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Beverly Bird
about 1 month ago

Yes, Single Women Can Be Homeowners Too

Okay, so the statistics are a bit daunting. Zillow reported in 2018 that single women can only swing a home purchase for 39 percent of properties on the market at any given time. But that doesn’t quite tell the whole story.

Women being women, we’re buying homes anyway, and stati...
Okay, so the statistics are a bit daunting. Zillow reported in 2018 that single women can only swing a home purchase for 39 percent of properties on the market at any given time. But that doesn’t quite tell the whole story.

Women being women, we’re buying homes anyway, and statistics can be damned. The National Association of Realtors has reported that 18 percent of homebuyers are single women. So how did they pull it off?

Preparation is key.
Pull your credit report…and brace yourself. The FTC has found that at least 5 percent of consumers discover errors serious enough that they’re denied loans. The good news is that you can dispute them if you find any. Call the lenders. Contact the credit bureaus. Get those messes cleaned up.

Take some time to pump up your credit score if it’s legitimately iffy. Credit card debt is often the culprit here because it weighs down your credit utilization ratio, an important part of your score. Ideally, you’ve used up only about 30 percent or so of all your available balances. If it’s more than that, pay those accounts down. But don’t close out accounts you’re not using. This can hurt your score, too.

The best mortgage loans with manageable interest rates generally require a credit score of at least 740, and a debt-to-income ratio of no more than 43 percent. So there you have it—there’s your goal.

Look for a lender.
The general rule of thumb is that you put 20 percent of the home’s cost down, but not everyone can gather that much cash. If you don’t have the money on hand, you can get an FHA loan with as little as 3.5 percent down (that sounds better, doesn’t it?). And if you qualify for a VA or USDA loan, you might even be able to dodge a down payment altogether.

Fannie Mae’s HomeReady program might also be an option. You’ll still have to pay private mortgage insurance if you put down less than 20 percent, but many of these programs allow you to cancel the insurance when you’ve built up 20 percent equity.

Work within a one-woman budget.
Being a single homeowner means you’re working with one person’s income, and that’s got to cover more than just a mortgage payment. Homeownership involves a brimming basket of other costs, from insurance to property taxes to utilities to maintenance and repairs.

Experts suggest under-buying for this reason. You might qualify for a $175,000 loan, but nobody is going to make you borrow that much. Consider lowering your sights from the Taj Mahal to a sweet 2-bedroom condo. Your mortgage payment will be less, leaving you extra income to pay for all these other expenses.

Try “practicing” first.
Ideally, you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage, so you know how much your payment will be. Figure out what property taxes are running in your target neighborhood, then divide that annual number by 12 months. Add on a little something for repairs and maintenance.

Maybe all this works out to $2,000 a month. If you’re currently paying $1,300 for rent and renter’s insurance, dedicate an additional $700 a month to your housing budget…and drop that extra into a savings account. (Do it long enough and your down payment will grow!)

Start house hunting.
Okay, you’re ready to do this thing. It’s time to start house-hunting. Community can be super-important for a woman living alone, so do a little investigating. Drive likely neighborhoods at all hours of the day and night. Did you have to slam on your brakes to avoid kids on bicycles? If you’re not ready to start a family, this might not be the neighborhood for you.

What about street lights and parking areas? Are you going to be comfortable coming home at 2 a.m. and making your way to your door alone in pitch blackness? Check in with the local police department as well. They can ID iffy areas better than anyone.

When you’re finally holding the key…
It’s time to talk about home repairs. Sure, you might be handy, but it’s another thing entirely to replace piping or install an air conditioning unit. Unless you’re an actual superhero, you’ll likely need to hire a professional for that.

You can pay out of pocket every time something needs fixing, or you can buy a home warranty. Or consider a condo or townhome. You know, where the homeowners’ association provides maintenance workers who will mow the lawn, shovel snow, and replace that dead garbage disposal (of course, you’ll have to pay for the new one!).  
 
How to Nav.it: May the Homeownership Odds Be Ever in Your Favor

  • First get the mortgage, then find a house. Know going in how much house you can buy, then consider scaling down a bit so you’re sure you can afford all those other homeownership extras like repairs.
  • Shop neighborhoods, not just homes. The house might be to die for, but are you going to feel comfortable living there by yourself?
  • Protect what’s yours. Don’t put your newfound soulmate on your deed…at least not without adding him to the mortgage as well. 
 
Want more tips for nav.ing your finances? Download the Nav.it app for iOS or Android today! All new users receive a month of Nav.it Premium for free!
  
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Lauren Green
about 2 months ago

Navigating Mercury Rx

It’s that time of year again. Just when 2019 was really about to take off, the universe laid on its timely and inevitable Mercury retrograde. For those unaware of this cosmic curse, this astrological transit is known for causing miscommunication, flight cancellations, and in our case, lots of lost cash.
 
From March 5th until the 28th, ...
It’s that time of year again. Just when 2019 was really about to take off, the universe laid on its timely and inevitable Mercury retrograde. For those unaware of this cosmic curse, this astrological transit is known for causing miscommunication, flight cancellations, and in our case, lots of lost cash.
 
