February 21, 2014

Whoa. I guess this is really happening. I am going to FinCon. It’s been a wild few weeks of ups and downs, thoughts and worries and I honestly thought I wasn’t going anywhere this year. A few weeks ago, I wrote Should debt bloggers go to FinCon?, a post in which I was debating if I should go and spend the money — and talking about my goal of going to Iceland for my 30th birthday.

Then I realized I owed some money to the IRS. Even though it’s a small amount, this prompted many discussions about my financial reality and what I could actually afford this year. And even though we aren’t technically married, and we have separate finances, I had to also consider the financial reality of my partner. He’s a musician, with a highly fluctuating schedule and income. After really looking at the numbers, I realized we couldn’t afford Iceland this year. Yes, it’s only $679 to get there, with the music pass for the festival. BUT I would still need to get to Seattle, get a hotel and have spending money. Iceland is not cheap and it would be generous to say we could spend $100 a day. Given the time frame of the music festival in Iceland, and the flights available, we’d need to stay at least a week. That would be at least another $700 to save. In addition, my partner doesn’t have vacation time, and I don’t know if I would have that much time by then also. This means we’d need to actually save for the loss of income as well.
In short, we weren’t financially prepared for this at all. It was a pipe dream I thought I could turn into reality, but the money wasn’t there. I wasn’t willing to significantly lower my debt payments to make this happen. I couldn’t justify putting my partner in that situation, nor could I afford to support him if he ran out of money.

So for a milli second, I had my own pity party because I thought I wasn’t going to Iceland and Fincon. Those were the 2 goals I was most excited about for this year. I felt deflated, and embarrassed that I was even sad about it (hello firstworldproblems).

Then a few days ago, my mom texted me:

I really think if you want to further your blog and your writing, you should go to FinCon. I can help.

I ignored the text for a little while. I couldn’t get help from her. So I called her and we chatted, and she really WANTED to do it. She was borderline pressuring me. I have to say I think my mom is my biggest fan and is always telling me how much she enjoys my writing and how proud she is of me. And to think I almost kept my blog a secret from her! So I accepted her generous offer.

My parents couldn’t afford to help me out with college, but they have been so generous and supportive in a lot of other ways. I am their only child and they put a lot of love and energy towards me. I knew if she covered the $200 ticket (before prices go up to $250!), that I could probably travel hack my way to a free flight (this will be my first venture into this!), and could use side hustle income for spending. I will also split a hotel room with someone to save on money. I am going to make this work in the most frugal way I can, while also furthering my blog, and writing dreams. I realized that the cost of FinCon and Iceland weren’t comparable. Iceland would be a crazy awesome experience, but financially it would be much more than we have available at the moment. FinCon will further my goals, and will be relatively inexpensive with this help and hopefully a free flight.

Are you going to FinCon? If so, introduce yourself. Let’s “meet” before we meet.

Lastly, I might be a little MIA this weekend on the blog front. I will be reading your blogs/comments/tweets, etc but will be hustling my booty off this weekend.

I’m working an additional 24 hours in 2.5 days. Even though I said I wasn’t going to work 7 days a week anymore after this post, this situation arose where I accepted a gig, then got offered another gig and didn’t want to turn it down. So I just need to survive this crazy weekend!

I am working tonight from 9pm – 3am at my crazy mini golf adventure, then tomorrow working as a brand ambassador from 10am – 8pm, then Sunday doing the same thing from 10am – 6pm. I am tired just thinking about it. I am really not looking forward to working a 10-hour shift on 5 hours of sleep. But I know this is temporary, and I am going back to working 6 days a week after this. The money made from this weekend will be pretty good, so I need to remember why I am doing this.

All of this work includes talking to people, while standing on my feet, so it requires a lot of energy. I will most likely come home, take a bath, go to sleep and not talk to anyone, haha. As an extrovert, this work is good for me, but even I have my limits πŸ˜‰ I see myself getting more introverted as I get older which is weird. Which brings me back to wanting to pursue freelance writing and trying to stay home more!

That’s my update! What’s new with you? Any fun plans for the weekend to share? I want to live vicariously through you!


