Cashville Skyline (Kate) Does FinCon14

I had forgotten how much of a sensory overload the French Quarter can be.

Everything about New Orleans' oldest neighborhood screams excess – colorful walls punctuated with ornately decorated ironwork balconies, orders of fluffy beignets with heaping piles of powdered sugar, the ability to drink in the streets, massive po' boy sandwiches overflowing with fried shrimp, and constant boisterous music.

A neighborhood known for such decadence seemed to juxtapose rather nicely with the personal finance blogger conference known as FinCon. But as it turns out, the personal finance crowd knows how throw down, and my nights partying in New Orleans rivaled even the wildest entertainment industry shindigs I've seen.

Thursday

I'd be lying if I didn't admit to feeling a bit intimidated when I arrived at the Marriott on Thursday afternoon. I immediately began recognizing the faces of many of the bloggers from our community checking in and casually hanging around the lobby.

A part of me felt safe knowing that my identity had been carefully hidden over the past eight months, and no one would recognize my face.

Once I had finished the week's remaining work, I was ready to hit one of FinCon's first welcome parties. I nervously sipped my first free drink of the weekend and made small talk with several of the other attendees. The collective awkwardness was immediately diminished by the laid back vibe and I was relieved to realize that I had entered an ego-free zone.

band

Just when the party seemed to be winding down, a brass band burst through the main doors, tossing beads throughout the room and ceremoniously led us down the street to our next destination – Ignite FinCon.

Unfortunately, my spot along the back wall of the bar made it difficult to hear some badass and inspiring five minute presentations, but before I knew it I was on Bourbon Street unsuccessfully avoiding those pesky test tube cleavage shots. Luckily, Frenchman Street was only a short cab ride away and a late-night lobby hang provided the perfect night cap.

It was a strong beginning to a conference that had barely started. My phone flashed 2:30 AM, tauntingly, before I attempted to sleep. I optimistically set my alarm for 7:30 AM, enough time to make the first event.

Friday

birds

I learned a long time ago that it's impossible to do everything at a conference and since FinCon offers a free virtual pass with videos of all events to attendees, I barely felt guilty for sleeping through both Friday and Saturday morning's keynote speakers.

Highlight: Mike and Lauren's Not REALLY Retired presentation and discussion. It was interesting to think about how perceptions of financial independence and retirement have changed and it was exciting to be present for comments from attendees like Jim Collins, Mr. Money Mustache, and Joe Udo.

These are some of the bloggers who initially inspired me to pursue my journey to financial independence and start writing, so hearing their opinions in this intimate setting was a real treat.

Saturday

beignets

Highlight: An impromptu discussion with Mike Delgato during the mentor sessions. He had a lot of great advice for me to grow my brand, expand my presence in the personal finance world, and tie all of my experience together.

He invited me to participate in this week's Experian #CreditChat, How to Throw a Fun Dinner Party on a Budget. I'll be sharing some frugal and creative tips from my event planning background.

After encouragement from him and fellow blogger buds like Financially Blonde, Broke Millennial, and Dear Debt I've decided to come out of the closet.

So, I'm beginning the process of connecting my two identities. Totally weird, right?

Here I go…

IMG_3322

Hi, my real name is Kate.

This is a selfie I took backstage at the Palace Theatre in Albany, NY.

Surprise! I'm not a dude.

*breathes a massive sigh of relief*

Expenses

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 8.23.49 PM

Although I consider the value of my FinCon experience to be immeasurable, I'm damn proud of my low expenses on this trip.

How'd I do it?

My boyfriend covered the cost of our transportation to / from each airport. I covered the cost of our flights and hotel through a combination of Southwest Rapid Rewards points, my Southwest Companion Pass, and Barclay credit card points (see right column for savings). FinCon covered the cost of four meals (plus snacks!) and several drinks.

Also, XY Planning Network chose me as their $200 Amazon gift card recipient for signing up for their newsletter. Thanks, guys!

cards

In closing, I can't emphasize enough how amazing of an experience I had at FinCon. I'm feeling completely reinvigorated by creative ideas, new friends, and a renewed commitment to myself, Cashville Skyline, and my new career.

Pull up a chair, pour yourself a glass of whiskey, and stick around of the next phase of this journey.

Cheers, y'all.

Please keep up with me by following Cashville Skyline on Facebook, twitter, Google+, and Pinterest!

