From FinCon to a New Financial Reality

FinCon is a weird and awesome and wild adventure. It’s days of content and connecting “Where Money Meets Media.” In Orlando. Okay…

FinCon

Tl;dr – it’s a bunch of money nerds who open wallets and words to help folks across the Internet do better with money.

Add the brands who want to woo them to their causes. Because who wants to read product details about a new budgeting tool when they can hear why their money heroes like BitchesGetRiches or Cat Alford use the tool to tackle their shit?

To FIRE or not to FIRE…

Not I…and apparently not most folks, who rely on the much-more-obsessed-than-they to guide them to the promised land of FIRE or debt pay down or the ability to Afford Anything.It’s such a feisty set that when Suze Orman talked smack about the FIRE movement, the money-nerd corner of the Internet exploded. Can’t even hyperlink unless it’s to my search results on the topic, which are pages long…

Like a salmon swimming upstream

I was there for work. Paying more than most (all?) on-site would approve. Taking Lyfts to and fro and racking up spendy ‘ritas and hotel Internet and coffee from baristas each MakeItRainday. While others tweeted about going to Publix for groceries and to fill the coffee mugs they brought from home, we had mediocre hotel dinners + room service and a hotel movie, because team bonding. And chicken fingers

Making it rain tax deductible dollars is a good retention strategy, right? And the wine at the happy hours was blech.

I spent most of one day glued to my laptop watching in horror as the Kavanaugh hearings played out and wasting money in the form of connections and productive time because all I could do was not barf or scream.

(I clearly missed the session on layout…)

And then I got home to wildly-overpriced-but-always-home San Francisco and a shoe dropped on my too-expensively-shod toe. The hubs is prolly gonna quit his job.

I make money. I have a dope business. It makes me super proud that I’ve been able to build a profitable business – and employ people! with real jobs! and bennies! – in two years.

But I also optimize for growing the biz versus paying myself; maxing my 401k and tax write-offs versus dollars in my pocket, because the hubs’ current job is crazy lucrative.

As a result, I have let the lifestyle creep so far up my own ass, only a few years after we were envelope budgeting and cutting cords and costs and the things I THOUGHT came with my badass executive-ing… So after having been broke and underpaid for most of my adulthood, I’d climbed to a higher salary than I thought I’d make in my life…and had the tightest budget to-date. Because I hadn’t accounted for four kids, big moves, a nasty ex (his, not mine) and the ensuing costs of custody lawyers, tuitions, and the whole nine.

And I’d entered into a debt-averse marriage with sky-high cost of living.

So the last couple of years, I’ve been focusing on building and re-investing in the biz, while hubs has worked his ass off building inside a big company and functionally printing money because the stock market, tho. Oh, and his tremendous work. But. That stock.

stock market.jpeg

So now, as we’ve cut away every cost-cutting measure and added luxuries from impromptu travel to frequent food delivery to Rent the Runway Unlimited (which’ll be yanked from my well-dressed self when it’s cold and dead) and having (in his words not mine) “money to burn” after we hit our 401k, 529 and other savings goals…we might be looking at a family of 6 (college, private high school, two with a nanny) and an ex (still bankrolled) on a salary that even if I paid out every profit dollar to myself, wouldn’t match what I made when I worked for THE MAN.

So. Time to get real. And reflect. And figure out how to live in the city that I love and enjoy some of the finer things that balance my hectic work-life-circus act, while also ensuring we can do it without simply polishing our golden handcuffs and learning to suck it up until we die.

So that’s me. As of today. Mortgage just under a cool mil’. Lifestyle extended at each edge. Trying to take to heart the teachings of the nerd herd I admire so much and make it work for me.

Next up, reading Broke Millennial and Get Money  — because I know the authors live in expensive cities and are still handling their ish. And I love buying first run books, especially from female authors.

So. Game on.

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