Giveaway: The big box of FinCon16 swag.

thDue to my daughter’s mystery illness, we both missed huge chunks of the 2016 Financial Blogger Conference. Huge bummer for us both, especially since we’d looked forward to meeting with some local readers.

(I did get to say hello to Ro in San Diego, a regular reader/commenter. Thanks for dropping by, Ro.)

My daughter and I each managed to visit the expo hall, where a ton of organizations and businesses were handing out goodies. Obviously both Abby and I wanted to learn about new products and services, but I must admit to thinking how much fun it would be to share these items with a lucky winner.

FinCon swag giveaways have been popular in the past. Pretty sure that the big box of FinCon16 swag will keep that streak alive.


Some of the stuff is silly. Some of it is pretty useful. All of it should be fun for the winner, provided that s/he doesn’t mind wearing or using stuff with logos on it. And yeah, I’m mentioning each swag provider by name because if they’re gonna give it out, I’m gonna give them a little free PR.


Swaggy memories of FinCon16

Abby gave me a bunch of the stuff she collected, so I still have a big bag of swag left over. Right now the plan is to bring it to the University of Alaska Anchorage on Nov. 5, when I’ll be talking about “Your Playbook For Tough Times.” My theory is that everybody loves a door prize, and depending on how many people show up there could be enough oddments to give everybody a treat.

Here’s all that I could stuff into one of those flat-rate boxes:

Luggage scale. It’s a hand-held device that keeps you from overdoing the packing. This was part of PenFed Cred Union’s goodie bag on the evening of the reception that was open to the public. (Thanks again for dropping by, Ro.)

Insulated shopping bag. This reusable sack, courtesy of Country Financial, is thicker than most such bags and lined with a silvery material. If you’ve got a long drive home from the supermarket or it’s a hot day and your car’s AC isn’t working, the ice cream and frozen peas stand a better chance of making it home intact.

Sticky notes. Two sets of them, shaped like dollar signs and bearing the logo of the National Endowment for Financial Education (www.NEFE.org). These things are darned useful.

Nylon backpack. It’s the drawstring-type of pack. I envision it in the trunk of your car, holding things like flares, gloves, jumper cables and other road safety essentials. Don’t thank me – this is another one of PenFed’s goodies.

Coffee/beer cozies. The java one is from Fidelity Investments and the beer/soda one is from the TipYourself app.

Reusable shopping bag. It’s a sturdy one, not like the papery varieties sold at most supermarkets, and carries the SoFi logo. Don’t be surprised if you start humming “He’s So Fine” after you see it. (I have.)

Piggy bank. A small one that’s the perfect size for a little kid’s first savings. But it could also live in the laundry area and collect forgotten coins from pockets.

Canvas tote bag. This one bears the Haven logo and the phrase, “Totes prepared.” Cute.

Grownup coloring book. Another offering from Fidelity, it’s not just a coloring book – it’s a personal finance primer. A bunch of FinCon folk contributed their top tips for taking back your cash. Comes with a small box of cute li’l pencils. Have fun.

Hats. Two baseball caps: a purple one with The Penny Hoarder logo and a navy blue one from SmartAsset with the slogan, “Make personal finance great again.”

Business card case. This red vinyl case is from Savings.com. It’s also a good place to keep a transit pass.

Shoe wallet. A small zippered case, again from PenFed, is big enough to hold an ID and/or a key. Velcro it onto your shoe and hit the road or the gym.

Beach ball. The inflatable kind, from TradeKing.com. Your kids can play catch in the house with this one because it’s too light to break anything.

Water bottle. This is a 24-ounce, stainless steel H2Go Bolt bottle with a threaded lid and the SoFi logo.

Lip balm. Another one from PenFed – and again, another thing you can’t seem to have too many of, since they’re easily misplaced.

Several T-shirts. All are as soft as clouds and feel lovely against your skin (kept a couple for myself, is how I know). If you wear them outside the house, though, you may be queried about XPYN Radio (“Financial Planning Unhinged”), aWeber (an old-timey yet oddly nouveau spaceman) and Aspiration.com (“Green Not Greed”) are, exactly.

