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Danielle Desir
about 1 month ago

Things To Do Every Time You Get Paid

money
budgeting
Having money in the bank is always a great feeling. Perhaps that’s why every other Friday is my favorite day of the month (I get paid biweekly). I’ve found that the easiest way for me to manage my money--and not risk it disappearing without doing what I need it to do--is to break up my bills and saving goals by pay period.

I created a money routine that works fo...
Having money in the bank is always a great feeling. Perhaps that’s why every other Friday is my favorite day of the month (I get paid biweekly). I’ve found that the easiest way for me to manage my money--and not risk it disappearing without doing what I need it to do--is to break up my bills and saving goals by pay period.

I created a money routine that works for me, but this isn’t any old money routine. This payday money routine helps me maintain productive money habits as soon I get paid.

What is a payday money routine? 
While I encourage you to have regular money check-ins every month, I’ve found that I manage my money better when I create short sprints. Since I get paid every two weeks, I consider each paycheck a two-week sprint. The day I get paid (or a few days before), I figure out where my money is going for the next two weeks, and decide how much I use to pay bills, save, invest or pay off debt.

If you get paid weekly, consider managing your money in weekly sprints. If monthly, plan for the entire month. Make a plan that works specifically for you.  
Yes, you could say that you're living paycheck-to-paycheck, but I don’t see it as a bad thing. I live paycheck-to-paycheck because I assign tasks to every paycheck. That means that every dollar I earn has a job: spend, save, invest or pay off debt. And I always plan to have zero dollars left over at the end of a two-week sprint.

Move extra funds into savings.
The night before I get paid, I check my bank account balance. If I didn’t spend everything in my budget, I move any extra funds into my savings account. This goes back to the concept of zero-based budgeting. Zero-based budgeting is when you have $0 left over in your budget when you subtract your expenses from your income. 

Pay as many bills as possible.
Since I get paid twice a month, I split my two paychecks. One paycheck covers bills and saving goals from the 1st to the 15th of the month. The second paycheck covers expenses from the 16th to the end of the month. 

The day I get paid, I pay as many bills that I can for the next two weeks. I do this because the day you get paid, you have an influx of cash but that’s not necessarily all yours to spend because a lot of the money is already earmarked. 

I like to pay my bills the day I get paid because my bank account more accurately reflects my account balance the next day. Now that all of my bills are out of the way for the next two weeks, I can clearly see how much money remains.

Doing this gives me a much clearer picture of what’s going on in my finances and as a result, I can make more informed financial decisions, which ultimately prevents overspending. It also helps me avoid overdraft fees, interest fees, and late fees. 

Create a to-do list.
When you’re digging into your finances and making payments, you may realize that you have to follow-up on certain things. This may mean disputing a charge, transferring funds from one account to another, or opening a new bank account.

During my payday money routine, I always have a pen and paper handy so I can write down next steps. I might even take it a step further by creating a calendar invite just to make sure that I don’t miss any important dates.

Learn more about how to create money routines in Danielle Desir’s Back to Budgeting Basics course. She teaches you step-by-step how to create and maintain a budget, save money every money and crush your financial goals.
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Amy Matthews, Founder of Woman UnRuled
about 1 month ago

11 Tips for Work Life Balance and Success

success
work
As a leader, your team puts entrusts you with a lot of responsibility. We already know that you can handle it, but when you feel yourself (or confidence) start to waiver, come back to these 11 tips for work life balance and setting yourself up for success.

Start your day with a positive attitude.
Get out of your head and into your ...
As a leader, your team puts entrusts you with a lot of responsibility. We already know that you can handle it, but when you feel yourself (or confidence) start to waiver, come back to these 11 tips for work life balance and setting yourself up for success.

Start your day with a positive attitude.
Get out of your head and into your body--whatever that means for you. It might be going for a run or walk, taking a spin or yoga class or simply being quiet and meditating. Your intention is to be grounded, present, confident and ready to face the day. 

Stay true to who you are.
When I was 28, I had an interview with an executive who would eventually hire me for my first sales manager job. He asked me, how will I change if I make a lot of money? The truth is, my values have never changed, despite periods of my career where I’ve earned a lot of money.

Perhaps your lifestyle changes when you have more money, but your values don’t have to. You are the same person at work as you are at home so show up in business as your authentic self.

Don’t get caught up on the hours. 
Don’t stay in the office late because “everyone else is doing it”. I learned early in my sales career to never confuse activity with results. It wasn’t about how many sales calls I went on; it was about making sure each one had a successful outcome.

Don’t get me wrong, I spent my fair share of late nights at the office early in my career. But ultimately, it’s all about performance – how much you can make happen in a given timeframe, not the actual time you put into it.

Don’t be concerned about being liked.
Listen. We all want people to like us. But don’t make it a priority at the expense of realizing what you want to accomplish. If others are uneasy with your success or feel insecure around you, it’s not your job to make them feel comfortable. 

Of course, self awareness and grace go a long way. But in general: own your confidence, leadership and charisma, and be a role model for others around you.

