Hello everyone! Are you all excited for a three day weekend? I am! We are visiting my parents as their anniversary is on the 3rd of September, and we’ll be taking them out to eat somewhere. We’re looking forward to trying some new (cheap!) places. We’re also hoping to hit up the beach or the pool. It’s gorgeous out!

Overall, I have a ton to be grateful for this week, so let’s get to it!

being grateful

FinCon, here I come!

I’m going to FinCon! Yes, very short notice. Why? That requires a little backstory.

FinCon was not on my radar at all in the beginning of the year. Long-time readers will remember R and I were waiting with baited breath to see if any positions were going to open up in our desired areas in April. That’s when he would be ready for a promotion. Until that happened, the rest of the year was uncertain.

Thankfully, everything worked out, and we moved mid-April. Then came the flurry of looking for an apartment, getting settled in, getting our cats settled in, and everything else.

Needless to say, FinCon was finally on my radar around June, but when I calculated what it would cost, my heart sunk. It would be pretty close to $1,000. I don’t churn credit cards since our expenses are pretty low and we can’t meet most of the bonuses, but I’ll be keeping it in mind for next time.

What to do?

R and I have not taken an actual vacation alone in the entire time we’ve been together. These past three years have seen some job changes, which meant we had to wait to earn vacation time.

It came down to prioritizing my freelance career or our desire for vacation. I decided to shelve FinCon. I couldn’t bring myself to spend so much just for three days. Not when I still have student loans, and was trying to get my freelance income going.

Fast forward to this week. I had been talking to a few inspirational bloggers (Cat, Kali, and Carrie) and realized I was seriously going to be missing out on a lot. I don’t think this is really “fear of missing out,” but now that I’m not anonymous, I feel like only good things can come from networking. I have the most horrible time hitting “send” on an email – why not throw myself out there at a conference? (I think that’s a win for pushing the boundaries!)

Being Grateful: 41st EditionCarrie sent me over a link to the ticket exchange, and I was able to grab an early bird ticket. I talked things over with R, and we decided to drive the 10 hours there, as opposed to flying ($650). I am now a bundle of nerves with excitement and anxiety =).

Things happen for a reason

What’s crazier is that I’ve been working with Cat on freelancing, and during our initial discussion, I had mentioned that I would like to try my hand at budget coaching. Magically, she had an old friend reach out to her the same day asking for help with her budget.

She referred her to me and I’ve been making it my mission to get everything worked out for her. This friend lives in New Orleans, so I told her I’d be over there for the conference if she wanted to meet up. Turns out, she had comp rooms at a hotel in the area, and gifted me two nights. I wanted to cry.

So I’ve just been incredibly grateful and overwhelmed at the kindness I’ve been shown from others this week. I tend to be a little cynical at times (after working with the public, who isn’t?), but instances like this restore my faith in humanity. There are amazing people in this world that will go out on a limb for you.

All this to say that I’m very glad I made the decision to put myself out there and connect with some other awesome bloggers. None of this would have happened if I hadn’t been taking small steps from the beginning. It’s so weird to think about what has to come together for something to happen.

If you’re going and want to meet up, feel free to email me! I still have no clue what workshops I want to attend or anything, so let me know what you’re going to!

Awesome boyfriend award alert

Of course, I must mention R in this post, because without him, this wouldn’t be possible. I am not a fan of driving, and R doesn’t mind getting us places, so he does most of the driving everywhere we go. I told him about my plans for the conference and he just said, “Okay. Whatever you decide, I’m sure I’ll be okay with.”

I have the most easy-going (and supportive) boyfriend ever, and have no clue how I’m going to make it up to him. He took the two days off, and we’ll be leaving around 4am on the 18th to make the trip down, and going back home Saturday night. I hope he’ll find some cool things to do while I’m at the conference! If anyone has any ideas, let me know =).

