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.
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.
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).