Why I’m Not Buying a Ticket to FinCon19 (& FinCon18 Recap)

Apologies for not linking out to all the amazing people and friends I saw at FinCon18! My internet is very dodgy currently, making my usual habit of 20+ tabs for hyperlinking purposes untenable. Know that I’m thinking of you. <3

At the end of FinCon17, I immediately bought my ticket for FinCon18. Meeting so many of my internet friends at the same time, in one place, was amazing.

At FinCon18, it was much the same, plus a ton of those friends got Plutus Awards this year (or were finalists)!

So why no FinCon19?

FinCon is Based Around Growing Your Business

And this blog cannot currently be considered a business. There are plenty of sessions on content, or activities like FinX focused on consumer finance challenges, but it’s hard to argue that the overall theme of FinCon is anything other than business.

Without a business to focus on, the majority of FinCon is superfluous. With the number of sessions, breakout events, and random meetups, you won’t have trouble filling your time with great experiences, but you definitely won’t get as much bang for your buck.

Community is Great, but Resorts are Expensive

I treated both FinCon17 and FinCon18 as vacations. They were just expensive, solo vacations. The FinCon17 pass was just under $200 with the early bird rate, and for FinCon18 I had a Speaker Pro Pass comped. The real costs are the flights and hotel, though, with a block rate hotel room for FinCon18 coming in at just under $200 A NIGHT. Having one or more roommates definitely helps (or finding a large AirBnB to split), but without a lot of planning or sacrifice, it’s still not cheap.

My flights were covered with reward points, but those can’t be considered “free,” since the points would otherwise be used to visit family or travel the world. Tag on Lyft to/from the airport and other random expenses, and you’re looking at just under a thousand dollars out of pocket for one person, sharing a room, to attend FinCon.

I love the community, really, I do. I love how The Plutus Foundation gives grants in the name of financial literacy and public service projects. I love how you can easily find your tribe via Slack or the FinCon Facebook group. On a superficial level, I love how I was able to snag a Bitches Get Riches tote (already used to haul Maypo across state lines to my mother, where my first words were “you can’t keep the bag!”), an early access Cents Positive sticker, and a limited edition Bowie Oh My Dollar cat sticker.

 

laptop with stickers and bitches get riches tote bag

I have the best friends

For Me, It Makes Sense

There’s no one right way to do anything besides thread toilet paper, and that definitely covers conferences. While not planned (because hoo boy is this recap late), it’s fitting that this post is being published on World Mental Health Day. What I need right now is heads-down internal reflection, and FinCon this year was not a good choice.

We’re currently financially independent, and I’m on day 16 of an eight week sabbatical (sixth day staying around Acadia National Park). This is the sabbatical where I wanted to create big, meaty projects like apps, essays, or really dig into new tooling for this site. I’m over a quarter done with my sabbatical and have done none of that. Granted, the WiFi in this cabin is spotty to say the least, but writing, even on a Chromebook, does not require the internet.

Call it a funk, burnout, or a quarter life crisis, I need to get my shit together.

Know what I enjoyed most about FinCon18? The excuse to take a quick bus ride to see my college roommate and high school friend that I haven’t seen for six years. Why haven’t I done that before? Seriously, where are my values?

I write a fair bit about spending money in a way that makes sense to you. Hell yes we spent $5k on a scuba trip with my grandparents (twice), and if their health recovers we’ll absolutely do it again. Hell no we don’t spend hundreds of dollars a year on cell phone plans when wifi is plentiful. So why was FinCon such an easy “yes” when I could have been using that time to visit friends (internet and otherwise) and family?

Instead of planning on FinCon next year, I’m planning on more travel to and with the people I love. Plus, you know, figuring out how I want to spend the rest of my life (and lots of Fluffster cuddles, obviously).

pensive Fluffster the golden retriever on a rock

Fluffster working that smize in Acadia

For other FinCon recaps that actually recap FinCon, check out Josh’s post and Liz’s post + roundup!

18 thoughts on “Why I’m Not Buying a Ticket to FinCon19 (& FinCon18 Recap)

  1. I don’t either! And I’m picky about stickers on my laptop but I love that one 🙂 And love those other stickers you got as well (Go Cents Positive!). Vaadin was giving out shirts at the last conference and I snagged one but I prefer the sticker.

    • Haha, so glad I’m not the only weirdo advertising them because I like the sticker 😁

      My other stickers are another Oh My Dollar cat sticker, a monster knitting a sweater, and an Acadia National Park sticker, obviously. 😃

    • Alaska is definitely on my short list of places I want to see. Salmon and auroras? Yes, please!

      I’d definitely need to up my pun repertoire beforehand. Always good to learn some phrases in the local language. 😉

  2. I love this post, because it kind of encapsulates all my thoughts about going, too. I sold my ticket this year, because I prioritized a big trip instead. But still, I obviously could have swung the money. My husband and I talked about it, and we decided that it would be a fantastic yet expensive way to hang out with my online friends. We didn’t think I’d get anything out of the business parts, because I’m happy with how I run my blog already. I don’t want to do the things that I’m supposed to do to have a “successful” blog. It’s already successful in my eyes! Anyway, glad you shared another perspective, and I will definitely see you the next time I’m in your city!

    • I think your blog is already successful as well! 😄

      But yeah, unless you were looking to meet up with specific brands or promote a big project, business-wise I’m not sure what you’d get out of FinCon besides the social aspect. Meeting up with internet friends can be done a number of ways (many of which involve more one-on-one quality time, which is my personal favorite). And yes absolutely we’ll need to meet! Hopefully when I’m in NYC in November (I’ll DM 😃)

  3. Ah yes, I have so many of the same thoughts. I ended up selling my ticket to Fincin, since I decided I’d rather spend an extra $1000 on my trip to Hawaii with one of my closest friends. I’m enjoying my mini retirement, that it will likely be a permanent move for me. While we can totally afford that, I’d rather be a bit picky about where I spend my money.

  4. It’s a tougher and tougher call every year, frankly. This next year was fiches by the fact that it’s in DC, which I’ve been wantin. To go back to anyway. This way I can write off the flight as a business expense. But otherwise… I love seeing my Internet friends but is it worth $1k? Prob not

    • I might be slightly sour on FinCon this year just because I don’t like Florida 😅

      DC is a much more appealing destination to me (and hey, I did say “not buying” vs. “definitely not going” 😉 ) FinCon19 sounds like a great excuse to see DC again for you!

  5. Every year I think it would be cool to go, but I also am not willing to spend that kind of money to go. I decided that if it was in Boston, I’d go, so I wouldn’t have to spend money on flights or hotels. I’d love to meet all the PF folks in person, but it’s not a conference that would benefit me in my career (PF blogging is just for fun sharing my experiences with others).

  6. Even with the shivers you caused, I’m glad we had FinCon 17!

    FinCon 19 is probably a big no for much of the same reasons but I really enjoyed the two that I’ve been to and I did increase earnings by a little bit because of attending FinCon 16. I’d be open to considering some similar conference in the future if it’s not just an expensive solo vacation 🙂

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