“Let them eat avocado toast” is going to be this century’s slogan for Millennials.
In case you haven’t heard, Millennials are getting hated on (again) for not buying houses—because they spend too much money on avocado toast. And no, this didn’t come from The Onion. It’s the most ridiculous accusation since Millennials were attacked for single-handedly destroying the napkin industry.
Yes, we Millennials can be pretty terrible for creating a generation of “beg-packers” and we’re too lazy to eat cereal, but comparing our consumption of avocado toast to buying houses is pretty outrageous (and for the record, I love avocados but haven’t succumbed to the avocado toast fad).
Tim Gurner, a real estate mogul in Australia, fired the shot against Millennials in an interview with Australia’s 60 Minutes, saying, “When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each. We’re at a point now where the expectations of younger people are very, very high. They want to eat out every day; they want travel to Europe every year. The people that own homes today worked very, very hard for it. [They] saved every dollar, did everything they could to get up the property investment ladder.”
I’m not sure where Gurner buys avocado toast for $19 because everywhere I looked it’s about $10 or less. But I do agree with parts of his argument; we should not be throwing money around just for fun. Millennials should save any money they can for the future and invest if possible.
But I don’t think throwing money around is the issue (and I personally don’t even know any Millennials who waste money like that). Maybe the reason Millennials aren’t buying houses is because of actual problems, like, oh I don’t know, the soul-crushing student debt that haunts my dreams. I’m twenty-four years old and I owe more for student loans than I make in a year, so I probably won’t be able to buy a house for at least ten years. And I’m not the only Millennial in that predicament.
A study found that ninety-three percent of Millennials who currently rent would like to buy a home one day, but we just can’t afford it at the moment because “relative to earlier generations, today’s cohort of young people is making less money, given their levels of education; more indebted with student loans; more likely to be underemployed; struggling harder to sock away savings; and facing shallower income-growth trajectories.”
So contrary to popular belief, Millennials are trying, but we’re fighting an uphill battle from all sides. Not everything is our fault. And thankfully, many people don’t agree with Gurner. Most of the articles I saw defended Millennials, and someone even invented a calculator to see how many weekly meals of avocado toast you would have to give up to afford a down payment: 20,440 avocado toasts to afford a down payment in New York City by the year 2410. Gurner should have done his math before pointing fingers at Millennials.