As many of you may know, I attended the financial blogging conference known as FinCon last weekend. While there, I had a blast with all my nerdy blogger friends, made some new ones, and learned lots of new stuff about site monetization, social media, and affiliate marketing.



Although my blog wasn’t nominated for any awards this year, I was up for an award in the Best Contributor/Freelancer in Personal Finance category. Well, I’m happy to report that I won! Not only did I get this swank-azz trophy, but I also got a really cool backpack filled with swag. Try not to hate, okay?

5 Main Takeaways from FinCon 2015

Anyone who knows me already knows that I love FinCon! Being around so many talented writers and entrepreneurs always makes me want to reach for greater heights in terms of my personal and professional goals. And let’s face it – all of my awesome friends inspire me! With that being said, here are some of the main takeaways I brought home from FinCon 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Holly Cat

Me and Cat from Budget Blonde

Lesson #1: The personal finance community is the most amazing group of people like, ever.

If you know me well, you know that my #1 hobby is making money. I don’t care about what the Indianapolis Colts are doing, what the new trends in fashion are, or what the political talking heads are saying; I just want to work, work, work until my head explodes, and make a nice living in the process.

My blogging friends all get that. They’re the kind of people who put in a full day of work on top of their full-time jobs – the kind of people who have like six side hustles and never sleep. The people I work with on a daily basis are the most innovative, creative, hard-working group I have ever met. And they are far too busy being awesome to worry about anything else.

Lesson #2: I need to get on Periscope.

In case you don’t know, Periscope is a Twitter spin-off that lets people stream live video. And apparently, all the cool kids are doing it already. Fortunately, we made our Periscope debut thanks to some adult beverages, some beat-boxing, and some spontaneous rapping from Jacob at But we are on there now, bitches!

If you want to get up close and personal with us, follow us on Periscope using @ClubThrifty….stat. We’re going to Periscope all over Italy in a few weeks, and you’ll want to see that. Am I right?

Lesson #3: A lot of people are smarter than me.

One thing I really love about FinCon is learning from other people, including those who are obviously smarter than me! I attended Afford Anything‘s talk on increasing her email list, for example, and learned strategies I had never even considered. Meanwhile, talking to Grayson from iMark Interactive reminded me how much I suck at monetizing this site.

Still, I love learning from people who are in my niche. It’s impossible to know everything, and it really helps to learn from people who have unique expertise. Now I just need the time to implement some of the strategies I learned.

Lesson #4: I am not socially awkward when compared to these people.


Making Sense of Cents, Financially-Blonde, Me, Dear Debt, and Budget and the Beach

After working at home for three years, my social skills have gone down the tubes. I basically won’t take new clients if they want to talk to me on the phone, for example. And people who ask me to Skype do so at their own risk.

But at FinCon, everyone is socially awkard! In fact, I saw dozens of people who clearly felt as uncomfortable in public as I do. That in itself made me feel more comfortable, and made me feel like less of a freak. 

Lesson #5: I am going to finish my book.

One lesson I always learn from FinCon is that you can’t ask for permission to make your dreams come true. All of the “doers” I know just freaking do the stuff and ask questions later, and that’s exactly my strategy from here on out.

With that being said, I feel like I am finally ready to complete a big project on my own. Everyone keeps telling me that I need to write an online blogging/writing course, but I think I would rather just finish one of the book ideas I have already started. So, watch out world. Here we come!

The Bottom Line

Now that FinCon is over, my head is spinning with ideas! I want to write a book, continue traveling, bring my online business to the next level, and basically dominate the world! Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to introduce themselves at FinCon. I loved seeing each and every one of you. And to those of you who still want to get in on this blogging thing, check out this post: Quit Your Day Job: How to Start a Blog. Five years ago, we were working long hours in jobs we merely tolerated, and now we’re living the dream! And if we can do it, anyone can.


Note: Don’t forget to follow us on Periscope via @ClubThrifty

What lessons did you learn at FinCon this year? To my non-bloggers, have you ever wanted to start a blog of your own?