New to BFS?

If you are new to Budgeting in the Fun Stuff (BFS), please click here. It'll give you a little background and a starting point for browsing BFS. See you in the comments soon!

Money

ENTER THE CHARITY GIVEAWAY NOW!!! $125 UP FOR GRABS!!!

Categories

As Seen On

Forbes

Yahoo
DailyFinance

Get Rich Slowly

House Logic

Check Out My eBooks!!!

How I Make Money Blogging Managing Your Monthly Nut

Packing for the Financial Blogger Conference (or Any Conference)

I am typing this up at 1am Sunday morning.  I don’t leave for the Financial Blogger Conference 2013 (FinCon13) until Tuesday morning, but I am already too pumped to sleep!  That is pretty bad.  I keep thinking of the last two, and the fact that I am actually helping with this one via helping with the Bootcamp and announcing a few Plutus Awards.  Here were the recaps of the last two conferences:

Anyway, since it is on my mind, I figured I could at least share my packing list.  Oh, and keep in mind, this is all coming with me on the plane in one rolling carry-on and a laptop case.

Conference Specific Items

  • Business Cards!!!  I usually end up handing out and receiving business cards from 50-100 people minimum!  I take about 250 with me.
  • BFS Tote Bag – I actually had a tote made with the BFS logo on it for the first FinCon and use it exclusively every year to carry around everything.
  • BFS Necklace – Yep, I am that geeky.  I have a resin necklace with my logo, hahaha.
  • Cough drops – I talk so much that these are just preventative, they’re necessary.
  • Printed Versions of my eBooks (10 each) – I am selling “How I Make Money Blogging” ($15) and “Managing Your Monthly Nut” ($10) in print at the conference.  If I sell out miraculously, I’ll keep taking orders and get the books shipped out over November.

Regular Trip Stuff – Clothes

Please keep in mind that most of my clothes (other than jeans and my sweatshirt) are made of thin, light materials that are wrinkle-resistant.  That helps with packing tremendously.

  • Jacket – I live in Houston where it is 80-90 degrees right now.  FinCon13 is in St. Louis and the forecast says it will be 42-66 degrees this week.  That’s frickin’ freezing for me.  I’ll have to wear this on the plane rides.
  • Fuzzy socks – see above.
  • Sweat shirt/sweater – Just one that I can put on over my blouses and under my leather jacket if I am completely freezing regularly.
  • Tennis shoes – 1 pair for daytime wear and to keep my feet warm.
  • Regular socks – 5-6 pairs.
  • Nice shoes – 1 pair.  I learned from last year that I need tennis shoes (not sandals) and a nice set of black shoes that are comfortable and will go with my classier outfits.  That’s it.
  • Underwear (duh)
  • Bras (double duh)
  • Jeans – 2-3 pairs to use during the days.
  • Slacks – 1-2 pairs for days or nights when I want to look dressier without going all out.
  • Blouses/shirts – 5-6 to go with jeans during the day or slacks/skirts at night.
  • Dresses/Skirts – 2-3 for the nice events like the Plutus Awards and evenings out with other bloggers.
  • Hose
  • Pajamas

Regular Trip Stuff – Electronics

All of this will fit in my laptop case for sure.

  • Laptop
  • Laptop Charger
  • Plug-in Mouse
  • Cell Phone
  • Cell Phone Charger
  • Cell Phone Backup Batteries
  • AAA Batteries for Mouse
  • iPod if it worked anymore – My iPod Nano from 2009 seems to be dead.  It won’t hold a charge at all anymore.

Regular Trip Stuff – Extras

  • PLANE TICKET
  • DRIVER’S LICENSE
  • HOTEL INFO
  • Credit cards
  • Cash
  • Insurance card
  • Travel wallet for everything above.
  • CHAPSTICK – I live with 70-95% humidity as the norm.  The rest of the world is too dang dry for me.
  • Glasses and contacts
  • Contact solution
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Deodorant
  • Makeup
  • Hair stuff (comb and the hair cream I use to try to tame issues)
  • Sunscreen
  • Lotion
  • Medicines for stomach problems or allergies.
  • I’ll use the hotel’s shampoo and soap (yay for short hair!)
  • Nice but inexpensive jewelry set for my dressy outfits.
  • Book for the plane (will be in my laptop case).

Whew!  I think that is about it.  I am hoping this all fits into my bag like usual and that I still have room for some swag that we get at conferences.  It worked out the last two years.  We’ll see.  Worst case, I have to check my bag in on the way back for $25 and carry my tote instead of repacking it with everything else.

