Decision Time/Link Love

ID-10083565First of all I want to thank everyone for commenting on Monday’s post, So Many Goals, So Little Time. I took every one of your comments to heart, and made some decisions based on what I was feeling, and what you had to say.

The first thing I want to announce is that I won’t be attending Fincon14. I had a roommate who had a room booked, but she had some things come up and had to cancel on me. Weird, because it’s the second year in a row this happened to me.  :( I made a pact to myself that if that happened, I would not pursue going.

The reasons are not all bad and I’m really not upset, because it’s going to help me reach some other more pressing and important goals:

  • I’ll have more money for my Croatia trip next year.
  • I’m rather unexpectedly going to Detroit in October now to see my family. 
  • I can use some money saved for that trip for other odds and ends (more on that later).
  • I feel like I’m pretty well connected with many of you outside of my blog. 
  • I don’t really have any huge advanced goals for my blog, where I could benefit greatly from attending another Fincon. 

The only disappointing thing is there are some of you whom I’ve never met that I would like to meet in person, and I’ve also never been to NoLa, and would really like to see it someday. So if anyone needs a ticket, I can transfer mine to you for $153. That was the early bird price.

Here are the updates on my other goals:

A huge majority of you were in favor of me learning the Ukulele. By some random circumstance that fell into place, that’s the first thing that is going to happen. I’m currently borrowing my producer’s Ukulele, however (and don’t get mad if you’re reading this Steve), it’s on the very cheap end and loses it’s tune pretty quickly. Still, I’ve been playing around with free tutorials online, and have already been practicing. As a favor for running some errands this past week, Steve offered to pay for a Ukulele class, which starts on July 7th and runs for six sessions. What I will be deciding at this point is whether I stick with his Uke, or look for my own. I’ll keep you posted.

As an added incentive to learn, I registered for a Downtown LA Ukulele-Along on Sept 13th for $10. Sort of like signing up for a marathon. Now I HAVE to train. :)

Regarding the documentary, I think that most people voted for that second. My plan for now is to flesh out a treatment for the documentary (i.e. outline, who I want to interview, locations, etc.). I think I’m going to think “big” as I flesh it out,  and scale back if necessary…because I do think it’s a great idea!

If and when I get close to shooting, I’ll decide on the camera situation. I may buy a fairly low-budget consumer camera just so I have one on my own, and shoot the damn thing lo-fi…or I might be able to borrow a higher end camera. This is another reason I’m opting out of Fincon. It gives me some possible funds for a camera if need be.

I would try to produce some sort of proof of concept trailer for Kickstarter, and see if I can raise some funds to finance it to hire essential crew. If it comes down to it, I can always (and probably will) edit it myself. At least I have that skill!

As far as the other video skits, I can still do them as time permits either borrowing a camera, or using my iPhone (I shot this one on my iPhone). If I’m in it I’ll just have a friend shoot it. Very lo-fi, but people are so used to that kind of thing these days anyway. And they are meant to be just fun and goofy.

Lastly was my thought on learning web stuff using budget tutorial type websites. Right now my gut is telling me this isn’t a huge passion of mine right now. Someone made a good point of telling me I could hire out for certain technical things I’m trying to achieve with my blog, and for now that’s good enough for me. My blog (fingers crossed) is in a pretty stable place that I’m comfortable with.

I also wanted to mention (because so many people asked) that the book I’m reading on stress is called The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living. It’s been a HUGE help, and I will have more thoughts about it next week on Healthy, Fit, and Frugal.

So that’s it! What do you think? 

Link Love

Make sure you enter to win my ASICS running shoe giveaway! Only a couple days left! 

Natalie at Finance Girl6 Strategies to Keep You Focused on What’s Important

Kim from Eyes on the DollarShould You Give Money To Family?

J Money from Budgets are SexyDo The Best You Can, Dummy

Hayley from A Disease Called DebtHow Being Humble Helps Us to Live a Happier Life

Shannon from Financially BlondeYou Can’t Win Them All

Stefanie from The Broke and Beautiful Life guest posted on Prairie Eco-ThrifterThe Power of Mindfulness

Image courtesy of bplanet /



Tonya is a video editor/producer and writer living in Los Angeles who enjoys beach volleyball, playing ukulele, and running. To get the latest updates, be sure to subscribe. To support her fundraising efforts to produce more video for this site, please visit her crowdfunding page!