From March 5th until the 28th, Mercury will be moving backwards (a.k.a. retrograding) in Pisces—the watery sign of daydreamy fantasies—so expect to feel a little cloudy for the next three weeks. But before you start withdrawing all your bills and stashing them under your mattress, take a breath. It’s actually not that bad. 
 
When Mercury, the planet of communication, changes pace, we’re being asked to slow down—to rethink, reconfigure, and edit. Let this month be a lesson that your personal growth (and the balance in your bank account) isn’t linear. Sometimes we have to go backwards to go forward.
 
Here’s some advice for each sign to survive the retrograde. 
 
Aries
As the first sign in the zodiac, you’ve never been one to slow down. Unfortunately, you don’t really have a choice this month (or at least, progress may not happen the way you envision it). Rather than shooting off in all directions, take time to sit with yourself and make a checklist of things that can catalyze your dream fulfillment. On Wednesday, Uranus enters your house of income. Use this newfound intuition to visualize your future self cashing checks at the bank. Come April, you’ll be better equipped to make those big money moves.
 
Taurus
This retrograde Mercury moves into your house of friendship. With whom do you need to make amends? Make a clear decision to forgive any miscommunication this month, especially when it comes to money. Does a girlfriend owe you her share of last week’s dinner bill? Give her a little grace and only the gentlest of nudges. Huge changes are headed your way March 6th, so focus on you and what you bring to your relationships, rather than what others can give. 
 
Gemini
Money and magic should be your mantra this month twin Gem’. With major ups and downs still lingering from 2018, this retrograde plans to spruce up your career life by bringing changes to the public sector of your chart. People are going to see you in a whole new light. Alongside Uranus livening up your spirituality, things are going to get pretty mystical. Avoid any skepticism about the positivity rolling in.
 
Cancer
For someone who has pretty intense gut feelings, the next few weeks of slow reevaluation are going to make you even wiser. The New Moon on the 6th is in your sister sign Pisces and will give you all the inspiration you need to travel, travel, travel. Think nice and hard about where you want to jet to next, because it’ll give you the lessons you’re asking for. Take note if you feel a surge of hope and independence after the 5th.
 
Leo
Oh little fire lion, how vulnerable are you willing to be to get where you want? These next few weeks, the retrograde will be shining light on that big heart of yours and revealing it to those closest to you. Show them how real you are while Mercury reworks your areas of honesty and responsibility. Once Uranus makes its big moves on the 6th, you can expect HUGE shifts in your work life and money. 
 
Virgo
So Virgo...which ex is texting you? Retrogrades are known for reuniting ghosts of lovers past, but be careful who you give your time and money to this month. Use the reconnection as a way to revisit what you want in life. On the 6th, Uranus moves into your house of travel and education. Think BIG. Who do you want to see the world and learn with?
 
Libra
If things are feeling hectic, use it as a signal to slow down and reorganize. This is the month to list out your priorities. At the top of them should be your wellness. How much of your budget do you dedicate to your health and personal growth? It’s okay to grant yourself a weekend trip or even a yoga retreat. You deserve it all.
 
Scorpio
Knowing you, it’s probably too late to tell you not to text your ex. You either already are, or have sworn off them for good. For someone who can be pretty bitter about giving second chances, this retrograde is asking you to reconsider. Were you too quick to block an ex or friend zone a potential date? Let go of any expectations and open yourself up to a new journey. 
 
Sagittarius
Things have been on the up and up with you since the start of this year, but the last few days might have felt a bit hazy. With all your optimism, it’s important to remember that you can’t have the good without the bad. Use this time to stay grounded and remember that local travel can be just as enlightening as foreign travel. After the 6th, your main focus should be your health and rejuvenation.
 
Capricorn
Take some time to gather your thoughts and process any big changes or news that has come your way this month. If you feel wrapped up in drama, make a conscious decision to step out of it. Now isn’t the time to run from the practical world (not that you ever have). Step up to the plate without all the extra pressure you like to lay on yourself.
 
Aquarius
With your eclectic thoughts and aura, you’re always the guru of the group. But lately your abstract thoughts have led you to think a lot about your relationship with money. Make an effort to rein it in and be more financially responsible during this retrograde. How can you be more mindful with your money? Mercury will be asking you to forget about the material world and understand it in new and more intriguing ways.
 
Pisces
Happy birthday sweet Pisces, and welcome to your month of regeneration. As Mercury backstrokes through your sign of fantasy, you’re feeling motivated to not only speak your truth, but to understand what your truth is and where it comes from. Your confidence is evolving along with how you envision your future identity. What part of you wants to be seen this month? 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Heidi Esau
about 2 months ago

A Field Guide to Nav.ing Your Taxes

I’ll admit it—tax season gives me the nervous sweats. I get anxious that I’ll miss something important, especially when I close in on the deadline before even taking a look at my W-2.

This year I decided to educate myself on all things taxes and break it down into easy manageable steps. Since I believe in sharing the wealth, I’ve compiled my learnings into a tax ...
I’ll admit it—tax season gives me the nervous sweats. I get anxious that I’ll miss something important, especially when I close in on the deadline before even taking a look at my W-2.

This year I decided to educate myself on all things taxes and break it down into easy manageable steps. Since I believe in sharing the wealth, I’ve compiled my learnings into a tax guide so you can get your taxes done like a boss and get back to your birthright of Netflixing. 
 