Mints. Three containers of sugar-free peppermints, from Savings.com, Charles Schwab and Media.net. One in your coat pocket, one in your purse/backpack and one in the car. No more dry mouth!

Sunglasses. One pair is from TradeKing and the other from GO Banking Rates. Keep a pair in the car in case you lose or break your usual ones. Squinty driving = unsafe driving.

Lined journal. This dark-navy book has the Zillow logo on the front. Picture yourself sitting in a coffee shop, jotting down deep thoughts. Or use it as a fitness journal, a gardening record or whatever suits you.

Selfie stick. Hey, some people like these a lot. If that’s not you, I bet you know someone who would take it off your hands.

A great canvas bag. This zippered tote from Vanguard is a sturdy sonofagun and would make a fine overnight case or would hold everything you need for a day at the beach.

Pens, pens, pens. Some plebeian, some fairly nice ones, thanks to the tables staffed by Swagbucks, Affiliate by Conversant, PenFed, NEFE, Country Financial, Vanguard (bonus: this one has a soft end you can use on smartphone or tablet screens), SoFi, Country Financial and NerdWallet.

Stress ball. It’s fabric, it’s green, it’s from Fidelity Investments and it’s soothing. Better to squeeze the living daylights out of this than to say (or do) something you’ll regret.

While FinCon16 was a bit of a bust, I have high hopes for next year’s conference, which will take place in Dallas. Any of you Texans want to try again for a reader meetup with Abby and me? With luck, the 2017 conference will be completely cootie-free.

To enter the giveaway, do one or more of the following:

Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry (e.g., “Subscribed to your writing newsletter” or “Follow you on Twitter”).

The deadline to enter is 7 p.m. PDT Tuesday, Oct. 18. If I don’t hear back from the winners by 7 p.m. PDT Wednesday, Oct. 19, I’ll have the random number generator pull new names.

Note: Due to the high cost of international shipping, a winner from outside the United States will receive an Amazon gift card.

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  1. Thanks for the chance!

  2. I subscribe via email.

  3. Angela J

    Thank you! Swag=stocking stuffers!

  4. Great ideas to give away some of the swag, Donna. When I go to conferences I bring back swag to share with my co-workers and they love it!

  5. I could find a use for all of these, either for myself or for Christmas for others. Thanks for the chance to win wonderful things.

  6. I follow you via email – thanks for the giveaway Donna!

  7. I follow you by email.

  8. Swag giveaway sounds wonderful – thanks for the giveaway!

  9. I get your bi-weekly newsletter.

  10. Awesome giveaway as always!! Everyone loves useful swag!!

  11. I’m also a subscriber!

  12. And a FB follower!

  13. Tina in NJ

    That’s a LOT of cool swag!! Sorry you missed so much of the conference. Do they have videos available so you can catch at least some of the presentations?

    • Donna Freedman

      Yes, the videos are available. What we really missed, though, was the chance to connect (or reconnect) and network with all the other writers, and maybe to pick up a few freelance opportunities. Oh well. Next year.

  14. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Awesome goodies to put in Christmas stockings!

  16. I would love these! Hope your daughter’s return to health continues.

  17. Follow you on Facebook!

  18. Pam Orita

    Subscribe by email and follow you on Facebook

  19. I LOVE swag!!!!

  20. Could use lots of this swag!

  21. Subscribe via email

  22. Follow on twitter

  23. Follow on Facebook

  24. I would love some of this swag. I always love to collect things.

  25. did someone mention SWAG?

  26. Danielle

    Subscribe via email

  27. Danielle

    Follow on Facebook!

  28. Danielle

    Follow on Twitter

  29. Danielle

    This swag looks awesome and useable (is that a word?)

  30. Thanks for this Swagtastic giveaway!

  31. Katherine

    Everyone loves swag

  32. I would love to win😀

  33. Lynda Eads

    I would love to win It’s like Christmas when a package comes in the mail.

  34. Sorry your daughter was so sick. Glad she’s on the mend. Thanks for the giveaway, would love to win. Lots of useful stuff!

