Stretch Goal: FinCon 2014!

I have absolutely devoured all the FinCon13 recap posts in my RSS reader this week!  I know some of the writers think they are boring/tedious for their readers, but since I “know” so many of the participants it’s interesting to me to hear about them hanging out together.  I am considering buying the Virtual Pass so I can at least learn from the presentations, although I know that the in-person networking is the more important aspect of the conference.




By coincidence, at the same time FinCon13 was going on, I was at a retreat with my church.  While there, I met a woman who has an internet business that she launched a couple years ago and she recently became completely self-employed.  She was telling me how she has been attending conferences in her niche about every other month and how valuable they are for her business.  I found myself wishing to be much more savvy about blogging and marketing than I currently am!  It was great to talk with her about the tactics she’s figured out.  If I could have such an awesome time talking with a stranger whose business is only tangentially related to mine, how much more fun would I have with my internet friends working to improve all our blogs?


I have been to scientific conferences in the past and found them valuable if exhausting.  It really is amazing how much more you can learn from talking with people face-to-face than you will from a paper, and it’s great to get feedback on work in progress.  At the last conference I went to I was able to meet up with a previous advisor, which was awesome.  If just knowing one person at a conference could be so wonderful, I’m sure I would have a blast at one where I’m familiar with a large percentage of the attendees.


I am setting a goal to attend FinCon14 and pay for it with earnings from EPF.  I considered going this year but as we hadn’t even earned enough to cover our expenses yet, I didn’t want to put our own money into it.  Last year (the first conference to occur after I started EPF) I just thought it was a weird idea and I didn’t have as many internet friends as I do now so I didn’t think it would be a good time.  I think by next year I could really get a lot out of FinCon now that I’m more established and I know a little more about blogging.  I sort of want Kyle to attend since I want him to take charge of the behind-the-scenes/business aspects of blogging, but as he doesn’t “know” the people in the PF blogosphere as well as I do it would probably be less fun for him.  Of course, he knows so much more about the running of the site itself than I do, and that comes in handy when talking about that part of the shop – as we learned when we met Cash Rebel and Kyle talked more than I did!


This is really a stretch goal for us as we only recently started making any money on EPF and it’s just a tiny trickle.  I’m definitely going to have to make some changes to reach this goal and put all of our earning aside for this purpose.


If you have ever been to a niche conference, what do you think was most valuable and did your business pay for your trip?  If you are a PF blogger haven’t attended FinCon, what kept you away?  What is your current stretch goal for your career/business?


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29 Responses to "Stretch Goal: FinCon 2014!"

  1. I attended FinCon for the first time this year and it was great. Our blog doesn’t really make much money, so this definitely came out of our travel budget, but it still felt like worthwhile and valuable spending. Hope to see you at FinCon14!
    Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies recently posted..Happy Friday – Happy Money: Make It A Treat

    1. Emily says:

      Yes, I hope we can finally meet next year! Did Mr. Pop attend as well? What do you think about me buying the virtual pass this year?

  2. Martin from Studenomics actually paid for me to attend a panel at a conference in exchange for writing about using it as a networking opportunity.

    1. Emily says:

      Oh, that’s interesting. What was his interest in having you write that?

      1. It all started when I had tweeted that I had wanted to attend the panel but the only way it was going to happen was if everybody else paid. His site is geared towards students and beginning professionals and he saw an opportunity for something that he didn’t have the experience to write about himself.
        Edward Antrobus recently posted..Save Money With Virgin Mobile

  3. Michelle says:

    This was my first FinCon, and I really think you should go next year. I learned so many things and actually have a to do list of things that I need to start tackling.

    Plus, I would love to meet you 🙂
    Michelle recently posted..Attending College as a Non-Traditional Student

    1. Emily says:

      I’m glad you got so much out of the conference and I’d love to meet you too! It’s strange how much better I know some of my blogger-friends than I know people I’ve met IRL and yet that is an important barrier. What do you think about me purchasing this year’s virtual pass – worth it?

  4. moneystepper says:

    Great goal. Based on the number of unbelievably positive posts this week, its certainly not something you’ll regret doing!
    moneystepper recently posted..Real wages in the UK – how inflation is impacting your salary

    1. Emily says:

      Do you think you’ll attend?

