The article you just read was brought to you by a few thousand dedicated readers. Will you join them?

Thanks for coming by The Tyee and reading one of many original articles we’ll post today. Our team works hard to publish in-depth stories on topics that matter on a daily basis. Our motto is: No junk. Just good journalism.

Just as we care about the quality of our reporting, we care about making our stories accessible to all who want to read them and provide a pleasant reading experience. No intrusive ads to distract you. No paywall locking you out of an article you want to read. No clickbait to trick you into reading a sensational article.

There’s a reason why our site is unique and why we don’t have to rely on those tactics — our Tyee Builders program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip in a bit of money each month (or one-time) to our editorial budget. This amazing program allows us to pay our writers fairly, keep our focus on quality over quantity of articles, and provide a pleasant reading experience for those who visit our site.

In the past year, we’ve been able to double our staff team and boost our reporting. We invest all of the revenue we receive into producing more and better journalism. We want to keep growing, but we need your support to do it.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
Before you click away, we have something to ask you…

Do you value independent journalism that focuses on the issues that matter? Do you think Canada needs more in-depth, fact-based reporting? So do we. If you’d like to be part of the solution, we’d love it if you joined us in working on it.

The Tyee is an independent, paywall-free, reader-funded publication. While many other newsrooms are getting smaller or shutting down altogether, we’re bucking the trend and growing, while still keeping our articles free and open for everyone to read.

The reason why we’re able to grow and do more, and focus on quality reporting, is because our readers support us in doing that. Over 5,000 Tyee readers chip in to fund our newsroom on a monthly basis, and that supports our rockstar team of dedicated journalists.

Join a community of people who are helping to build a better journalism ecosystem. You pick the amount you’d like to contribute on a monthly basis, and you can cancel any time.

Help us make Canadian media better by joining Tyee Builders today.
We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
We're reader supported.
Get our newsletter free.
Help pay for our reporting.

Cutting Back with the Joneses

One mother's practical plan to bring efficiency back to family life.

By Chris Cannon 22 Feb 2010 |

Chris Cannon is a Vancouver writer. Read his previous Tyee pieces here.

image atom
We can do more with less.

"For the first time since the decade began, Americans are having fewer babies, and some experts are blaming the economy. "It's the recession," said Andrew Hacker, a sociologist at Queens College at New York's City University. "Children are the most expensive item in every family's budget... So it's a good place to cut back when you're uncertain about the future." -- The New York Times


To: Members of the Henderson family
From: Mom
Subject: Cutbacks

In light of the current financial situation, it is my sad duty to inform you that we will be downsizing the family in the hopes of remaining a competitive household. Please note that we regard each and every one of you as a valuable member of our organization. However, we are unable to retain a full staff in this troubled economic climate. Jenny, we wish you the best of luck finding a middle-child position in another family that can use your unique qualifications.

In addition to the new layoff policy, the rest of us will have to make sacrifices in order to remain a solvent kinship. Effective immediately, we are instituting a freeze on allowance hikes, bonuses for good grades, and perks such as lunchbox pudding. All travel expenses, including soccer practices and trips to the mall, will be reviewed for cost-effectiveness. Wherever possible, other expenses -- such as the $20 Todd gets for mowing the lawn -- will be outsourced to the less fortunate Baxter children, who offer better rates with minimal decline in quality.

Since Rebecca is an infant, and thus incapable of independent mastication, she will receive special dispensation from the new "Cutting Your Meat For You Tax." In a related policy, there will be no more meat. Casual Saturdays will now be even more casual; by making it "underwear only" day, we hope to cut our clothing expenses by one-seventh. The annual family vacation will be held semi-annually in the playroom, which will be shuttered the rest of the year. The backyard swing set will now be operated on a "pay to play" basis. The Christmas present will be shared by all.

Until the economic situation improves, each child will be limited to three prayers to grandma per week, and no more than two minutes per prayer. All requests for grandma to "look over" family, friends, and pets must be approved by management. In addition, no family members may have any further contact with Uncle Bob. This policy has nothing to do with the downsizing.

It is incumbent upon each child to bring the spirit of these new measures to bear on their daily decisions in an effort to curb wastefulness and improve efficiency. For example, if you are not tired during nap time, you might find it a nice, peaceful hour to sew wallets. School days might be more fun if you think of "Show and Tell" as "Appraise and Acquire."

In the spirit of parity, management will be making cuts of their own. Daddy will no longer use the joint credit card to buy expensive jewellery for executives that are not Mommy. This will enable Mommy to make fewer investments at the "drinky store," which, in the long run, will save us the expense of acquiring a fourth Daddy. Accordingly, executive compensation packages will be limited to continuing our weekly sessions with Dr. Peterson, who has been working as an outside consultant to keep the organization afloat.

We are certain everyone will work as a team to return the Henderson household to its previous state of fiscal stability. Should you have any ideas you would like to contribute, the suggestion box is in the kitchen (Please note the new coin slot).  [Tyee]

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free


The Barometer

Tyee Poll: What Coverage Would You Like to See More of This Year?

Take this week's poll