If it’s your first time shopping for an engagement ring, it’s natural to feel like you’ve stepped inside a different world. To help bring you back to Earth and calm you down, here are a few tips you’ll want to consider before finalizing any ring purchases.

Means of Payment

In order to pay for an engagement ring, you should research all of the options that are available to you before swiping your credit card. In an ideal world, you would be able to afford to pay cash for an engagement ring right on the spot, but that’s not a realistic goal these days. If you are the type that wants to save up enough cash and only buy a ring once you’ve saved up enough cash, find a jewelry store that will put your ring on layaway and let you make payments as you have them. Once you’ve paid for the ring in full, you’ll be able to take the ring home and have the satisfaction of knowing it’s fully paid for and all yours. If you are more of an instant gratification type and can’t wait to propose to the love of your life, look into the jewelry store’s payment plan. The best part about these payment plans is they are entirely negotiable. If you have good credit and are approved on the spot, ask for some inclusions, such as a few interest-free months, complimentary cleaning and repairs.

“What’s Your Budget?”

One of the first questions you’ll be asked when going to a jewelry store is “what’s your budget?” This loaded question determines a lot about what kind of ring you’ll be able to afford. While good jewelers are able to work with any budget and match you with your perfect ring, you’ll want to go in with a realistic expectation of what you can afford to spend without having to forgo food for a few months. As a point of reference, generally it’s suggested that you spend three months salary on an engagement ring.

Size is Important

The ring size is an important part of purchasing a ring. Once you spend that kind of money on something, you’ll want to guarantee that it won’t be sliding off your fiancé’s finger. If you have no clue where to even guess what your girl’s ring size is, consider ordering the standard ring size that the ring is made and then ask for a complementary ring sizing after you present your girlfriend with the ring. This practice is common, so if your jewelry store doesn’t allow free sizing from their generic size, look somewhere else for a ring.

Coupled With Another

Don’t forget that the engagement ring you pick out will soon be worn along side a wedding band. Ask the jeweler if they make any wedding bands that go specifically with the engagement ring you chose or if it will difficult to find something that matches. Some people think the wedding band holds greater significance because it is given with an exchange of vows. If the engagement ring and wedding band don’t fit nicely together, some women choose to wear their engagement ring only for special occasions or on their right hand, so choose wisely.

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