Hello once again friends! It’s time to recount what we have to be grateful for, because there’s always something, even if it’s as simple as chocolate, our pets, or having access to the internet.

I apologize for the delay here, but better late than never, right? It brings me a lot of joy to write these posts and have you all share in being happy and grateful together. I’ve been blown away by the reception this series has gotten since I started it, and I can’t ever see myself giving it up.

It’s been mentioned before, but making gratitude a habit has been a huge game changer for me, and I don’t regret it at all. So if you need a little motivation, hopefully I can provide it! And since it’s the middle of the week, I hope it serves as an additional pick-me-up.

The reasons I have for being grateful this week - 59th edition!

Being Grateful for an Awesome Volunteer Opportunity

Back in December, I had applied to volunteer at a rather large convention happening this summer for one of my (new) favorite companies.

For those of you that have been to FinCon (separate conference, not the one I’m volunteering at), I think we can all agree there’s something energizing and amazing about the atmosphere for those 3 days we’re all together under the same roof.

Conventions and conferences are great opportunities for networking and friendship, and I’d actually love to go to more, but alas, they’re a tad expensive with tickets and travel factored in.

Anyway, I was eagerly awaiting to hear back to see if I was accepted (they had over 2,200 people apply), and the news finally broke last Thursday. I checked my email to see I had been chosen, and I pretty much did a victory lap around the apartment.

I am beyond excited that I’ve been given the opportunity to help out along with 500 other people. This convention has been massively successful in the past, and I hope to be able to contribute to that. Besides that, I’m really interested in seeing how everything is run behind-the-scenes.

Have any of you ever volunteered at a convention or conference?

Time With Parents

When I fly back home, I always fly out of the airport near my parents. Flying out of Charlotte is at least $100 more, and their airport is smaller, so it’s very easy to navigate.

I was happy to get to spend a few extra days with my parents due to the inclement weather we were experiencing last week. They didn’t really want to drive in the rain/sleet/ice mix that was going on during Tuesday, so we left on Wednesday instead.

Normally when I’m there, it’s either with R or family, but this time, it was just the 3 of us, and it felt like “old times”.

I know I probably sound slightly crazy to some people when I say that it was nice and made me feel more “at home” there, but what can I say? I’m very lucky and grateful to have a good relationship with them after all these years. As long as I’m only staying there for a few days, that is. ;)

My dad was also kind enough to make fudge the night they stayed over our apartment, which I’ve been happily enjoying since. Oh, and I had to make sure to bring back pudding from NY so my mom could make chocolate pudding pie.

It’s sounds so simple – and it is – but unfortunately, the instant pudding they sell down here doesn’t come out the same. Hopefully it will make its way down here at some point. Our favorite brand of tomato sauce finally did, which I was very grateful for! (I always buy it just in case it’s a fluke.)

Signs of Spring?

Yes, I know it’s only the beginning of March, but the weather is resuming its craziness, and it will be alternating from the 40s to the 60s all week. I’ll take it, as our electric bill these past two months has been painfully (and maddeningly) high. This is despite the fact we were barely here last month, and only have it set to 69*.

Plus, Daylight Savings Time is next weekend (I couldn’t believe that), which means more sunlight! I don’t know about you guys, but while I’m a night owl and don’t mind the darkness, I do like sunlight during the day.

I just like knowing the days will be longer and warmer soon. It’s been nice having the sun out past 6pm. I’m so ready to kick this feeling of hibernation. Anyone else?

Grateful for My Cats

I haven’t mentioned my cats in a while, but they’re still crazy and cute as ever. My parents got to watch them the entire time I was gone, and apparently they didn’t miss us.

I swear, as long as they have a place to sleep and someone feeding them treats, they’re happy. I wish life were that simple.

Nothing makes me happier during the day than seeing them curled up, napping. They always look so content and I just want to cuddle them, but I know better than to bother them during nap time. Looks are deceiving.

Concerts and Music

I’m not sure if any of you remember, but I mentioned back in November that I decided to purchase tickets to a concert as one of my favorite groups was going to be in Charlotte.

The reasons I have for being grateful this week - attending a concert!

The total ended up being around $65, and it was well worth it!

To be honest, I’m normally not the type of person who wants to be crammed in a bar/venue with loads of other people. I’ve only been to 2 concerts my whole life. R and I got stepped on, bumped into, and all that jazz.