Know what you want.
I’m one of those people that gets passionately attached to an idea. Once I do, I’ve been known to have an unrelenting focus to make it happen. The first step is creating a clear vision of what you want, and a strategy for how to get you there.

You can always change a plan, but if you don’t have one to begin with, it’s hard to change, right?

Ask for it.
Once you know what you want, ask for it. Whether you’re talking to your boss or a potential new client. “I’d like to manage a sales team focused on this vertical,” “I’d like to work with you,” “I’d like to be promoted to VP, and here’s why I’ve earned it.”

You can’t expect things you want to happen magically. You have to ask. If you don’t, you’ll never know what you could have gained.

Compete with yourself (and no one else). 
Many company cultures thrive on promoting competition among their workforce. I say, stay focused on the activities that will bring YOU the results you want. Giving your attention to others takes your eye off the prize of being the best you can be. 

And here’s the thing: your experience, values, strengths, skills, passions and DNA are totally unique. Embrace your individuality, and it will lead to your ultimate success. Don’t compete with others: compete with yourself.

Don’t expect a certain outcome
I’m a huge believer in having high standards, a clear vision, and specific goals to get you where you want to go. Simultaneously, I’ve learned to not expect a certain outcome.

Business expectations are a breeding ground for disappointment. Sh*t happens within your own company and often with your clients (expectations of a timely product launch or revenues coming in at a specific time – you get the drill). Be open to how situations unfold and always have a plan B. If you remain flexible, the outcome may be better than you anticipated.

Trust your gut.
Truth be told, you’ve got to learn to use your instincts to be successful in business, and that requires making gut decisions. If you’re waiting for someone to tell you what to do, you’re probably in the wrong role or place. 

The more you rely on your instincts and intuition, along with your life experience, the better you’ll be at making sound business decisions.

Speak up.
If you have ideas that can improve your company’s performance, announce them. Don’t endlessly offer information that hasn’t been requested (or you run the risk of driving your coworkers up the wall). 

But if you have feedback on ways to do things better, propose a thoughtful solution. The only way companies can get better is if employees and customers provide their honest, constructive feedback.

Go for it.
Fear is what usually prevents us from doing something that is uncomfortable, our inner critic asking “what if I fail?” Be aware of your fears and acknowledge them, but just don’t let them stop you from going after what you really want.

Change the conversation in your head to: “I might be intimidated, but this will work! I got this!”

From entrepreneurs to executives to professional women or women ready for a new career challenge, Amy Matthews has designed a tailored program for the Nav.it community. Check it out on Woman UnRuled.
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Whitney Hansen
about 1 month ago

How to Stop Impulse Buying and Blowing Your Budget

shopping
budgeting
Impulse buys are one of the top budget busters. We have such a hard time saying no to ourselves in the moment, because — as we like to tell ourselves– we work hard and damn it, we deserve to treat ourselves.

And we get it. You DO work hard! That’s why we need to start reframing our mindset to this: I work hard for my money. That’s why I don’t blow it on crap I do...
Impulse buys are one of the top budget busters. We have such a hard time saying no to ourselves in the moment, because — as we like to tell ourselves– we work hard and damn it, we deserve to treat ourselves.

And we get it. You DO work hard! That’s why we need to start reframing our mindset to this: I work hard for my money. That’s why I don’t blow it on crap I don’t need.

When you truly honor your money and recognize how hard you work to earn it, you start to make decisions differently. 

If you want to know how to stop impulse buying, this post is for you. After working with hundreds of people, I’ve learned a lot about weird little hacks or things we can do to keep us focused and on track with our finances by minimizing impulse buys.

Know the Opportunity Cost
If more people really understood opportunity costs, we’d all be more likely to be wealthy and living our dream lives. The concept is simple: for everything you say yes to, you are saying no to something else.

Let’s break this down in a really easy to understand example. If you choose to take on a larger mortgage, then it’s likely that you cannot put as much money into savings, take a sweet vacay twice a year, or channel your inner Joana Gaines and redecorate your house.

It’s pretty simple to understand, but where it gets difficult is the small daily expenses that compound over time. For example, every time you go out to eat, you might be saying no to investing more into your future. Sure it’s only $8 here and there, but $8 spent five days a week, over the course of 40 years, invested in index funds with a rate of return at 10 percent turns into $612,524.27. We’re talking about a $160 per month contribution over the course of an average career span.

Train your brain to see that it’s not just about the money spent today, but that it’s about the money you lose out on because you can’t invest it. This will help you change your mind about those last-minute impulse buys.

24-Hour Think About it Rule
Confession: During my early college days, I used to be a shopper. I loved going to the mall, browsing around, and spending money. I saw something, thought it looked cute, and walked to the register to purchase and go on my way. I didn’t even feel guilty about it either… until I looked at my bank account and saw that I had barely any money. 
I specifically remember blaming my utility bills for being too high, or complaining that my income wasn’t high enough. I did everything in my power to deflect responsibility and admit that the reason I had no money was because I spent money on stuff I didn’t need.