Latest posts by Tonya (see all)

  • Debt Busting Chick

    I’m sorry you’ve been cancelled on twice now. That is kind of strange. The good thing is many positives have come from this like being able to enjoy Croatia with more money and seeing your family in Detroit.

    • Tonya

      I know right? Is it me? :) I am really excited about Croatia. I have all my miles saved for a free flight, and I don’t plan on sparing expenses this time and plan on taking two weeks. So the more money I can save, the better!

  • Michelle

    Aww I’m sad that I won’t see you at FinCon, I had a blast with you last year! All of your reasons make sense though. It sounds like skipping FinCon works better for you.

    • Tonya

      Thanks Michelle!

  • J. Money

    Will miss you at FINCON :( To make up for it you must save me a coin from Croatia to add to my collection – deal? :)

    • Tonya

      I’ll miss all you guys too! The people are what make that event so much fun! Deal about the coin!

  • Shannon

    I love that you are pursuing the Ukulele and the documentary, but I am really bummed that I won’t get to meet you at FincCon. I can totally understand, though, that you have to prioritize your goals and missing it will get you closer to more important ones. Thank you so much for mentioning my post this week! I hope you have an awesome weekend and can’t wait to hear more about the book you are reading on Healthy, Fit and Frugal. :-)

    • Tonya

      I somehow have a sneaking suspicion that although I won’t be going to fincon, I’ll still be meeting a lot of you over the course of the year somehow. Even if it’s just via Skype!

  • Kassandra

    Great attitude on finding several positives in the light that you won’t be attending FINCON. Signing up for the Ukulele event will definitely get you in high gear to practice more :)

    • Tonya

      I hope so Kassandra! I told my mom she needs to hold a gun to my head in oct so that I know a song to play for her when I visit! I need that kind of motivation. lol!

  • John S @ Frugal Rules

    Sorry it worked out that you won’t be at FinCon, but I can totally understand. It sounds like you made the right decision in terms of your things to focus on. One is more relaxed and one will require more work, but something you’re passionate about so there’s a good balance I think. :)

    • Tonya

      I feel pretty good about everything John, although Im sure around fincon time I’ll feel that FOMO feeling when everyone is tweeting at fincon. :)

  • Dear Debt

    So bummed about not seeing you at FinCon! :( You and Kathleen won’t be going — you guys were the first I looked up to in the community. I think that is so cool about the ukulele. Take some video at that event. :)

    • Tonya

      Awe thanks Kathleen! I’m sure you will still have a blast! I’ll see if I can tape some uke stuff as I progress. Right now I’m just trying to change chords without tripping over my fingers and hearing that thud sounds when you press two strings at once. Not very pretty! :)

  • Holly Johnson

    I will take your ticket. I need to buy one for Greg. Email me at holly at club thrifty dot com and I will buy it today via paypal

    • Tonya

      Great! I will look into how to do that!

  • AvgJoeMoney

    So, no Kathleen and now no Tonya? I might as well sell my ticket, too….

    • Tonya

      I was totally planning on it and would have gone if my roomie hadn’t bailed, but I wasn’t in the mood to scrounge to find a new roommie and it’s too expensive (I know after I did it last year) to pay for a room on my own. :( You were one of the people I’d miss seeing most!!

  • Natalie @ Financegirl

    I won’t be at FinCon this year either! Just wasn’t in the budget to go by myself. I want to go next year though, so if you change your mind, I would be up for staying together – I wish I would’ve thought of that for this year (I wouldn’t have bailed on you)! Anyways, thanks so much for the link love!! I hope you have a great weekend!!

    • Tonya

      I sold my ticket to Holly but let’s talk for next year! It’s just so much more affordable to room with someone…I didn’t do that last year and it was pretty costly, although at the same time nice to decompress. But I’m happy I’ll have that much more saved for Croatia!

  • alwayshungry4

    Sorry to hear the roommate backed out and you won’t be going to FinCon, but Croatia and your other travels sound like so much fun!! That’s awesome about learning the ukelele, too, and funny about “having” to train for it now like a marathon. I agree that can be quite the incentive to start any action/goal! :)

    • Tonya

      It’s good that I feel a little pressure to learn. Actually I know 3 chords now in three days…not that I can go between one and the other well, or strum with ease, but dammit I know 3 chords! :)

  • E.M.

