Magazine article Management Today

What's Your Problem?

Magazine article Management Today

What's Your Problem?

Article excerpt

Q: Like the chancellor, I've imposed my own austerity measures on my wife and three children. As the breadwinner, I find this acceptable but, after three years, I'm having mixed results. I'm impressed by my daughter's ingenuity. She has topped up her pocket money with various entrepreneurial wheezes at school. My son was brilliant when we swapped his expensive karate lessons for free football in the park. My wife, however, says she's fed up with the cuts to the household budget. She wants to return to work full-time but this would mean forking out for expensive childcare for our two year-old, which, in effect, wipes out her salary and makes our lives more complicated. Is it time to let go of austerity?

A: I may be wrong, but your letter makes me suspect that you not only quite enjoy imposing austerity on your family but also that you let it show. You remind me of a couple in a furniture department inspecting an expensive three-piece suite, where the man is saying: 'I only wish we could, my love... ' And the expression on his face is one of utter contentment.

To tighten the belt in difficult times is both necessary and admirable To seem to take pleasure from it is neither. …

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