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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 September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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