by Danielle Desir
Although I’ve been blogging about personal finance for almost four years now, until FinCon 2018, I hadn’t attended any personal finance blogging conferences or meetups. The truth is, I had been so focused on the travel side of my blog and now podcast that I neglected the financial blogging community.
That all changed after meeting Michelle Jackson (personal finance blogger and host of Michelle is Money Hungry Podcast) at the 2017 TBEX North America conference in Huntsville, Alabama.
During the TBEX closing party we talked about the benefits of going to FinCon and why considering the long-term ROI (return on investment) of any professional conference you attend is important. Michelle opened my eyes to the fact that not all conferences are created equal.
What is FinCon?
FinCon is a 4-day conference where digital content creators and influencers connect with brands. At the conference, you learn how to make better content, reach your audience and ultimately make more money.
FinCon is the perfect conference for influencers, bloggers, podcasters, and YouTubers as well as brands and media.
Last year the conference had over 2,000 attendees!
Some of the things I got to do at FinCon
- Recorded a trading stocks and travel podcast episode with Teri Ijeoma sponsored by Ally
- Attended all sorts of sessions
- Took new professional headshot photos (for free)
- Got a ton of swag (T-Shirts, water bottles, piggy banks, stickers and more)
- Joined a meet-up with one of my favorite podcasters Lillian Karabaic from Oh My Dollar!
- Connected with brands
- Secured a new freelancing client
- Made lots of new friends
For anyone wondering how much it costs to attend FinCon, here’s a breakdown of all of my FinCon conference expenses.
How Much Did FinCon Cost?
FinCon Ticket Total: $239
- FinCon Ticket: $189
- Transfer Fee: $50
I bought my FinCon ticket a few months before the conference, however, I would not suggest doing this because tickets get more expensive the closer it gets to the date.
Actually when I bought my tickets, tickets were $400, so I didn’t think that I would make it to #FinCon18, however, one day while randomly scrolling through the FinCon Community Facebook group I saw that someone was interested in selling their ticket. I quickly bought the discounted ticket and gladly paid the $50 transferring fee.
Money-Saving Tip: Buy your ticket early to get the best rates on FinCon conference tickets.
Airfare Total: $143.80
#FinCon18 was held in Orlando, Florida.
Being that I was super last minute, I bought my flights to FinCon 10 days before departure. To reduce the out-of-pocket cost of airfare, I redeemed my JetBlue TrueBlue points for a one-way flight from Orlando to New York City.
Delta flight from NYC to Orlando: $138.20
- Included (1) carry on
JetBlue flight from Orlando to NYC: $5.60
- I redeemed points and miles for this flight
- Included (1) checked bag and (1) carry on
I decided to head over to Orlando the first day of FinCon to 1) limit my time off from work and 2) prevent any unnecessary spending.
I arrived at the Orlando International Airport at 11:30 a.m. right on time to head to my first workshop at 1:00 p.m.
Hotel Cost Total: $358 per person
#FinCon18 was held at Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida. The total price for (4) nights was $715.52 but since I found a roommate (within the Facebook community), we split the bill and I only had to cover $357.76.
Lodging by far was my biggest expense at FinCon. Nevertheless, the resort was gorgeous.
Rosen Shingle Creek has a pool, gym, tennis court and volleyball court, on-site 18-hole par golf course and more.
There are also plenty of restaurants within the resort to choose from as well as a café and a marketplace.
Tips for finding a roommate:
Use the FinCon Community Facebook group as a resource to help you plan out your trip.
I found my #FinCon18 roommate in the FinCon Community Facebook group. Finding a roommate is an easy way to keep your FinCon costs low.
Transportation Total: $34.10
- Uber ride from Rosen Shingle Creek to airport: $18.90
- Uber ride from the airport to New York City train station: $15.20
Food and Drinks Total: $96.75
- Average Breakfast: $12
- Average Lunch: $15
- Average Dinner: $25
At FinCon there were many hosted parties so I did not spend any money on alcohol. Also, lunch was provided on the last day of the conference.
- $20 for an iPhone USB cord
Unfortunately, I forgot my cell phone charger and had to buy an extra charger at the resort.
How much did I spend at FinCon?
In total, I spent $891.65 at FinCon in Orlando, Florida in 2018.
My top expenses included lodging (40%), tickets (27%) and airfare (16%).
In terms of ROI (return on investment) I’ve already interviewed (2) new guests for the podcast (who I met at the conference) and I started working with a new client.
Is FinCon worth it?
For the networking opportunities and informational sessions alone, FinCon was absolutely worth it! I hope to see you in Washington D.C. next year.
I can’t wait to see what new opportunities continue to unfold throughout the year.
Read Next: Conference Networking Tips for FinCon
Other things I’ve done since FinCon:
- Launched my signature budgeting course – Back to Budgeting Basics
- Created a page on my site devoted to my Instagram followers
- Created multiple freebies to grow my email list
- Started a Facebook group – Financially Savvy Travelers
Have you gone to FinCon? How much did it cost you?
Have you recently attended a conference?
Share your takeaways on the blog by contributing an article here!
Danielle Desir is the founder of WOC Podcasters and the host of The Thought Card Podcast. The Thought Card is an award-winning affordable travel and personal finance blog and podcast empowering financially savvy travelers to afford travel, pay off debt, and build wealth. Danielle paid off $63,000 of student loan debt in 4 years, bought a house at 27, and has traveled to over 27 countries. She refuses to let her financial responsibilities hold her back from pursuing her dreams and living life on her terms.