In 2019, the general deadline to file is April 15. That date is fast approaching, so let’s get started. 
 
Gather your documents.
First things first, find your W-2 (this might be the hardest part). If you’re traditionally employed, you should have received it from your employer back in January. You’ll need to report your individual income on form 1040, and if you have a side hustle (kudos, girl), but you’ll need to fill out form 1099 as well. You may need several other forms to report your deductions (more on that later). 
 
Be a freeloader.
Download the Free File Software at IRS.gov. If your income is below $66,000 you can use the free software instead of forking money over for some commercial software or tax preparer. And you get the added satisfaction of knowing you did it yourself. You’re a strong, independent woman who don’t need no TurboTax. 
 
Get some easy credit.
For as much as we complain about Uncle Sam, there are many ways he (read: the government) gives back, and that’s especially true when it comes to tax credits. Increase the amount of your refund based on your dependents, health care, education, and so much more. 
 
Determine whether to itemize your deductions.
Deductions reduce your taxable income, so more deductions are better. Choose the method that provides the highest possible deduction list. Most tax software will help you make this decision.
 
Standard Deduction: This one is easy peas-y. Just take the standard deduction based on your marital status and household size to reduce your taxes. Voila!
 
Itemized: Some people don’t qualify for the standard deduction and therefore should itemize. Popular itemized deductions include but are not limited to:
  • Property tax: When you pay your local government, your federal government pays you back!
  • Charitable donations: Like all the clothes you donated to Goodwill that could never see the light of day at your fresh-out-of-college professional job.  
  • Student loan interest: The one time you might feel good about debt, right?
  • Mortgage interest: Hopefully your refund helps you upgrade from a futon to a real bed, now that you have a place to call your own.

Get your refund fast.
For a speedy refund, set up direct deposit and then e-file. Filing electronically ensures the fastest possible refund and if you  set up direct deposit, the cash money is sent straight into your account. 
 
Listen up, self-employed folks.
If you have a small business or are an independent contractor (think Uber driver, AirBnb rent), you must file your net earnings if they are $400 or more. Self-employed individuals report income annually like everyone else but must pay an estimated tax quarterly.
 
Beware of the tricksters. 
Some of these scammers can sound legitimate but are only looking to take away your hard-earned dollars (and that’s only for the government to do). Review IRS’ Dirty Dozen Scams so you don’t find yourself in a sticky situation when you make that last-minute Hail-Mary attempt to make the deadline.
 
Going...Going...Gone.
If you’re really not ready to do your taxes and you won’t make the April 15 deadline, you can file for a six-month extension. Be aware that penalties and interest may apply to money you owe after the deadline.
 
Price it Out: Most Popular Tax Prep Software
 
  • TurboTax Deluxe ($39.99): The standard TurboTax offering is totally free, buuuuut it’ll cost extra for every “abnormal” tax topic you need to address (e.g. if you have freelance work, need to file taxes in more than one state, or have any investments). Normally $60, the deluxe version of the most widely-known DIY tax software is available for a 33% on Amazon right now!
  • H&R Block ($29.49): Like TurboTax, the skeleton version of H&R Block is free, but the more complicated your tax situation, the costs go up. However, H&R Block offers more tiers of products for your specific tax situation. The deluxe version of this one is $24.49, premium is $37.49, and self-employment filing is $59.99 (plus $36.99 per state filing for all types).
  • TaxAct ($29.95): Offering the most options of the most popular tax prep choices, TaxAct has five options: free (for the most basic taxes), $9.95 for basic (if you have dependents or college expenses), $29.95 for deluxe (best for homeowners or those who qualify for lots of credits), $34.95 for premier (best for investors or real estate owners), and $49.95 for self-employed. 
 
Still feeling unsure about this whole taxes thing? Same. Find out more about nav.igating the world of taxes (like whether you should DIY or hire a professional, and what to do with that tax return money once it comes in) by downloading the Nav.it app today!
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Nicole Negron
about 2 months ago

Dealing with Your Cycle While Traveling

Traveling with ovaries can come with a lot of mental and physical baggage. Experiencing PMS and menstrual discomfort is common, but contrary to popular belief, it’s certainly not normal.

As someone who happily travels on her menstrual cycle to various destinations, I’ll share a few hacks to maintain a happy hormonal experience, all while showing your ovaries a go...
Traveling with ovaries can come with a lot of mental and physical baggage. Experiencing PMS and menstrual discomfort is common, but contrary to popular belief, it’s certainly not normal.

As someone who happily travels on her menstrual cycle to various destinations, I’ll share a few hacks to maintain a happy hormonal experience, all while showing your ovaries a good time.

Track your cycle.
When it comes to travel, planning around your cycle is key. After all, it’s the 21st century and we don’t have time to not know when our cycle is coming. We have places to go and people to see, right? Period trackers (such as Clue and Eve by Glow) not only help to predict your next cycle, they also track your moods, sexual activity, and physical and emotional symptoms.
 
While on a flight.
Traveling alone can be tough on the body—adding an unplanned period midair can be straight up disastrous. Because the menstrual cycle can be unpredictable, I board every flight prepared for anything. The star of my toolkit? Period-proof underwear. These undies are a super absorbent, leak resistant replacement for panty liners and tampons, and protect your clothes from potential spillage. You’re welcome!

