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Is It Time For Creative Financial Planning?

Aug 5, 2008
As a child my financial planning consisted of a piggy bank and a grandmother who told me a penny saved is a penny earned. Coinstar, the maker of coin-counting machines, estimates 65% of Americans save pennies. This translates into $7.7 billion of pennies. When the economy is good, more pennies are saved. When the economy slows down, pennies come back into circulation. The Gross Domestic Income exactly parallels the minting of pennies - but I guess that makes common cents.

Two Tennessee farmers used common sense to fight the high cost of gas. They parked their tractor and hitched their farm equipment to their mules Dolly and Molly, who are a lot cheaper to fuel. The mules required some training and the weight of the equipment had to be shifted so each mule pulled equally, but T.R. and Danny Raymond are saving more than $60 a day. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us don't have mules - which explains the financial mess our country is in. We voted our mules into office.

Meanwhile, brothel owners are trying to get more customers into their businesses. In June when fuel prices hit an all time high in Nevada, brothel owners had a 20-45% drop in revenue. Truckers, who provide steady business to many of the state's twenty-eight brothels, are having to pay 40% more for diesel than a year ago. To stimulate business one resourceful brothel owner is giving its best customers a $50 gas card. Obviously, not having work for the ladies isn't a problem to be taken lying down.

Then there's the man in Wankesha, Wisconsin. He had a unique financial plan for eating out. Just before being given the bill for his meal, Robert Farnam pretended to have a heart attack. Before the restaurant management could rush to judgment, he was rushed to the hospital. This plan worked well until he was recognized by one of the doctors. Now Farnam will go to trial - which could be a win/win situation. If he pays for his crimes by going to jail, he'll be getting his meals for free.

Southwest Airlines' financial planning includes fuel hedging. The airline bought fuel years in advance, gambling the price would go up. As a result, Southwest's second quarter earnings were $321 million and the value of its stock went up 44 cents. At a time when businesses are having record loses, 44 cents isn't peanuts.
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KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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