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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 July 23, 2019

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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  • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
  • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
  • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
  • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
  • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
  • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

1. Realize You’re Not Alone

Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

2. Find What Inspires You

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Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

3. Give Yourself a Break

When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

4. Shake up Your Routines

Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

5. Start with a Small Step

Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

More to Help You Stay Motivated

Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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