If you are purchasing a diamond or other expensive ring, the seller is likely to have financing available. At first blush, this may sound like a good idea, but do you really want to begin married life with extra debt taking money away from a house or baby fund (both of which cost a lot of money)?
Avoid financing the wedding rings. Many plans sound like a good deal because there are usually no charges if you make your payments on time. But if something happens and you are late on or skip a payment, all accrued interest is due. And the price tag is a whopper: typically upward from 20 percent annually. All in all, a bad risk.
A limited budget does not mean you have to completely sacrifice the bling. There is a plethora of techniques for saving on wedding bands and engagement rings.
1. Buy inexpensive “placeholder” rings and upgrade later when you can. There is no law that says these rings have to be the permanent ones. Buy only what you can afford now. Check out these engagement rings and wedding sets under $150 for ideas.
2. Shop from jewelers with lower overhead. Upscale surroundings usually mean higher prices, so gravitate to reputable online sellers and modest-looking retail locations to unearth the best prices.
3. Sell old jewelry to raise ring money. The entire cost does not have to come out of your budget. Supplement it with the value of the gold you never wear.
4. Reset a stone or melt down your old jewelry. There are ways to recycle pieces you already own into a wedding or engagement ring. Choose a setting for one of your existing diamonds or have a setting custom made from the metal of necklaces, rings, etc., for example.
5. Buy pre-owned rings. Buying used is a way to get a lot more ring for your money. Avenues through which you can find them include:
– estate sales
– eBay (pre-owned engagement rings are here and wedding ring sets are here)
– thrift or consignment stores
– local classifieds
Just as you would when buying anything of value, research the seller’s reputation before purchasing. If you are buying from a private party, have the ring scrutinized by a jeweler first to assure it is authentic.
6. Wear an heirloom ring. Many families pass down rings through the generations. Before you buy rings, find out if your family has such a custom. If so, you may be able to carry on the family tradition.
The above is an excerpt from the Dream Wedding on a Dime; 7 Secrets for the Budget-Savvy Bride ebook.