Did I forget anything?  What are you packing for conferences?

Have a Personal Blog? Want to Guest Post? Need Them by Sunday Night!

Hi everybody! I’m leaving for The Financial Blogger Conference on Tuesday and won’t be back until Sunday night!  Help!

Guest Bloggers Please!

If you have a blog, a personal blog that isn’t spammy or all commercial, please send over a personal story for a guest post! Here are the very general guidelines that may help:

1) Be a Blogger or a Reader – If you are a fellow blogger or a regular reader, please continue reading the remaining points, thanks! If you are a guest posting on behalf of a business site (any site whose main purpose is to sell a product or service), email me since we’ll need to discuss a different set of requirements.

2) Any financial or fun topic – This is a very eclectic site. The more personal, the more responses you will get though.

3) Original content – All guest posts need to be written by you and not previously published at any other site. Once it posts at BFS, please wait at least 3 months before publishing it on your own site, thanks! Neither one of us wants to get dinged for duplicate content issues, right?

4) Edited – I do not mind doing minor edits but if a post has too many problems, I do not have the time to do it, sorry. :-(

5) Minimal links – I will gladly link to your site in the intro (in fact, include your own 2-3 sentence intro with your link please!), but please keep other links to a minimum in the actual post unless they are truly useful to the readers. I don’t mind useful links, but I am not your personal link warehouse. :-)

6) Participate – I will tell you exactly when your post is scheduled to go up, so please check in to answer reader questions and comments at least once at the end of that day. It’s more fun for everyone that way, right? :-)

I appreciate everyone’s participation! Please email all guests posts or ideas to budgetingfunstuff *at* gmail *dot* com. Thanks!!!

*Image from http://blog.directorymaximizer.com/2013/01/17/pros-cons-of-accepting-guest-posts-on-your-website/

You Can Comment Again :-)

You may have noticed some issues with BFS over the last 2 days – the server has been going down on and off.  It should be back up and stable now.  That means that if you were getting error messages when you tried to comment, it should be good to go now.  :-)  Sorry for the inconvenience!!!

Have a Personal Blog? Want to Guest Post? Need Them by Friday Night!

Hi everybody!  I’m going to be on a cruise from Saturday through next Thursday (woot!), and I’ve only had one guest post submission so far.  Help!

Guest Bloggers Please!

If you have a blog, a personal blog that isn’t spammy or all commercial, please send over a personal story for a guest post!  Here are the very general guidelines that may help:

1)  Be a Blogger or a Reader – If you are a fellow blogger or reader, please continue reading the remaining points, thanks!  If you are a guest posting on behalf of a business site (any site whose main purpose is to sell a product or service), email me since we’ll need to discuss a different set of requirements.

2) Any financial or fun topic – This is a very eclectic site.  The more personal, the more responses you will get though.

3)  Original content – All guest posts need to be written by you and not previously published at any other site.  Once it posts at BFS, please wait at least 3 months before publishing it on your own site, thanks!  Neither one of us wants to get dinged for duplicate content issues, right?

4) Edited – I do not mind doing minor edits but if a post has too many problems, I do not have the time to do it, sorry.  :-(

5) Minimal links – I will gladly link to your site in the intro (in fact, include your own 2-3 sentence intro with your link please!), but please keep other links to a minimum in the actual post unless they are truly useful to the readers.  I don’t mind useful links, but I am not your personal link warehouse.  :-)

6) Participate – I will tell you exactly when your post is scheduled to go up, so please check in to answer reader questions and comments at least once at the end of that day.  It’s more fun for everyone that way, right?  :-)

I appreciate everyone’s participation!  Please email all guests posts or ideas to budgetingfunstuff *at* gmail *dot* com.  Thanks!!!

*Image from http://blog.directorymaximizer.com/2013/01/17/pros-cons-of-accepting-guest-posts-on-your-website/

Hey Whiners, Bite Me!

There is a theme in the comments of the Yahoo article that covered our mortgage payoff story (for our first house, not our current one).  You can actually read my payoff story in my own words here.  Long story short, we bought a house in April 2007, paid it off in April 2013, and did it mainly by paying $160 more than necessary every month.  That would have had us paying it off in 10 years.  We shaved off an additional 4 years by throwing additional principal payments onto it when I started making more online.

