6 Ways to Save on an Engagement Ring – Cheap Diamond Alternatives

Blame De Beers. In 1938, the jewelry giant launched the first initiative for engagement rings, which painted the sparkling stunners as status symbols and must-haves. It was also De Beers that set the standard for how much to spend on an engagement ring: two months’ worth of the would-be groom’s salary.

Fast-forward eight decades, and the diamond engagement ring is still the standard. I’d say that was some extremely effective marketing, wouldn’t you? Because while diamonds are expensive, they aren’t rare. In fact, according to the International Gem Society, diamonds are the most common of all gemstones. Considering markup is routinely 20% to 100% of wholesale value, there’s just no reason they should be as costly as they are.

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12 Ways to Buy a Cheap Unique Wedding Dress on a Budget

The average price of a wedding dress in the United States is just over $1,200, though the final cost depends heavily on the geographical areas. According to statistics published in Huffington Post, brides in Manhattan spend an average of $3,027 on their gowns, while those in Alaska spend a comparably affordable $804.

Of course, this major expense has come to be expected, and most brides budget and brace for a pricey gown. But what if you simply don’t have the money to spend a fortune on a dress you’ll wear only once?

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8 Rules for Regifting Unwanted Gifts – Etiquette

I remember sitting with my new husband as we opened gifts that guests had thoughtfully given as wedding presents. Among the usual suspects of cookware, home decor, and the occasional check was a package that was extremely heavy. Upon opening it, I found an intricately designed, all-glass picture frame. It was beautiful, but it wasn’t us, and didn’t match anything else in our new apartment. A few months later, I regifted the frame to my husband’s grandmother, and 12 years later it is still proudly displayed in her curio cabinet – she loves it and is none the wiser.

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11 Unique & Creative Wedding Gift Ideas on a Cheap Budget

wedding giftWhen wedding season is in full swing, you can spend a big part of your personal budget celebrating the brides and grooms in your life. Of course, gifts are important tokens of love to the people you care about, but there comes a point at which they cross over from gracious to burdensome. Conventional wisdom dictates that you should spend approximately the cost per plate that the bride and groom are spending on you as a guest, and taking one look at a registry packed with fine china and expensive appliances can have you wishing that weddings weren’t such big affairs.

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9 End-of-the-Year Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas on a Budget

teacherAs the end of the school year approaches, parents’ top concern is likely signing up their little ones for swimming lessons, summer camp, or any of a host of extracurricular activities. However, before the final school bell rings, it’s also important to say thanks to their teachers.

Educators often work long hours for low wages, and when you’re not around, they stand in as surrogate parents. Much of the growth and development you’ve seen in your child over the last eight months is due to the efforts of those teachers – and a small token to show your appreciation for their hard work is completely appropriate.

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7 Ways to Make Audrey Hepburn Your Fashion Style Icon on a Budget

audrey hepburnAccording to Marie Claire, a 2015 survey by skincare brand Artistry by Amway found that, even after all these years, silver screen darling Audrey Hepburn is women’s most popular style icon. Others in the top 10 include Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, and Sophia Loren, so the competition obviously wasn’t easy. Audrey Hepburn’s style, grace, and sophistication have continued to influence women and designers alike, an inspiration for everything from commercials, to entire fashion lines dedicated to her memory.

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12 Unique Gift Ideas for Frequent Travelers (Under $50)

travelerWhen one of your friends harbors a major case of wanderlust, a Target gift card may not be the best thing for special occasions. Birthdays, holidays, and even bon voyage parties are perfect opportunities to give your traveling friends the things they really need. Whether you’re talking about planes, trains, automobiles, or boats, many aspects of travel can be made easier and more enjoyable with the right item – and you don’t have to spend more than $50 to get them.

The best travel gifts are thoughtful, but also highly portable, so choose gifts that make the process more convenient and comfortable for your friends. Here are some brilliant ideas to get you started.

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25 Easy Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget Today

save moneyIt’s easy to get stuck in the habit of overspending. Quick trips to the grocery store without a list become common. You drive your car out of convenience to places that you could walk or bike to. And that phone call to customer service to negotiate a better cell phone rate never gets made.

Unfortunately, getting out of this rut can be very difficult, as many common methods of saving money don’t appear to make a big enough difference to motivate change. That line of thinking, however, is wrong. If you have the willpower to buckle down and slash your expenses, it’s very possible to see some real results in your bottom line each month.

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Thrift Store Flipping – 8 Best Items to Resell for a Profit

thrift storeWhether searching the offerings at an estate sale or combing through the aisles of a thrift store, society is obsessed with the idea of “the find.” Every junk yard and flea market offers a real treasure hunt for anyone willing to do the work.

With the right approach, thrift store flipping – the practice of purchasing items from a thrift shop with the intent to resell them – can go from a hobby to an income stream. No, not every trip is going to yield a long-lost Picasso, but learning more about thrift store flipping just might give you the incentive to look a little closer the next time you’re checking out the local store.

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7 Push Presents on a Budget – Great Gift Ideas for New Moms

babye and motherThe idea of the “push present” – a gift given to a new mom after she’s had a baby – is pretty new, but it has caught on like wildfire. Traditionally given to the new mother by the new father, push presents are also becoming more common among friends and relatives.

The difference between a push present and a traditional baby shower gift is that a push present is a gift intended for the new mom, rather than the baby. Instead of strollers and onesies, they’re more along the lines of jewelry. The push present is meant to signify gratitude to the mother for the last nine months of pregnancy, and the work and attention it took to culminate in a healthy birth.

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