That’s where the “24-Hour Think About It Rule” came from. After seeing that I was spending money on things that I really didn’t need and wouldn’t impact my long-term happiness, I promised myself that anything I didn’t truly need could not get purchased for at least 24 hours.

So if I saw that cute sweater at Costco and it was only $35, I would have to go home, sleep on that decision, and if I still wanted it AND could afford it, I would buy it. I still do this today.

Pay in time, not money
At one of my jobs, I was making about $15 per hour. If I wanted to go out to eat and grab drinks with a girlfriend, that ultimately cost $30, I had to work two hours to pay for that one meal.

What if this was a $100 pair of jeans? That’s almost seven HOURS of work to pay for that one pair. Had I actually ran the math, and realized how long I would have to work to pay for a pair of jeans, I might have done things differently.

The key piece to remember here is that we don’t pay for things in money--we pay in hours of our life.

Online Grocery Shopping
The best thing you can do to avoid impulse buys is stay away from the grocery store. I know I’m not alone when I go grocery shopping, get home and realize I bought 20 things and only 3 of those things were actually on my grocery list.

Online grocery shopping is the solution for this one. We purchased an Instacart membership and we order groceries AND have them delivered to our door every Sunday from Costco. We both live incredibly busy lives, so when we get a day off together, we really don’t want to spend two to three hours running around from grocery store to grocery store and fighting the crowds.

It has totally changed the way we view grocery shopping and has significantly reduced impulse buys because we aren’t tempted to browse the aisles and add more to our cart.

Unsubscribe from Emails
I am a sucker for a great deal. Who isn’t? But instead of falling into the trap of simply spending money because you got an email that said there is a “50% OFF TODAY ONLY!” sale, don’t let yourself be tempted and just unsubscribe from all store/promotional emails.

You can manually unsubscribe from every email, or you can use my preferred method and use Unroll.me. Unroll Me allows you unsubscribe to hundreds of emails is just a couple minutes. It’s free and will save you big time if you spend money triggered by promotional emails.

Give Yourself Fun Money
Sometimes you just want to spend a little extra without feeling guilty or overly restricted. That’s where a fun money fund comes into play. Give yourself a little wiggle room in your budget and allow yourself to have $50-$100 for fun money. This is for truly whatever the heck you choose to purchase that seems petty or just for fun. (The Nav.it App can help you track how much “daily play money” you have in your budget.)

My suggestion: keep your fun money in cash and train yourself to ONLY spend that cash. When you’re out of fun money, you’re out.

Leave your Cards at Home
You can’t spend if you don’t have your card on you. A lot of people get concerned about this and say things like, “but Whitney, I might need to fill up on gas or stop by the store for a couple things on my way home.” Valid. But with a bit of planning this absolutely works!

I personally, leave my card at home when I can feel myself being extra tempted to buy things I don’t need. I have found that when I bring my coffee with me, fill up my gas tank on weekends, and actively do my grocery shopping online, there really isn’t anything that I need on a normal basis.

Be disciplined and try this tip out. It is guaranteed to work!

Remove your Card Info 
Online shopping is too easy. You go the website, browse around for a bit, click a couple buttons, and bam! You just made some impulse purchases. The whole goal of preventing or minimizing impulse buys is to put barriers between you and habits you don’t want. If you are an online shopper, the best thing you can do for yourself is removing your card from your computer.

If you are browsing Amazon and see all the things you think you need you might add it to your cart, but if you have to manually pull your card out of your wallet and type in the numbers, you *might* not be as likely to purchase the items.

Make it a bit harder for yourself by removing the card info from your computer AND your phone.

Keep a Running “Wants” List
One of the sheets in my budget is a Wants tab. Anytime I find something I want from a podcast episode or a YouTube video that mentioned some really sweet products (or even while browsing Insta) I will hop over to my budget and jot down the item, the cost and the store name.

Then, I will occasionally review my list and purchase one of those items if I still want it and can afford it. I try to time my purchases as a reward for accomplishing a goal. For example, I’m working on a new course “Become A Financial Coach” and one of my rewards for finishing the course will be an extended weekend on the beach.

Recognize that Sales aren’t Saving you Money
One of my friends loves thrift shopping. She came up to me one time and showed me all the amazing name-brand items she got at a consignment store and kept telling me how proud she was.

“Whitney, these leggings typically cost $120, and I only paid $45.” You might have saved money on the purchase, but if you weren’t planning on buying the item, all you did was spend more money that you didn’t want to spend.

Just remember- spending money is NOT saving you money.

Watch Your Mood
Do you ever find yourself spending money when you are bored, sad, mad, happy, or not confident? You’re not alone! We are all emotional spenders. The key is to become self-aware enough that you understand what emotions are your triggers.

My two primary emotional spending triggers are: boredom and lack of confidence.

In college, I found that I was spending a ton of money on coffee every month. I would get to campus, have about 30 minutes in between classes and buy coffee. My trigger was boredom. I had some down time and instead of doing something productive like studying in those 30 minutes, I would fill time and buy coffee. I didn’t need coffee. But it was something to do.

