In the spirit of the age Dear Charlie has come over all Chancelloresque and is muttering things like: "Responsibility" and "We’re all in this together", which, as we all know, really means we’re virtually, if not in reality, bankrupt and it is going to hurt like hell before we come round.
So from his lofty moral position, in that he’s not the one who uses up all the money as he doesn’t shop or pay the bills nor does he ever have cash on him (much to my chagrin), he has decreed that there has to be some hefty cuts to the household budget.
From his perspective the cuts look relatively easy, simple to implement and will induce immediate savings. It doesn’t quite look the same from my vantage point…
He sees the immediate cessation of all building works as a no brainer. I see it as an eyesore, an immediate 20 per cent drop in the valuation of my home, and frankly a Health and Safety nightmare. Negotiations have been hard but a compromise was made without me having to resort to twitter. Essential building works will continue and no further contracts will be entered into this financial year though I may of course feel free to secure in-house contractors (i.e. myself) for any minor works to enable the smooth running of the household.
All emergency works will have to go through the chairman in the first instance – like yeah! Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue if a pipe burst and me having to get the OK via His Nibs before securing a plumber? Firstly the likelihood of getting past His Nibs’ secretary is bad enough now let alone in a real emergency. There is nothing a smart London PA likes best than playing power games with the put upon corporate wife. Secondly even if I do get hold of His Nibs, the answer is hardly likely to be no especially if I happen to mention that his precious water colour collection is under threat…well not necessarily by the water from the burst pipe but if he believes that who am I to deny it?
The cleaner is under review but even dear Charlie couldn’t stomach attempting to veto the ironing lady – he’s seen how I iron and knows that even in these cash strapped times the importance of putting on a good front.
Personal trainers are out as are children’s parties, dining out, birthday presents and of course Christmas. As for holidays – well I’ve been told politely I can whistle in the wind.
And it’s set me thinking although there can be cuts and these make everything seem OK there can also be savings which mean I might be able to keep hold of the cleaner, even the personal trainer, presents can still be secured and you never know I may also be able to save Christmas.
It’s all about “Bottom up economics” shaving pennies here and finding pennies there, using everything up before buying anything more. Working out what can be sold, saved or salvaged. It’s not going to be easy but it is far more creative than just cutting everything willy nilly and making us all miserable, discontented and looking out for a new chairman.