Think the reason you can't afford to buy real estate is because of the ever-rising cost of living in your home state? Or the fact that student loans make it all but impossible to simultaneously save for a down payment? Maybe it's because entry-level work often doesn't offer the career growth you need. Nope. The real reason? Avocado toast. Yes, the creamy-salty-carb combo we love is eating into your budget with every bite, according to The Australian Magazine columnist Bernard Salt. Salt, of course, can pay for avocado toast because, as per his column: "I'm middle-aged and I have raised my family." But for the "hipsters" he sees in cafes? Don't be caught by Salt dining in public. As he writes: "Shouldn't they be economising by eating at home? How often are they eating out? Twenty-two dollars several times a week could go towards a deposit on a house." Commenters on the internet were quick to take issue with his statement as #SmashedAvo began trending on Twitter.
And Uber Australia even offered free smashed avocado to Uber Eats users.
Bottom line, we hear all the time about the so-called "latte factor" — this idea that the tiny treats we buy make a big difference in our wealth. But in reality, while the premise sounds good ("stop spending cash on lattes (or avocado toast) and become a millionaire"), it doesn't hold up in real life. And it's condescending to assume that millennials don't understand that they can simultaneously save for a house while they enjoy the occasional avocado toast treat. To be fair, Salt's column was mostly tongue-in-cheek. He also made fun of the seating options at cafes, saying the low-to-the-ground, milk-crate-style stools were deliberately designed to keep out middle-aged patrons. But his avocado toast comment clearly struck a nerve. Because bottom line: Housing costs have increased in a way that makes it much harder for millennials to buy real estate than it was for their parents at the same age. And millennials are actually saving more than any other generation, according to multiple surveys. We are trying. So, please Mr. Salt, let us bemoan our student loans over a plate of avocado toast in peace.