Whenever I feel insecure, I find that I am much more likely to go shopping. That’s my time where I want to buy makeup or clothing that makes me look and feel like a million bucks. Once I learned that my insecurity was causing me to spend money, I was able to channel that into better habits- like hitting the gym or listening to inspirational podcasts of self-worth.

Once you know your emotional triggers, you can avoid impulse spending when you’re feeling those emotions.

Tape your Budget to your Debit Card
When I was paying off debt and I had to get my finances in order, I found that having my monthly budget taped to my debit card was the reminder that I needed to stay on track. One time during tax season (I was a Staff Accountant), I was exhausted and burned out from working seven days a week (80-100 hours without a day off in three months). You better believe that I felt entitled to buying my SF-Vanilla Soy Americano from Starbucks.

When I got to my car, I opened my wallet and saw my budget taped to my debit card. It was a smack in the face reminder that I was working towards a bigger goal and I wasn’t the kind of person who didn’t commit to a goal fully. So I did the walk of shame back to my cube and drank the mediocre office coffee.

I didn’t care that taping my budget was cheesy to others. I personally felt that having my debt around for 10+ years was worse. Sometimes seeing that you don’t have money for impulse buys is all you need to get back in check.

Be Careful about the Impulse ‘Yes’
Yes, I’ll meet you for happy hour. Or yes I’ll go shopping with you. Yes, I’ll host dinner at my house.

These are all common scenarios that tend to bite us in the behind. When we impulsively say yes without planning for the items in advance, you find yourself spending waaaaay more than you initially planned. It’s important to say yes to experiences, but not if they are sabotaging your financial life. Be selective about what you say yes to. 

Remember, like we discussed earlier, everything you say yes to means saying no to something else. If you planned correctly, you likely already have a small fun money account that allows you to say yes to the occasional last minute happy hour.
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Nicole Negron
about 2 months ago

A Modern Woman’s Guide to Birth Control

health and wellness
women
I am a firm believer that every woman should have the right as well as the ability to access birth control should she deem it necessary. However, it’s still difficult to access comprehensive information about what women are putting into their bodies.

In my clinical practice, women are increasingly inquisitive about the possibility of coming off birth control. Som...
I am a firm believer that every woman should have the right as well as the ability to access birth control should she deem it necessary. However, it’s still difficult to access comprehensive information about what women are putting into their bodies.

In my clinical practice, women are increasingly inquisitive about the possibility of coming off birth control. Some of the most common occurances that drive women to considering coming off synthetic birth control are low sex drive, painful sex, weight changes, yeast infections, gut issues, and depression. This leads them to ask, What’s the best form of birth control for me?

There are gaps in our understanding of menstruation, and there are even bigger gaps in understanding birth control, and its long-term effects. Given our current political climate on women reproductive rights, women need to be aware of alternative options that are available to them to better care for their mental, and physical health. Self-knowledge is the path to body literacy.

Let’s explore my top three recommendations for natural birth control options in 2019.

Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM)
Although you're probably giving this an eye role, give me a second to explain. Where men are fertile every single day of the month, women are fertile only six days per menstrual cycle.

To avoid pregnancy, you can determine your five fertile days before ovulation by using progressive tools, such as Ava Fertility Bracelet, an FDA registered device that measures five physiological markers during the menstrual cycle, and identifies your fertile window in real time. It has 89 percent effectiveness.

You can also use Daysy (99.4 percent effective), which has an integrated thermometer that enables a precise measurement effectiveness. Daysy determines fertile and infertile phases of the female cycle and can be used for family planning.

During your most fertile days, you can avoid vaginal intercourse or use a barrier method for those five days leading up to ovulation. It’s pretty simple. FAM is a method I personally have been practicing for over 15 years.

Diaphragm (barrier method)
Caya is made of silicone rather than the latex of the old-style diaphragms and does not need to be fitted by your doctor. It is 88% effective. It works by physically blocking sperm from entering the uterus combined with an eco-friendly spermicide that kills sperm.

You can purchase Caya directly online or by prescription from your local pharmacist.

Copper IUD
The copper IUD is a wonderful option as it does not suppress ovulation or change your natural hormones. The copper IUD prevents pregnancy by impairing sperm motility. It is 99.2 percent effective.

There was one study that  found higher blood levels of copper in the IUD users, which impacted mood and other aspects of women’s health along with zinc deficiency.

Side note on ovulation: Ovulation is necessary for good feminine health. Ovulation is how you make progesterone, which is a natural valium for the brain during the week or two before menstruation. Ovulation is also responsible for mood, good metabolism and bones and necessary for an easy period.

If you're on the Hormonal Birth Control
There are long-term side effects of being on the birth control pill, including increased nutrient deficiency such as vitamins B2, B12, B6, zinc and folate. If you plan on starting a family in the future, stop taking the pill, and start taking a multivitamin or prenatal vitamin at least six months before trying to conceiving.

If you’re interested in learning more about your current form of birth control and what form of birth control is right for you. sign up for a free consultation to explore more options with Nicole Negron.
 
