Why Avonomics don’t work

Avocado-dance

Demographer and commentator Bernard Salt stirred a hornet’s nest when he accused millennials of wasting their money on dishes like smashed avocado instead of saving for a house. Our resident member of the generation demanded a right of reply.
 
 
Dear Mr Salt,
 

As a 27-year-old millennial, your may be surprised to learn that my ‘Great Australian Dream’ is not owning my own home (as realistically, without the help of the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’, I will never be able to afford it).

Like so many of my generation, I’ve decided to enjoy my $22 breakfast of smashed avocado and invest my money elsewhere.

My aspirations could be a little different to yours. No white-picket fence and quarter acre block.

Instead, I’m renting – probably paying one of the tens of thousands of boomers of your age. Those who turn up at every auction and push the price beyond our means to bolster their already bulging self managed superfund.

To me, a quarter acre block would mean I’d have to be on the ride-on mower for hours. And a white-picket fence means the paint pot would be out pretty often.

No, you’ll find me at my local cafe in Chippendale enjoying my brunch.

To catch all of those who have not weighed into the debate this week, you see, Bern – I hope you don’t mind my being familiar, but you have just trashed by generation – after crunching the numbers, it would take me 22 years and more than 8,000 serves of smashed avocado to save up a 20% deposit on an $890,000 home – the median house price for Sydney.

And that’s not taking account of how much damage your generation would do driving up that price, while demanding higher interest rates for your savings (meaning my mortgage would also rise).

I admit some of my peers have scrounged their pennies and saved tirelessly for almost a decade to buy properties in the inner city. They also had help from the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’, inherited their deposits or bought with their partners.

But not many.

My dad and I worked out the figures. On my current salary, it would take 15 years if I were to save up two-thirds of my pay, lived at home, ate out once every two weeks, barely shopped for clothes (which for those who know me, would be impossible), never take a holiday and still lean on mum and dad for petrol money as well as the cost of my food.

But that’s no way to live. I do a days work for a days pay. I should have what you had, Mr Salt.

But we are different. And not just in diet.

Most of us under 30 want to travel, work overseas, online shop or maybe buy a nice case of artisan gin while not being tied down to a mortgage.

When investing, we’d rather put our money in start-ups and technology like Acorns, an app which automatically rounds up your purchases and invests the small change that results.

Brilliant. Especially when your smashed avocado is $21.99.
 
Bernadette

 
 

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