My four-hour flight to Charlotte, NC for FinCon 15, the premiere personal finance bloggers’ conference, was spent sitting next to a high powered couple. They were on their way to see the Republican candidates that had a lively scrap the night before in the CNN debate. I mentioned that I was going to a conference for financial peeps with missions to teach money skills and responsibility. The woman laughed skeptically while saying, “Good Luck!” I wanted to say, “No really. It’s possible. We inspire and teach people to transform their lives.” But I was too tired.
My taxi ride from the airport to the hotel at 11:45 pm was laden with a somewhat resentful interrogation of my activities and entire life by the cab driver from Iraq. Awkward. We arrived in downtown Charlotte and he stopped in front of the hotel that I booked for one night because it was much cheaper than the fancy Westin. Now, I was sooooo tired that I forgot exactly how the taxi payment protocol should go down. My exhausted brain told me that I should wait til he took my suitcase out of the trunk. But he just sat there. And I just sat there. Did I mention it was now midnight? He broke the silence with his firm demand. “Give me the money.” I said, “Aren’t you going to get my suitcase out of the trunk?” He repeated slowly and firmly. “Give. Me. The. Money. ” So I got scared and gave him the money.
This money driven verbal scuffle inspired another blog I recently wrote called “Did your Loan Go Bad?”
Somehow, the taxi scenario felt apropos for the kickoff of FinCon 15. Paying off your debts. Work for your money. Strength. Doing the right thing. Don’t take any crap that will negatively affect your finances. These are a few elements of what FinCon and it’s financial blogging community is all about.
I arrived at the conference and was so happy to get a welcome packet with a REAL, (yes, Real) ten-dollar bill that was supposed to cover lunch for the first day. How great is that?! The $399 registration fee was already completely worth it just to get that $10.
It was almost time to go into sponge mode and soak it all up. But first, I had to find some of my fellow personal finance bloggers that I like to retweet.
So where was J.Money? The Mohawk Man with royal status as the creator and genius behind RockStarFinance.com and BudgetsAreSexy.com. I scanned the crowd looking for spikes at mop top level. I wondered if he had a domain name for the remaining leg of the sex, drugs and rock n’ roll triad in his back pocket. Budgetjunkie.com perhaps? Then I spotted him. And wouldn’t you know….he’s a hugger. A great guy right from the start as I suspected. It was truly an honor.
Synchronicity kicked in big time at FinCon 15. I had something in common with just about everyone I met. Entertainment Bloggers, DO-Gooders, Strugglers, Hat People, Homies, Musicians, Leapers like Tess Vigeland…… and on and on.
About a year ago, I was on Twitter and saw a Crowdfunding campaign requesting donations to a film called “Broke Busted and Disgusted.” The Dogz were suckers based on their love of snappy names and the wish to help out some (hopefully) very intelligent young graduates making a film to highlight student debt issues. Good for them! Well……guess what film was being debuted at FinCon 15 for it’s second showing ever? Yep. “Broke, Busted and Disgusted.” Shut Up!! 😮 !
So, how was it? Let’s just say that it was a shocker. It was way, way beyond my expectations as far as the production of a quality film. The filmmaker, Adam Carroll, could only show us about half of the movie because of time constraints, but the segment we saw was amazing. It was incredibly professional, well thought out and directed. It obviously came from the perspective of someone with the expertise of a true professional. The audience members were so bedazzled by the segment, they were on board 200% to help him distribute the film…. without even seeing the rest of the movie 🙂 So, go see Adam’s “Broke, Busted & Disgusted” !! Increase your own awareness so you can help contribute to the solution. Better yet, help him distribute the film!! Oh, and look for MoneyDogz listed in the credits at the end 🙂
Now just back off all you complete strangers that want to hop on the gravy train and come after me for a buck or two. I am extra choosey on my donation recipients 🙂
FinCon 15 was an excellent conference. Philip Taylor of PTMoney.com and his team did a great job organizing and executing the event. He has created a united kingdom of personal finance bloggers singing kumbaya. On top of that.. Great snacks, especially the mini hot dogs. Great speakers. Great coffee availability. Great breakfasts. Great programming. Great networking opportunities. Great availability of session videos afterwards.
The Dogz are already scheduled for FinCon 16 next year in San Diego, CA. The tails are wagging with anticipation of another excellent conference. Plus, they will be sure to squeeze in a trip to the famous San Diego Zoo! Woof!