If you’ve been reading my blog for the past few months, you’ve heard me talk about Fincon. Fincon is a conference for digital content creators in personal finance and investing. Since I’m paying off my debt and getting my money right and blogging during this process, I figured that I would attend this year. This year’s conference was held in Charlotte, North Carolina. Below I discuss my how much I spent during the conference and my Fincon experience.
By the time I had made enough side hustle money to pay for the conference registration the price was $399. In early August I applied for one of the free scholarships. If I didn’t win one of them at least, I knew I had the money to pay for the registration. A few weeks after I applied I found out that I was one of the lucky bloggers. I had won one of the scholarships! The scholarship meant I could attend the conference for free. I was ecstatic! I still had to pay for my room and a way to Charlotte.
I originally had a room booked at the host hotel. The total price for that room was $535. About two weeks before the conference I decided to check Priceline to see if I could find something a little cheaper. I saw that Priceline had a 3-star express deal for $99 per night. The room would be in the same vicinity as the host hotel. If I booked it the price for the room would be $354.87. The only thing about the Express deals is that you don’t know the name of the hotel until after it’s paid for. I’ve reserved a couple of rooms using this feature before in the past, so that didn’t bother me. I booked the deal and was pleasantly surprised to find out that I would be staying at the Aloft hotel. It was only 8 minutes in walking distance to the host hotel.
Getting to Charlotte: $45
With Charlotte only being 4 hours away from Atlanta I could drive there or catch the bus. I ultimately decided to catch the Greyhound bus. The 1st reason is that I didn’t feel like driving my older model Toyota 4Runner up there. The car is in decent shape, but I don’t really trust it for a trip longer than 3 hours. The 2nd reason is that I found a round-trip ticket for $45. You can’t beat that price. $45 was cheaper than the MegaBus and renting a car.
Food & Snacks: $51
As you can see, I didn’t have to spend that much money for food. They fed us pretty good at some of the conference events. The few times I did eat out I didn’t splurge. My hotel also gave its customers a $5 gift card every day they opted not to get new towels. I was able to get 2 of those gift cards. I used them for breakfast sandwiches on Friday and Saturday mornings.
Getting around town: $0 ($12 in tips)
Everything was in walking distance from except for the Greyhound station and the venue for the welcome party. I used Uber to get me to and from those places. Those rides didn’t cost me anything. You’re reading that correct; those rides were FREE. You may be wondering how was I able to make that happen. It’s pretty easy. Once you take Uber for the 1st time, you’re given a referral code. Any 1st-time rider that signs up with Uber using your code gets a free ride up to $20. You also get a free ride as well. The free rides expire after 90 days. I didn’t have to worry about my rides expiring because most of my sign ups happened in late July. (Note if you’re planning on going to Fincon in 2016 and using Uber you may want to do this. I would start promoting my code in July.) I did spend $12 in tips, though. ($2 each ride.)
The Conference was a hell of an experience. For me, it was a game changer. Fincon was set up pretty good in my opinion. There were multiple sessions and events each day. A few times it was hard for me to figure out who I wanted to see speak because a lot of good sessions were going on at the same time.
I had the opportunity to hear people who I’ve been following for a while speak such as Bob from Seed Time, Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income and Tiffany “The Budgetnista.” I also got to meet some of my favorite bloggers and podcasters such as Michelle from Making Sense of Cents, Chonce from My Debt Epiphany, Michelle from Shop My Closet Project and Tai & Talaat from His and Hers Money. Everyone was cool.
The energy was freaking electric. I’ve never felt anything like it in my life. I’ve also never had such a fun time networking and talking with so many businessmen, hustlers, grinders, etc. in my life. I’m still buzzing about the event. Fincon was such a good time that I have already registered for Fincon 2016 which will be in San Diego. I can’t wait.
*I damn sure won’t be on greyhound this time, though 🙂