Are you planning your own engagement and wedding? Worried about how you will afford a wedding or engagement ring? You are not alone.
India is changing rapidly, especially when it comes to marriage and weddings. In recent years there has been a 300% increase in marriages under the Special Marriage Act. What it means is there are a lot more of us who are marrying across religions and communities, unlike earlier when our parents chose spouses for us based on our religion, caste and community.
No matter how we end up meeting, love marriages are on the rise, and so is romance. Girlfriends expect rings with marriage proposals. But how can you manage to afford gold and diamonds for your lady when you have trouble making it to the end of the month on your salary?
Well, here are some tips on how you can afford to buy a beautiful engagement ring.
Know Your Budget
Do your research. If you are like most guys, you have no idea what jewellery costs. Go to one of the hundreds of jewellery stores online and check prices and patterns. You will quickly get an idea of how expensive it is and you will know how much you can afford right now.
Look For Gold Purchase Schemes
Most large jewellers have them. It allows you to put aside some money (say Rs 2000) a month for a set period of time. At the end of that period, you get 20% or so discount on your final instalment. Therefore, you can buy jewellery at a little discounted rate as well as save money for your ring. This only works if you are willing to wait before you propose or have a formal engagement ceremony of course. It always helps if you start setting money aside the moment you have marriage on your mind, though.
If your mother or aunt is willing, why not give your fiancé a much loved and cherished piece of family history for an engagement ring? Of course, get it resized, polished or even altered in design slightly if you need to. Do not look at it like a hand me down, look at it the passing down of tradition and history. Your fiancé might love to know about stories attached to that piece of jewellery.
Break with Clichés
A diamond engagement ring is a modern concept. Your engagement ring does not have to be diamond. You can choose a ring with other precious stones, or just a gold ring is even.
There are a lot of online jewellers who offer great online sale deals you might never find in a physical store. Wait for festival sales, cash back offers and other promotions that you can exploit. Be patient and watchful for a good deal. You can save a lot of money that way.
Exchange Old Jewellery
Exchange gold to get a good discount. Do you have gold coins or old jewellery that you are not using. You can exchange it at a jeweller for a ring (after they subtract wastage charges, etc).
Don’t be Afraid to Negotiate
You do not need to go to big name jewellers. Go to smaller places and push for a price that you feel is fair and affordable. Shop around a bit to get the price you can afford.
Get a Personal Credit Line
A personal line of credit is a new concept where you get approved for a certain credit limit. However, interest is charged only for the amount you actually use and gets recalculated as you pay back. Unlike personal loans, there is no penalty for paying back earlier. Also compared to credit card loans, the interest rates charged by a credit line are lower.
The Ring is Just a Symbol
Can’t afford to buy your dear one an expensive engagement right away? You really shouldn’t worry. Save up to buy her something gorgeous for your first, fifth or tenth anniversary. Marriage is for keeps. Be smart about your finances from day one and you are on the way to a happy married life.
Getting engaged is the dawn of a new relationship. Even if you have been dating for a while and know each other well, marriage is a whole new chapter you need to be prepared for. It means big changes in your life – both personally and financially. So, you need to ask yourself how willing you both are to enter this new chapter while in debt. You really shouldn’t have to worry about money during your courtship and honeymoon. So, plan your engagement and subsequent wedding expenses wisely.