My avocado toast spending is not the problem, Mr. Millionaire.
I had my day planned out: wake up, feed my dog, go to work, come back, and finish the how-to-save-money blog series I’ve been working on. But life happens and stuff comes up. Stuff like the time I opened up my homepage and my eyes immediately drew me over to the MSN Money article with the headlines “Millionaire to Millennials: Stop Buying Avocado Toast If You Want to Buy a Home.” 1 OK, I have seen a lot of stupid clickbaits before but I clicked anyways because it has my three favorite subjects: 1. Millennials 2. Millionaires 3. Avocados & Toast (in that order actually).
You don’t have to read it. It’s not even clickbait! It is exactly what the headline says: millennials are not buying houses because we’re blowing our budget on expensive avocado toast. I know that not everything on the internet is supposed to be life changing, newsworthy, and awesomesauce…but what kind of journalism is this? A lot of hard-working millennials are not able to get by even on a strict budget. The average graduation debt load is over $30,000 per graduate.
It is not wise to assume the statistics about millennial spending and home buying are correlated without examing a cohort of other factors. But then again, if you throw in a (Australian!) millionaire to make everything sound authoritative, that just might work. Just like that! Wham, bam, thank you madam you have proven us to be that loser generation that stinks at everything from getting a proper job to buying a proper house.
Anyway, I’m not an idiot. I know the main point of the article is to discuss some percentage of millennials who tend to splurge more than they should. But it has nothing to do with our entire generation! Plenty of people from all age groups just can’t seem to save money. Don’t tell me your 70-year-old grandma never thought about betting her social security check on that game of Bingo.
But OK. If you want to play the “bad millennials” game, let’s play. Imagine you are young and you have been punished, PUNISHED, by the economic failures prompted by the generations before you 2. Be that know-nothing kid who was barely out of high school when the housing crisis happened. Let that be your introductory course to adulthood. Houses = bad. In your 18 year-old monkey brain, you pieced together that something-something happened…lenders and banks are evil; houses are scary responsibilities; everybody is screwed.
Now your second course to adulthood is…student debt! Wow, wonderful! Having that amazing 5-figure student debt on your back and a mediocre job that was nowhere close to what you studied. In your 22 year-old monkey brain, you learned: colleges are overhyped; colleges are overpriced; colleges are oversold.
Is that depressing? Heck yeah! Some millennials just feel helpless. Many of us are crushed by debt, disgruntled with our reality, and kicked down by journalist who write these stupid pieces.
Maybe having that avocado toast makes the day a little less horrible. Let’s not forget…some people do not want to own a house. My husband and I are millennials and we own two properties. Those suckers are HARD WORK. On days when the plumbing is backed up and the roof is leaking…I think to myself…man, with the money the plumber will cost…I could have just brought myself 100 avocados and toast!
Are millennials not buying homes because of their spending habits? Has the impact of higher education cost and stagnant wages negatively effected us as a nation and as a generation?