Clary Sage is my favorite essential oil to have on a flight. Sage helps relieve the symptoms of bloating, cramping, mood swings, and cravings. Just a few drops on the bottom of your feet or over your ovaries and you will feel relief within a few minutes. Tulsi Tea bags (also known as holy basil) are also a fantastic adaptogen that help tackle stress, anxiety, and inflammation in the body, which tend to increase during your cycle.
 
Last but not least: pack good quality chocolate, and don’t feel guilty about it! Chocolate is loaded with magnesium, an essential ingredient for a balanced thyroid (which, when unbalanced, can contribute to heavy and irregular cycles) and insulin control. 
 
Calm those cramps.
Did you know that we are not actually designed to have cramps? 

One of the main causes for cramps is a build-up of prostaglandins in the uterus prior to menstruation. These little guys are part of the body’s natural process for contracting and releasing muscles, but when they form in excess, they cause the blood vessels to compress, making the uterus cramp.

The good news? You can learn your body’s specific triggers for creating excess prostaglandin, but until then, there are natural ways to relieve your discomfort. Foria Wellness CBD Suppositories has an incredible body of research suggesting CBD and THC can be beneficial in minimizing cramps. Check out these testimonials to see what women are saying about it!

Food and supplements.
The best way to combat PMS and menstrual discomfort during your trip is to master your morning routine, get enough sleep, and take supplements. Most importantly? Don’t skip breakfast. Get nutrients in your body within 90 minutes of waking (think: eggs, sweet potatoes, bone broth, avocados, and greens of any kind). The goal is to consume fat, fiber, and protein with every meal to keep your hormones from going haywire. 

Supplement kit:

  • Probiotics: A happy gut = less menstrual discomfort. 
  • Magnesium: Essential for maintaining regular bowel movements and a good night’s sleep. Consume right before bed.
  • B-Vitamins: When you’re drinking more than usual (it’s vacation, after all!), this supplement will help with quick recovery time and keep your brain happy. 

Don't forget the O!
Whether you’re traveling alone or with your partner, do your best to have a big “O” during your cycle. During an orgasm, your muscles contract, releasing oxytocin and nitric oxide to the brain (natural pain relievers). It also helps with PMS symptoms and irritability. Yes, please! 
 
Learn more about building a wellness plan based on your monthly cycle. Nav.igators can take 10% off any of Nicole’s services by using the code: Nav.it
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Nadia Imafidon
3 months ago

Fill Your Bank Account with Once-in-a-Lifetime Experiences

It’s not often I take a trip to a new destination without meeting a friend there—preferably a local. This seems like a no-brainer to me, but apparently it’s a hot take. I’ve met plenty of wanderers who tell me that you can’t truly explore without venturing to unfamiliar territories without a plan. But here’s what I think: There’s a richness in seeing through the eyes of...
It’s not often I take a trip to a new destination without meeting a friend there—preferably a local. This seems like a no-brainer to me, but apparently it’s a hot take. I’ve met plenty of wanderers who tell me that you can’t truly explore without venturing to unfamiliar territories without a plan. But here’s what I think: There’s a richness in seeing through the eyes of a local that you just can’t tap into as a tourist.

At Nav.it, we believe that true wealth is experiential. What you gain—not in your pockets, obviously—by removing yourself from the sameness of everyday life and traveling somewhere new is unmatched by any other experience.

Whether you go to a nearby neighborhood you’ve never taken the time to get to know, or trek thousands of miles across an ocean, you’re elevating your life by broadening your horizons and coming home with a new perspective. That’s worth more than any amount of money in the bank.

At least, that’s how I like to travel, and that’s why I cannot put a price on a local’s itinerary. But if I had to, I’d be as bold as to say paying for a Purposeful Nomad trip is like making an investment and getting returns back ten-fold. Plus, with the 10 percent discount you get for using code Nav.it at checkout, this is like dollar menu deals at McDonald’s (shut up and take my money already).

Let’s talk about what you get in riches.

Behind the scenes access.
PN offers a chance to vastly increase your experiential net worth in one fell swoop because it gives you access to a type of trip you might not otherwise have the connections for. We’re not talking about just walking around and taking in the sights. They “personally meet with local community leaders, establish long-lasting relationships and design magical, authentic and adventurous trips.”

Cultural immersion.
In other words, you don’t just see a new place—you live that new place and become part of the communities you visit. In Guatemala, you hear first-hand from the weaving ladies of Manos De Fe as they share with you the important role that textiles play in traditions of marriage. You’ll also get to participate in a kite-making workshop ahead of a festival (that less cool “tourists” only get to witness). In Ecuador, you learn the cocoa bean-to-bar process while helping out at the Mashpi Artisanal Chocolate farm.

A trip designed to empower.
PN believes “women can and will positively change this world if given the opportunity to safely and securely travel.” But so often, it’s hard to arrange for safety when planning a trip on your own (especially if you’re trying to dig a little deeper than the usual tourist stops).

PN gets groups of eight or more women together for once-in-a-lifetime adventures, self-care, and socially responsible service. Together, everyone can share their insights, learn from one another, and nav. new experiences (and potentially stay connected to change the world as a result).