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Athena Lent
about 2 months ago

Bring the F.I.R.E. this 4th of July—A Guide to Financial Independence

savings
personal finance
Are your ears burning? That’s because F.I.R.E (financial independence, retire early) is sweeping the country as more women decide to live a life they love on their own terms.

I know, it sounds impractical. Aren’t we supposed to work until we’re ancient? But I’m here to share the skinny on how you...
Are your ears burning? That’s because F.I.R.E (financial independence, retire early) is sweeping the country as more women decide to live a life they love on their own terms.

I know, it sounds impractical. Aren’t we supposed to work until we’re ancient? But I’m here to share the skinny on how you can cut years off your 9-to-5 and go get that tan on the beach in the Bahamas instead (again, this is not fake, keep reading).

What does it mean to be on F.I.R.E.?
You achieve F.I.R.E. when your wealth, including savings and/or investments, can provide enough cash flow to make working an option and not a necessity (what a dream, right?).

There are two ways to become a financially independent boss babe: the four percent rule and passive income streams.

Skim off the top.
According to this rule, you can annually withdraw at least four percent of your investment portfolio to live off of without touching the balance (a.k.a. how much you put in). By leaving the balance, you’re creating a recurring income stream off the money you earn from the investment.

So how much do you need to invest? That depends on how much you need to cover your lifestyle for a year. If you’re currently living off of $50,000, you would take that amount and divide it by 0.04.

In case you don’t have your calculator app open, that comes to $1,250,000. Casual, right? Who doesn’t have a cool million to spare?

Get passive (aggressive).
Option two is to create passive income streams. It takes an initial investment, but then little to no ongoing effort.

Real estate is a great example of this. Once you buy a house, you can rent it out immediately. Consider what you’ll pay for the mortgage, property taxes, maintenance, etc., and check if the price you’d need to charge to cover all of your expenses and still return a profit matches the current market. If so, it’s time to start living that Airbnb host life.

If real estate isn’t your thing (or you find all that math downright scary), start smaller. Want something super easy? Create a printable to download off Etsy for a one-time fee.

This sounds overwhelming… 
You’re right, it does. How are you supposed to save enough money to purchase real estate, let alone grow an investment portfolio of over a million dollars? Girl, I hear you.

Just like Drake, you gotta start from the bottom.

First, give yourself a financial quiz. Are all your bills on time? What about debt, savings for a rainy day, and that shoe sale that comes once a year?

If you get an A, great job! If it’s looking more like a C or lower, get yourself situated before jumping into the F.I.R.E. 

Once you’re doing well financially, estimate how much money you need to stay there. Add up your monthly spending, then multiply it by 12. That’s the amount you need to be generating from investments or passive income streams to cover your living expenses for a year.

You don’t have to follow just one of the two F.I.R.E. routes, either. In fact, many people do a hybrid and become financially independent sooner than later. 

Are you feeling the burn yet?


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Robin Davis
about 2 months ago

Portugal’s Not Complete Without a Porto Travel Itinerary

travel
see the world
Sure, Lisbon is Portugal’s big bustling capital, but Porto has all the charm. And the vibe is way more chill—in a good way! Here’s why you shouldn’t skip the smaller city when planning a trip to Portugal.

The food scene is diverse and eclectic.
Porto has all the good traditional eats you’ll find in Lisbon, but also a trendy and innovative food...
Sure, Lisbon is Portugal’s big bustling capital, but Porto has all the charm. And the vibe is way more chill—in a good way! Here’s why you shouldn’t skip the smaller city when planning a trip to Portugal.

The food scene is diverse and eclectic.
Porto has all the good traditional eats you’ll find in Lisbon, but also a trendy and innovative food scene. One of the best meals I had was at Tapabento, a recommendation from the late great Anthony Bourdain. The food was incredibly fresh and the menu (which changes often) offered so many great options (like foie gras toast, oxtail empanadas, wild shrimp) we could barely choose.

Brunch at Rosa et al Townhouse was not at all what I expected. In a country where meat and seafood reign supreme, this bed and breakfast had delicious healthy meals featuring produce plucked from the land. Not to mention that the décor is Pinterest-worthy. On a warm day, have your meal outside in the garden and enjoy the lush scenery.

Save room in your luggage—it’s a book lover’s paradise.
It seems like everywhere we look, bookstores are vanishing, but bookworms, fear not! Porto has an infinite amount.

Live out your Harry Potter dreams at Livraria Lello, the bookstore that inspired J.K. Rowling! You’ll have to buy a ticket and wait your turn to take a picture on their famous staircase, but if you’re a true Potterhead, it’ll be worth it. (For me, the bookstore wasn’t as beautiful as the pictures made it seem online, but hey, do it for the culture.)

If you’re looking for a Portuguese author to round out your bookshelf, I highly recommend José Saramago. Pick up one of his books while waiting for your staircase picture (I recommend Blindness, an enthralling novel in which a country is hit with a plague where everyone has lost their vision).

Explore the Douro Valley and sample Portuguese wines.
Porto is located near/in the famous Douro wine valley, and along the riverfront are tons of wine houses that offer both tastings and tours everyday. Make sure you sample vinho verde (light, bubbly and crisp wine in a green bottle), a wine unique to northern Portugal.

