Would Giving up Avocado Toast Really Help Buy You a Home?

Updated: Sep 10, 2018

Photo Credit: Simply Recipes

Recently, it seems every rich and responsible adult in Australia, the place with the highest per capita consumption of organic food, has been preaching about the large sums of cash that Gen Y spends on food items. They say that the property market isn’t to blame for Millennials struggling to buy their first homes, but rather that their spending is out of control.

Tim Gurner, Australian millionaire and property mogul, told Millennials to stop buying avocado toast if they want to afford a home. “When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each,” Gurner told the Australian news show 60 Minutes. “We’re at a point now where the expectations of younger people are very, very high. They want to eat out every day, they want travel to Europe every year. The people that own homes today worked very, very hard for it, saved every dollar, did everything they could to get up the property investment ladder.”

But Gurner isn’t the only Australian critic of young people who choose to spend a lot on avocados. Back in October, Bernard Salt, a columnist, criticizing those who spend a lot on them. “I have seen young people order smashed avocado with crumbled feta on five-grain toasted bread at $22 a pop and more,” he wrote. “I can afford to eat this for lunch because I am middle aged and have raised my family … Twenty-two dollars several times a week could go towards a deposit on a house”, he added.

But, how much avocado toast would you have to give up to purchase a home, or just to afford the down payment on one? Using Time.com’s calculator, we saw that in Boston, MA, where the median home value is $419,900, we would have to forgo 10,498 avocado toasts (at $8 each) to save enough to cover the 20% down payment of $83,980. That’s equivalent to giving up one avocado toast a day for almost 29 years! But wait – there’s more! The median price for South Boston is nearly 1.5 times that at $630,000 so make that 43.5 years – YIKES.

Want to see how much it would cost where you live? Use the calculator here, provided by Time.com, which is based on Zillow median home values for 575 metropolitan areas.