Related Post

Share:

Discussions — 67 Responses

  • Mrs. Frugalwoods September 23, 2014 on 6:54 am

    Hi Kate!!! I’m so excited to meet you! You’re not a dude! And I’m not actually a greyhound :)! Love that turquoise necklace you’re sporting. I wish I’d been at FinCon to meet you in person, but I appreciate the trip report–makes me feel like I was there. Hopefully next year!

    Reply
    • Steve Mrs. Frugalwoods September 25, 2014 on 6:20 pm

      Totally don’t mean to snake in to this comment, but….

      You’re not really a greyhound Mrs. Frugalwoods!?

      Reply
    • Kate Dore Mrs. Frugalwoods October 5, 2014 on 12:00 pm

      “You’re not a dude! And I’m not actually a greyhound!” Hahaha. Best comment ever.

      Reply
  • Roadmap2Retire September 23, 2014 on 7:05 am

    Hi Kate,
    Sounds like you had a blast at FinCon. Great to see you share your identity online.
    Looking forward to reading more stories in the future.

    Best
    sabeel

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Roadmap2Retire October 5, 2014 on 12:01 pm

      Thanks for the kind words, Sabeel. It feels good to be “out!”

      Reply
  • Alicia September 23, 2014 on 7:08 am

    And to go along with you not being a dude, and Mrs FW not being a hound, I am not a tree πŸ˜‰ I can’t imagine how awesome it feels to go non-anon, Kate. Glad you enjoyed your time at FinCon.

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Alicia October 5, 2014 on 12:02 pm

      Hahaha, I love our anonymous personas! It does feel good to write my real name on comments now, though!

      Reply
  • Shannon @ Financially Blonde September 23, 2014 on 7:33 am

    YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So glad to see you out of the closet, although, I am bummed you didn’t choose a pic of you with your awesome green glasses on! I have enjoyed your blog, but now I am really excited about getting to know the real you! And I am going to have to skip the whiskey, but I will pour some vodka instead. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Shannon @ Financially Blonde October 5, 2014 on 12:02 pm

      Aw, Shannon! I’m going to get some professional photos at some point in the future, and I’ll definitely include some with the glasses πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • debs @ debt debs September 23, 2014 on 7:46 am

    Happy to hear about your first FINCON experience, Kate! Now I’m gonna have to train myself to not call you Addison. I already trained myself a few months ago to not think of you as a dude. Your travel expenses are really low! So great that Amazon card really helped you out there!

    Reply
    • Kate Dore debs @ debt debs October 5, 2014 on 12:03 pm

      I’m going to be sad when I no longer have so many frequent flyer perks at the end of 2014, but it will give me excuse to get into some hardcore travel hacking!

      Reply
  • Robin @ The Thrifty Peach September 23, 2014 on 8:19 am

    It’s great to put a name and a face to you! Happy coming out day! πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Robin @ The Thrifty Peach October 5, 2014 on 12:04 pm

      Thanks so much, Robin! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach September 23, 2014 on 8:41 am

    I had a feeling after fincon we’d get to see you! Nice to officially meet Kate, and great…I mean fascistic job on how much you spent on fincon!!!

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Tonya@Budget and the Beach October 5, 2014 on 12:05 pm

      I’m really looking forward to meeting you in person at some point, Tonya! FinCon next year?

      Reply
  • Kali @ Common Sense Millennial September 23, 2014 on 9:10 am

    Hi Kate! Very exciting to put a face with a name! I hate that we missed each other at FinCon — I could not believe how crazy and nonstop everything was last weekend. Totally underestimated the whirlwind πŸ™‚ But I’m glad you had a blast, and we’re actually super close (I’m in ATL), so the next time I’m in Nashville I’ll have to hit you up!

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Kali @ Common Sense Millennial October 5, 2014 on 12:06 pm

      Agreed, Kali. FinCon was way busier than I anticipated, and I’m bummed that I missed you. Please let me know next time you’re in Nashville!

      Reply
  • Kirsten September 23, 2014 on 9:29 am

    Love the “coming out” πŸ™‚ I bet you’ve been nervous about it πŸ™‚ so glad you were able yo make it to FinCon, even with the employment upheaval.

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Kirsten October 5, 2014 on 12:11 pm

      Thanks, Kirsten! It definitely wouldn’t have been possible without my Southwest status and Barclays miles!

      Reply
  • Michelle September 23, 2014 on 11:08 am

    Yay! You are out of the blogging closet! Feels great, right?

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Michelle October 5, 2014 on 12:11 pm

      Absolutely, Michelle! So fantastic to meet you at FinCon!