  35. I subscribe via email.

  36. I subscribe to WriteABlogPeopleWillRead.com

  37. I follow you on Twitter.

  38. I bet a lot of these would make great stocking stuffers!

  39. You and Abby had a lot to tote, especially with her so sick. Glad she’s better. I subscribe to you via email. Been an avid reader – and occasional poster – at your various locales for many years now, starting shortly after the seminal 12K-a-year post at MSN.

  40. What fun! I love your giveaways.

  41. Hope I win

  42. Cool swag! Hope you go to another movie soon, I love your financial lessons from them!!!

  43. Forgot to say twitter and email.

  44. So many useful goodies!

  45. Does a subscription through Feedly count?

  46. Wow, that is a lot of stuff! Please put my name in the draw, Thanks!

  47. Cakester

    Exciting things to potentially win!

  48. Cakester

    I also get the newsletter

  49. Can’t resist the Vanguard bag! Thanks.

  50. Okie Jane

    I get your emails, and wish they came more often!

  51. Melissa F

    Count me in for an entry please. Thanks for the giveaway and take care.

  52. Rochelle Hamilton

    It was nice seeing you again too, Donna. I was so sorry to hear of Abby’s illness and hope I may see you both again the next time Fin Con comes to San Diego.

    I found the luggage scale very useful and would love to win another chance at one to give to my best friend who travels quite a bit also.

    I follow you on Facebook

  53. Rochelle Hamilton

    I follow you by email too and would love a chance to win your Fin Con swag.

  54. Jennifer

    Would love to win this…if you pick me you could save on shipping, I’ll meet you anywhere in Anchorage!

  55. Zowie! That’s a LOT of swag, Donna!

  56. I’ve followed you on Facebook for years.

  57. I subscribe to your bloggers’ newsletter.

  58. Wow! This is mega swag! Thank you for the giveaway.

  59. I subscribe via feedburner

  60. I follow your tweets (moeyshay)

  61. I subscribe to your WriteABlogPeopleWillRead newsletter

  62. All of these items would be welcome at my place!

  63. Thanks for the chance to win!! I am sure I would find a use for everything!!

  64. Your Playbook for Tough Times is on my kindle. I continue to learn each time that I reread it.

    • Donna Freedman

      So glad to hear that! Would you mind leaving a short review on the book’s Amazon landing page? Even just a paragraph about how it helped you/could help others would be greatly appreciated.

  65. I subscribe via e-mail.

  66. I also follow you on Facebook.

  67. While I was reading, I thought “I hope they do one close to home sometime because I’d really like to attend,” and then… Texas! Yay!

    I’ll do my best to get there next year, it would be nice to see you again!

  68. Great stuff! Thank you.

  69. Facebook too.

  70. Wow, I missed some of this stuff! Fingers crossed!

  71. I am subscribed via email.

  72. I’m a long time subscriber via Twitter and FB

  73. I receive your newsletter.

  74. Nice Swag!!

  75. I receive your emails.

  76. I’m a Facebook follower too.

  77. count me in.

  78. I get emails!

  79. I follow on Facebook.

  80. I follow on twitter

  81. Top notch swag!

  82. Beverly T

    Follow you on Twitter

  83. Beverly T

    Hope Abby is doing better now. Really enjoyed your chat with WiseBread.

  84. Enter me, please!

  85. Kate Nelson

    That is some top-notch swag! I’d love to win it!

  86. Sounds like some wonderfully fun swag! I subscribe via email.

  87. Awh, that should say “Carrie.” I also follow on Twitter.

  88. Facebook, too. 🙂 Enjoy the day!

  89. What a great giveaway. Thanks

  90. I follow you by email.

  91. I signed up for your newsletter

  92. Danielle


  93. Danielle

    I also follow via twitter 🙂

  94. Looks like I got in just under the deadline. Hoping to score some of that nice loot :-).

  95. I read you regularly, would love to win!

  96. Cathy in NJ

    Write a blog reader.

  97. Love your blog.

  98. Geri Alexander

    Been enjoying your writing since your days on the message boards.

  99. Lots of cool stuff, I enjoy your blog!

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