Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Be Aware of the High Cost of Putting a Ring on It This Valentine's Day

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Be Aware of the High Cost of Putting a Ring on It This Valentine's Day

Article excerpt

A diamond may be forever, but so can the bill


TORONTO - Popping the big question with an engagement ring on Valentine's Day may sound spontaneous and romantic but financial experts advise doing some legwork before getting down on one knee.

"Remember, Cupid can shoot an arrow through your heart but also through your wallet," says Sun Life financial adviser Brian Burlacoff.

Burlacoff said the purchase of an engagement ring should be made with the bigger picture -- the wedding -- in mind.

According to a recent analysis by rate comparison website, the average price of an engagement ring is $4,000, while a wedding in Canada, including a venue, dress and a honeymoon can cost as much as $32,000.

"If you go crazy on the ring, you might be paying for it for 15 years and giving up other parts of your wedding, for example, or even a down payment on a home," said Burlacoff.

"It's important to know where you want to prioritize spending your money."

Burlacoff suggests coming up with a wedding budget and examining your financial priorities for the next three to five years after the wedding. Do you want save for a down payment on a house? Do you want to put money into RRSPs? Do you plan on having children and have you considered how you will pay for daycare?

For some, the top priority may be a bigger, more expensive rock. Others may opt for a less expensive ring with a gemstone or a Cubic Zirconia instead of a diamond. Couples can also decide to buy a smaller diamond first and upgrade it later when there is more financial stability.

While it's prudent not to buy a ring you can't afford, temptation may win out. In that case, it's best to consider taking out a line of credit with a bank rather than signing up for a high-interest financing plan. In some cases, this can mean the difference between paying four per cent in interest with the bank versus paying 19 to 29 per cent with a credit card or with a merchant. …

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