Day 6 – Cold Tofu
Welcome back to day 6. You’re probably confused by the title of today – and you’re about to be enlightened. Fear not.
The aim of this task is to change the way you think about your spending habits. Setting a budget is all very well, but sticking to it is another ballgame entirely.
In order to make any changes whatsoever, you’re probably going to need to change up some habits, and that’s what Cold Tofu is all about.
Yes, you guessed it. Cold Tofu comes from the classic ‘going cold turkey’. But we’re millennials – it needed an update. Cold Tofu feels right, you know, generationally.
Cold Tofu is a 7 day period where you live on your MCE (minimal cost of existing). The idea is that you cut out all incidental spending, and only live with exactly what you need.
You will need:
Access to your upcoming calendar/schedule
The good news is that today’s task doesn’t actually involve doing much. It’s a planning day – aka a millennial’s favourite way to pretend we have our shit together.
What you need to do is look at your diary and plan a week you can wholeheartedly commit to Cold Tofu. Ideally this would be the week immediately after this one, but it’s important that you complete the full 7 days without interruption. If you’ve got a hens party coming up or it’s your dog’s birthday, this won’t work.
Find 7 days that you can commit to Cold Tofu. Lock in the day you’ll go and do your minimal food shop (from your MCE calculations), make sure all your bills are paid into the bills account, and you’re ready to go. No extra spending beyond your food and essentials. Yep, no 3pm kombucha run, no Friday night takeaway, no brunch and no happy hour! It’s only one week!
Why is she making us do this?
I know, I know, it sounds nuts. But the benefits are:
You’ll be able to save your usual savings amount AND your allotted spending amount, giving your savings balance a boost to get you started
You’ll identify areas where you’re mindlessly spending and probably discover that there are things you don’t even miss. I honestly thought I’d want to buy a coffee shop coffee every day, but I’ve cut down to a couple of times per week.
You’ll spot your vices – the things that you really DO miss, and you’ll get immense joy when you’re allowed to return to having them.
You’ll begin to understand how often we spend money without thinking, and probably value your income more.
You’ll experience what it’s like to live on the minimum possible. Not only will this shift your mindset, you can then use this way of living as a tool when you want to save a little extra, or when you need to check in again and kick bad habits that have snuck in. For example, you’ve just booked a trip to Bali and realised your bank account is looking pretty lean. Do a Cold Tofu week and boom, you’re back on track.
Prepare by planning out that week, write your shopping lists, move any plans that you need to move, and get in the zone.
See you tomorrow for the seventh and final day – good news, it’s another easy one. All about getting you into the right frame of mind so you can go forth and budget your way to your best life.