The End is the Beginning – Living Deliberately Project 2015

by nomeatbarefeet


What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.
-TS Elliot

At the beginning of 2013 we decided to take on a challenge of trying to live more deliberately; of trying to be more conscious in how we lived, how we spent our money, and what we brought into our lives. It was, for all intents and purposes, a success. We felt more connected with ourselves, with each other, and with the world that we were creating around us. Then we took a year off, feeling that the lessons we had learned would carry over without the need for the strictures of the project.

While there weren’t any debaucherous free-for-alls we did seem to stray a bit. And so we have arrived back at the beginning, back at the place where we felt drawn to the words of Henry David Thoreau: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

We decided to up the difficulty by including a 3rd person in the Living Deliberately Project for 2015! Ok, so Lil Nut will be included no matter what, but trying to continue the challenge with a new baby will surely test the limits of our minimalism. With that in mind here are the stipulations for the 2015 LDP:

  1. Spending is to be limited to “creating experiences”—this could be a movie, a dinner out (or in), a concert, etc.  (Take-out being the only practical thing that will happen with a baby…. yeah we know). The idea is to only spend money on creating meaningful experiences for our family.
  2. The money that we do spend is limited to $80/month for non-necessities. (See above 1 for the types of non-necessities.)
  3. We are already in the process of purging some of our old items and purchasing newer, better quality ones. This was already in the works before deciding to do the LDP, so we will continue our massive purge (and minimal replacement).
  4. That said, other old stuff (not considered in #3) won’t be replaced unless it is broken or beyond use. 
  5. There might be items we have to purchase for Baby Nut. If we do have to buy anything for baby we will aim to get it used, borrowed, or begged for.

Note: The goal is not to deprive our child. We aren’t engaging in some sort of social experiment, to put our child in the woods or something and see if he or she can survive. So many people over-spend, especially on their children, and our goal is engage in deliberate, conscious spending both for ourselves and our child.

Soon we will also be writing a post about the other explicit challenges that we will be doing this year (e.g., running goals, savings challenges, etc.). We will be touching on the challenges from this past year and fessin’ up to those we might have failed on. So come back—there’s more to come!