FINCON13 After Action Report

I spent most of last week at the Financial Blogger Conference, or FINCON.

First, since this is a personal finance blog, here is what it cost:

Hotel: $695.75 – I paid $119 per night, plus taxes and fees.  The travel rewards on my credit card will be making this go away.

Airfare: $211.80 – I bought early and live next to a Delta hub airport.  This will also be getting erased by my credit card rewards.

Ticket: $175.84 – I got a $25 discount for being a repeat attendee and I paid an extra $99 for the Bootcamp extension, which was 2 extra days that–alone–made the whole trip worthwhile.

Food: $203.53 – This includes a $90 splurge meal at Ruth’s Chris, which I was looking forward to for months before the conference.

Other – $113 – I brought $183 in cash with me.  This was used for some meals not included above, cab fare, and tips for bartenders, housekeeping, and the concierge.  I always tip a bartender, even if it’s an open bar.  It guarantees fast service and full-strength drinks all night.

Total cost: $1399.92

Total after credit card reimbursement: $492.37

Now for the important part: Was it worth it?


The Bootcamp was a fantastic time to meet–and actually get to know–other bloggers.  There were only 50 of us, instead of 500 at the main event, so we were able to break into small groups and brainstorm useful projects and activities.  I learned more about podcasting than I ever had before and I got a chance to share some of what I know about SEO and managing virtual assistants.  In the larger sessions, questions are rushed and people are shy.

I got to beat up on my comfort zones.  

I presented some awards with Crystal at the Plutus Awards ceremony, which means cracking jokes about Canadians in front of 500 people who don’t know me.  I regularly stand and teach 30-50 people, but that’s always a warm crowd on a topic I know extremely well.  This was new for me.

I sang anatomically explicit songs to strangers during the Bootcamp karaoke night.  Selections were from Monty Python, DaVinci’s Notebook, and Denis Leary.

I was on a panel, by surprise.  I was asked to be available if I were needed for questions, then got dragged to the front of the room for the entire session.  I would do that again.

That’s 3 things that were all well outside of my comfort zone, but I’m happy I did them.  I don’t believe in not doing something simply because I’m afraid to do it.

Random gatherings are fun.

From people stopping by our staked-out territory in the lobby, to a surprise game of Cards Against Humanity in the lobby bar with Joe and Len to having a discussion about the meaning of “No” when you’ve got a pre-determined safeword, it was a good week.

The last 5 days were easily the most extroverted days I’ve ever had.  Since I didn’t force myself into any large groups for long periods of time, I never felt drained like I often do in similar situations.   It’s good to find a balance that let’s me meet and connect with other without exhausting myself.  I am seriously an off-the-charts introvert, even if I’m not even a little bit shy.

FINCON was totally worth it.  I was excited to go, and I’m excited to start acting on what I’ve learned, including being a part of a new mastermind group, with the awesomest lounge lizards in the PF world.

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    1. OMG how are we not called “The Lounge Lizards”? This is happening.

    2. Awesome. Sounds like a blast. I’m also guessing that the $90 dinner was delicious. Please do share the details.

      • I had a bone-in ribeye steak with bearnaise sauce, medium, a 1 pound loaded baked potato with bacon, butter, and sour cream, and a diet coke.

        Phenomenal steak. There were people who flinched at the price tag, but I don’t think anyone regretted at the end of the meal.

    3. Playing Cards Against Humanity was unbelievably fun, Jason – I haven’t laughed that hard in a LONG time. Great to see you again!

    4. The Lounge Lizards – we are keeping that! And I am so glad you aren’t pissed that I pretty much dragged you up in front of people over and over and over again. 🙂 Hey LRN Readers – come over to my site to see a YouTube video of Jason at karaoke night!!! 😉

    5. Lounge Lizards Unite! It was a terribly fun week of events, with good friends. Already looking forward to next year, and the fun stuff in between. Just have to catch up on my sleep enough to get my thoughts together.

    6. I don’t know this card game! Next FINCON you’ll have to teach me.

    7. Sounds like a very worthwhile trip. And awesome that you could leverage the credit card travel rewards to pay for the bulk of it! I hope to make it out to a Fincon in the next few years.

    8. Jason, great meeting you at FinCon and sorry to have missed the game – everyone seems to be really raving about it. You did very well on your expenses – I had a $90 dinner as well (mine included a glass of wine). Pricey but the steak was worth it.

    9. Great recap of the week. I might have to use your template of going through my own expenses. It was great meeting you at the Blogger Bootcamp and hanging out at the Plutus Awards!

    10. Sounds like an awesome time! I agree that Ruth’s Chris butter soaked steaks are to die for. Super Introvert who’s not shy. How does that work? I always thought they go hand and hand. Regardless, awesome that you broke out of comfort zones and are part of the Lounge Lizards! Where is next year’s FinCon?

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