Due 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.
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