This weekend, I attended a conference for financial bloggers called FinCon. I had two purposes in attending FinCon: to connect with people who would pay me to write, and to FanGirl some of my favorite bloggers. In retrospect, I did a lot better at the first than the second, and the reason that I did better at the first is that I prepared for it.
I prepared for FinCon the same way that I prepare for a job interview. I had a 30 second elevator pitch (that The Roamer heard 72 times, sorry Roamer), a one minute explanation of my expertise, and a list of relevant stories and accomplishments that showed expertise in an arena where I am significantly less accomplished than many of the people that I met.
I handed out these business cards, I wore 3.5 inch, close toed pumps, and I dressed in professional clothes that hid my baby bump. And in the very conversations where I spoke knowledgeably about Sentiment Analysis, quantitative marketing, and the difference between Iron Condors, Covered Calls, and Basic options, I also spoke about the need for stories, authenticity and connecting real people to real needs.
Why did I prepare this way, and why did I present myself this way?
I recently received what might be the best left handed compliment of my life. A friend told me, "I love how confident you are in hosting people at your house. It makes me feel like I can do it too!" She meant it with the best of intentions, so I just thanked her graciously, and told her that I looked forward to a party at her place (or a place near her place) soon. I'll bring the cookies.
But its true. I'm no Martha Stewart, or Pioneer Woman. My house is imperfect (and not in the it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful sense, but more in the, I hope nobody has to Pee in the four hours that they are at our house drinking coffee or alcoholic beverages). I'm a decent cook, but I usually forget to do important tasks when preparing for guests like buying enough food, or having a grill when I'm planning a grill out (a special thank you to my dad who bought me a $26 dollar grill when I told him we would have "oven grilled" burgers when he and my mom visited in May).
I recently had some friends over, and I had to adjust my menu four hours before the guests arrived to suit the palates of those who aren't finishing up their first trimester of pregnancy (my previous menu was meat and pickles).
I don't tell you all this to be self-depreciating, but to encourage you to start having people into your home. Even if you're living on a tight budget, and even if you have no "hosting" skills, starting to invite people into your home is a way of inviting people into your life. I want you to start having people over because it has enriched my life, and I want it to enrich yours too.
These are my tried and true tips for entertaining on a tight budget, even if you have no skills.
Thanks for reading my blog! I just want to let you know that starting Wednesday, I will be switching my URL to UnplannedFinance.com.
I actually bought the URL months ago, but sloth got the better of me, and I haven't switched it yet. I'll try to go on a commenting binge tomorrow and Wednesday, to get let you know about the new name. I will also personally text my mom to let her know.
In the meantime, if you are interested in reading some of my scintillating thoughts about personal finance check out one of these guest posts:
How Kids Can Eliminate Student Loan Debt before Starting College- LenPenzo.com
I want to have it all... Eventually - Phroogal.com
Also, to help you through your Monday, I will mention that about 65% of my friends on Facebook are white women between the age of 22 and 29. Pumpkin Spice Latte was the number one trending feature through the weekend. It's not just a pop culture myth.
Primary homes, are a popular point of contention within the personal finance community. Should you buy your home as an investments (per the recommendation of Mrs. Frugalwoods), should you buy a home in a low cost area to avoid high rents (per the recommendation of Mr. Root Of Good), should you avoid home purchases except if you are rich (per the recommendation of JL Collins), should you only buy homes that enable a great lifestyles (per the recommendation of Mr. Money Mustache), or should you buy a junker and fix it up (per the recommendation of Mr. 1500)?
Having sold one house (condo), and bought two in the past three years, I feel like I have a tiny shred of wisdom to add to this much debated topic. These are the four rules that Rob and I went over when we bought our most recent house.
I'm a wife, a mom, an employee, and a personal finance nerd who is devoted to spreadsheeting my way through life.