39 Comments

  1. I’m with you on this one . . . 😉

    Finance is about behaviors and patterns. And, yes, we all live in an increasingly routinized world. Even more so for ‘millennials’. Breaking those patterns and re-training is key.

    Can the average person do both . . . I don’t think so. For me, they are a bit contradictory. But I guess for some, they could handle it. Plus, I really hate avocados. 😉

    • Say it isn’t so. I love avocado. But I do agree. It’s one thing to be a money-minded PF blogger (or just money-minded in general) and really have a handle on intentional spending. But otherwise, it seems like avocado toast begets more toast. Or splurges.

  2. While the average person can have their avocado toast and eat it too… you just have to prioritize 😉 Avocados are one of the few “green” foods my son will eat, so we will typically pick a few up. But that being said, it comes at the “expense” of something else. Maybe its avocados over the six-pack or over the extra bananas, but they are still have to fit in the budget and are purchased after we pay ourselves first! Priorities 🙂 Thanks for the great post!

    • Oh my gosh! I love, love, love avocados. I just don’t make anything particularly fancy with them. When it comes to getting kids (and husbands! Ahem…Mr. P) to eat better, I think that it’s well worth adjusting a grocery budget!

  3. It’s never just the avocado toast. It’s the avocado toast, the lattes, the sushi, the shopping, etc. Apparently AvoT is expensive (if you eat out of course), so if you are willing to spend too much on AvoT, you are probably overspending on a lot of other things. If you are over spending on a lot of things, it will hold you back. … I feel like I’m talking about giving a mouse a cookie! “If a Millennial buys Avocado Toast…..” Ha!

  4. What I really don’t get with the avocado toast trend is why it seems like a popular restaurant item. One can have avocado toast for, what, * maybe* $1.50 homemade? And it would take less time than going to a restaurant and ordering…

    Rant over. 😃

    I’m trying to slowly transition friend group get-togethers into “hey let’s cook something random” parties instead of “let’s have brunch.” Soup dumplings are definitely on my list. /drool

    • Oooh, soup dumplings sound amazing!

      It’s so curious to me as a trend. I don’t frequent very swanky breakfast places, but I do eat out for breakfast on occasion. I’ve never even seen it on the menu! I wonder if it’s not really a midwestern thing yet (outside of Chicago).

      We have avocado last night with dinner. I can’t bring myself to “just” eat it on toast. It seems bland. Though, a food blogger I follow adds crushed red pepper flakes to it. So maybe that’s something?! 🙂

  5. One of my favorite quotes is “We are the 5 people we spend the most time with.” The problem is, social media has inundated us with dozens of people who are only showing the parts of their life that are most perfect and indulgent. We believe these extravagant, happy lives are normal and naturally want our lives to be like that too. It is incredibly hard to be outside the norm when you can’t get a break from it.

    But no, I don’t think people can have their avocado toast and eat it too. It is a symptom of a lifestyle, and not one that builds a lot of wealth.

  6. I’m totally with Felicity. If I even thought I’d LIKE avocado toast I’d make it at home. It would probably be even cheaper than a buck-fifty if I get the avocado and bread from Aldi (personally I buy their cheap avocado spread that comes in a pouch).

    When I lived in NY I found people were very sensitive to food hype. Back then it was NY Magazine that led the pack. If NY Magazine touted a dish du jour at some SoHo restaurant, every one went to that restaurant and ordered the dish du jour just to show how cool and hip they were. For some, food ordering habits are just another way of keeping up with the Joneses.

    • Foodie culture is so interesting. There’s a spot in Chicago that I’m dying to try. I know it’ll set us back like $400. Before we got engaged, we had the most expensive (and delicious) sushi meal of our lives. Because let’s be honest – a $50 kobe steak sushi roll? You have to at least try it! But I know those truly are once in a lifetime things. It’s a much more slippery slope with little indulgences, IMHO.

  7. I actually just bought an avocado to put on my toast and see what the fuss is all about. I have no idea how the hell you’re supposed to tell if it’s ripe. Every few hours I go and poke it to see if something magical happens.