    I decided against FinCon, mostly because I couldn’t justify the cost. I’m a bit disappointed, but life goes on, right? There’s always next year. I’m really excited for you regarding the documentary. I think you’ll do really well with that, and it’s always great to be able to focus on something you’re passionate about. I’m glad learning the Ukulele has worked out, too. Sounds like fun!

    • Tonya

      Thanks E.M. yes Fincon I think will always be there. I am sad not to see friends and the city.

  • Heather @ Run Like a G!

    HI Tonya! Hope all is well! I am back on the blogging scene…apparently I need to read this other post because I was sort of lost reading this one! Looks like you have some good goals though! :)

    • Tonya

      I like to trip people up who have been gone for awhile. Hey I hope my comment went through on your site! I didn’t see it come up. Good to see you back!

  • Kim

    Fincon comes at a hard time for me because it’s usually right around a big optometry conference I like to go to. I’m not doing either this year but will probably have to hit the eyeball one next time around. I think that’s so cool they have a ukelele event. I had no idea it was so popular! Thanks for the mention.

    • Tonya

      yeah I was sad when you told me you weren’t going to fincon before. You’re my people! :) I do think the uke has gained a lot of popularity over the last couple of years. Not sure why! But it’s cool! It’s a happy instrument!

  • the expat investor

    Hey Tonya, Sorry to hear about not make it to FinCon. At
    least know you can divert your fund to other goals. Good to hear that you will
    be taking ukulele lesson hope you enjoy the lesson and maybe you can post a
    video of you playing for us.

  • Arman @ thebigmansworld

    …..excuse my narrow mindedness I had to google what NoLA was lol.

    Although…..swap Croatia for Australia? They both end in ‘ia! I am impressed/shocked/in awe that there is such a thing as a ukelele-along- you guys have everything haha!

  • Liz

    I took violin lessons for several years as a kid. As my violin teacher reminded me EVERY week, “You don’t have to practice every day, only the days that you eat”… yeah I got that lecture a lot. Good luck with the Uke lessons. Maybe you can record a tune for BATB : )

  • Tre

    Sounds like you’ve made some great decisions on where to focus your energy this week!

  • Amy

    So happy about the ukulele! Yay!!

  • Cashville Skyline

    Sorry that you won’t make it to FinCon! I’m still on the fence, but I’ll probably cash in some Southwest points and end up going. It sounds like you’ve got tons of other exciting things in the works – trips, ukelele, documentary, education, etc. And I like your video! :)

  • Tanya @ Eat Laugh Purr

    Love that you’re going to learn how to play the ukulele, Tonya! Ask and you shall receive! I like your philosophy of thinking big when it comes to your documentary too. I find small thinking leads to small results, so I’m trying to think big too. It’s a work in progress. LOL! And if you have questions with changing something on your blog – let me know. I maybe able to help you DIY it.

  • Lisa vs. the Loans

    Aw, I wish I could have met you at FinCon but I totally understand your reasons. Tough decision, but it’s going to be very good for you!

  • Mackenzie

    I am happy that you will have more money going towards your trip to Croatia! I know how much you want to go there!! :) Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  • Kemkem

    Mmm..Croatia..FinCon..Croatia…Fincon..never been..been there,done brainer..Croatia!!! Done!!!! There is a ukulele club?? Is that what Tiny Tim, Don Ho and Jim Nabors play??? ;o) I think you should sing like they do too. You couldn’t be any worse ;o) Tiptoe through the tulips…

  • Michelle

    While I’m bummed you won’t be at FinCon14, family and Croatia are a no-brainer!! Will just have to hang out the next time I’m in LaLa Land or you’re in D-town. Done.

  • Erika Newlyweds

    It’s so great that you’re following up on all your goals! Croatia I hear is beautiful!!!

  • Travis Pizel

    I can understand your decision to not go to FINCON this year, as I’m not attending either. We have to find someone to take care of our kids while we’re gone, which is difficult because the conference is during the school year. Last year worked out well because it was during a time when the kids had off from School Thurs/Fri anyway…but this year it’s not the case so we’d have to find someone to not only watch them, but also ensure they got to school, got their homework done, etc. Who knows, maybe we’ll return next year….. :)

  • Daisy F

    FinCon happens every year but a trip to Croatia might not be! So enjoy it as much as you can and hopefully you’ll be able to attend FinCon the next year :)

  • Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses

    That’s so awesome you’re learning the ukulele!