      Reply
  • Travis @Debtchronicles September 23, 2014 on 11:17 am

    I’ve followed a few bloggers that started anonymously, and then decided to reveal themselves – it’s interesting to see how the content changes a bit when that happens…..in my experience bloggers seem to find it liberating and are actually MORE open once they reveal themselves. Glad to meet you Kate – I’m bummed my wife and I didn’t make it to Fincon this year, it’s the first one we’ve missed. Hoping to return in 2015. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Travis @Debtchronicles October 5, 2014 on 12:12 pm

      That’s an interesting observation, Travis. Thanks for sharing! Hope to see you at FinCon 2015!

      Reply
  • Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life September 23, 2014 on 11:50 am

    So great meeting you and welcome to being “out” on the interwebs πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life October 5, 2014 on 12:12 pm

      Absolutely, Stefanie! It feels great!

      Reply
  • Kara September 23, 2014 on 3:00 pm

    Hi Kate!
    Love the recap and photos!!!

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Kara October 5, 2014 on 12:14 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting, Kara!

      Reply
  • Kassandra @ More Than Just Money September 23, 2014 on 3:30 pm

    Kate’s out of the anonymous closet!!! Welcome my dear πŸ™‚ I had a great time with you on Saturday evening and your BF is a very sweet guy!

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Kassandra @ More Than Just Money October 5, 2014 on 12:15 pm

      It was fabulous to meet you, Kassandra! It was definitely cool to have my BF meet my “internet friends.” Hahaha.

      Reply
  • Dividend Mantra September 23, 2014 on 6:27 pm

    Kate,

    Nice to meet you! πŸ™‚

    Awesome job with the expenses. That’s enviable.

    I really hope to go next year. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but I’d love to meet some people throughout the community.

    Glad you had a great time. Sounds like a fantastic experience.

    Best wishes!

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Dividend Mantra October 5, 2014 on 12:15 pm

      It would be fantastic to see you at FinCon 2015, Jason!

      Reply
  • Kate @ Money Propeller September 23, 2014 on 7:00 pm

    Hi Kate! Wow, we have the same name! πŸ™‚ I really thought that the owner of this blog is a dude, you rock Kate!

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Kate @ Money Propeller October 5, 2014 on 12:16 pm

      Hahahaha! Thanks, Kate πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • J. Money September 23, 2014 on 8:02 pm

    Hi beautiful! πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Kate Dore J. Money October 5, 2014 on 12:16 pm

      D’awwwww!

      Reply
  • Mike and Lauren September 23, 2014 on 8:14 pm

    Kate, thank you so much for coming to see us! We appreciate your kind words, and look forward to officially meeting you next year!

    -Lauren

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Mike and Lauren October 5, 2014 on 12:16 pm

      Absolutely, Lauren! I loved your session!

      Reply
  • Erin @ Journey to Saving September 23, 2014 on 9:00 pm

    So glad to see you’re come out of the anonymous closet as well! I’m still really sad that I didn’t get a chance to meet you at FinCon, but I will blame it on the fact I didn’t know who to look for. =) If either of us find ourselves close to the TN/NC border, we’ll have to meet up.

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Erin @ Journey to Saving October 5, 2014 on 12:18 pm

      True, Erin! I was thinking that when I was introducing myself to people. We’ll definitely have to meet if we’re even in each other’s proximity!

      Reply
  • Holly@ClubThrifty September 24, 2014 on 7:21 am

    What the heck? Why didn’t we meet up at FinCon?!?!? Glad you had so much fun!

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Holly@ClubThrifty October 5, 2014 on 12:18 pm

      So sad that I missed meeting you, Holly! πŸ™

      Reply
  • Mel @ brokeGIRLrich September 24, 2014 on 9:48 am

    Dang girl, that is a terrific picture! I wish I’d had your pragmatic approach to sleeping through things and then just watching the video later, but I know I suck at sitting through videos, so there was a good chance I’d never see it. Although… a lot of things I heard at FinCon were to useful I’m hoping that I force myself past my video ADD and actually watch a few of the sessions I wish I could’ve attended.

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Mel @ brokeGIRLrich October 5, 2014 on 12:19 pm

      Great point, Mel. We’ll see how it goes once the videos become available! πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  • Laura @ MySHINYNickels September 24, 2014 on 1:50 pm

    Good for you to come out of the shadows! I was thrilled to finally meet you in person at FinCon, and as loud as the bar was that night, we had such a great time visiting, didn’t we?
    I just recently came out as Laura, instead of Mrs Nickels, and it was so freakin’ liberating!