BUT, I didn’t let that stop me from having a good time. Seeing them play live was amazing, and absolutely doesn’t come close to simply playing one of their songs on the computer. I’m so grateful we pushed ourselves out of our comfort zone and went.

The atmosphere was contagious, and it made me realize more than ever that music is a uniting force. Regardless of what language we speak, it’s the feeling that music incites in us that matters.

I’m sure they won’t be touring near us any time soon again, but I’m more open to seeing other artists perform live now. We’ll see!

What have you all been grateful for lately? Have you attended any live events recently? Going to any cons this year?



  1. Holly@ClubThrifty March 4, 2015 at 8:27 AM

    I love spending time with my parents too- I’m very grateful for them! We invited them on vacation this year and I can’t wait to go- 27 days. Now that I’m an adult with kids, vacation is the only time I spend more than a day with them in a row. It makes me feel like a kid again in some ways. My dad is 72 so I also wonder when our “last vacation” together will be. It just makes me want to enjoy every moment.

    1. Erin M. March 4, 2015 at 12:15 PM

      I hear you on that, Holly. My dad will be 65 this year and I always worry about my parents. I would absolutely love to plan a vacation with them, except that they’re actually not vacation people. That sounds weird to say, but I guess some people aren’t adventurous. My dad is happiest when he’s on the couch reading a book. =)

  2. Amanda S @ Passionately Simple Life March 4, 2015 at 9:12 AM

    I’m so grateful for all the modern forms of communication that we have available to us. It makes staying in touch with my family that much easier and makes me feel like they are always there for me even though we are a state away.

    1. Erin M. March 4, 2015 at 12:14 PM

      I 100% agree with you on that!

  3. Lauren March 4, 2015 at 11:25 AM

    I guess I never knew that you could volunteer for a convention- what a great idea!

    1. Erin M. March 4, 2015 at 12:12 PM

      Yep, you can, and you’ll usually get a free pass out of it, so it makes the trip a bit cheaper!

  4. KK @ Student Debt Survivor March 4, 2015 at 1:51 PM

    So grateful that I got to spend all day Saturday with my sister (who was in NYC for a convention). We got to catch up and saw a show (which was terrible, but spending the time together was great). Family time is the best :-)

    1. Erin M. March 4, 2015 at 9:02 PM

      Glad you were able to enjoy your time together despite the bad show! It’s always nice to catch up with family.

  5. Andrew@LivingRichCheaply March 4, 2015 at 2:53 PM

    Oh…so jealous that there are signs of spring down there. Up here in your old stomping grounds, we just got some snow yesterday and will get more tomorrow!

    1. Erin M. March 4, 2015 at 3:06 PM

      Seriously?! Ack. =( It’s actually quite beautiful out today, even though rain was in the forecast all week. It has me feeling hopeful for spring, but I remember it snowed just a few days before we moved last year, and that was in April!

  6. Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore March 4, 2015 at 3:24 PM

    It’s great that you got selected to help out at FinCon. I can’t wait for it to be September! I’m super excited for my first FinCon. :)

    1. Erin M. March 4, 2015 at 3:46 PM

      I was actually selected to volunteer for another convention, though I’d be willing to help out at FinCon if I’m actually still in Charlotte by September. =) I can’t wait either!

  7. Tonya@Budget and the Beach March 4, 2015 at 3:29 PM

    Congrats on being accepted as a volunteer!! And I’ve mentioned this a million times but you’re relationship with your parents sounds really amazing! It’s funny because when I was in my 20’s I didn’t mind at all concerts and getting pushed around and lots of people. Somewhere in my 30’s I’d had enough of that. Give me assigned seats any day!

    1. Erin M. March 4, 2015 at 9:02 PM

      Thanks! Ha, I’m not big on crowded spaces in general. I kind of freak out when I’m at the grocery store and can’t move around because people are blocking the aisles. The venue was 18+, and the majority of people we saw there looked around 18-21, so that didn’t help.

