Answers to all of your questions! Got one that isn’t answered here? Use the contact form to ask it.

Who is Cents Positive for?

The retreat is for all women interested in financial independence (FI). Whether you’re already FI and looking for a support group of like-minded women, or just dipping a toe in the FI waters, you’ll find a home here. Most of the conversations in the FIRE (financial independence, retire early) community aren’t as welcoming to women as they could be, so Cents Positive is a safe space just for us. All women over 18 are welcome, including trans women and nonbinary people who relate more to the female experience. At our first event, we had women from across the age spectrum (20s to 60s) and strong representation from women of color and LGBTQIA women.

Is this really a retreat?

Yes! From a fun activity Saturday night to lots of free time throughout, you’ll enjoy a leisurely pace to connect with lots of other women. You could wear pajamas or your favorite leisurewear the entire time and feel right at home.

I am absolutely thrilled I got to attend and thrilled I got to meet so many people. I also so appreciated how welcoming and kind everyone was, even when coming from such diverse backgrounds. Really a great group of women all around.

— 2018 Denver attendee

What are the logistics for the event?

Future event logistics will be announced here as soon as they’re set. But you’ll sign up here for the retreat itself, and then book your lodging and airfare yourself. In general, you can expect the schedule to be something like this:

  • Friday: Arrive on site, optional social time and check-in 4-6 PM, welcome and dinner 6-9 PM
  • Saturday: Breakfast on your own or at hotel, sessions and breaks 9:30 AM – 6 PM (including lunch), dinner on your own 6-7:30 PM, evening activity 7:30-9:30 PM
  • Sunday: Breakfast on your own or at hotel, sessions and breakout time 9:30 AM – 2 PM, optional FIRE meetup in the area later in the afternoon or early evening

What will the retreat be like? 

Cents Positive features a mix of full-group sessions and breakout time for you to meet other women at a similar point in the journey, other women in your region, and have time to bring your questions and challenges up and get group input. In addition to group time, you’ll have lots of time and space to spend time with your new friends.


Is this retreat mostly for bloggers?

No! In fact, Cents Positive is not a blogger event at all, and the focus will be 100% on women and our money journeys. The first event had an optional blogger add-on day, but future events will not have a blogging component. Bloggers are welcome, of course, but that’s not our focus.

I’ve been riding the high of having attended the retreat for this whole week. Connecting with people I have a real interest with and meeting people who truly want a better world (ex: inclusion, better lives for themselves and family), and people who think of others (ex: environmental issues) was just awesome. I am in my 40’s and I think I also got a kick hanging out with younger women who have so much to share and lots of life and energy was fun. 

— 2018 Denver attendee

Is Cents Positive affordable?

Yes! Affordability and accessibility are what this event is all about. What would be the point of attending an FI event that takes you farther from your FI goal?!

Locations are chosen with cost as concern number one, and convenience as concern number two. If you choose to attend, here’s what you need to expect to pay for, with your choice of dollars or travel points:

  • Event ticket (priced at cost)
  • Airfare or other transportation
  • Hotel room or other lodging (Cents Positive will always negotiate discounted rooms that are easy to share if you wish to split the cost with another attendee)
  • Food while traveling
  • Saturday dinner

That’s all! And if you stay at the event hotel, breakfasts are also included.

What’s new in 2019?

Based on what worked best at the inaugural retreat in Denver, we’ve made some changes for 2019:

  • The entire retreat focus is on women pursuing or having achieved FI, not on blogging
  • There will be more space to spread out at each retreat, more room for breakouts and side conversations, etc.
  • There will be childcare for those who need it (see below)
  • There will be no news cameras (see below)

Can you help me find a roommate?

Yes! After registration is complete, you’ll receive an email that contains a link to a private Google Sheet to connect potential roommates.

I have dietary restrictions. What do I do?

No problem! When you register, indicate if you have any dietary restrictions, and we’ll make sure you’re covered in the group meals. We take this stuff seriously.

Is there childcare?

New in 2019: Yes, there will be childcare! When you register, please indicate whether you’ll be bringing a child or children and their ages, as well as whether you’d be willing to participate in cooperative childcare during the event. Depending on the needs of each event’s participants, we’ll provide the appropriate coverage with a combination of fully trained and licensed local childcare pros and moms/caregivers attending the retreat.

Is Cents Positive fully accessible and disability-friendly?

Yes! Accessibility is a high priority for each event, all spaces are fully accessible to wheelchair users, and all full group portions will include amplified sound for those with limited hearing. If you require additional accommodation, please share your specifics when you register, and we’ll make sure we can accommodate you at no additional cost. Everyone is welcome here, no matter what your needs may be, so please don’t be shy about letting us know what you need.

It was amazing to finally feel as though I’ve found my tribe. It was great to be around so many different people of different places, backgrounds, points in life, life journeys but we ALL feel connected and free to talk about FI and the importance of it. Nice to not have it be taboo.

— 2018 Denver attendee

Are there scholarships available?

Yes! Multiple women will be awarded scholarships covering each retreat, lodging and included meals. Your only cost will be getting to the event and Saturday dinner. Sign up for the email newsletter for details how you can apply. If you’re interested in sponsoring more scholarships, you’ll have the option to add a donation when you register for the event. (Unfortunately it’s not tax-deductible as Cents Positive is not big enough to warrant registering as a 501(c)3.)

Apply for a scholarship to the Seattle event (due September 6, 2019)

Apply for a scholarship to the Chicago event (due September 6, 2019)

I registered and can no longer attend. Are refunds available?

We can’t refund your registration, but each event has a waitlist, and you’re welcome to sell your ticket to someone on the waitlist for a small fee. Details on how to do this coming soon.

I prefer to keep my FI plans secret from my employer or others. Can I come and stay anonymous?

Heck yes you can! When you check in, you’ll have the option to grab some “no photos please” stickers, and you’ll fill out your name tag yourself, so you can write your real name, a pseudonym or whatever you want on it. And generally, we’ll encourage everyone to keep the Instagramming to a minimum to keep the focus in the room.

Will there be media cameras at the event?

At the first Cents Positive in 2018, ABC News was present and brought cameras, and that made some attendees uncomfortable. So moving forward, Cents Positive will be free of news cameras. If any journalists attend, they will not be allowed to take photos, they will be clearly identified by big buttons, and we’ll introduce them at the start of the session so you can easily avoid them if you choose to.

Who hosts Cents Positive?

Cents Positive is hosted by Tanja Hester, author of Work Optional, the blogger behind Our Next Life and one of the hosts of The Fairer Cents. But this event isn’t about me. It’s about YOU. There aren’t enough spaces for women in the FIRE (financial independence, retire early) community, and I’m doing my part to change that. Now that I’m early retired and have time on my hands, creating safe spaces for women to talk money is important to me! And because I no longer need to work for money, I can offer the event at cost (meaning I’m not making money doing this), which is important to me, too!

Who are the event sponsors?

Trick question! There are none. And it’s going to stay that way. The whole point of Cents Positive is to give women a safe space to talk about money, our relationships and the emotion around all of it, and there’s no room for corporate sponsors in there. This event is all about you and your new friends, not companies trying to push products on you. It’s in that same spirit that this event doesn’t have headliners or “famous” bloggers topping the marquee. You’ll recognize some faces there if you read blogs, but that’s not what this is about at all.

Is there a Cents Positive Facebook group or Slack channel?

Yes, Cents Positive has a Slack channel! You’ll get an invitation after you register for an event.