I always thought it was strange to spend a bunch of money (or points) to attend a conference about saving money.
ThinkSaveRetire.com started in late 2014. Despite years of blogging, I’ve never attended a single Financial Conference (FinCon) put on by the one and only Philip Taylor of PTMoney.com.
In case you don’t know, FinCon is basically THE conference to attend if you’re in the personal finance blogging community. Hundreds of bloggers, as well as financial companies, converge on a hotel and spend a few days putting on presentations and basically talking about money. Bloggers routinely network with each other. For many, it’s the very first time we meet one another in person. It’s a ton of fun, they say, and filled with late nights talking, laughing and generally bullshitting with your fellow bloggers.
But yet, I resisted going.
Why I refused to go
For the first couple of years after joining this awesome community of money bloggers, I refused to go because it was tough for me to reconcile the cost and, basically, the stuff that we blog about each and every day. Saving money. Spending less. Minimizing.
Honestly, I found it funny that so many bloggers willingly spent hundreds of dollars to attend a conference about saving money.
But through it all, there was this little inkling of doubt in the back of my head. Maybe it’s worth going? Virtually every blogger raves about the experience afterward. The networking is amazing. People are having fun chatting with each other until the wee morning hours. Podcasts explode with new guests and on-the-fly interviews. There’s just a lot going on.
But still, the money…
Why I am going to FinCon17
Eventually, I realized that I was being dumb. Or perhaps more accurate, I wasn’t practicing what I preach on this blog. I kept focusing on the money.
But, personal finance isn’t just about money.
Yes, money is a large part of personal finance, but there’s also another part that I was ignoring: Value. I completely ignored the potential value that I would get out of attending the conference. What if I attend the conference and wind up doing business with another blogger, a relationship that never would have materialized if I hadn’t decided to go?
Or, maybe I’ll jump into a podcast that will get my blog out there even more than it already is. Ideas abound at these types of conferences. Maybe I need to put myself in a position to soak up the wisdom from my fellow bloggers.
How much potential for success does this conference provide?
Long story short, I don’t know the answer to that question. But, that’s also why I am going this year. I spend a LOT of time in the personal finance community, and I owe it to myself to at least check this mad house out for myself instead of reading people’s post mortems. I need to be there and observe for myself what value this conference truly has.
I think there’s a reason why so many folks are repeat attendees.
Who knows whether or not I’ll be a repeat attendee. But, I am determined to put myself in a position to determine that answer once and for all.
Dallas – here I come.
P.S. If you’re going too, I want to meet you. Whoever you are, let’s meet. My wife and I are flying in on Wednesday and staying through Saturday and leaving Sunday. I’ll be hanging out with J$ a lot during the conference, but I want to meet everyone. Let’s have a blast, shall we?
Steve is a 38-year-old early retiree who writes about the intersection of happiness and financial independence. Steve is a regular contributor to MarketWatch, CNBC, and The Ladders. He lives full-time in his 30′ Airstream Classic and travels the country with his wife Courtney and two rescued dogs.