Everybody should determine whether the ring payment will fit into their budget, Wind said.
This savings goal calculator from Bankrate.com may help: http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/saving-goals-calculator.aspx
4. BEWARE OF FINANCING
Major jewelers generally offer financing with the enticement of six months or one year interest-free.
But if the ring isn’t paid off within the promotional period, or if you’re late on a payment, you could end up being retroactively charged 25 percent interest or more on the total price.
“You want to be really careful how big of a hole you dig yourself in the beginning of your relationship trying to pay off a $1,000 or $2,000 or more ring with huge interest charges every month, just because you didn’t have the forethought or wherewithal to save for it over time,” Branham said.
One exception might be if you have a credit card that offers rewards, such as free points toward air travel. But only if you can pay the balance off in full within the first month.
5. UPGRADE LATER
Even if you determine that you can’t afford as nice a ring as you hoped, consider buying something more modest and popping the question anyway. You can always trade up for a nicer ring in a few years when your financial picture is more established.