Why I’m Going to FinCon 2016

I'm doing a LOT of travel in the next 8 weeks: Maine, San Diego, and London/Europe. People are really interested when I mention my upcoming travel and ask me what I'm doing.

The looks on their faces when I tell them I'm attending a conference and I'm EXCITED about it are priceless. I love watching people struggle to make sense out of it.

“So wait…. you're going to a conference, for fun.”
me: Yes
“And you don't have to go for work.”
me: nope!
“What is it about again?”
me: money and media
“And you're paying for this?”
me: Yep. Ironic, hey? I'm paying money to go talk about money!

Welcome to the madness that is FinCon!


What is FinCon, you ask?

FinCon is a peer conference for the money media community. At the annual event each Fall,

  • attendees connect with others in the community,
  • learn to create, promote, and profit from compelling online content, and
  • discover new trends in personal finance and investing.

I'm super pumped to do all those things and more, to include but not limited to the following reasons:

The People

Chicago Meetup
Chicago Meetup

I love love love LOVE going to FI meetups. Whether they're close to home or far away, being surrounded by people who not only get what you're trying to do but can also help is huge. So far, I've been to quite a few meetups: the Chautauqua in Ecuador, Camp Mustache III, the whole weekend in Omaha for the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, the nearby stop for the Phroogal roadtrip, and a meetup of Chicagoan Mustachians this last weekend. Most of the world seems hell bent on telling my why this crazy FI thing can't and won't happen. But when I'm at these events, I'm with people who encourage me and build me up. Who think getting started at such a young age is awesome.

I now have a network of genuine friends across the US to visit. My trip to Chicago this weekend was to hang out with friends I met in Ecuador. (It was a ton of fun AND the Cardinals beat the Cubs. Ha!) I'm flying to Maine over Labor Day to hang out with another set of friends from Ecuador. I might even be able to arrange a few meetups while I'm overseas on my trip to London/the rest of Europe coming up in October.

Some of these people I admire very much on a personal and professional level. They're where I want to be. I don't want to emulate my manager's manager's manager who has a huge house and plays golf all the time. I want to emulate these bloggers and other folk who retired early. What better way to get to know them than meet them in person!?

Plus, there's always the chance I meet a smart, attractive, financially sound, and funny single guy who's my age at one of these. Had to be said 🙂

FinCon is chocker block full of smart, talented, motivated and inventive people. Even looking over the list of speakers and other attendees has me feeling inspired. I'm part of the FinCon group on Facebook and I'm really looking forward to getting to meet them in the flesh and putting a name with a face. Plus….. expanding my network of people is always a great idea. Who knows, maybe someone will want to offer me a job or collaborate with me on something!?

The Knowledge

Every time I go to an event, I learn something. Usually, I learn many somethings. These tidbits of knowledge have helped alter the course of my life completely.

Are they out there on the internet? Mostly.

Would I have to spend a ton of time sifting through stuff that doesn't really apply to me? Absolutely.

Would they be personalized and tailored to my exact situation? Not a chance.

So far at these meetups, I've gotten more in-depth lessons about real estate, credit card churning, happiness, taxes, and long distance relationships.

The full schedule hasn't been released yet, but I can tell from the list of speakers I'm going to come away from the conference with to-do list of things to do, books to read, and posts to write. I want to be able to attend these meetings and walk away with something to share with you, my readers. Learning things for my own sake is great, but it's even better if I can impart the knowledge on to other people!

The Location



I'll stop shouting now, sorry. I'm just really, REALLY excited. Before this year, the furthest west on the continental US I'd be was Utah. Camp Mustache was in Seattle, so I've been to the Northwest, but I have yet to visit the Southwest. I've wanted to go to California for forever, and now I get to go!

My parents weren't exactly prolific vacation takers when I was growing up; Now that I'm on my own, FinCon is the first genuine reason I've had to go to California. I'm not one to take aimless vacations just to visit an area, so I'm very glad San Diego was chosen for FinCon this year.

Not to mention…… the hotel/conference center is right on San Diego Bay. I was going to have a roommate at the hotel, but then her plans changed and I needed to make alternate arrangements. I sent out a few emails about being roommates and Julie from Millennial Boss was the first one to respond. She jokingly mentioned staying in a houseboat, not knowing that I've always wanted to stay in a houseboat since I read a Boxcar Children book that featured one.

So, long story short, I'm staying in a houseboat on San Diego Bay for the entire conference!! Look at this beauty!


I'm super excited to hang out with Julie and her fiancé (going back to the people connections of the conference). So far, we've just been blogging buddies, so it'll be nice to actually get to meet in person and hang out for a few days.

San Diego is also home to Sea World, the San Diego Zoo (obviously) and the San Diego Padres. I don't really care about Sea World since they don't really treat their animals well, and I'm definitely not a Padres fan so I can skip seeing them. They will be having fireworks after the game against the Giants so I should be able to see those from the houseboat. That sounds really nice, actually. Sangria, great company, beautiful weather, and fireworks.

