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3 Minute ReadTopic: debt
The famous philosopher Beyoncé once said, “If you liked it, then you shoulda put a ring on it.”
A lot of guys are out there thinking about that right now—because the upcoming holiday season is also engagement season. With time off from work and school, some guys are planning to pop one of the most important questions of their life:
“Will you marry me?”
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But heads up, guys. I want you to have the best engagement possible, and that involves saving up for and not buying a diamond that wrecks your finances. So before you start shopping, put these tips into practice now so that you’re ready to take that big step come the holidays:
1. Make a budget.
Yep, that’s right. Make a budget. I suggest spending no more than two to three months of your annual income on this purchase. So you know what that means, right? You are saving as you go. If you have a family heirloom to use as the ring, that’s great. Use a little money to get it cleaned and looking like new, then you can put the money you would’ve spent on the ring toward the wedding, honeymoon or a down payment on a house!
2. Pay with cash.
No loans. No credit cards. Pay for the ring with money you have, not money you think you’ll have later. Nothing will cloud the sparkle of a new ring like two years’ worth of payments. Paying cash will not only reduce your financial stress, but also you’ll get a better deal.
3. Know your stuff.
Spend some time online and educate yourself about diamonds. Know the “Four Cs”—cut, carat, clarity and color and how much importance to place on each one. Know what you’re talking about when you go into the store! And, also, look for places to get the best deal. If you know a jewelry store’s theme song, chances are you can find a better price. Check out local jewelers as well as diamond brokers in your area. You’re probably not going to find great deals at the mall.
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4. Set expectations.
If you’re serious enough to be considering marriage, you’re hopefully talking about your financial situations before you walk down the aisle. So your fiancé-to-be should kinda, sorta know what type of money you’re able to spend. I encourage you to be upfront about it—even let her go look at rings with you if she wants. And, guys, if she goes into crazy, bratty, diva mode about the size and cost of her ring, that should throw up huge red flags in your mind. You might need to have some other discussions more important than the ring.
I’ll never forget the time Winston proposed to me. It was one of the best moments of my life—and I want you to have that same experience!
Follow these tips, be intentional with how you spend your money, and you’ll be off to a great start in your marriage! And, parents, if you think your kids are on the road to marriage, please share these tips with them!
Rachel Cruze is a seasoned communicator and #1 best-selling author, helping Americans learn the proper ways to handle money and stay out of debt. Her upcoming book, Love Your Life, Not Theirs, released in October. You can follow Rachel on Twitter at @RachelCruze, online at rachelcruze.com, or at facebook.com/rachelramseycruze.