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How to Pack for a Conference (For Me, FinCon)

How to Pack for a Conference - Conferences are the BEST for networking and building an online business. I get SO many opportunities from going but I never know what to pack for a conference, or I forget things. This list will help me not be forgetful and actually have a chance to make new blogging friends, not be looking for Walmart.

My biggest conference of every year is FinCon – a huge money geek meetup with learning, connections, drinking, and parties.  This event started as the Financial Blogger Conference in 2011 and evolved into the Financial Content Expo.  Whatever the real name, #FinCon17 in Dallas, Texas will be in October 2017!!! This is my annual trek to network, see my financial blogging friends, and to soak up pure, unadulterated motivation.  I also try to attend as cheaply as possible because, well, it’s me at a financial conference…duh.  Cheap means not having a checked bag when you have to fly through any airline near me other than Spirit.  That in mind, here is my go to packing list for conferences! FIRST – Conference Specific Items No matter the conference, there are probably a few things you shouldn’t forget.  Here are my needs for FinCon: Business Cards!!!  I go to this conference to network.  Step 1 is being memorable enough not to need business cards.  BUT Step 2 is having them just in case.  Especially to hand to people I want to work with soon.  I generally only need 50 or so, but I take 100+ just in case.  I’ve generally used Vistaprint.Here are my … Read more

Why You Should Start a Blog Right Now.

It sounds corny as hell, but blogging changed my life.  I spent 5 years working in a dead end cubicle position and then I stumbled across a money blog.  It was like making a friend for the first time.  I got that warm, fuzzy feeling that I belonged.  And it just got better! I started this site in 2010 (please use my referral link if you try too since I’ve negotiated a lower deal for my readers) and I quit my day job a year later to be a full-time entrepreneur.  I’ve been chugging away on the self-employment train ever since… Why You Should Start a Blog 1.  It’s fun to talk with people who are crazy about the same stuff you are crazy about. 2.  I have personally made more than $500,000 online since I started blogging in 2010. That’s half a million dollars and growing!!!  $1000-$3000 a month is from just this site. Blogging makes money through ad income, but you can also use a blog to get work as a virtual assistant, social media manager, staff writer, etc.  Here’s my free walk-through on How to Make Money Blogging.  And if you already have the basics, you can check out Michelle’s (Making Sense of Censt) e-course on building … Read more

Budgeting in Self-Employment

The ups and downs of income when you're self employed are so hard to navigate. Here's a solid approach to budgeting in self employment and striking out on your own with a plan in place. I'm glad I'm not alone!

I thought it would be fun to update this post exactly 5 years after I originally wrote it…let’s see what’s changed… Yes, even though blogging was/is officially paying me more than my day job ever did, I budget in self-employment.  Specifically, I really dislike the idea of irregular paychecks and we strive to make it less stressful. My Paycheck Plan 5 Years Ago I had been building up a blogging income account at ING (now CapitalOne 360).  My hope was to get it to $10,000 by the time I quit my day job so I’d have more than enough padding on months that I don’t bring in enough.  I made it to $9200 as of July 15, 2011 and I took it right over the $10,000 mark with the last paycheck I received after giving my 2 weeks’ notice. I was planning on paying myself a biweekly paycheck directly from this accout so we would never experience a budget crunch at all.  In order for this plan to have worked, I decided to pay myself $1500 every two weeks. How It Has Worked for the Last 5 Years I’m going to pat myself on the back.  This plan has been slightly adjusted as our income fluctuated over the … Read more

What Are Your Personal Finance or Self-Employment Questions?

If you hadn’t noticed, we bloggers spend a lot of time trying to guess what you’d be the most interested in.  Hence the plethora of “How to…” posts and the excess of “10 tips to…” posts. But let’s skip past the flirting stage!  I wanna hold your hand! What do you want to know?  Please comment with your personal finance, self-employment, or even personal questions for me below and I will spend the next month finding the people to ask if I don’t know, doing the research, and getting those answers posted right here on BFS for you!  If you rather be anonymous or just prefer email – please send them over to budgetingfunstuff *at* This is the opportunity to ask exactly what you want to know without spending an hour or two scrolling through Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, etc. looking for something to spark your interest!

How I Make Money Blogging

I love it when people share how they make money blogging. There's all sorts of great tips and insider info in this post. She makes thousands every month!

I found another post in heavy need of updating!  Once you’ve read How to Start a Blog, then How to Grow a Blog, you probably finally want me to cough up how to make money blogging, right?  I originally wrote this post in December 2010 (hence the older comments as well as, hopefully, the newer ones to come *hint, hint*).  Take advantage of what I’ve learned over the last 6 years! The Beginning I started blogging with BFS on February 20th, 2010 (I started with Host Monster BUT DON’T – it was bad…I suggest Bluehost or Host Gator).  I had dreams that a whole group of yet-to-know-friends would talk with me about the wonderful subject of money…a subject that my poor husband was pretty tired of hearing about from me, lol.  When I found out that some blogs actually made money, I thought a few hundred a year would be fantastic since it would pay for itself. By just the end of that first month, I had a few commenters every day.  BFS felt like my special world.  I was hooked.  By the end of that March, I knew that blogging full time would be my dream job.  That’s when I … Read more

How to Grow Your Blog – Fun But Takes Time!

I am always trying to figure out how to grow my blog and look for blogging tips that will make me better. There's always room to grow!

Given the fact that I just updated my How to Start a Blog page, I figured the next post should be the update on how to grow that blog once you have it! I’ve received dozens if not hundreds of emails since 2010 asking how to grow your site as fast as humanly possible.  I’m sorry I wasn’t able to give you a super fast solution – growing a site takes time.  But here is how I accelerated Budgeting in the Fun Stuff’s growth spurt and my suggestions for newbie bloggers (or even veteran bloggers who may need a kick in the a$$, like me)… Main Requirements of a Blog This list is at the end of my How to Start a Blog page, but it is worth re-iterating for anybody just starting out! Header with your blog’s name. An “About” page or tab. Categories or archives that make your past posts easily accessible. Subscription buttons so readers can at least subscribe to your RSS Feed, Twitter account, and/or Facebook account. I use a WordPress plugin called “Subscription Options” to help me place my set on the top of my right sidebar. A search box. A Privacy Policy, a Disclosure Policy, … Read more

Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Blog with Bluehost

Over the weekend, I realized that nearly all of my writing is extremely personal, but that doesn’t make it necessarily helpful.  I also realized that if I think certain services, products, or deals are really good, I should be more helpful in showing y’all what they do and how to use them. I posted a “How to Start a Blog” post and page in September 2015.  It sucked.  I fixed it yesterday…I think.  Please check out my step-by-step guide below for starting a blog.  Even if you aren’t interested in using Bluehost or blogging or anything, just let me know if it seems pretty clear.  I am trying to make most of my future posts, even the personal ones, more helpful.  They won’t all be about affiliates like Bluehost, but since “How do you make money blogging?” is the number one question I receive, this was a good place to start.  Let me know what you think!  🙂 — Okay, so Budgeting in the Fun Stuff (BFS) has made $100,000+ since February 2010. And when I mention blogging as my main income stream, the most frequently asked question is “How do you make money blogging?” Well, you make money through advertising deals … Read more