Get an engagement ring without having to spend an arm and a leg. Even if you do want to get a ring worth three months of your salary, you don't necessarily need to.
Know your budget Then tell the jeweler your budget is less (leaving room for the up sell).
Don't budge When I bought my first car, I did not want my payment to be more than $300 per month. I found the perfect car and the salesman said the lowest he could go would make my payment $319 per month. I walked. Days later he called and was able to get my payment down to $284. I saved myself $35 per month by standing firm.
Shop around Shop multiple jewelers in your area to get an idea of exactly what you're looking for and where the best deal is.
Ask married friends for advice on buying engagement rings. They may know a jeweler who can give you a discount or have words of wisdom. Been there, done that!
Don't forget about eBay and Craigslist They both offer a wide variety of rings. They won't be "brand new," but if you find one you love it may be worth looking into. Make sure the ring has been appraised before purchasing.
Shop online Sites like Blue Nile offer rings at a fraction of the cost. If you know what cut, colour and clarity you want, check out a few online retailers to see if you can get the same ring you would in a jewelry store for less.
Go slightly smaller Reducing the size of the diamond a bit could save you hundreds. Instead of buying a one-carat diamond ring, consider .90 or .95-carat - a difference that will not be noticeable.
Ask a relative Consider asking your grandmothers, mom or aunts if they have a family ring they'd want to pass down. You can always customize it, and it is nice to have a family heirloom on your bride's finger!
About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Glendale, AZ with her husband and daughters.