    • You can pop the little stem nubbin off on the top to see if it’s past its expiration date. The spots will show through. Otherwise, I do the same thing. Give it a gentle squeeze and hope for the best when it cut it.

      In the spirit of full disclosure, I squirt some Sriracha on a half and eat it with a spoon. No carbs needed. SO tasty!

  8. I have a hard time when I see people spend crazy amounts of money on this new lifestyle inflation then complain about how they can’t afford things. Maybe it’s because we saved for 10 year for our first home. 10 years! Of yes, not eating out, driving old cars, and camping trips. And we used all that cash to buy one of the ugliest, cheapest homes on the market….for cash. I made 1000 choices that everyone turned thier nose up at. If people make hard choices, sure spend a few minutes bemoaning things you can’t change. But I have a hard time taking people seriously when they are using a $75 a month cell phone plan and have a $4 drink in thier hand.

    • Yuuup. And I have no doubt that there are people in the PF world who can absolutely indulge in moderation. Or only use Starbucks gift cards (hi!). But for the vast majority of people, we get into money messes in the first place because there’s no such thing as one little splurge.

  9. Katelynne

    So I agree with your post. People need to watch their spending. People need to be thinking about how to make their money go further and grow for their future. I think that choosing your priorities and making sacrifices is important and really the only thing you can do to get ahead. But I totally think this crosses generations and not just millennials. And instead of stupid snarky buzzfeed articles, they need to be educating.

    It’s frustrating to get generalized and generalized and generalized by these billionaires who think they have it solved when really they are judgey asshats who can’t acknowledge their privilege or that there are huge systematic issues or locational issues. There is a huge element of luck when you bought your first house when it was $50,000 and now it’s worth $350,000 or more. I’m sorry I was 2 at the time and couldn’t take advantage of that.

    So really, It’s the tone of these articles that really gets me. I’m super over it. SUPER SUPER over it.

    • Katelynne

      That sounded way more intense than I intended.

      Lifestyle inflation is definitely problematic. And I agree with a comment above about social media being a huge influence. We discuss this a lot with our Girl Guide group and really I truly believe that education and good role models is what it takes. If they shifted their focus and tone I’d imagine it’d be more productive.

      It just riles me up so much Penny! haha.

      • No, I think you’re right to feel intensely about the underlying issue. The war on generations is so stupid. I don’t like generalizations about millennials, and I don’t like them about boomers (or anyone else). The battles we all fight are so personal, oversimplifications help no one.

        • I do also hope we can come together collectively as a generation and decide what we really want to be known for. We made such noise over the avocado toast. It makes me wonder what other, bigger things we can and will tackle. There’s so much to be optimistic about and proud of…and our story is still being written!

  10. I have a true story. Yesterday, one of my coworkers was on a rant about this. She was yelling “how dare rich people deny poor people the right to eat avacado toast”. I explained to her that it is just about reducing your expenses to be able to save more money. She was not hearing it. Btw, avacado toast does sound yummy.

    • I definitely don’t think that what this millionaire said was akin with the whole “if you can buy an iPhone, you can buy health insurance” debacle. But maybe it is! Though, I’d argue that avocado toast is probably the most middle class problem you can have. But if your coworker took it as poor shaming, I think that it’s an important issue to speak up about!

      And I’m glad to have “met” another person who hasn’t tried the toast!

  11. I haven’t bought avocado toast out…only made it at home when I had avocados that I needed to use up. It’s so easy that it seems really weird to think of people paying $7-8 (much less $22) for someone else to make it. Toast, avocado, salt, and a fried egg. At home, it’s not as cheap as your oatmeal, but a reasonable indulgence.

    That said, I’m not sure the folks of my generation (who paid big bucks for pre-shredded acid-washed mom jeans while drinking Zima and wine coolers) needs to mock avocado toast. It’s pretty much the equivalent of 50’s/60’s TV dinners and martinis or 70’s hot-tubbing and fondue parties.

    • Oh my gosh, yes. I don’t think making it a generational thing is fair or wise. I so strongly dislike the millennial this, boomer that narrative. Every generation has strengths and shortcomings. Because we’re HUMANS.