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Laura @ MySHINYNickels October 5, 2014 on 12:22 pm

      I had so much fun hanging with you, Laura. Y’all were cracking me up!

      Reply
  • Asset-Grinder September 24, 2014 on 6:10 pm

    my mouth is watering looking at that beinet. My diet would seriously go out the window if I was there lol.

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Asset-Grinder October 5, 2014 on 12:23 pm

      Dieting is definitely not possible (nor should it be!) in New Orleans πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • Melissa @ Sunburnt Saver September 24, 2014 on 8:03 pm

    Kate!!! It’s like you’re a real person now!! I should talk, I know, haha πŸ™‚ Thanks for your FinCon recap – and thanks for sharing a bit about your mentorship session! I’m really inspired to sign for that at the next FinCon.

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Melissa @ Sunburnt Saver October 5, 2014 on 12:23 pm

      FinCon was amazing, Melissa! I’d love to see you there next year!

      Reply
  • Melanie @ Dear Debt September 24, 2014 on 10:15 pm

    So great meeting you, Kate! Glad you are “out” now. I think you will enjoy it. I find it much less stressful actually.

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Melanie @ Dear Debt October 5, 2014 on 12:23 pm

      Definitely, Melanie! Thanks for the advice about coming out πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • Zee @ Work-To-Not-Work September 25, 2014 on 2:32 pm

    Hey Kate,

    Glad you felt comfortable enough to combine your online persona with your real life identity more. Looks like you had a great time at Fincon, and you did it cheap!

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Zee @ Work-To-Not-Work October 5, 2014 on 12:24 pm

      Thanks, Zee! Absolutely! It feels awesome.

      Reply
  • Fig September 25, 2014 on 3:28 pm

    So cool to “meet” you and see the real you here on the blog! πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Fig October 5, 2014 on 12:24 pm

      Thanks, Fig! πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • Broke Millennial September 25, 2014 on 4:03 pm

    EEEEP!!!! I’m so excited you decided to come out of the financial bloggers closet!!! Would have been way more helpful before FinCon πŸ˜› I’ll forgive you for not including getting shanghaied by shot girls with me as your highlight of the entire event.

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Broke Millennial October 5, 2014 on 12:25 pm

      Hahahaha, the shot girls were definitely a highlight! πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  • Jessica Moorhouse September 25, 2014 on 8:40 pm

    Woohoo! I remember us talking about this. So glad you’re “out of the closet”. It was awesome meeting you in person. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Jessica Moorhouse October 5, 2014 on 12:25 pm

      Likewise, Jessica! Fantastic to meet you at FinCon!

      Reply
  • Will September 26, 2014 on 11:42 am

    Brilliant article! I feel almost like I was there. Almost. Next year I will be!

    Reply
    • Kate Dore Will October 5, 2014 on 12:26 pm

      Thanks so much, Will. I’ll look forward to meeting you next year!

      Reply
  • Holding Myself Accountable: The September Review | Cashville Skyline Holding Myself Accountable: The September Review | October 2, 2014 on 6:47 am

    […] Most popular post: Cashville Skyline (Kate) Does FinCon14 […]

    Reply
  • 50+ Actionable Ways to Invest in Yourself October 2, 2014 on 10:44 am

    […] Cashville Skyline (Kate) Does FinCon14 […]

    Reply
  • Welcome to Cashville Skyline! - Cashville Skyline Cashville Skyline Welcome to Cashville Skyline! - Cashville Skyline | February 4, 2015 on 7:20 am

    […] Cash” and worked hard to keep my true identity a secret. It wasn’t until I attended FinCon, and was teased by some blogging buddies, that I finally revealed my true […]

    Reply
  • Why Setting Intentions Matters (#FinCon15 Recap) - Cashville Skyline September 23, 2015 on 8:11 am

    […] hard to believe I showed up at last year’s FinCon as Addison Cash. Yup, that was my alias! And I came armed with handmade business […]

    Reply
  • Welcome to Cashville Skyline! - Cashville Skyline September 30, 2015 on 9:03 pm

    […] Cash” and worked hard to keep my true identity a secret. It wasn’t until I attended FinCon, and was teased by some blogging buddies, that I finally revealed my true […]

    Reply
  • Cashville Skyline Turns One! - Cashville Skyline December 20, 2015 on 9:52 am

    […] read about some major life moments: losing a friend to suicide, quitting my job, attending FinCon under my real name, starting a new part-time job, attending weddings, traveling to Jamaica, and my ongoing weight […]

    Reply