Also, I have to commend him for not freaking out last night. On our way down to my parents’, we came across three deer – one in the road. If that were me driving I would have lost it. Thankfully, it was in the opposite lane, but the fawns were still on the grass, and there’s no shoulder on the road. I’m really hoping they made it okay. They were so adorable!

Have any of you ordered business cards online? I’m looking for a website with reasonable prices and nice templates. So far I’ve only looked at Moo. 

Are you going to FinCon? In what ways are you grateful for your significant other (if you have one)? How about the blogging community?



  1. Emily @ evolvingPF August 30, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    That is a great story! It’s a perfect example of doing FinCon frugally (and luckily). I’m also attending (though not as frugally) so I hope I’ll meet you there.

    My husband also drives virtually all the time when we’re in the car together, which is almost always since we share a car. I’m a good driver but he’s better, especially because I distract myself from the road by talking to him. :) I’m okay to drive about four hours myself but would not want to do NC to LA alone, so I am flying to FinCon.

    1. Erin M. August 30, 2014 at 1:55 PM

      I wouldn’t do it any other way =). As much as I think it’s a great opportunity, I couldn’t swallow the $1,000. I’ve never spent that much on any vacation before. Hopefully I’ll be able to plan more in advance for next year. I’m sure I’ll see you there!

      Yeah, I couldn’t do NC to LA alone either, which is why I had to rope R into coming with me. I have horrible night vision and wouldn’t feel safe in the early hours or driving back. I’m just glad it’s only 10 hours!

  2. Katelyn @ Diaries of a Wandering Lobster August 30, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    Yay for going to FinCon! I’m not going this year, but it is on my radar for next year. It sounds like it’s going to be one awesome learning experience and party. Plus, New Orleans is an incredible city. I was down there in early June for a work conference and I had a blast! There is so much free or cheap stuff to do there so I hope you get a chance to explore the city as well! Can’t wait to read all about it!

    1. Erin M. August 30, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      Glad to hear you’re thinking of going next year! I’ve never been anywhere near New Orleans, so I’m excited to have a little time to check it out. It seems like a popular destination for conferences!

  3. debs @ debtdebs August 30, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    Oh, I’m so happy for you, Erin that this worked out for you. It really is something that you can’t afford to miss, given that you want to freelance full time. I will be openly jealous but still cheering you on! Your boyfriend is a keeper!

    1. Erin M. August 30, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      Thanks Debs! Don’t worry, I was in that position last year. I was pretty jealous when everyone came back, posting about it. I think lots of people would be happy to meet you, though – hopefully you can work something out for next year? =)

  4. Tonya@Budget and the Beach August 30, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    Congratulations! I love when things work out that way! Bummer I’ll miss meeting you though! :( I used vista print for business cards but I’d do that today because it does take a while to get them.

    1. Erin M. August 30, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      Thanks! I know! I’m so sad you won’t be there =(. I’ll definitely look into VistaPrint right away.

      1. Brooke @ PF Twins September 2, 2014 at 4:14 PM

        If you sign up for VistaPrint’s email, they will give you a discount. Also if you put something in your cart and then leave it for a while it normally triggers a coupon. I wouldn’t use your primary account for the login — They send a lot of emails! But normally with coupons in them.

        1. Erin M. September 3, 2014 at 9:30 AM

          Thanks for the tip, Brooke! That’s great. I’ll be sure to use my “junk” email to signup =).

  5. Lauren August 30, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    Wow, amazing how things just sort of work themselves out sometimes, ya know? Have a great time at FinCon!

    1. Erin M. August 30, 2014 at 1:45 PM

      Thanks! It is really crazy, and such a relief.

  6. Melanie @ Dear Debt August 30, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    Yay!! This is the best news! I can’t wait to meet you. I’m also going to FinCon on the cheap because of an awesome opportunity. So glad you were able to score a ticket and get some free nights at a hotel. Glad you are getting support from Cat, Kali and Carrie — love those ladies!

