The Avocado Toast Myth: Buy a home instead of the toast

Gené Hunter

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Millennials are often described as avocado toast-loving, matcha latte overspenders, fast fashion indulgers but here’s the reality

Over the years, data and research have indicated that millennials on average, were slower to reach certain milestones compared to older generations.

Think about it, most of our parents were getting married in their twenties, purchasing a home, starting families and riding around in their dream car without a ridiculous monthly car payment. Not to mention, enjoying a vacation every other month and possibly purchasing a beach home just because they could.

According to the Pew Research Center, millennials on average have delayed marriage and been “somewhat slower in forming their own households.” Many also live at home with their parents longer than previous generations or they end up moving back home to save more money in order to make bigger purchases like a better car or to buy a home.

Unfortunately, these delayed timelines aren’t because of laziness (as the media has described the generation) it’s because the generation has experienced multiple setbacks within a short amount of time. Factors like stagnant wages, increased housing costs and piling student loan debt on top of medical insurance, car payments, cell phone bills and housing utilities combined contribute to millennials having less money to spend.

As if the amount of bills the generation has to take on, numbers continue to crunch with the education gap. Those without a college degree face even worse odds of attaining a well-paying job. In 2018, Pew found that households headed by a millennial with a bachelor’s degree or higher earned a median adjusted household income of roughly $105,300. Those headed by high school graduates earned roughly $49,363. Compare those numbers to baby boomers who didn’t obtain degrees earned $51,287 to $54,026 in 2017 dollars on average and those with degrees earned $80,552 to $95,182 in 2017 dollars on average.

The American dream has always been defined as landing a good job, getting married, buying a house and having kids. However, millennials have begun to do things their own way and ultimately living life on the terms they can afford. Whether that’s job-hopping in order to obtain more skills and make more money versus spending 20-odd years at one company, pursuing creative endeavors in order to stay sane while working other gigs to pay the bills or becoming digital nomads in order to see the world and sell their skills online, buying a latte is actually last on the list. Survival and good health is the top priority.

So, the next time you see a millennial enjoying their avocado toast or toasting up another mimosa at brunch with their friends, keep in mind that they probably just paid on their student loans and still deserve to indulge in life’s pleasantries.

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Atlanta-based journalist with a passion for all things lifestyle and community. Story ideas/tips? gene.hunter@newsbreak.com

Atlanta, GA
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