Chef-prepared meals. 
Unless you’re working at one of those fancy little startups, you’re probably not used to fresh (and healthy) meals prepared with local produce by your own private chef. On the Orcas Island retreat, all of your meals are chef-made—with one night dedicated to a hands-on cooking class in preparing a harvest dinner.

You’ll also get to channel your inner Rachael Ray in Ecuador and Guatemala during cooking workshops instructed by locals.

Value, value, value.
We can’t avoid this—it’s going to cost some money. But for everything you get (you heard the facts above) in these specialized tours with private instruction from locals, chefs, and alpacas, it’s a drop in the metaphorical bucket.

Speaking of money, here’s how much you’d have to save per day for each of the Purposeful Nomad trips mentioned above (assuming you started today, February 1st, 2019):

Orcas Island: Rest and Renew Retreat (Oct 10-14, 2019)
  • Nav.it price: $1,035
  • Daily Savings (From 2/1/19): $4.06 per day
  • Nav.it price: $2,205
  • Daily Savings (From 2/1/19): $8.11 per day
  • Nav.it price: $3,555
  • Daily Savings (From 2/1/19): $23.70 per day 

*DEAL ALERT* Get 10% off any Purposeful Nomad trip when you use the code Nav.it at checkout!

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Nadia Imafidon
about 2 months ago

Don’t Just Survive, Thrive: How to Ditch the To-Do List and Live Your Life

It’s always on the second to last day of vacation that reality starts creeping back in. The endless to-do list once I return home, the busy work week ahead—it all comes floating back into my brain, ruining those precious final moments of my trip.
 
I find myself wishing my refrigerator would just stock itself, or that I had the Beyoncé-level mon...
It’s always on the second to last day of vacation that reality starts creeping back in. The endless to-do list once I return home, the busy work week ahead—it all comes floating back into my brain, ruining those precious final moments of my trip.
 
I find myself wishing my refrigerator would just stock itself, or that I had the Beyoncé-level money to afford my own personal assistant.
 
And I’m not alone. Danna Redmond, co-founder of HeyThrivy, noticed that she spent all of her free time running errands and not actually doing the things that brought her joy.
 
“As a working professional, I was always crunched for time,” Danna says. “But I was never busy enough (or frankly, making enough money) to hire a full-time or even part-time personal assistant.” 
 
Danna and her co-founder, Dianna Winegarden, couldn’t find anybody offering a solution like what they needed: part-time help from a trusted individual who could make proactive recommendations for home maintenance and not charge per individual task. 
 
“So we decided to create it,” Danna says. 
 
Who needs HeyThrivy? 
The busy urban professional who has an active social life and is looking for ways to find more time to do the things they enjoy so they can get out there and thrive.  
 
How is it different from a traditional personal assistant?
  1. When you subscribe to our service, you’re matched with an assistant who’s an employee of our company. You don’t have to become the employer yourself. 
  2. It’s a flat monthly fee with everything included, so you’re not paying for individual services or by the hour.  
  3. We have a network of vetted home maintenance vendors that we call upon for specialty tasks. 
  4. Our app enables our employees and their clients to communicate easily and efficiently. It also stores the records of every request and home maintenance task. 
  5. We have a team behind all of our home managers/personal assistants. As a client, you aren’t reliant on the skills or knowledge of only one individual; our home managers can rely on the broader team for challenging questions or tasks.
What do your customers need the most help with? 
Things like dropping off and picking up dry cleaning, taking away donations, making store returns, shipping online returns (hello, Amazon), and recycling electronics.  
 
Once a week, we do our Home Booster tasks, which involve organizing closets and pantries, and folding a lot of laundry. We also schedule window washers, landscapers, and—now that winter has come—fireplace and chimney cleanings.  
 
Our goal is to take on the things that need to be handled to keep life humming along but people don’t love doing, so they can get out there and live a bigger, better life in whatever way makes them happy.
 
Can you help Nav.igators plan vacations?
Definitely. We do research on hotels in the cities they’re interested in, or find recommendations for specialty requests in remote locations.
 
For example, we can research recommendations for a ski in/ski out house in Breckenridge for winter break or find a place that rents baby gear in Hawaii. Usually our clients set their budgets and we find solutions that fit their needs.
 
Is there anything you can’t or won’t do? 
We do have some general guidelines: we don’t watch or transport children; we don’t walk or transport pets. We also aren’t housecleaners, but we can help you find a house cleaner.  
 
Why did you decide to include unlimited tasks? 
One of the barriers to getting help is when people have to pay by the task or by the hour. They don’t like feeling nickel-and-dimed.
 
We know that people don’t limit themselves to four tasks a week. Sometimes we have a lot and sometimes we have a little, so I wanted to build a service that could accommodate that need.
 
What makes HeyThrivy truly special? 
We can actually anticipate your needs and be proactive in making recommendations. For example, we know what home tasks and maintenance projects should be done each season. We can have the landscapers scheduled for early spring before they get too booked up.

We are also in our clients’ homes each week, so we can see things that might need attention like a pantry or closet that needs to be organized. We can also help clients plan early for important events like birthday parties or their first Thanksgiving meal. 
  
