How smashed avocado made us rethink our first home deposit savings - Malpass Finance

How smashed avocado made us rethink our first home deposit savings

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Holy Guacamole!

So much has been said this week about Gen Y's ability to save money and their spending habits in relation to housing affordability and scraping together a first home deposit.

Many an online outburst was posted in response to Bernard Salt's column in the Weekend Australian decrying the hipster brunch of smashed avocado on toast as an example of younger homebuyers frittering away their money rather than diligently saving towards their own "Australian dream".

But why take aim at the humble treat breakfast?

The fact is that as a would-be homebuyer these days you have to save up more of your earnings to make your 20 per cent first home deposit than you would have had to in the 1970s, 80s and 90s - both in dollar terms and as a percentage of your household income.

But what does that have to do with the price of avocado on toast? Well, according to many respondents, not much.

Bernie's claim that by foregoing a cafe breakfast you can afford to save up a first home deposit sooner is shaky at best, prompting respondents to point out at you would have to skip nearly 5,000 such meals to amass a deposit for a Perth home.

At its heart, Bernie's claim is a hand grenade thrown into his laptop to see if anyone is paying attention to his column - and what a response he got!

The reactions and replies ranged from serious counterargument columns to sarcastic tweets and facebook statuses, videos with satirical recipes for home ownership and finance brands have jumped on the message too, incorporating it into their marketing within hours of the subject trending.

The Guardian asked: Are millennials actually bad at saving or are houses just unaffordable? The cold facts on saving a 20 percent deposit on a median priced house in Perth are laid bare with their handy graphic on how long it would take to save up for a local median priced house. According to their calculator, at a $100 a week, it would take 16.3 years to save up $106,380; or just 13.8 years if you skip the avo on toast once a week... Median house prices from the REIA. Calculations assume an interest rate of 2.7% on savings, and an avocado on toast cost of $22 (which is pretty expensive for avo on toast, but that's what Bernard Salt went with in his original article).

Daily Mail online responded here: Demographer says young Australians might be able to buy their first home if they stopped wasting money at expensive cafes.

The Daily Mail reply compared the proportion of disposable income require for savings towards a first home deposit in 1988 to now: " 1988 people only needed to save 32 per cent of their disposable income to buy a home. Today, young people today need to put away 134 per cent of theirs if they have any hope of getting a foot in the door of the property market."

The ABC responded here: Property ownership out of reach due to high prices, not 'smashed avocado' penchant, millennials argue

SBS get's a gold star for this satirical effort: I Stopped Eating Smashed Avocado And Now I Own A Castle.

While he got to munch on a tasty, high-priced brunch, Bernie also seems to be winning the internet by whipping up a furore among disenfranchised renters and those still living with their parents by challenging their spending decisions.

Here are some examples of the more intelligent replies on social media:

This recipe video lays it out:

This bank sees the humour and was quick to capitalise on the trending topic:


Perhaps though it's just a great reminder to be thoughtful with your spending and re-evaluate the cost of the things that make your life enjoyable as you sock away some coin for your first home.

What is it that's stopping you from affording your own home? Or are you just not ready??

Tell me, what little luxuries do you enjoy while you're trying to save?

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