Melanie is a freelance writer currently living in Portland, Oregon. She is passionate about education, financial literacy, and empowering people to take control of their finances. She writes about breaking up with debt, freelancing, and side hustle adventures at DearDebt.com.

Currently she puts more than 50% of her income towards debt, while living a frugal, fun life. In addition to her love of personal finance, art and music, she is also a karaoke master. Follow the adventure @DearDebtBlog.

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43 responses to “I’m going to FinCon!”

  1. Morgaine says:

    That is so nice of your Mom! I’m not going to FinCon but I hope you have a great time πŸ™‚
    Morgaine recently posted…Weekly Spending: February 10 – 16My Profile

  2. Michelle says:

    I’m so glad that you’re going to FinCon! Your mom is so nice to help you out with that. It is really worth it. I’m going as well so we have to hang out! πŸ™‚
    Michelle recently posted…Reason to Have an Emergency Fund: Medical EmergenciesMy Profile

  3. That’s so great your mom is a fan and helping you out. And it’s a write off as well, if that helps any, and you can definitely travel hack a flight pretty easily. Try southwest. 2 domestic flights if you spend 2k in three months.
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…Why Do We Work So Hard?My Profile

  4. YAY I’M SO EXCITED! Glad you decided to come, friend πŸ™‚

    Sorry about Iceland πŸ™ Debt is such a downer.
    Erin @ Red Debted Stepchild recently posted…Eating My Financial WordsMy Profile

  5. That’s great your mom is helping you out! I probably won’t be going to FinCon for a few years. It’s sounds both scary and exciting. Good luck making it through the next few days!
    Kasey @ Debt Perception recently posted…14 Month Progress UpdateMy Profile

    • deardebt says:

      It’s seriously awesome and giving me the confidence to go through with this thing. I’m scared now that I realize it’s real, haha. Thanks for the luck — I will need that and some rest!

  6. I think it’s awesome you are going to FinCon this year! Iceland will always be around but this will be a wonderful opportunity for you and your blog Melanie! πŸ™‚ Too cute that your mom is such a fan of your writing. She may be your second biggest fan since I know I am your first biggest fan! πŸ˜‰
    Girl Meets Debt recently posted…Debt of a Credit ScoreMy Profile

    • deardebt says:

      The Iceland Airwaves festival is every year, too, so I will go when I can actually have a good time and not stress. My mom is adorable. And you are too sweet! You are such a great supporter and inspiration!

  7. It can classed be a career move, and Iceland as well as FinCon was a bit much for one year. I am glad you figured it out… and that your Mom is so supportive πŸ™‚ I’m a little envious of your travel to FinCon, but I’ll see you next year for sure!
    Alicia @ Financial Diffraction recently posted…Yakezie Challenge – Three Months Later.My Profile

  8. E.M. says:

    Awesome news all around, except about Iceland. Maybe next year? I think it’s adorable your mom wanted to help you out, I love it! My parents know that I have a blog related to personal finance, but I’ve never shared the link with them. They’re supportive, but they’re kind of clueless about blogging overall, and I’m not sure if they would understand going to a conference for it.

    But you did give me an idea…I can always request it as a birthday present! Hopefully by July I’ll have a better idea of where I’ll be later in the year. Good luck on working through the weekend. I admire your determination!
    E.M. recently posted…How I Plan to Reach Financial IndependenceMy Profile

    • deardebt says:

      Yes, ask for it for birthday, or early Xmas. Useful gifts are the best gifts. My mom is so sweet and I’m really excited for this opportunity. I’m bummed about Iceland, but think I would have been too stressed. There is no point in going, if you are just going to worry about money.

  9. That’s so great that you are going! And that your mom is being super supportive! Hope you have lots of fun!
    Amanda @ Passionately Simple Life recently posted…Snow Day!!!My Profile

  10. I will be at FinCon too. Hope to meet you there. I have always wanted to go to New Orleans. I am so excited.

  11. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT! I’m so excited you’re going! We certainly have to meet. I may be looking for a roommate if my husband cannot come. We’re still debating if it would be a good deal for him to go.
    Michelle @fitisthenewpoor recently posted…In Defense of My Gym MembershipMy Profile

    • deardebt says:

      I’m excited too! I just confirmed my roommate for FinCon, sorry I jumped on an opportunity. It would be cool if your hubby could go — my partner isn’t going because I want to devote 100% to the conference and networking. But I could see how it could be a fun vacay, too.

