Who Plans for a Pandemic?

Nav.igating Our New Normal

Nav.it | 01 April 2020

Disease is a silent invasion; the war is waged in hospitals and many of us find ourselves safely hunkered down in our homes. We play our role by maintaining six feet between us and the nearest grocery store patron, wondering when the next load of toilet paper will be delivered or exactly how many people have to touch the ground beef before we do.

The new normal is familiar for some of us. It’s very strange for others. All of us are doing our best to nav.igate it and we thought we’d share how our team (and folks we know) are making the best of it. 

First, we talked with Erin, Nav.it’s CEO.

She’s a single urban city dweller living in Seattle, Washington. It already feels like ages ago, but Seattle was the original epicenter of the virus and she experienced closures early. First it was her son’s school. Ever try to run a startup with a youngster at home? It’s tough to develop a curriculum on the fly while balancing all of the requirements of a business. Did we mention that the Nav.it money app launched in the middle of this madness? Erin handled it with ease – and shared her Covid-19 Survival Kit. In fact, she discovered a few bright sides. 

“Ironically,” she tells us, “My budget actually benefited. I haven’t filled my car with gas for a month, we aren’t spending on random trips to the coffee shop, and we’re not eating out.”

We asked if she had to splurge on anything. She said, “I had a big ticket purchase of groceries but that has lasted us for a while now; we only spend on the fresh food weekly.” She continued, “We may see an increase in our utilities because we’re at home more now, but that’s to be seen.”

She’s working exclusively from home, and for those that need an office this can be an unexpected expense if you aren’t outfitted with the necessary equipment. Luckily, she was able to scrape together a workable office.

“I was able to refit my new home office with furniture we had stored in our basement, so the only home office purchase I had to make was a printer, mainly for my son’s homework. It’s actually a good exercise to see what items we really didn’t need in a month.”

The only thing they really miss? 

“Our friends,” Erin replies. “We really miss them, but virtual playdates will have to do for now.”

Next we asked how Emily, Nav.it’s Digital Director, is managing from her home in Florida. 

“Lucky me, I worked almost entirely by distance before the pandemic started,” she explained. 

“I think that’s a benefit of working in the tech industry. A lot of us work with remote teams. I have an awesome home office and all the tools to comfortably accommodate clients.”

When asked how her financial picture has changed, she also tends toward the bright side. 

“I was medically retired from the military but my husband is still a ‘mission essential’ active duty service member. We’re scheduled to move to our next duty station in April. Although I don’t want to travel 1500 miles with toddlers through coronavirus hot spots, the requirement to move set us up for success back in February. All of our legal documents were updated, taxes were done, home and vehicle maintenance completed. We budgeted for those things early in the year.”

Like the rest of us, she highlights unexpected changes.

“I work remotely, but I have to be responsive to multiple time zones. I work full days and my boys go to daycare. Daycare has since closed, and that’s been our biggest challenge. They’re two and three so they require a lot of attention. They’re super resilient, and love hanging out with mom and dad at this age. Balancing kids and work is the biggest challenge, but it’s actually a lot of fun. I love getting roped into their adventures and imagination.” 

Maia, Nav.it’s CMO, agrees that she has also seen improvement to her overall savings.

She’s riding out the pandemic in ski paradise Sun Valley, which became Coronavirus Ground Zero in the state of Idaho. Although that was something of a shock, Maia is thankful. While many people remain trapped indoors, she has a healthy way to socially distance and keep mentally sane while being pummeled daily by pandemic news: skiing.

“It’s still snowing,” she tells us. “It’s melting in town, but the weather is perfect for my trails north.
It’s been the ideal escape .”

She continues, “I’ve actually been able to transfer a larger percentage of income this month into my Fundrise portfolio and am waiting (not so patiently) with some extra reserves to pull the trigger on some additional stocks. The most significant change is our dining out budget.”

She explains that her partner purchases most of their weekly grocery supplies, and until the pandemic hit she contributed to dining and “weekend experiences.” 

“I’ve been contributing more to the grocery budget,” she says, “and I’ve also gotten pretty creative on beauty and wellness. I’ve actually started to enjoy my self-allotted mani/pedi ‘appointments’ and honestly I might head to the salon less after this thing is over.”

Our team has been very fortunate to experience only mild setbacks due to the virus.

Our friends in New York City have encountered an especially difficult time.

Healthcare professionals and first responders continue to plead for more resources and we know everyone in the city is doing their best to flatten the curve. The city is taking a beating, and so is the airline industry. Our friend Tamp, a commercial pilot based out of NYC, is caught in the crossfire.

“I’m healthy, but I’m locked in my apartment and I got furloughed,” Tamp tells us. 

The aviation industry is cyclical. When it’s good, it’s very good. There are lean years, which many aviation professionals plan for. Tamp is one of them. 

“Leading up to the pandemic I was qualifying in a new jet and broke my wrist. I made up the shortfall in my budget by day trading. It was paying me more than my airline job. I actually quit the airlines once before in 2013 to be a day trader. I made money, but doing it full time was miserable.” 

Tamp planned to never give up the salary job again, and he’s already looking to his next opportunity. 

“I might have a DC-9 Captain gig lined up with a cargo outfit,” he reveals. “Plus I made some pretty good money off of derivatives in the past month. I’m not a sympathetic character,” he jokes. 

That’s why we love Tamp. He lost his job but he’s confident with his money moves and accommodated the change to weather the storm…from lockdown in the heart of the Covid-19 epicenter, no less. 

We know we’re incredibly fortunate and that many are experiencing conditions much worse than ours. How are you nav.igating your new normal? Tell us on social @letsnavit or message us here. 

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