Price it Out: Live Your Life, Not Your To-Do List
  • Boost ($300 per month): Includes unlimited tasks, vendor referrals, weekly home visit (60 min), and dedicated home manager
  • Thrive ($499 per month): Everything above plus vendor scheduling, home project management, and travel/event planning
  • Thrive Plus ($650 per month): Everything above plus an extra 30 minutes for your weekly house visit (90 min total).
 
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Amanda Page
about 2 months ago

Meet The Digital Nomad Who Doesn’t Believe in the Word “Should”

Nav.it Takeaway: Wanderist Life founder Libyria Jones believes working remotely can empower you to work in ways—and places—that boost your productivity and create a healthier work-life relationship. So she created a travel abroad program that enables adventure-seekers and their families to experience that freedom for themselves.

The end...
Nav.it Takeaway: Wanderist Life founder Libyria Jones believes working remotely can empower you to work in ways—and places—that boost your productivity and create a healthier work-life relationship. So she created a travel abroad program that enables adventure-seekers and their families to experience that freedom for themselves.

The end of vacation often brings a sense of despair as we realize it’s time to return to reality. But what if your vacation setting was your reality? Telecommutes are becoming more and more common as employers realize they can save money—and improve their employees’ quality of life—by not tethering staff to their desks. With the freedom to work from anywhere, the possibilities are suddenly endless (and, albeit, a little overwhelming).
 
For Libyria Jones, the ability to work and roam simultaneously isn’t a plus, it’s a must. Growing up, she was determined to see the world—and she got her first chance while she was in business school at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. A professor hand-selected Jones for a finance internship in China, but she was ultimately told she couldn’t attend because she planned to bring her young daughter along. That rejection would ultimately become the butt of a joke that would alter the course of her life—both professionally and personally.
 
Making Dreams a Reality
Wanderist Life was born when Jones recommended an adult travel abroad program to a friend. Although she was able travel frequently for work, she joked that opportunities like the program didn’t exist for professionals with children. “’Maybe I should just start my own [program], and let people who have kids go on it,’” Jones recalls saying.
 
She couldn’t shake the idea, so she decided to make it a reality. She took a role that enabled her to work remotely, and used her free mornings and evenings to develop a business plan. After just a few months, she launched a website, and in September of 2015, she made her business “Facebook official.” Three months later, she began accepting applications. On July 31, 2016, the first Wander Year group boarded a plane to Prague.
 
Living Like a Local
The Wander Year enables participants, or “Wanderists,” and their families to live and work remotely in four cities around the world for three months at a time. Each destination is carefully vetted by Jones and her team, down to its WiFi connectivity—and before the trip even begins, the Wanderists partake in a 12-week training course to help prepare them for the experience.
 
In addition to scheduling all flights, the Wanderist Life team navigates each country’s entry requirements, and secures apartments in neighborhoods that are equal parts fun, convenient, and safe. Each participant has their own bedroom and workspace, as well as basic necessities like a kitchen, linens, and laundry. The team also organizes social or volunteer opportunities, and hosts networking and “mastermind” sessions so that the Wanderists can make moves, polish business plans, and stay motivated.
 
Having a job isn’t a requirement for the program, but according to Jones, it’s kind of inevitable: by the end of the first Wander Year, three unemployed participants had decided to launch their own businesses. The idea of embarking on a year-long journey abroad, regardless of career status, sounds like an opportunity only afforded to the successful or wealthy. But with Wanderist Life, the experience is within reach.
 
The monthly fee, which covers all program-initiated travel, lodging, and activities, comes in at $2,200. That’s less than the average cost of rent in N.Y.C. and San Francisco, and slightly more than the averages of L.A. and Chicago. In all, the price of a year-long, life-altering experience for one person is $31,400—with a $2,000 refundable deposit.

Embracing Imbalance
For Jones, the best part of being a digital nomad isn’t the ability to roam freely. It’s having the chance to work where she feels most comfortable—and having more time to spend with her family. “People need to have enough space to live their lives,” she says. 
 
Still, finding equilibrium between work, travel, and family is a never-ending quest. And as a business owner, the pressure is doubled. “There’s no such thing as balance, so you’ve got to be able to forgive yourself for not doing everything,” says Jones. “I’ve eliminated ‘should’ from my vocabulary—it’s either ‘I will’ or ‘I won’t’.”
 
Like Mother, Like Daughter
Her daughter joining her on the premier Wander Year made it easier for Jones to wear multiple hats—and stay in check. The experience also made her realize the positive impact mobility can have on education. After her daughter immersed herself in “The Diary of Anne Frank” for a school assignment, Jones decided to bring her along on a quick business trip to Amsterdam. There, she was able to visit the apartment that Frank hid away in, walk through the annex, and see the diary in person. “Having that opportunity truly amplified her learning, in a way that a traditional classroom never could have,” says Jones.
 
Although the Wander Year doesn’t offer a formal education component, Jones and the other two mothers in the program worked together to create plans, hire teachers, and fill any gaps. She was also impressed by the quality and efficiency of the virtual program she enrolled her daughter in, which featured oral exams, weekly phone calls, and live classes. Although she recognizes that not every student would thrive in a virtual environment, the educational benefit is undeniable.
 
“Being tied to a desk is archaic. We live in a time where it’s just not required,” says Jones. 