No, what I really, really, really want to go do is the Zoo!! I've heard it's amazing and I love spending time looking at cute animals. (Do they have otters? Because I think otters are my spirit animal.)

And, finally, I am your very typical Millennial and I'm addicted to Pokemon Go. I'm very much looking forward to catching some new Pokemon I haven't seen yet, and what better place to do that then right on the water? I also want to go to the Zoo because I'm willing to bet there are a metric crap ton of stops in a small area and it'd be great to stock up on items like I did this weekend in Chicago.

The Food

Namely, In-N-Out. Here in the Midwest, we have to suffer without the delectable delicacy known as In-N-Out. Instead, we have Steak N Shake which, from my understanding, is nowhere near as awesome as In-N-Out. My friends from the West Coast rave about it, and literally everyone I know that's had it tells me it's a must do item when I visit. So… I'm going to get it. And I'll probably end up like Seth Rogan from This is the End where he ends his gluten cleanse because it's so awesome. Although apparently I could get it as a lettuce wrap……. decisions, decisions.

I've also heard San Diego is great for Mexican food being as it's narrowly not Mexico, so I'm hoping I'll get some authentic tasty burritos or something.

So there you have it: all the reasons I want to go to FinCon this year. I can't wait!

Are you going? Why or why not? 

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16 thoughts on “Why I’m Going to FinCon 2016

  1. It’s great to go to conferences for you own enjoyment! I just went to Chef Conf on my own dime to grow and learn and had a wonderful time. You’ll have a blast, say hi to Nords for me!

  2. Steak N Shake is a million times more awesome than In N Out. Steak N Shake is also soon to be coming to California. I am stoked!

  3. Sadly I wasn’t able to attend last weekend’s Chicago meetup because I was on duty! My job (engineer at nuclear plant) requires me to be fit for duty (no alcohol, be within 1 hour of the plant) one out of every 8 weeks in case I’m needed to respond to something outside of normal working hours. Maybe next time I’ll be able to attend!

    Enjoy your trip to SD! San Diego is where I grew up and I miss it now that I can only visit once a year or so. Definitely recommend In-N-Out as well as Mexican food. Look for fish tacos as it’s a local specialty of San Diego and Baja California.

  4. I did not sign up for fincon because A.) not an exciting-to-me destination (I can drive to San Diego in a couple hours) B.) I don’t enjoy large crowds and C.) I’m not really in the ‘industry’. Do personal finance blogging FANS attend this things, or just bloggers? Hell, how many of us are there, “fans” who love reading this stuff and commenting, but don’t themselves blog? I’d wager not a large number.

    Of course, I do plan to enter the blogging space in the semi-near future, so, in bargain shopping fashion, maybe I’ll invest in the early bird pass next year.

  5. Mexican food recommendation: The adobada (and everything else) at Tacos El Gordo (either location, though I like the Chula Vista one more). It’s a bit out of the way and in the hood, but it’s damn good.

  6. Very jealous of you! I do not have the funds and think it is too early in my blogging career to attend but I have only heard fantastic stuff about it! I am hoping to go next year to meet fantastic people, learn a lot and enjoy the food/location. Have a great time and hopefully we will meet at one!

  7. Hi Gwen! I met you at the Chicago meetup. I’m the one who took the picture! I told you I’d look up your blog! Looking forward to reading about your travels!

  8. Your excitement for the city I live in is my favorite thing :’) And the fact that you’re excited for the San Diego Zoo makes me insanely happy! It’s the BEST. For the past year, my sis and I have had annual passes and it’s been so much fun. (I literally go once a week, haha) My sister now interns there so I can probably hook you up with 50% if you want 🙂 and of course, I’m always down to go if you’re looking for a zoo enthusiast to stare at the panda with you 😉 hahah. Can’t wait to meet you in person at FinCon next month! It’s my first conference that I’m going to alone and I’m SO nervous, hah. I almost bought a ticket for Alex just so I wouldn’t be alone LOL. I resisted the urge, but it feels nerve racking so I’m glad to hear that you’ve had so many good experiences 🙂

    • Wanna go Wednesday afternoon after I fly in and get the keys!?! There’s PANDAS at the Zoo!?! this is like the best news ever!

  9. I second everything you wrote. This will be my first FINCON but I have attended the Chautauqua, TBEX, and FTU in past. I love connecting with people who have similar passions and goals and conferences are a great way to do that AND learn. I LOL’d at the part about not wanting to be your boss’s boss’s boss with the big house and golf membership. True story. Also, I had no idea about the fireworks. So excited!! See you soon!

  10. Hi! I am excited for your trip to SD! Such a nice town. 🙂

    I am working towards FI myself but am having a hard time meeting like-minded individuals. I am not a blogger nor have I been to any retreats. Do you have any recommendations? Or maybe I should start blogging myself?

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