I love a good story, especially one that for some unknown reason goes viral, setting off a media firestorm. Like this one:
On a recent episode of the Australian news show, 60 Minutes, property mogul and self-avowed millionaire Tim Gurner casually suggested that the reason millennials cannot afford to buy a house is they’re addicted to $19 Avocado toast and $4 Coffee.
I love avocados and I’m a big fan of toast, but I must admit that I’d never heard of this Avocado Toast—an apparent luxury item that has the younger generation so strapped, a good number are back living with their parents, destined to never having a home of their own.
Oh man, did that not sit well with a lot of millennials. The Internet was ablaze with snarky comments and every effort imaginable to set this Gurner fellow straight.
I read with a bit of glee as one money expert after another “did the math” to prove that giving up twice-monthly $19 Avocado Toast would not make a dent in a millennial’s ability to save a 20-percent down payment on a house. They did this by dividing $19 into a typical 20 percent down payment on an average American house. It got quite funny.
On the very day I was enjoying this avocado toast brouhaha, I had the occasion to stop into a local Garden Center which happens to be one end of a big supermarket. To get to the flowers, I took a shortcut through the produce department. And what to my wandering eyes did appear, but a display of the most beautiful Haas avocados for $.49 each. Where I live we call that a bargain and a half. I stopped long enough to bag a dozen.
Suddenly my mission expanded from flowers to figuring out this Avocado Toast thing. And figure I did. Here’s what my research turned up:
Avocado Toast consists of a piece of toast spread with smashed up avocado and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Seriously? That’s it? I was expecting at that price for this controversial delicacy to be topped with crème fraîche and caviar.
There are variations in which you would top Avocado Toast with a perfectly poached egg, or Feta cheese; shrimp perhaps, or just go crazy by adding tomatoes and fresh basil atop a schmear of mayo.
Now that I have experienced the goodness of Avocado Toast, I’m going to side with the those who think this guy is out of his mind if he thinks we’re about to give up Avocado Toast anytime soon. And yes, I’m talking to you, millennials. Is there a house in the world worth owning at the expense of never enjoying Avocado Toast again as long as we live? I think not!
But wait just a minute. Nineteen dollars?! Or $17, $6 or even $3? No way. Eating out all the time is killing your future, not a couple of $19 Avocado Toasts a month. It’s that restaurant-diner-coffeeshop-fastfood habit that’s keeping you stuck in a paycheck-to-paycheck rut.
If you want to get your finances on track where you are consistently saving for the future (and a house if that’s the goal) while spending less than you earn, you’d best stop eating out. Yes, there is a reason for that room commonly referred to as the kitchen. It’s where you cook and prepare wonderful, delicious things to eat.
Here’s an idea: Learn to make Avocado Toast yourself. Make it a project to try every possible variation you can think of. By my best estimations, one slice of bread plus a perfectly ripened avocado comes in at about $1.65 at the most, and that’s when avocados are less plentiful. And if you can find them for $.49 each? Well, you do the math. Amazing, no? I promise you can learn to make Avocado Toast that tastes even better than that chi-chi restaurant you used to patronize.
Now take that attitude and apply it to every area of your life and before you know it you’ll be finding amazing ways to enjoy the things you love and buy a home, too.