NI
Nadia Imafidon
about 2 months ago

Explore Ecuador: Chocolate and Fleece in the Clouds

Purposeful Nomad is at it again with another ethical adventure off the beaten path. This time in Ecuador, with food, farms, and fleece. If the great outdoors excites you, there’s hiking, zip lining, and breathtaking scenery to immerse yourself in for a full 14 days. Not to mention farms full of deca...
Purposeful Nomad is at it again with another ethical adventure off the beaten path. This time in Ecuador, with food, farms, and fleece. If the great outdoors excites you, there’s hiking, zip lining, and breathtaking scenery to immerse yourself in for a full 14 days. Not to mention farms full of decadent chocolate that walk you through the bean-to-bar process.  
 
Not sure there’s any other information necessary to convince you, but here’s some more, just in case (*wink*).
 
Become a (temporary) local.
Want to see how the locals live? You don’t have to go looking for them. For one night, a family will take you in (in your own private cabin close to the main house) and you’ll spend an afternoon or evening harvesting plants, feeding animals, hanging out with locals, or helping cook dinner.
 
Go to a chocolate farm of dreams.
Not that we’re assuming you even have a “typical farm experience,” but if so, Mashpi Artisanal Chocolate farm is not it…and that’s not even just because you get to eat delicious chocolate while there. You’ll do everything from harvesting and separating beans to learning the cocoa bean-to-bar process. 
 
Of course, in keeping with PN’s mission of making these trips personalized, this farm is owned by an Ecuadorian family they know and love. Spend the night in this peaceful jungle farm, and observe the sights and sounds of the area.
 
Learn about indigenous communities and sustainable tourism.
Meet the leader of Runa Tupari, a tour operator in the Cotacachi region of Ecuador that helps indigenous communities develop sustainable tourism. Learn how they create additional income and jobs for families in rural areas through sustainable, educational and traditional homestays.
 
Eat the freshest fruits and veggies in a chef-prepared meal.
You’ll have lots of opportunities to grab local fruits and vegetables on the journey, from the nearest farmers markets to the Ecuadorian agave fields. You’ll even venture out to meet local women farmers and learn about agave harvesting, which is very popular in Cayambe. 
 
Then, Chef and nutritionist Michelle O. Fried, who’s lived in Ecuador for decades, will help you take the fresh goodies you picked up from the markets and prepare a traditional Ecuadorian meal in a hands-on cooking class.
 
Trek through the clouds.
Okay, so you’ll still technically be on land, but the scenery will make you feel like you’re in a dream. One of the country’s best-kept secrets, the Mindo Cloudforest houses numerous bird species, exotic butterflies, animals, and reptiles for you to stumble upon on your hike. Look out for waterfalls, too (just don’t go chasing them)! 
 
Tube down the rapids or take a canopy tour where you’ll actually zip line over the trees on 10 cables ranging between 500 feet and 1,600 feet long (both of these activities are an additional cost, but, hello, when in cloudforest…).
 
Meet the alpacas.
Is there anything quite as comforting as fleece? Probably only chocolate, but we’ve already done that. Heading to highland communities outside of Riobamba, you’ll meet Felipe Segovia, the owner of Pagocha, a business dedicated to bringing alpacas back to Ecuador. You’ll also meet the women who sheer and spin alpaca fleece to make comfort dreams come true.
 
See some of Ecuador’s greatest wonders.
Even if you aren’t naturally outdoorsy, the terrain will turn you into a mountain woman. Some highlights: hiking or horseback riding around the crater of Lake Cuicocha, and climbing 14,000 feet (via vehicle, don’t panic) along the beautiful Pan-American highway with mountains, volcanoes, and vistas straight out of your Insta-dreams.
 
End with a spa and a smile.
As if you’ve had a hectic trip, you’ll spend the entirety of the last day relaxing at a cliff-side spa in Baños before heading to the airport. Talk about coming home rejuvenated.
 
Price it Out: Alpaca your bags!
Date: June 27-July 10, 2019
Trip price (excluding airfare): $3,950 per person based on double occupancy.
This includes: Lodging, private transportation and driver, bi-lingual guide, most meals where indicated, all excursions listed, entrance fees to parks, community activities, and a cooking class.

*DEAL ALERT* Get 10% off your trip to Ecuador (or any other Purposeful Nomad trip) when you use the code Nav.it at checkout!

AP
Amanda Page
about 2 months ago

Change Your Glasses Game at DC's Warby Parker Georgetown

image credit: instagram @warbyparker) 

I’ll admit, I’ve resisted Warby Parker for some time. I’ve seen this brand all over social media for years with friends and bloggers singing the praises of these fashionable, yet reasonably priced frames. I remained a skeptic.

Warby Parker sounded sensible and safe lik...
image credit: instagram @warbyparker) 

I’ll admit, I’ve resisted Warby Parker for some time. I’ve seen this brand all over social media for years with friends and bloggers singing the praises of these fashionable, yet reasonably priced frames. I remained a skeptic.

Warby Parker sounded sensible and safe like a pair of comfortable walking shoes or nude undergarments. That’s just not me. I want the glasses that complement my cool French boho looks as easily as my nerd-chic office vibes.

