Last week, I had the pleasure of attending FinCon15 in Charlotte, North Carolina. If you’ve never heard of FinCon before, it is a conference where creators of digital media around personal finance get to meet and network; think bloggers, writers, podcasters, etc.
This was my first FinCon event. I was able to go because I was awarded a scholarship from generous donors and members of the FinCon community. The scholarships were awarded to new personal finance bloggers who have never attended FinCon before. And I got one of them so again, thank you Philip Taylor and members of the FinCon community for opening your arms to me!
What I Learned from FinCon15
The most exciting thing I took away from this experience were the new connections I made at the conference. I met several prominent bloggers, podcasters, writers, freelancers, etc., some of which are super successful in their fields. I also ‘fangirl-ed’ over meeting a few of my favourite bloggers such as Michelle from Making Sense of Cents, Pat from Smart Passive Income and Melanie from Dear Debt (just to name a few). They were super cool people online AND in real life. I had moments of ‘speechlessness’ from being starstruck quite honestly! And in my daze, I forgot to take pictures with them so you’ll just have to take my word for it.
Besides these new connections, I learned quite a lot about running this blog too. There were several classes and discussions about different aspects of the blogging space. I went to the ones pertaining to newbie bloggers. 😛
The highlight was my one-on-one mentoring session with Stefanie from The Broke and Beautiful Life. If you don’t know her or her blog yet, she is friggin amazing in every sense of the word. She was so much fun to hang out with and she really knows this space so I got a lot of useful tips to serve you, my readers, better. As successful as she is, she is still so down-to-earth. She recently wrote a book, The Broke and the Beautiful Life – Small Town Budget, Big City Dreams. She is an actress living in New York and has appeared in several prominent websites such as the Huffington Post, DailyWorth and the Wall Street Journal – a full-fledged money expert for millennials.
What are my 5 Biggest Takeaways from FinCon15?
1.The most successful bloggers that I aspire to were there and they were… well, normal people like me. They weren’t any better than me or smarter or more talented. And I am capable of being successful myself too! (Thanks Stefanie)
2. Scheduling DO NOTHING somewhere in my week is TOTALLY okay and actually REQUIRED. This was a gold nugget I got from Grant Baldwin, a successful speaker who talked about taking time to nourish ourselves because we don’t do it enough. If people ask you if you’re busy during that time, tell them ‘I’m busy doing nothing’ 🙂 (which will confuse them enough to stop nagging at you more)
3. This gold nugget was from Brian from Investor in the Family, one of the speakers there. I’ll leave the translation up to you but if you’re stuck, connect with me and we’ll chat about it.
4. If you hang around money nerds, your financial life will improve! It just will! (through the power of association *wink*)
5. Money nerds are actually cooler than you might think and they’re a fun (not to mention, rowdy) crowd to hang out with!
What does it mean for you readers now?
As the title implies, I feel like a smarter smart woman because I’m more solid on my plan in growing this blog.
As great as my finances are, I still have lots to learn. AND my financial situation is great because I learned a lot so far. So this is my starting point with you – to extend to you what I learned so far so you can put it into action now!
Rewind to 2012 (that was only 3 years ago) when I was over $52,000 in the hole in student loan and credit card debt, when I hadn’t cared to learn about the first thing in budgeting and saving, when I vicariously swiped my credit cards for “stuff” and when I spent most of my time hanging around with people who thought debt was okay. I can confidently say that I have transformed myself since then.
Read this… These are some of the unhealthy financial habits women in their 20’s are doing now that they want to change:
- Spending too much
- Not taking advantage of their time/youth
- Not saving money or not saving enough
- Not investing money
- Not planning for emergencies
- Depending on someone else (parents, spouse, government, job, etc.)
- Not making enough money
- Squandering their money on liabilities (new car for example)
- Thinking student loans are normal
- Buying things they don’t need
- Waiting to take action when… (eg. when I finish school, when I get a new job, when I get a raise, when my kids are older, etc.)
- BIGGEST ONE: Thinking you have enough time later in life to make-up and/or catch-up to your destructive money habits today.
If you relate to ANY of the things above AND you want to change, I want you! I want to help you shed some light on your own money. I want to help build your confidence in managing your money and making it your b**ch… instead of the other way around. I want you to be an empowered, smart woman who HAS choices. The question is, do you?
If you answered yes to the above, sign-up now for the Smart Woman email list where I update you on new posts and “goings-on” on the blog.
Thank you Charlotte, North Carolina for being such a gracious host and having warm, sunny days when I was there!