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5 Neat Ways to Choose an Engagement Ring Without Breaking the Bank

5 Neat Ways to Choose an Engagement Ring Without Breaking the Bank

An engagement ring is a status symbol that every guy desires to present to his fiancé when he pops the ultimate question. Harmless as this ring is, its cost implication could be devastating on both the guy and the new home that is to be established. According to the New York times, with an average ring selling for $4000, choosing an engagement with little or no knowledge of how to get an affordable one could affect payment of student loans, mortgages, and even the proper wedding expenses.

Here are five neat ways to choose an awesome engagement ring without breaking the bank:

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1. Set a budget.

Having a budget when choosing an engagement ring for your beloved will guide you to choose wisely within your financial means. You don’t have to break the bank or run into debt in order to secure the commitment of your beloved. Gather enough information about the average prices of engagement rings as well as places to get them at lower prices. Making up your mind on how much to spend on an engagement ring before doing the purchase will keep you from going overboard. The interesting fact is that there is an engagement ring for everybody, irrespective of the amount you are ready to spend. Bear it in mind that an engagement is an occasion for celebration, not to run into a financial mess.

2. Consider buying used rings.

Every now and then, used engagement rings are put up for sale. While some sell their engagement ring in order to overcome the disappointment of a failed relationship, others do so to have an upgrade. If you search where these rings are likely to be sold, you are likely to get a ridiculous 20%-40% discount off regular retail prices. College bulletins, online stores, social media pages like Facebook, and focused blogs like Your Diamond Teacher are veritable sources of information on used engagement rings. Also, visiting neighborhood or indoor yard sales could be a breakthrough in your search for an affordable engagement ring. All you need do is ensure to get the ring appraised, or get a certificate of appraisal for the ring.

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3. Expand your search.

More often than not, the best bargains aren’t found on the first few searches. You must be ready to search far and near in order to get the best bargains. Ask your friends and colleagues about how and where to get an engagement ring without breaking the bank. Ride on the experiences of the people that have walked that road before you. Visiting different jewelry stores to ascertain what they have and compare prices might not be a bad idea. Carry out an online search for a list of jewelry stores and get their prices. Also, a visit to antique stores would help give your search for an awesome engagement ring a new perspective.

4. Deviate from the norm.

The idea of a diamond engagement ring was initiated by De Beers some decades ago, and has since been the toast of all and sundry. That it is a tradition doesn’t mean it can’t be changed. Getting a ring other than diamond shouldn’t be off the table.

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There are several precious gemstones that come cheaper than a diamond. Buying an engagement ring that isn’t a diamond doesn’t reduce the value you place on the occasion itself. Moissanite, White Sapphire, and Cubic Zirconia are precious gemstones that you could choose from. They come cheaper than diamonds and rank high on the scale of hardness, though not as hard as diamonds. While a diamond ranks 10 on the scale of hardness, Moissanite ranks 9.25, and a carat of Moissanite is sold for half the price of diamond. White Sapphire, on the other hand, costs a quarter of diamond, though diamond is about four times harder. Cubic Zirconia is also a much cheaper gem stone that weighs 8.5 on the hardness scale and goes for one-tenth of a diamond.

These are just some of the alternatives to a diamond at your disposal.

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5. Buy a gem-free metal.

Your proposal with an engagement ring is an expression of your deep-seated personal feelings, not a dogmatic cue from popular culture. Therefore, don’t hesitate to get a real gem-free metal that adequately expresses the emotions you feel. Metal-only engagement rings come in different styles and suit the conservative lady who isn’t disposed to much flashiness. Mixed metals, a traditional Irish Claddagh ring that symbolizes loyalty and love, a knotted metal ring, a plain metal ring with an inscription or personal message, or a twisted plain metal ring are a few of the several alternatives to an expensive diamond ring.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via pexels.com

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Zuhair Sharif

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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