Riverside lounging is a must do.
Porto has a well-developed riverfront area full of restaurants, bars, the aforementioned wine houses, and shopping. Go shopping in the artisanal market where you can buy everything from jewelry to home decor to linens. Or just lounge along the riverside. It’s one of my favorite things to do (and apparently the Portuguese feel the same way).

If you want to take a picture of the river, the best views come from the bridge. But be careful—it might look like a pedestrian bridge, but it’s not! Watch out for the train that comes barreling through every so often. Instead, take the cable car to get sweeping views of the river and the rest of Porto.

Relaxed vibes for a relaxing time.
There’s a reason Porto consistently shows up on the list of best places to visit. You don’t need an itinerary to enjoy yourself (though you’ll still have fun if you abide by one—I see you, Type As). 

Whether you’re lounging on the riverside, watching the peacocks in the Jardins do Palácio de Cristal, or curled up in one of the many bookstores, it’s a trip you won’t regret. 
DD
Danielle Desir
about 2 months ago

Your Save For Vacation App

traveling
money
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the trip planning process, first things first, take a deep breath and let it sink in that you’re actually going on a trip.

Perhaps this is a trip to one of your favorite places in the world (Iceland is mine) or maybe you’re going to a new
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the trip planning process, first things first, take a deep breath and let it sink in that you’re actually going on a trip.

Perhaps this is a trip to one of your favorite places in the world (Iceland is mine) or maybe you’re going to a new country where you don’t speak the language. Either way, you’re planning a trip and that’s exciting!

While there may be a lot of prep work involved before you go, I will help you break down one of the hardest components: getting the funds to go on the trip. There are many tips and tricks to make saving for vacation simple and consistent.

And you can take advantage of a digital tool at your disposal. Think of Nav.it as your ultimate save for vacation app.

Different funds for different accounts
When it comes to budgeting in general, I recommend separating your money into multiple bank accounts. If you want to travel the world, one bank account that I highly recommend having is a "travel fund". A travel fund is simply a bank account where you save money for travel.

Why have a travel fund?
Having a bank account dedicated to travel ensures that you’re actively working toward your travel savings goals. It prevents overspending and undersaving, and at a glance, you know exactly how much you have saved up for a trip.

Your travel fund can be a checking account, a savings account or money market. Give this special bank account a nickname like “Weekend Getaway with Bae”.

Tool tip: Want to see all of your money in one place? Using Nav.it, you can connect your savings, checking and credit card accounts so you can see all transactions and saved up funds in one place and get an overview of your overall spending. 

Using this save for vacation app will help you decide how much you might be able to contribute to your “Weekend Getaway with Bae” fund (and if skipping a couple latte runs might help you reach your travel goals sooner!).

Why save for travel consistently?
After you open a bank account devoted solely to travel, it makes it easy to save for your next adventure each paycheck.

Determine an amount you can afford to save per pay period and automatically save that same amount each time you get paid via direct deposit.

Tool tip: Once again, if you’re using the save for vacation app to track your spending to decide how much you can put toward your travel fund, you can take advantage of the reminder setting in the Nav.it app.

If there is a category on your overall monthly spending that you want to reduce (lattes, brunches, impulse shopping buys), you can change the budget line total for the month, and then set up alerts to ping you when you’ve spent 50 or 90 percent of that line item.

Let the app do the work for you!

How I plan for my trips
When I first started traveling, I saved $25 each paycheck. Now I save upwards of $200 per month. Whatever amount you decide to save, remember to save consistently. Consistency is key to developing good financial habits.

Saving consistently also means that you’ll have money available to hop on a good flight deal or go on a spontaneous trip without having to worry about your finances. Woohoo! Sounds nice, right?

The key takeaway here, automate saving for travel.

Budget for your trip
Next, create a budget for your vacation. Put together a list of places you want to visit and use blogs to figure out how much it will cost you to get there, eat, and do fun activities.

Pro Tip: Budget Your Trip is a helpful resource for determining travel costs around the world. Add all of your travel costs together to set your vacation budget.

Tool tip: The save for vacation app has yet another feature to help you reach your happiness (aka travel) goals! On the Goals tab, set up your trip budget goal (the magic number you figured out above), and it will show you how much you need to save per day (or week, or month) to achieve these goals. 

Once you have a trip budget, start looking for flight deals! You’ve conquered a major milestone, Nav.igator!

On The Thought Card, Danielle Desir empowers readers to make informed financial decisions and embrace their innerfinancially savvy traveler. She also has a fun podcast! Check out The Thought Card podcast here!
AM
Amy Matthews
about 2 months ago

When Your Head and Your Heart Play Tug-O-War: Mind vs. Heart Decision

#women
mindset
We all have mixed feelings at times. I certainly do (seriously – who doesn’t!). You know, when it’s hard to choose or decide because your head is telling you one thing and your heart says another.

What the mind vs. heart decision looks like

Here are a few ways the mind vs. heart decision plays out:

“I’d love to pursue my ...
We all have mixed feelings at times. I certainly do (seriously – who doesn’t!). You know, when it’s hard to choose or decide because your head is telling you one thing and your heart says another.

