Happy Monday, everyone!
Over the weekend, I had a chance to meet up with some great people from FinCon Pittsburgh–our local group here in the Ohio Valley–thanks to PenFed Credit Union. We hit up the Imaginarium and made it out of the escape room by the skin of our teeth!
A few months ago, we had another meetup at a winery in Ohio so we could have good food and drinks with our Columbus friends.
I love these get togethers. It gives us all a chance to get to know each other a little better without being behind a screen. In Ohio we talked shop, drawing from each other’s collective blogging knowledge, and this weekend we had straight fun while working together on a task that didn’t include SEO.
I also love these people. They’re super interesting and create some great content. That’s why I’m going to take a minute to introduce you. You may know many of them already!
Amanda started blogging as she was trying to get out from under a mountain of debt. She achieved her goal, and continues to write about personal finance as she pursues financial independence. She’s also big into creative writing, and she’s good at what she does. She finds ways to tie seemingly mundane financial occurrences to moments of deeper reflection.
Her most recent post is a great way to get a taste of her mad skills.
Eat the Financial Elephant
Mr. Elephant Eater recently retired–at 40 years old. That’s crazy, right?
Want to hear something potentially crazier? He and his family recently bought a house while they were on vacation. They had no intention of doing so before they left.
But they could. Because they’ve made different decisions with their money and lifestyle than others. Some early retirement blogs seem super unrealistic for your average worker and obsessed with money over—pretty much anything else in life.
That’s why I love Eat the Financial Elephant: it’s not that. This family has found a way to balance living a full life today while socking away a high percentage of their income for tomorrow. It’s inspiring.
Brent Sutherland is a CFP who had a ton of experience in the traditional world of finance. In the past few years, he’s decided to buck the norm by starting his own business to help people reach financial independence.
You can tell his approach is different just by reading his blog. He takes stuffy money issues and and throws a little bit of real life into the mix. One of my favorite recent ones takes intentional living and displays how it helps Brent and his wife make career decisions.
Married & Harried
Mike & Em have four kids.
That’s enough of a premise for an entire book, nonetheless a blog–right?
But there’s moooreee! Their blog, Married & Harried, covers how they handle the madness of child rearing while staying true to frugal values. From organization to purchasing decisions, grocery shopping to productivity, they’ve got everything for modern-day parents covered in a very non-Mary Poppins way. Which is appreciated. Because since I became a mother, Mary Poppins I am not.
They’ve got a lot of great content, but Em’s most recent post on being organized and productive when all you want to do is sit around and binge watch Netflix is particularly timely for me now that I have a short-lived subscription to HBO NOW for Game-of-Thrones-watching purposes.
Smart Family Money
Cindy, the writer at Smart Family money, is such a cool person. We come from different backgrounds, but as we were talking we realized that the people we’re trying to reach with our writing are the same: women who want to make the best financial decisions possible.
There’s a strong emphasis on family money management, and a lot of it is genius. Like how she figured out how to get free baby-sitting WITHOUT calling in Grandma.
Other Awesome People
Not everyone in our group is a blogger; Emily Yost is an SEO specialist and PR professional who does work in the financial services area.
I already found out about one other PF blogger in the area since we met up this weekend. If you know of anyone else in Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio or West Virginia, leave a link to their blog in the comments!
I know we talk about this a lot but it is awesome how willing the PF community is to get together, share, and connect.
Truth! At the very beginning that’s what kept me going!
Thanks so much for the shout out! We really enjoyed meeting everyone this past weekend and spending some time with like minded individuals.
Enjoyed meeting you, too! Excited for our next one!
I had no idea some of these folks were Pittsburgians (-ites?). Escape the Rooms are so much fun. Someone should organize an Escape the Room night for FinCon.
Haha Pittsburghers. Or Yinzers if you’re super familiar. Amanda and Cindy are actually out of Columbus, but that’s not to far and we’ve adopted them until they get their own group going.
I’m loving that idea. Trying to look over my schedule and simultaneously Google Dallas escape rooms. We should make it happen!
I had no idea these guys lived so close! Too bad I’m in southwest Ohio (oh, and the 5 kids make it a little hard to up and go), because I would LOVE to be a part of that group! 🙂
There used to be one in Cincinnati, but I’m not confident that it’s still active. The Columbus crew were talking about potentially starting their own group–will let you know if/when it happens!
I thought it was just you. I am so excited there are others. My husband is from Pittsburgh and I can’t wait for him to check out these blogs.