Buying a house with avocado toast

Lets just be clear: It cant be done. Millennials cannot save enough to buy a house by foregoing avocado toast. (Unless, of course, a particular millennial is ordering avocado toast every day, three meals a day, which even another millennial is likely to acknowledge is a bit excessive, not to mention tedious.)

But lets say youre a fairly normal millennial with a reasonable penchant for superfoods, and you order two avocado toasts per week – eight per month – at a whopping $22 each. If you gave up every healthy smashed avocado sprinkled with creamy Feta, it would save you a mere $176 per month. At todays paltry interest rates, thats likely to net you just $11,000 in five years, which isnt enough for a car, much less a house.

Of course, if you gave up smashed avocado permanently, you could, perhaps, have enough for a traditional down payment on a house in 20 to 50 years, depending on average home prices in your area and the rate of return youre able to earn on your money. But that may take deferred gratification to an untenable level, even for Australian millionaires, like Tim Gurner. (Lets be clear, Bernard Salt, the Aussie columnist who started the whole avocado toast debate, was kidding. Really. Read his column.)

But, wait. Maybe Tim Gurner was only using avocado toast as an example of discretionary spending – the way my generation used to refer to Starbucks lattes. In his television interview in Australia, he actually talked about trips to Europe and unrealistic lifestyle expectations that need to be tamped back to achieve long-term goals, such as buying a home. (I vaguely recall spoilsports saying the same to me and my friends some 30 years ago.)