What the mind vs. heart decision looks like

Here are a few ways the mind vs. heart decision plays out:

“I’d love to pursue my passion but I CAN’T.  I need the security my job gives me, even though it sucks me dry.”

“I’m super attracted to this person and we have so much fun together. BUT I have a different picture, they aren’t ‘who I thought I’d be with’.

“I don’t want to go to the party – it will be boring. Yet I’m OBLIGATED because I said I would go. I need to do the ‘right’ thing, that’s who I am.”

Our analytical mind guides us in many ways but often its advice is geared to the “shoulds” in life – how it “should” look, how you “should” be, what you “should” do or what things “should” look like. ​​​​​​​Shoulds drain our energy and are joy-killers. They keep us stuck, in question mode, or feeling ambivalent. 

Worst of all, they keep us from taking action on what we want most.

Nav.ing the mind vs. heart decision

​​​​​​To get your head and heart aligned, ask yourself these questions. 
  1. What thoughts, beliefs and feelings are getting in the way of doing what I really want?
  2. What does my heart say?
  3. Will I regret NOT doing this?
  4. What’s the worst thing that can happen if I go for it?
Write down your answers. Confusion will naturally diffuse once you start writing.

Trust that clarity will come. A NO can turn into a YES at any time.


WH
Whitney Hansen
about 2 months ago

5 Ways to Beat Procrastination Once and For All

freelance
working from home
Let me be incredibly honest for a second. I secretly dream of being the most productive person I know. In fact, I even told my S.O. that the other day and he looked at me with a confused look on his face, and said, “What does that even mean?”

Good question, right? After reflecting on this question, I found my own definition of productivity. To me, it means that I...
Let me be incredibly honest for a second. I secretly dream of being the most productive person I know. In fact, I even told my S.O. that the other day and he looked at me with a confused look on his face, and said, “What does that even mean?”

Good question, right? After reflecting on this question, I found my own definition of productivity. To me, it means that I focus on producing results instead of equating productivity with time spent working.

I would much rather complete a couple key projects in a week, then claim I worked 50 hours and didn’t actually finish any of my needle-mover tasks. So, here are my top 5 ways to beat procrastination once and for all.

Focused work, frequent breaks
Sometimes the most effective solutions are also the simplest. The pomodoro technique completely transformed the way I work. And it’s free.99 so you don’t have to worry about an expensive piece of software.

Here’s how it works. Grab your phone timer or a kitchen timer. Set the timer for 25 minutes. Then for 25 minutes work on one task (focus on this one thing!). Then when the timer beeps, set it again for 5 minutes, and take a short little break.

If you are finding that 25 minutes isn’t enough time to focus on a task full force, increase it to 30. Then slowly build up to a time that works best for you, but make sure you’re taking breaks. I find that for me personally, a solid 35 minutes of work time and 5-10 minute breaks work wonders.

I prefer having an external timer instead of on my phone, because I’m super prone to distraction and might just find myself on Instagram scrolling wanderlessly. This little cube timer is incredible. It costs ~$18 and is worth every penny if it helps you produce.

MIT = Most Important Tasks
Prioritization is super hard when you have competing priorities. But by using the 3 MITs (most important tasks), you’re forcing yourself to focus in on what really matters and prioritize what is most important and timely and what can wait.

Here's how it works. Hone in on the three things you need to accomplish today. If you are focusing in on only 3 things, you’re much more likely to get those done and feel productive in the process. 

Most people have a running to-do list of things that need to be accomplished and end up checking off one or two small things that don’t actually move the needle and get you closer to truly producing results.

So before you open your email, jump on social media, or touch your computer, write down three things that you need to complete today. I write these on a sticky note and put them on my laptop. That way I can check them off when they are completed and be reminded of my MITs.

Extra credit if you set your 3 MITs the night before, but I rarely do that.

I get most of my ideas and reminders in the shower. I use my shower notes as a way of jotting down the important (and unimportant) stuff that comes to mind. A lot of times, when I hop out of the shower, I have my 3 MITs already ready to go so I can immediately go downstairs and make my coffee, eat breakfast and get to work.

Your personal mantra
Mantras seem super woo-woo, but I find a lot of people already use mantras without even realizing it. Mantras are the little words of wisdom, affirmation, or quotes you tell yourself to get you to take action. When you say, “I’ve got this!” or “I can do it!,” that’s basically a mantra.

Here’s how it works: Next time you find yourself procrastinating, or pondering Netflix vs. the gym, pull out your mantra and repeat it three times to yourself. Repetition is key to habit change.

My personal mantra is “Do it now! Do it now! Do it now!” =I will legitimately say this aloud (if I’m by myself) or in my head and it is my trigger to start working and focus on taking immediate action.

Don’t knock it until you try it. But also try it more then one time– as I mentioned earlier, repetition is the secret to change and one the ways to beat procrastination.

5-second rule
No, this isn’t the amount of time that you can drop food and the ground and still be able to eat it. It’s a super simple way to force yourself to take action even when you don’t want to. It was made mainstream by author and motivational speaker Mel Robbins.