    I also can rarely meet the balances for card churning as my expenses are low (man if I could pay my student loans off with them though!). I did get the American Airlines card, where you get 30k miles after spending 1k in three months. That was doable for me and you need 25k for a round trip flight in the US. But I’m saving it up for 40k to go abroad off-season. :)

    Also, I just ordered my business cards. I was so excited about Moo, but then it was $230 for 500 cards?!?! So I went with VistaPrint and am getting 500 cards for $15. The design isn’t as good, but it’s not bad either. I would also order them today!

    1. Erin M. August 30, 2014 at 1:45 PM

      Yay, can’t wait to meet you, too! I’m glad you were able to score a nice deal on FinCon =). Anything helps!

      Oh I know, if I could put my student loan payments and rent on a card, I’d be golden. I’ll have to look into the American Airlines card. I think I can do $1,000, maybe even $2,000, but definitely not $3,000. And of course, all the great ones require $3k!

      I really love some of the designs on Moo, but yeah, they were a tad expensive! At this point I’m thinking having any beats having none, so I might have to go with VistaPrint. I’ll look into it today!

  7. Kassandra @ More Than Just Money August 30, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    I am so happy that you’ll be at FinCon and the kindness of people is beautiful to see in action, including your BF!

    I also scored an early bird ticket recently thanks to Cat linking me up with the seller. I paid a $11.20 for the flight thanks to air miles so I just have to dish out for the hotel room.

    See you soon :)

    1. Erin M. August 30, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      Woohoo, glad you’re going as well! You got a great deal on the airfare. I will most likely start churning for rewards soon, especially with the holidays coming up. Getting a free flight is definitely better than driving.

  8. Kirsten August 30, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    I’m so glad the pieces are falling in to place for you. That’s awesome about the coaching and the comp rooms! Enjoy FinCon :-)

    1. Erin M. August 30, 2014 at 5:13 PM

      Thanks Kirsten! I hope you’ll be there next year =).

  9. Cari @ A Thrifty Yankee August 30, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    That’s great news about Fincon! I’m so new to blogging and literally just started but I’m excited to attend in 2015 if my blog does what I hope it can do :)

    Supportive boyfriends are wonderful! Sounds like you will have an awesome time and maybe if I go next year, we can meet!

    1. Erin M. August 30, 2014 at 5:12 PM

      I was pretty new to blogging last year when I heard about it, so I didn’t go, either. I hope you can go next year!

  10. Mrs. Frugalwoods August 30, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    Awesome FinCon wins! How great is that! I’m so sad I’m not going :(. Hopefully next year. And congrats on the coaching and freelancing successes–nice!

    1. Erin M. August 30, 2014 at 9:46 PM

      Thank you! I’m also sad you’re not going. You have to make it next year!!

  11. Shannon @ Financially Blonde September 1, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    SO psyched that you are going to make it to Fincon Erin!! It’s amazing how some things can just all work out in the end, it’s like they are meant to be. :-) And I am beyond grateful for my hubby. We have been together for 12 years. We have our ups and downs, but he is truly my rock and one of the most loving and supportive people I know. His support truly gives me the energy and drive to succeed.

    1. Erin M. September 1, 2014 at 3:17 PM

      It is really amazing! That’s why I try to live with no regrets =). R is the same for me. He’s like a personal cheerleader for me, haha.

  12. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer September 1, 2014 at 9:25 AM

    So glad the deer stuff came out okay!! We have tons of them up here and it’s so scary to come across them in the road or on the side of the road waiting to jump out, isn’t it?? Erin, good for you for choosing to go to FINCON. I think that was a smart move on your end. We can’t go this year, but definitely hope to go some year soon.

    1. Erin M. September 1, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      Yes! I was so scared. What was worse was that the road was super foggy out of nowhere, so it was even more difficult to see. I’m just glad no one was harmed there.

      I really hope you get to go next year! I’d love to meet you =).

