzling beauty of a diamond can be difficult to match. Still, these rocks are ridiculously expensive and the ways that they are acquired are not always ethical. If you feel weird about “blood diamonds” or just don’t find this particular stone to be aesthetically pleasant, you might feel like you don’t know what to do when it comes time to select the right engagement ring for your significant other.
Though it can feel like diamond engagement rings are the only path to take, you might find comfort in the fact that other stones have been increasing in popularity in recent years. Give yourself a moment to explore some of these alternatives, and see if you can land on a ring option that holds significance and keeps your conscience clear.
Diamonds might be “forever,” but there are plenty of happy couples who are more interested in the bluish hue of the sapphire. In fact, those interested in following royal weddings might already be aware of this fact. The engagement rings for Princess Diana and Kate Middleton were both made from blue sapphires. You don’t need to be involved with royalty to opt for sapphires, either. The ring holds personal significance to people born in September, as it is the month’s birthstone, and it also is said to contain other mystical properties.
Since the days of the Persian Empire, sapphires have been thought to hold magical significance. The Persians believed sapphires were the reason the sky was blue and felt that the color connection symbolized the stone’s deep ties to heaven. By wearing a ring made of sapphire, a person was said to have a special place waiting for them in heaven. Whether you find the lore appealing or you think the stone is just beautiful, you might find sapphires a better fit than diamonds for your personal wedding goals.
Sapphires might be beautiful, but their color may not be for you. If you want something that steps away and makes a bolder statement, emeralds might be a good fit for your ring. These dazzling green stones are as beautiful to look at as they are to learn about. According to a number of cultural beliefs, emeralds are worn by those who have a deeper understanding of the world. Individuals who are born with intuitive abilities are usually drawn to emeralds, as these stones are said to contain prophetic powers.
Whether or not you have visions of the future, an emerald stone might be an ideal fit for your engagement ring needs. The beautiful, green shade of the stone can be a nice change of pace from traditional whites and blues. Beyond this, the idea that the stone is meant for those with “great vision” can be interpreted in a number of romantic ways.
Finally, to go to an even more interesting extreme, you may want to think about an engagement ring set with a ruby. A huge contrast to the white of a diamond, the red of a ruby can signify deep passion. Red is a bold color that most people will notice right away. By opting for a ring with this beautiful stone front and center, you are sending a message of deep, unyielding love to anyone who notices it.
When selecting an engagement ring, it is important to remember that diamonds are not the only stone worth your time. Explore all of your options with stones, and you are likely to find a winning fit that matches you and your significant other and the bonds you share.
Canadian Couple Plans Unforgettable Wedding Proposal
Getting engaged is one of life’s most important milestones. Some people prefer to go the more traditional route of popping the question during a romantic dinner or on Valentine’s Day. Others want to do something totally unique and over-the-top for their proposal. Yannick Martin of Blainville, Quebec opted for a unique engagement idea when he asked his girlfriend to marry him in January.
A Silver Screen Proposal
Berenice Lejars was not expecting anything out of the ordinary when she agreed to a movie date with her boyfriend, Yannick Martin, but he had other ideas in store. Martin, with the help of friends, had made an elaborate animated movie trailer in which he asked Berenice to marry him. He located a theatre in St-Eustache that was willing to play it before the feature film. Right before the trailer began, Martin pretended he needed to answer an important call and left the theatre. A surprised and slightly confused Berenice watched the trailer by herself. At the end, the animated character Yannick proposed to the animated Berenice. When the trailer was over, the real Yannick returned to the movie theatre and proposed in person on bended knee, with a lovely ring, before the theatre audience. Berenice said “yes” and the happy couple did not stay for the movie. Click here to watch the trailer and live proposal (YouTube Link).
Other Creative Ways to Propose
While following Yannick’s footsteps may not exactly be your style, there are many other ways to do it:
Proposing somewhere like an iconic landmark, beach or foreign country can make the occasion all the more memorable. Some places to consider (if you want to spend the money) include the top of the Eiffel Tower, overlooking the Grand Lagoon in Venice, a private capsule in the London Eye carousel or the Taj Mahal.
In heterosexual relationships, it is customary for men to propose to women. In this day and age, it is not necessary to adhere to this tradition. If you go this route, it will make a great story later.
One way to help ensure your proposal is extraordinary is to buy a ring like no other. Diamonds have been the de rigueur stones of choice for engagement rings for many years. However, colored gemstones are much rarer. They can also be very costly, so be sure to confirm the return policy in case your beloved has different ideas on engagement rings.
If you want to plan an unusual marriage proposal but don’t think you can pull it off yourself, you can always hire professional help. Many wedding planners will plan your proposal as well your wedding.
Advice For Popping the Question
If you are hard at working trying to plan the logistics of the perfect proposal, here are a few tips to keep in mind for when you actually pop the question. This one event will stick in the mind of your future spouse forever. It needs to be good because you can’t do it over.
- Know the Answer in Advance
It is not advisable to propose marriage unless you are certain you will get the answer you want to hear.
- Think Twice About Doing It in Public
Even if you are certain your will get a “yes” when you pop the question, public proposals can be very awkward unless the participants are comfortable in this type of setting.
You don’t have to spend a fortune or travel to an exotic destination, but it is important that your proposal be romantic. An intimate candlelit picnic may be the perfect choice.
Yannick Martin was certainly innovative when he asked his girlfriend to marry him. It was a very personal proposal and his future wife will never forget it.