  8. Melissa March 4, 2015 at 8:22 PM

    I’ve volunteered at conferences before, and it’s hit or miss. I really hope they give you some breaks to attend sessions or hang out and network! I have volunteered at some conferences that were GREAT at giving us time to attend sessions and network (and those felt like not working at all, which is the sign of a good volunteer coordinator!) but my most recent conference I volunteered at was horrible. They took advantage of the volunteers, didn’t let us attend sessions (I ducked into 1 session for 15 minutes) and didn’t even let us have snack breaks (let alone lunch breaks…)

    That turned me off of volunteering for conferences for a while, to say the least! But I bet FinCon knows what’s up, especially since they had 2000 people apply to volunteer!

    1. Erin M. March 4, 2015 at 9:00 PM

      Aw, I’m sorry to hear that! That’s awful. The convention I’m volunteering for isn’t FinCon – but it’s been massively successful the past few years it’s been running, and I know for a fact they’re very adamant about people taking breaks to eat and whatnot. We’re not guaranteed to be able to attend panels, but they’re very upfront about the fact you’re there to work the entire weekend, and you can choose to be part-time or full-time. It’s also kind of a gaming con, so I’m not really there to network, but I’m looking forward to making friends!

  9. kay ~ lifestylevoices.com March 4, 2015 at 8:28 PM

    I’m grateful for the warm weather and the ocean being less than 5 miles down the street. Seeing the weather in my old hometown on its local tv website makes me super duper grateful indeed!

    1. Erin M. March 4, 2015 at 8:57 PM

      I would be grateful for that, too! I can’t wait to spend a week at my parents’ house when my aunt, cousin, and grandma come to visit. I have a feeling we’ll be visiting the beach a few times.

      1. kay ~ lifestylevoices.com March 5, 2015 at 4:47 PM

        Don’t forget to protect your skin. I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent a lot of years staying out of the sun and it’s pretty difficult to do that in sunnyworldland! :P

        1. Erin M. March 5, 2015 at 5:18 PM

          I do wear sunscreen – do you see how pale I am?! =P I burn very easily, and it’s never fun to deal with.

        2. kay ~ lifestylevoices.com March 7, 2015 at 3:41 PM

          There seems to be 2 different types of skin in my (Irish-German) family The kind that freckles and the kind that burns. I’m the sun burne oner. OUCH! :O Good going on the sunscreen Erin. I’ll have to start doing that too. It was a lot easier staying out of the sun up north.

        3. Erin M. March 9, 2015 at 3:01 PM

          My mom is 100% Italian and has no problem sitting out by the pool all day, tanning. My dad is a mix of European nationalities, and he burns easily. Of course, I inherited that. My mom loves to tease me about how pale I am!

  10. Shannon @ Financially Blonde March 5, 2015 at 10:14 AM

    Congrats on the volunteer gig! I have never volunteered at a conference, I have only attended them, but I know that A LOT of work goes on behind the scenes to make it successful so I am sure you will have your work cut out for you. This week I was thankful for quality time with my hubby and son. Work is going to get significantly busier for me, and I am just happy that I can fit in the time where I can.

    1. Erin M. March 5, 2015 at 1:03 PM

      Yes, I’ve been told it’s all sorts of exhausting, exciting, and fun, but I can’t wait! I would have been going anyway, and I’m happy about the chance to give back to this particular community. I totally hear you on being busy and making time when you can!

  11. Kali @ XY Planning Network March 5, 2015 at 11:03 AM

    Congrats on nabbing a volunteer spot! That sounds like a ton of fun — I’ve been thinking about doing this in the future. You’ll have to let me know what conference it is and what all is involved so I can get a better idea of what it’s like! :)

    1. Erin M. March 5, 2015 at 1:02 PM

      You should! Unfortunately this one isn’t a typical conference – it’s more akin to something like Comic Con (not exactly professional). I know there are a few people that have volunteered for FinCon, though – they would probably be able to offer some insight!

  12. Chonce March 5, 2015 at 4:39 PM

    Congrats on the volunteer opportunity! I’m also looking forward to spring and hopefully a lower electric bill. I’m tired of feeling cooped up in the house to do the weather and I want to enjoy the outdoors. I actually went to a concert with my mom last month and it was really fun. It was a late birthday present for my mom and she really enjoyed it plus I was so happy I only had to spend $21 for each of us since I payed for the rest of the tickets using American Express points.

    1. Erin M. March 5, 2015 at 4:46 PM

      Admittedly I’m inside more than I want to be as I’m working a lot (something I need to work on), but having the sun come through the apartment is such an energy booster, and I’d like to go back to walking on a normal basis!