  13. Tre September 1, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    I’m so happy that everything worked out for you. Good luck with your new freelancing business!

    1. Erin M. September 1, 2014 at 3:09 PM

      Thanks Tre, I appreciate it!

  14. Pauline September 1, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    Good for you! I was planning on going, but life got in the way. I think it will really give you great networking opportunities, maybe that will be the most valuable of the trip!

    1. Erin M. September 1, 2014 at 2:59 PM

      I’m sorry to hear you’re not making it this year! I definitely think the networking will be worth it.

    1. Erin M. September 1, 2014 at 2:46 PM

      Thanks Christine! I hope you get to go next year.

  15. Natalie @ Budget and the Bees September 1, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    I love that you take the time to think about what you’re grateful for and put it into words! I hope you have a great time at FinCon, and I look forward to reading about it.

    1. Erin M. September 1, 2014 at 9:37 PM

      Thanks Natalie! Doing this every week helps me remember the good things that happened, and keeps things in perspective.

  16. DC @ Young Adult Money September 1, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    FinCon was scheduled at the perfect time for me in my job as an accountant (middle of the month). But….I changed jobs, so now it’s at the worst possible time (during the forecast) so I won’t be at FinCon, unfortunately : / While I do feel like I’m missing out, I have so much “heads down” work that I need to get done on my site that I’m not sure it would be as beneficial to me as others. With that being said, I REALLY want to meet all the bloggers I’ve gotten to know the past couple years. I feel like I’m truly friends with many of them.

    1. Erin M. September 1, 2014 at 9:36 PM

      Oh no! I can see how that makes sense, though. I’m hoping to get a better sense of where I want to take my blog by attending, and I’m definitely looking forward to meeting everyone. Hopefully you can go next year!

  17. Femme Frugality September 1, 2014 at 8:40 PM

    That’s awesome how it all came together for you! I can’t wait to hear about everything when you get back.

    I’d love to go, but every year I keep hoping they’ll announce it’s in Pittsburgh. :p

    1. Erin M. September 1, 2014 at 9:26 PM

      Thanks Femme! I hear you on that, as I lived in NY before this.

  18. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank September 2, 2014 at 5:37 AM

    Erin, I am so grateful that everything has been working out for you. I hop your new freelancing business will be a huge success!

    1. Erin M. September 2, 2014 at 3:40 PM

      Thanks so much Jayson!

  19. Andrew@LivingRichCheaply September 2, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    Wow, pretty awesome that you’ll be going to FinCon…I’ve heard that it’s a great experience and well worth it. I’d like to go one day too. Hope to hear how it goes. And sometimes it’s funny how opportunities come up when you put yourself out there…great that you’re getting into budget coaching and also great that you got the free room.

    1. Erin M. September 2, 2014 at 3:40 PM

      Thanks Andrew, I’ll definitely be posting all about it! I hope you get to make it next year. Maybe it will be a little closer to the East coast.

  20. Andrew @ Budgetopolis September 2, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    Regarding online printers, I have had great success with Vistaprint. I have a mobile DJ business, which is my “side hustle”. Over the past three years, I’ve ordered business cards, postcards, and several other items. They ship quickly, and the quality is good. You can even upload your own design, if you don’t like any of their stock designs.

    1. Erin M. September 2, 2014 at 3:32 PM

      Thanks for your input, Andrew. It looks like Vistaprint is the tried and true way to go!

  21. Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore September 3, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    I’m not going to FinCon this year, but I’ve already started saving for next year! :) Try VistaPrint, the designs aren’t quite as cute/cool/unique, but they have way better prices (most of the time). You’ll have to fill us in after you get back from FinCon!

    1. Erin M. September 3, 2014 at 4:36 PM

      Way to get a head start! VistaPrint seems like the way to go, as I don’t want to spend a bunch on cards right now. I’ll definitely have a recap up once I get back!


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