a vegan couple: eating; running; living–minimally.

Tag: Christmas

return of the LDP (2017)


Starting in 2013 we began a project dedicated to living deliberately, to acting and consuming in a conscious way. In this the Living Deliberately Project, or LDP, was born. You can see the criteria from the 2013 LDP and from the 2015 LDP.

We did not do the LDP in 2014 or in 2016, and I can personally say I missed having the constraints and criteria that come along with the LDP. Yes, they are self imposed, but there is something psychologically motivating in setting, writing down, and self-monitoring a set of goals. It helps to keep you honest and accountable, which is why I felt it was important to get back to doing the LDP.

This year’s attempt will follow the general format of previous years, but it will also try something new: it will include a variety of lump funds as well as a monthly stipend for “extravagances.” In this way will take a different approach and try to set aside money up front that we know we will probably spend.

LDP 2017 Criteria

Yearly Discretionary Reserves
$300 (each)

We have decided to allot each other $300 for the year for any purchases that we might need or want. We can spend it all up front or in small amounts. When it is gone, it is gone.

Monthly “Extravagances” Stipend

The stipend is meant to cover those items that we don’t need but which we really really enjoy having. It could cover meals out, muffins at the local cafe, or those luxury snacks we just throw in the cart. For instance, Miyoko’s cheeses. Do we need it? No. Do we really really love it? Damn right we do.

The Hattie Fund

We have a kid. Kids grow. Kids need new things. Now, this doesn’t mean new toys or fancy gadgets or fancy-shmancy kid electronics. It could mean water shoes, new pants, or a lunch box. We want to acknowledge that unexpected things will occur, and we want to allow some leeway to accommodate those unpredictable events.



We usually stick to the formula: something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read. We will not be including Christmas 2017 in our LDP expenditures; just note that these gifts will be their own money not accounted for yet.


Limiting monthly spending is important, but we know that there will be times that we want to go and experience something, go see something, hear something, drink something, revel in nature…That is what the entire LDP is about, really that is what life should be about. That said, we will allow for those times to come and not fret about spending money if need be.


I (Jon) started work on a half sleeve this past summer. I have been saving money to  continue work on it this summer, so the LDP will need to make room for my tattoo.

Living Deliberately Project – Week 48

This week in the LDP…

I wish I was writing from that little cabin. Alas—not. Well, thus ends the second to last month of the Living Deliberately Project. The money has all been spent on Thanksgiving frivolity and the snow and cold have descended upon us. I cannot believe that December is basically here, and that Christmas is but a few weeks away. There is never enough time. But I always wish that the time leading up to Christmas could linger a bit long…that magical time of hot drinks, warm clothes, wood fires, decorating, and sharing time with family—it always ends too quickly.

Next month wraps up this yearly project. With a few final words we will bring this journey to a close; fear not dedicated reader—there are new projects to be unveiled. Stick with us and we will reveal some of the challenges we have set before us for this coming year.

I hope that next week we will be bringing home our christmas tree. Last year we made a trip out to try and cut our own down but were foiled. The last few years have brought larger trees, so perhaps this year we will be bring home a tiny, pint-sized one. We hope that whatever your holiday traditions might be that you enjoy sharing them with friends and family. Wear something warm, even if its only a hug. Down a warm beverage. Head out into the brisk whitescape and enjoy the holidays.

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