Here’s how it works. When we count down to ourselves, we pay attention and prep our bodies to take action. Mel discovered this while watching TV one night as a rocket ship was launching. She noticed that they counted down– 5….4….3…2…1 and immediately launched.

After realizing that, she decided to try this in her own life to help her wake up in the morning without pushing snooze. She heard the alarm go off, counted 5-4-3-2-1 and launched out of bed without pushing snooze. It worked. Then she used it for job hunting, working, going to the gym. And it worked.

I’ve tested this in my own life and it really does work if you do it. It’s very different than counting up from 1-5, tool. When you countdown, because there isn’t a number that we naturally go to after 0, you are more likely to take that action. I’m not a behavioral psychologist here, but the concept really does have some legs. I find myself going back to it quite a bit.

Limit Your Time on Social Media
You guys, no joke, I’ve found myself browsing Instagram/Facebook sometimes and looking up to see that I legitimately spent 2 HOURS mindlessly scrolling. WTF? Two hours is a lot of time to just waste when my goals are as big as they are. I have a feeling you’ve been there too. Why do we do this to ourselves?

I find that I have to almost treat myself like a teenager and put some parental controls in place. It’s ridiculous, but hey- this is where I am. It’s one of the best ways to beat procrastination.

Here’s how it works. To limit social media time, it’s important to know where you’re starting. Most iPhones now come equipped with Screen Time so you can see exactly how many hours and minutes you spent on your browser, email, social media, etc. It’s super helpful…and slightly depressing!

Set a goal for yourself. My personal goal is to be on social media less than 2 hours a day. This seems like a lot, but keep in mind, I run an online business and social media is a huge part of my marketing channels.

Set a goal for yourself too. How much time do you feel comfortable spending on social media per day? Do you want to check your platforms in the morning (this is a rhetorical question- of course you don’t want to see the world’s nastiness first thing in the morning)? How often do you find yourself reaching for your phone out of habit rather than necessity?

Now some barriers and use the other tips above to help you stick with your planned social media time.

Need some extra help?This chrome extension removes all your FB newsfeed and gives you a nice inspirational quote on your FB feed. It’s really helpful! 

You can also remove the apps from your phone. If you just got anxiety thinking about this, it’s probably a good sign you should do it temporarily. Remember- you can always add it back on your phone if you hate it.

You can also try this StayFocusd chrome extension, which allows you to block certain websites and social media feeds during set hours of the day. 
 
If you're interested in connecting with Whitney Hansen for one-on-one coaching, reach out here. If you want to hear more from her, check out this episode featuring Whitney on the Nav.it podcast.
LA
Lisette Austin
about 2 months ago

Travel Hack Alert: How to Get Wifi While Traveling

travel
travel hacks
With all my recent travel, I’ve been needing to catch up on work (and blogging) on flights. This means I need to use wifi. I often forget to pre-pay for a gogo in-flight pass, which is already fairly expensive at $20 for an all day pass. Once you are on the plane the price goes up even more. I don’t know about you, but I think paying $20-$30 for a few hours of wifi is a...
With all my recent travel, I’ve been needing to catch up on work (and blogging) on flights. This means I need to use wifi. I often forget to pre-pay for a gogo in-flight pass, which is already fairly expensive at $20 for an all day pass. Once you are on the plane the price goes up even more. I don’t know about you, but I think paying $20-$30 for a few hours of wifi is a complete rip-off. 

Enter the travel hack for how to get wifi while traveling.

I stumbled across this when frustrated that I would have to pay $10 for just a few minutes of wifi to check my email. I had noticed that I could still do Google searches but just couldn’t access actual websites. I started searching for hacks for free wifi, and hoped to catch something in the meta description viewable on the google search page.

This led me to a YouTube video about how to get free wifi, but I couldn’t view the video. Thankfully someone explained in the comments (for some reason I could view YouTube pages).Here’s what you do
And this should work on Alaska, American and Delta (not sure about United):
  • Get on the Gogo in-flight wifi network
  • Open your browser
  • When the Gogo entertainment page pops up – look for where they list movies you can watch for free inflight. Click on a free movie.
  • You will then go to a page saying you need the Gogo in-flight app in order to watch the movie. Click on the option to download it from the app store (even if you already have it)
  • Fill out the captcha form which will then allow you to move on to the app store
  • Don’t bother with downloading the app, instead immediately return to your browser (or texting or mail apps) because you now have about 10-15 minutes of free wifi!
  • Once your wifi time runs out, repeat the steps above. I found I could do this about 8-10 times before they said my limit was up. Then I switched to another device.
Why this works
The reason why this works is that in order for you to be able to watch the free movie, they have to allow you to download the Gogo app (many people don’t realize before they get on the plane that they will need it). So a temporary portal to wifi internet is opened, giving you enough time to download and set up the app. So simple. 

Of course this is a hack, so try it at your own risk – and who knows how long it will last. But now you know how to get wifi while traveling.

Happy internet browsing, Nav.igators!


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