Call me an elitist, but I need high-quality frames that make a statement. But then I started to wonder, how can designer frames be so much better than the generic brands, if they’re all made out of the same material? Here is where Warby Parker excels.

The price is right.

My new glasses cost $275–a far cry from the $700 designer frames (pre-lenses) I typically fall in love with. And this was on the top end of their frame and lens options. I got the super thin, no glare, x-ray vision upgrades (x-ray vision not really included). A real steal, if you ask me.

The only downer is the insurance they accept is limited.

You buy one, they give one.

Warby Parker really shines when it comes to socially conscious business practices. For every pair of glasses sold, they give a pair to someone in need. They do this in two ways: one is through empowering men and women with training opportunities to give basic eye exams and sell affordable glasses; and the second is simply giving vision care and glasses to school-aged children in need.

I don’t think Chanel is as generous about eye care and outfitting those in need, but I could be wrong.

The glasses look expensive.

What struck me about the store is that it feels designer. The atmosphere is modern, clean and inviting, and has an impressive collection of high-art magazines and books. The second I caught a glimpse of the David Bowie biography, I was sold.

Take all my money. Give it to children so they can buy glasses. What extra sold me were the employees.

I made new best friends.

My favorite part? The sales team. Literally the best customer service of my life.

They were incredibly helpful, and genuinely fun and friendly, making this typically boring task a social outing. I almost invited them over for a wine and cheese party, but then I remembered that I prefer my parties to have a guest list of one (or two, hi husband).

Style-wise, I was surprised and impressed. Lots of current, high-fashion trends to choose from. I ultimately decided on an incredible pair of gold, slightly cat-eye wire frames. Shh, I never said my taste was for everyone.
NI
Nadia Imafidon
3 months ago

See the World and Connect With It—Be a Purposeful Nomad

At a time when you can choose where to spend your money based on how a business contributes to its community, there’s not much left out there that doesn’t come with purpose. And that includes travel.

To me, the best part of exploring a new area is that you can make the trip about so many things: self-care, adventure, meeting new people, philanth...
At a time when you can choose where to spend your money based on how a business contributes to its community, there’s not much left out there that doesn’t come with purpose. And that includes travel.

To me, the best part of exploring a new area is that you can make the trip about so many things: self-care, adventure, meeting new people, philanthropy, getting off the beaten path, eating way too much of the local delicacies…it’s about getting a full experience!

Enter: Purposeful Nomad, a company that creates trip itineraries to bring women together for socially responsible adventures that go beyond the destination’s surface.

Here’s why it’s perfect for us, Nav.igators.*

At the heart of Purposeful Nomad is community engagement.
They believe that if women are given the opportunity to travel safely and securely, they can change the world just by experiencing new things, exchanging ideas, and having meaningful interactions with the local community. (Sound familiar?)
 
The trips—just like women—are not one size fits all.
The itineraries, while a thoughtful, out-of-the-box mix of adventure, relaxation, and community engagement, are not scoped for every moment of everyday. You’ll have time to bring your own personality to your trip and customize it. Follow your own bliss.

Hang out in “secret corners of the world” with the locals.
Purposeful Nomad meets with local community members—often those who do not work in the tourism industry—to establish relationships, then designs in-depth itineraries that take travelers deep into the rich history and local culture. No cookie-cutter tourist traps here.

It’s all-inclusive and all original.
Enough with the Bahamas and Cancun already. These are all-inclusive trips to unique locations that aren’t your typical tour packages. In January 2019, Purposeful Nomad heads to Rajasthan, India for 15 days and enjoys an intimate side of India with a focus on the complex daily lives of women in this part of the world.

Travelers will learn to sew while listening to stories from the women of the non-profit Sambhali Trust; enjoy self-care spa treatments in boutique heritage hotels where they’ll stay; and of course, eat all the yummy food. Sign us up immediately.

Itineraries are tried and true (like ours!).
The activities planned for each trip are researched in advance and tried before going on the itinerary. The ladies behind Purposeful Nomad act as your guinea pigs, so you don’t waste any time on your vacation.

Every part of every trip is intentional, and built with integrity.
While creating a new trip, the founders meet with the communities and/or non-profits that they plan to partner with.

They find out where these organizations get their funding; who benefits from the work they do in these areas; if there are any skills they can share with the travelers; and what the needs are of each community, so they can learn how Purposeful Nomad can be of service.

If they don’t like what they hear during these meetings, they don’t make the partnership. Simple as that.

  • Sample Trip: Discover the Jewels of Rajasthan
  • DATE: January 11th-25th, 2019 (Psst! Can’t go this year? It’ll come back around in 2020, or you can check out Purposeful Nomad's other trips.)
  • PRICE: $3,950 per person based on double occupancy. (Plus $1,500 for a single room.)
  • HIGHLIGHTS: 
    • Engage the community: Experience a village homestay in the Thar desert. Ride a camel, learn to cook by the fire, and dance with the gypsies. 
    • Practice self-care: Get pampered at a spa in a beautiful heritage hotel. 
    • Learn new skills: Learn to sew or block print while engaging with the women of Sambhali Trust. Find inspiration in their soulful stories.
*Nav.igators! Enter code Nav.it at checkout to get 10% off your trip with Purposeful Nomad!