  12. Jackie says:

    That’s cool of your mom πŸ™‚

    I am looking for a roommate for it (and already have a room booked.) Email me if you’re interested πŸ™‚
    Jackie recently posted…$40,000 in Student Loans, Gone!My Profile

  13. I really want to go, I’m just worried that if I go ahead and buy a ticket, I’ll wind up booking a show that conflicts so I’m waiting until the last minute :/

  14. I understand about not wanting to take help from parents. I consider myself very independent and it PAINS me whenever I’ve had to ask for even a little help from my parents. I got myself into this and they shouldn’t have to get me out! But it is great to have parents that support you in other ways and you know they’ll be there to help in whatever ways they can if you truly NEED them! πŸ™‚
    Shoeaholicnomore recently posted…Organizing Food: Part 2My Profile

    • deardebt says:

      It is nice to know I have their support, and that they are there for me. I don’t like getting help and am fiercely independent. But I think this is a good reason, professionally, to accept a little bit!

  15. Gina says:

    Yay! So excited for you. Your mom rocks. πŸ™‚
    Gina recently posted…Four Benefits You Gain From Living the Expat LifeMy Profile

  16. That’s awesome that you’ll be going to FinCon, and even more so that your mom is willing to help out! Gotta love parents that are willing to support your goals (and I don’t mean financially). I don’t know for sure if we’ll be going yet. It’s about an 8 hour drive to NoLa, and we had been planning to take a trip there, so it might be something we try to do. Kill two birds with one stone, kind of thing.
    Ryan @ Impersonal Finance recently posted…get to know your blogger- Cashville SkylineMy Profile

  17. anna says:

    Aww, that is so sweet and generous of your mom!! And so exciting for you for going to FinCon!! I can’t wait to hear all the details with how you plan this trip frugally. Good luck with all your side hustles this week… and be sure to get some rest. πŸ™‚
    anna recently posted…The Great Ball and Chain Acquisition (or, I’m Married!)My Profile

  18. Fun! I never go to FINCON, but New Orleans is a really cool city so you’ll have tons of fun.
    Daisy @ Add Vodka recently posted…Alcohol at Weddings: Open Bars, Cash Bars, and Limited MenusMy Profile

  19. Woohoo!! Congrats on going to FinCon!! Your Mom is awesome! I bet that’s going to make your weekend hustle a little easier!
    Ron @RunningFromDebt recently posted…Happy Valentine’s DayMy Profile

  20. I just heard about FinCon by reading another blog. I think it’s fantastic that there are enough financial bloggers in the US that you can hold a convention! I only wish it was the same here in Australia!

    My million dollar blog seems so insignificant compared to what others are doing overseas. I just wish I could get more local resources/ideas from a convention etc.
    Mr Ikonz @ Project Ikonz recently posted…Hiring tools or buying tools – which way do I save the most money?My Profile

    • deardebt says:

      I’m really excited about FinCon! It should be a great experience. Start looking for local bloggers and start a meetup. That’s been great for me.

  21. Tony Rapley says:


    It’s funny how parallel our lives are. I’m also turning 30 this year. FinCon and my 30th birthday trip to Ghana were my top priorities this year πŸ™‚ I too was decisive about forking out the money but I see it as a career decision that will help me develop the blog, lol as you can see I don’t have as many comments as you πŸ™‚ I still have some room to grow.

    I can’t wait to meet you girl!
    Tony Rapley recently posted…The Frugal Fab 5 is on Tour Delivering Proven Methods for Improving Your FinancesMy Profile

    • deardebt says:

      It will be awesome to meet you in person and be great for networking and our blogs. I am so impressed with your content, design, and branding. You are doing great! See you there πŸ™‚

  22. YAY!!! I would love to meet you there! πŸ™‚
    Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans recently posted…WTW: 5 Tips for Smooth Wedding PlanningMy Profile

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