Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.
What city in northern Ohio starts with a T, rhymes with burrito, and is the hometown of the new owner of my iPod? Well, it doesn’t matter what town it is. What matters is why someone there has my iPod. Allow me to paint the picture.
It is a Monday evening, and I am in T-Town at the nicest hotel in T-Town (read: not a nice hotel). I am there for a financial conference for a company that I do business with. I had just finished my run along the river walk in downtown T-Town. There was a freezing rain storm during my run. It wasn’t pleasant. I ran along the frozen river. Every other body of frozen water that I had ever seen looked different than this here river. This river looked like chocolate ice cream. It was dirrrrrty. Anyway, I finished up my run and the freezing rain had stuck to my face and clothes. My eyebrows looked like Andy Rooney’s eyebrows. I was wearing black running tights, so I got to walk through the hotel lobby full of my colleagues looking like an extra from Peter Pan. This was not my best attempt at proper pre-planning for running on the road. I had forgotten my shorts to put over my tights.
So I finish up, and then go to the dinner and mixer. The dinner was a mashed potato bar, and the mixer was like a middle school dance. I could tell at this point that I wasn’t going to catch a break during my time there. I mingle for about 20 minutes and then go off to my hotel room to work. I fall asleep at about midnight, and I wake up at 3 am to a Tom Petty Karaoke party in the hotel room next to me. Yes, this hotel was full of people from this conference, and a few of them took the liberty to party it up at 3 am on a Monday. I call down to the front desk hoping that they would throw the people in the Chocolate River. They didn’t. They sent up someone to yell at the people, yet the party continued. I got up and grabbed my iPod and started listening to some random music to drown out the yelpings of a Tom Petty wannabe. Next thing I know my alarm is going off and it is time to go to the conference. I pack up my stuff, load up my car, and slump to the breakfast (liquid eggs and cantaloupe).
Long story short (too late), I finish the conference, drive home in a winter storm, and get home just in time to make dinner for Mrs. Planner’s birthday. We enjoyed a nice dinner, and went off to sleep (hopefully Otis, our dog, wouldn’t be singing karaoke). Just as I start falling asleep I shoot up in bed with my eyes wide open. I left my iPod in the hotel bed. It fell off when I was sleeping and I never grabbed it out of the bed. I saw it laying there, but simply forgot to pick it up. I called the hotel, and they told me to call back in the morning when the head of housekeeping arrived. I did, and guess what? They didn’t find it. Hmmmmm. So what you are telling me is that someone not named Pete got a new iPod?
So what happens next? I am not buying a new iPod. I am not spending $200 because I lost my other iPod. By the way, this is the “moral of the story” section of the blog. Just because I don’t have an iPod, that doesn’t mean that I should just buy another one. This is how people jack up their budgets. I didn’t plan on wasting $200 on something, and its not like I neeeeeed an iPod. Mrs. Planner and I are going to share hers. She suggested it. Not me. But hopefully you see my point. How many times have you replaced something that is not a necessity? I am guessing it blew up your budget that month.