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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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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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