  5. What a cool idea: using your blog to pay for FinCon. I’ve never attended either, but part of me wants to go next year, too…
    Done by Forty recently posted..May Be Living In Peru for a While…

    1. Emily says:

      Well, in my mind if the blog isn’t making enough money it doesn’t deserve to go! Maybe we will get to meet there next year.

  6. I don’t have a particular budget for conferences so this was more a travel thing for me. I loved it though and learned so much that I can’t wait to apply. And it was so great meeting everyone and networking. I haven’t been to a ton of conferences, but this was by far the best I’d ever attended. And I’m talking even way more than conferences related to my “first” career as a video editor. Hope you can make it next year.

    1. Emily says:

      Wow, that is quite the recommendation! I hope to meet you there next year!

  7. By all accounts FinCon13 was a blast and while like you I followed it closely on social media and from “witness accounts” on blogs, there is certainly something about being there personally that probably shifts one perspectives not to mention the awesome networking opportunities…its certainly easier in person.
    Am sure you’ll make it to Fincon14, looking forward to it 🙂
    Simon @ Modest Money recently posted..Scottrade Review – Exclusive Review of Scottrade Investment Brokerage

    1. Emily says:

      I agree, the accounts are only a shadow of what the real experience is. Soon enough I’ll get to experience it too!

  8. Cash Rebel says:

    I’ve been reading all the FinCon recaps too with envy. I really want to go next year too! But I feel the same way as you about the blog paying for it. I’d like the blog to be self sufficient financially, though it’s not a huge deal either way.

    Let’s hold each other to actually attending next year. It’s so easy to come up with an excuse since it’s a little new and frightening, but I haven’t heard anyone say a negative word about it yet, so im sure it would be great. Best of luck making enough ad revenue to finance the trip. I suppose it really would be a business expense so it would be tax deductible.
    Cash Rebel recently posted..Getting past the hype of clean diesel – Is diesel worth it?

    1. Emily says:

      You’re on! Let’s talk more through email.

  9. That sounds like a good goal to strive for. I too would like to attend next year. It would be great to see so many people I read blogs from in person!
    Tara @ Streets Ahead Living recently posted..Falling in love with an old love

    1. Emily says:

      Yes, I hope to see you there!

  10. […] @ Evolving Personal Finance writes Stretch Goal: FinCon 2014! – I am setting a goal for myself to earn enough money through EPF so that I can attend FinCon […]

  11. Kylie Ofiu says:

    Oh FinCon is worth every penny! I couldn’t make it this year due to personal circumstances but I fly from Australia to attend and LOVE it!!! I recommend it to everyone and it is my favourite conference. I am definitely attending next year.

    Good luck with your goal to pay for it through your blog. That is what I did, actually I got blog sponsorship from a business to attend, so my blog did pay for it, but I sought the sponsorship out.

    So much better to meet bloggers in person. The friendships and connections I have made from it far surpass anything I could have managed online.
    Kylie Ofiu recently posted..My Biggest Money Mistakes This Year

    1. Emily says:

      I’m glad to have such a ringing endorsement! How did you seek out that sponsorship?

  12. […] payout in December that we weren’t expecting until January, which kind of bummed me out.  I want to pay for FinCon14 with my 2014 income only, I decided, so we’re a bit further away with the earlier […]

  13. […] well on our way to paying for my ticket to FinCon14 with progress this […]

  14. […] Pretty good income still this month, but things don’t look so good for next!  I’m going to have to figure out some other sources if I want to pay for FinCon14. […]

  15. […] above, I’m so tempted to get this card.  I even looked up how many points it would take to buy my flight to FinCon14, and it would be covered by just the sign-up bonus (the cash costs are upwards of $400, not […]

  16. […] like you to use one of the links on this post to sign up because it will help me meet my goal of using blog income to pay for my trip to the financial bloggers conference in 2014.  🙂  But honestly, we’ve had such smooth experiences with this card that I have no qualms […]

  17. […] month I purchased my flight to FinCon14!  My goal of paying for this conference only with blog earnings started out well at the beginning of the year but is looking dicey now.  Maybe I can make up for […]

  18. […] Thursday through Saturday last week, I attended FinCon14, the financial bloggers conference. I knew that I would learn a ton during the conference, both through the sessions and through meeting my fellow bloggers, but I had no idea I would come […]

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