Mainly, with Yahoo’s post, there are whiners and normal people in the comment section.  Let me be clear, whining is great.  I love to do it.  But lashing out at others because of what you have stuck in your whiny brain is stupid.

Here are my responses to all of the whiners that I am sharing here because I love my readers and think my I-really-want-to-say-it responses will make you laugh or at least agree.

But We Don’t All Make $120,000 a Year

Then work on increasing your income!  Or shut up.  My business didn’t magically appear.  I worked my butt off to create it, grow it, and to keep it going!  Don’t want to work that hard?  Then don’t.  I don’t care what you earn, and you don’t have to either, but that means you can keep your mouth shut when someone else succeeds.

We Can’t Buy a Good $114,000 House Where We Live

Then move.  Or shut up.  Yeah, I live near Houston, TX and homes are cheaper here than along the coasts.  But you can either move, make more wherever you live, or suck up the fact that you choose to pay more.  We have to deal with hurricanes and crappy summers.  You have to deal with coastal views and crappy prices.  Whaaaaaaaaaa.  It’s a choice – a really hard one, granted, but a choice none-the-less.

I’m Not Married

So get married.  Or get a second job.  Or shut up.  Sensing a theme?

I didn’t say you had to be married.  And I didn’t get married just to buy a house.  It’s my situation.  Deal with your own situation.

I’m Not Listening Because You Don’t Have Kids

Damn skippy.  It’s by choice.  And if I decide to have kids, that’s our choice too.  I know kids are expensive, but I also know people who have kids and have paid off their home too.  Kids are not an excuse.  They are a prioritized expense.  If you have kids and want to pay off a loan faster, cut something else out of your budget.  It’s not rocket science – it’s budgeting.

I Don’t Want to Rent Out a Spare Bedroom to an Ax Murderer

Then don’t.  We have rented to 4 friends and 2 strangers.  It wasn’t necessary in paying off our mortgage – I just liked the extra income.  Overall, we brought in about $9000 over the 6 years we owned the other house.  Maybe $11,000 if I am forgetting a few months.  That was not how we paid off a $92,000 mortgage in 6 years.  It was just a way of making extra money that Yahoo wanted to include.

Paying Off Your House Loses Your Interest Deduction

This is stupid or ignorant.  First, you must be assuming that the standard deduction wasn’t higher than itemizing (which is was, so we never itemized the first house’s interest).  Then you seem to assume that making back your tax bracket’s worth of interest is better than paying no more interest at all.  NO.  BAD HOMEOWNER.  No interest is way better than a 15%-33% discount off of interest.

You Must Have Lived Like Homeless People

Nope, we live quite nicely, thank you.  We splurge like everyone else, but we don’t splurge on absolutely everything else.  It’s called prioritization – look into it.  If you rather pay off a loan than smoke, give up smoking.  We splurge on food and services, but we don’t buy absolutely everything we want.  “You can afford anything, but you can’t afford everything.”

Your House Must Suck

Nope.  It’s a good house.  Built in 2004 and here’s a picture.  Stop being hateful!

Our First House

It is a cute home. 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 baths, 1750 square feet. Nice neighborhood.

 

Financial Blogger Conference 2013 Flash Sale!!!

Did you want to attend the Financial Blogger Conference this year but missed the initial sale?  Here’s your opportunity again!  Just click here for this flash sale!!!

Why should you go?  Just check out my two complete breakdowns of the last two!!!  Here is the one from FinCon11, and here is the other of FinCon12.  I literally wrote out everything I could remember about each event and included pics to boot.

Here are two bits of important info:

1.   2-day flash sale reverts back to earlier discounted price of $179.  Please use any of the links in this post or the banner below if you are interested.
2. The flash sale runs from today (Thursday) through Friday: August 22nd 8am CT to August 23rd at 11:55pm CT.

FinCon '13 Flash Sale

 

Supporting the Making Sense of Cents Giveaway!!!

Quick post!  I am one of the supporters of the HUGE Making Sense of Cents Anniversary Giveaway!!!  See below and sign up!!!

Prizes

First place – iPad Mini WIFI 16 GB (http://store.apple.com/us/buy/home/shop_ipad/family/ipad_mini?product=IPADMINI2012)
Second place – $150 cash
Third place – $100 cash

General Info

  • Open Worldwide.
  • If the winner of the iPad Mini prefers cash, then cash value for the iPad will be given instead.
  • Paid via PayPal
  • All entries in the Rafflecopter are optional
  • Ends August 28!

a Rafflecopter giveaway