      That being said, maybe I’ll give the toast a try. I love avocado, but I’ve never gone the breakfast route.

  12. I’m so glad I can count on you to keep me up to date on what the cool kids are doing these days 😉
    It’s nice to be past a lot of that angst and secure in my dorkiness. It’s good to focus on what’s important (friends, family, and brownies!) and not have to change my priorities with every new fad.

  13. I can deal with almost all real and perceived millennial gripes. However, I can’t stand the real estate complaint. It drives me bananas!

    The average price of a “used” house commensurate with a “used” house in the 1960s/1970s has gone down in real terms. Plus mortgage rates are literally 20% of what my parents borrowed for their first house (21% APR).

    Are bigger, nicer homes the norm now? Yes. But that doesn’t mean you can’t afford real estate. It means you can’t afford a fancy house.

    Cut your avocado toast (and other eating out), save $200 a month. That gets you to $10,000 in four years. $10,000 can be a 5% down payment on a $200,000 home. In almost every market (I think including the Chicago suburbs), you can buy a reasonable $200,000 house. At least, it should be reasonable by 1970s standards.

    So yes, millennials are eating away their real estate prospects.

    Gah! I’m such a curmudgeon and I’m not even 30! I need to eat some Avocado Toast and chill.

    • Ha. It’s not curmudgeonly. Or maybe I’m in the curmudgeon club, too. I feel like the real estate banter is the social media equivalent of the eye roll response that goes with the “uphill both ways story”. My parents are both boomers, and I can’t think of a single person who worked harder or earned their money more than they did. That’s not to say that their generation is without fault, but these broad strokes are just plain silly. Of course, new generations face new hurdles. We also get to benefit from new creations like supercomputers in our pockets…and avocado toast 😉

  14. Average person? No way. The average person doesn’t see the trend of how buying the avocado toast once a week or once a month adds up. Or the missed opportunity cost.

    You’re absolutely right though. I know people who want to cut back on something, say night out on the town. You know, they’ll do it in moderation. The problem is a few weeks later, they’re right back where they were before, overspending and overindulging.

    I guess this whole avocado thing is the new latte factor 2.0. While it’s not the sole reason for the inability to buy a house, it’s certainly a contributing factor as a whole to the larger scale finance problems with my generation.

    • Yes. And I only say that as someone who was so guilty of it. For me, it was clothes. Specifically shoes and purses. It didn’t bankrupt me. In fact, I’m “fine”. But I would be so much better off had I recognized that habit for what it was years ago!

  15. I cracked a joke about a walk being fine so long as we weren’t going uphill both ways to a European friend and she had no idea what I was talking about. I got the kind-aw-you-might-be-crazy look.

    Almost everyone can do better with their money but I’m tired of all the generational pooping on millennials about money. That’s all.

    • Agreed. I wish generational pooping would end in general. Broad strokes stink. And because people (not just millennials!) are so busy defending themselves, they actually miss valuable insight. And don’t even get me started on the clickbait fodder that fuels this!

  16. Anya

    Welllllll, I live in Southern California, where the housing prices are outrageous, but the avocados are (if you have a tree in your back yard) virtually free. So my husband and I have been eating avocado toast since we were kids– don’t have guacamole fixings? Put it on toast! And we do have an avocado tree that looks pretty happy after this year’s rains. But yep, I totally get your point! I went on a spending ban for Lent, and I’m going back on it, because the little, foolish things add up.

    • I cannot even tell you how jealous I am, Anya. I actually feel quite guilty buying avocados, since we try to do as much local produce as we can. But I can’t quit them! Whenever I’m in the midst of a Pinterest delusion and trying to grow an avocado tree from the pit, my husband always asks where I plan on putting it October-May.

  17. Ever since I was a little kid I’ve loved avocado for breakfast. It was because my mom, every Sunday morning for as far back as I can remember, would eat chips, salsa, and guacamole while she read the morning paper and nursed her Diet Coke. She’d let me partake and I developed a taste for the fruit. I’m still amused that this silly thing is trending at the moment.

    • Chips and guac are the best. I have eaten an alarming number of avocados this pregnancy. Usually just cut in half and with a little sriracha on top. So, so good.

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