Updated on 07.30.14

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Conventions Edition

Trent Hamm

Quite a few readers expressed interest in having meetups of some sort at any conventions or conferences I attend this year – if not at the conference itself, in the town where the conference is held. So here’s an update.

It’s looking like I won’t be attending SXSW this year (but I’m hoping for next year). It’s far too close to my wife’s due date for my comfort, and given that it’s our third child, we expect the baby to both arrive a bit on the early side and to be a fairly fast delivery, both of which bode against a trip to Texas right before the due date. This is a disappointment for me, but sometimes life trumps what we want to do.

On the flip side, it looks quite promising that I will be in Indianapolis in early August for GenCon. My wife and I came to an agreement regarding this summer – we each have one four day weekend to do something on our own that the other one has little interest in, and that’s my choice. I may host some sort of meetup in the Indianapolis area that weekend if there is interest.

Anyway, on to some articles.

5 Reasons Not to Apply for a Loan Modification in the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) I’m not much of a fan of refinancing mortgages. In my experience, such choices (particularly now) rarely save money in the long run, particularly when you figure inflation into the equation. This is just another argument against such programs. (@ wisebread)

Invest in Your Most Important Income-Producing Asset These are some great self-evaluation questions that everyone should ask themselves about their career. (@ get rich slowly)

The Lonely Novelist’s Five-Point Productivity Plan These tips are pretty spot-on – and pretty adaptable to any large-scale project you might want to tackle in life. (@ soul shelter)

Why Is It Hard to Know What You Find Fun? I think the biggest problem in finding what you truly enjoy (which is a big key to getting your spending under control, because you can minimize spending on everything else) is that we constantly get signals about enjoying other things and that some things are “socially acceptable” and some are not. (@ happiness project)

Alternatives to High-Yield Savings Accounts This article is a great start, but it could go even further. For some people (particularly those with a lot of cash), an index fund is probably a great place to stack money, and with a plethora of options there with all sorts of different levels of risk and reward, there are countless options. (@ consumerism commentary)

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  1. Sara A. says:

    The boyfriend and I will be going to GenCon this year, work schedule permitting.

  2. Michael says:


    I’m about 2 hours away from Indy and would definitely come to a meet-up! I hope there is enough interest from others, keep us posted.

  3. Christine T. says:

    Maybe thinking about what the person bearing the child gives up will help with your disappointment about the conference. Definitely more intrusive than missing a weekend trip.

  4. Mneiae says:

    Trent, please do something at GenCon!

    @Christine He’s chosen to not attend the conference. He’s still can be disappointed about it.

  5. J says:

    @Christine — like the old saying goes — “there is no good time to have kids”. I’m sure there are plenty of things they both are missing because they are having another child, not to mention having two already. Of course, the children do open up whole new opportunities — but there’s no way to do everything you want to in life — there’s just too much.

  6. Angie says:

    Christine – I’m with you. The way I read that phrase: “This is a disappointment for me, but sometimes life trumps what we want to do” makes it sound like the birth of his child is an annoying obligation when he’d really rather be at SXSW. Now, I don’t really think he means it like that AT ALL, it’s just how I read it.

  7. Doug says:

    Trent, GenCon is a blast.

    I’ll warn you, though, if you want the good events, you need to be on the computer registering for them as soon as their servers permit (last year I think it was 9am Pacific time).

    The most popular events go super fast. But, there’s plenty of board game events, even if you don’t get your first choice.

    In addition, there’s demos that run throughout the weekend.

    Oh, and bring Febreeze. Gamer-funk can get pretty bad by Saturday afternooon . . . . :)

  8. Ruth says:

    Hubby and I are in the Indy area, would definitely come to a meetup!

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