      That’s awesome about the concert! Way to use those points.

  13. Jessica March 6, 2015 at 7:20 PM

    I hope your volunteer experience goes well. I’ve never volunteered at a conference before, but I have attended a few. I bet it will be an interesting experience.

    Right now I am extremely grateful for the burst of warm weather Los Angeles is getting when so many parts of the country, including my hometown in Kentucky, are getting even more snow. Times like this make the outrageous cost of living worth it!

    1. Erin M. March 6, 2015 at 8:47 PM

      Thanks! I hear you – it was super nice yesterday, but got pretty chilly here. Thankfully, “chilly” means 44*, but I hear back home they got more snow. So glad I have warm weather to look forward to!

  14. Mrs. Frugalwoods March 7, 2015 at 8:51 AM

    Congrats on the conference volunteer opp–that’s awesome! And, totally agree with you on spending time with parents, it’s so nice to be able to enjoy hanging out with them as adults.

    Our weather is still hovering below freezing, so I’ll live vicariously through your spring ;)

    1. Erin M. March 7, 2015 at 1:31 PM

      Thanks! That’s a good way of putting it – I was very guilty of not realizing how much goes into parenting until I was older. It gave me a lot more respect for them (that I should have had!).

      Aw, I wish I could send some warmth up north! It’s supposed to be in the 60s this week, but rainy. :/

  15. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank March 7, 2015 at 5:15 PM

    I am also a cat-lover. Cats do not seem to miss us while we’re away. That being said, aside from being cute and adorable, cats are loving, friendly, and affectionate, which make me love them more than dogs.

    1. Erin M. March 9, 2015 at 2:59 PM

      A lot of people would disagree, but I think it’s just a matter of finding a cat with the right personality. =) All my cats have been affectionate, but I know there are a few people who swear they’re evil. Ah well… I love dogs, too, though!

  16. DC @ Young Adult Money March 8, 2015 at 7:23 PM

    Okay not sure if I’m just overtired, but did you not say what band you went and saw?? I’m super curious now! One of my favorite bands is Incubus and a lot of people find that surprising. I’ve gone to see them in three states now and I’m bummed they are on hiatus. They’ve been around for a long time now, though.

    So cool to hear about your new opportunity at the conference. I haven’t been to a convention in a long time now (I think 2008 – political convention). FinCon probably isn’t in the cards for me this year, but I know there is a lot of value to be gained from attending.

    As far as thankful I’d have to say I’m thankful for a challenging job and higher-ups who both trust and challenge me.

    1. Erin M. March 11, 2015 at 3:18 PM

      I linked to their website, but they’re not really a band, it’s trance music. :P I like Incubus, though!

      The last time I had been to a convention before FinCon was late 2011, and this convention will be enormous compared to the ones I’ve been to, so I’m excited!

      Being challenged at your job is so important. I’m definitely grateful for all the different things I’ve learned from being self-employed.

  17. How To Save Money March 9, 2015 at 8:40 AM

    It’s nice to hear how you are so sweet to your parents :) I’m really grateful that I kept up with my budget for January and February. 2 down, 10 more to go!

    1. Erin M. March 11, 2015 at 3:15 PM

      Nice job! Getting that momentum really helps. =)

  18. Rick Laming March 11, 2015 at 7:45 PM

    Hey Erin, congratulations on being able to take part in a FinCon (I have not been to one thus far, but it is something I plan to take in eventually.), Very impressive. It is refreshing to read about someone who is so positive and ‘grateful’ for things other than monetary or superficial gain.
    The thing I am most grateful for in 2015 would have to be my son (born January 8th).

    Keep up the great work!
    Rick Laming

    1. Erin M. March 11, 2015 at 10:18 PM

      Thanks Rick! I think the birth of your son pretty much tops things to be grateful for. =)

      I’ve been guilty of focusing on money (and saving) too much in the past, so it’s nice to take the focus off of that sometimes.

  19. The Money Spot March 17, 2015 at 8:51 AM

    You’re post is so inspiring! I think it’s really helpful to list down blessings and positives in your life to drown out the negative ones.

    1. Erin M. March 18, 2015 at 1:03 PM

      Thank you! Focusing on the good has been really helpful for me.


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