Defending Mr. Avocado Toast – Priorities are Key

I HATE when I feel compelled to weigh in on stupid shit but it is hard to bite my tongue in certain cases…

I am sure you have all read THE POST that spawned the avocado toast backlash that will forever go down in history as the one item that could knock the $4 latte off the FI stage.    Thank fucking god…I hate coffee and could never truly relate.  I would much rather debate an avocado as the reason no one can afford to save, so here we go…

Image result for avocado toast
Looks just like mine… ~via~

First off, GenXer here…I feel the need to state that as this slanderous attack was thrown directly at my good friends, The Millennials.  But seriously folks, this issue is not generation based – it is stupidity based.  Yes, I said it.  As a whole, people are financially stupid.  What?  You never made a financial mistake in your life??  Just wait, you will.  And when you do, feel free to come back and tell us all about it!  I promise not to chastise you because I have been stupid too.  But to get straight to the point, this whole avocado toast thing has been completely blown out of proportion, on both sides. 

I did a little research and it seems Australia has been hurt by the global avocado crisis as much as we have and currently the price per fruit has spiked to $3 (this is the most research I have done for any post ever).  As an avocado connoisseur, I happen to make such a toast quite frequently (AND I throw soft-boiled egg on top) and the average cost is $1 per fruit which makes 2 toasts!  If the price in Australia is currently $3, that suggests $1.50 per toast with a restaurant mark up back to $3 plus the toast and prep work adds an additional $3…just to be generous I will add an extra $3 to plate it.  Based on food costs and prep work (and some knowledge having once been the wife of a restaurant owner) I will assume the purchase price of an avocado toast in Australia to be $9.  Of course, you can find places here that will charge an exorbitant amount for plated toast with avocado spread on it – I just don’t go to them.  But the food cost isn’t the point, now is it?  You can easily switch the avocado toast to another type of food and the issue remains the same – stop spending money on stupid shit (I’ll repeat this a few more times). ** I stand corrected…A lovely Sydney based reader name Sophie sent me a kind email to let me know that Avo Toasts indeed cost $19!  Remind me to bring my own should I ever visit!  😉 **

Remember the $4 latte??  Last year it was all the rage and people in the personal finance space went NUTS with it.  Spending $4 on an occasional latte is not a problem. Spending $4 on a latte every day is.  Isn’t it??  If we do a bit of math you will notice that $4 per day x 365 days adds up to $1460 per year ($1600 with tax).  Hmmm…so that isn’t the problem either because even THAT isn’t going to break the bank so to speak.  So what is??  The assumption of the Latte Factor is that if you are spending freely on one thing, most likely you are spending freely on others…like a $9 avocado toast to go with your lovely latte.  And the assumption, in most cases, is true.  If you are bitching about debt, again, don’t spend on stupid shit.  If you have money to burn – go crazy!!   This is more a discussion about moderation and priorities than it is avocado toast and lattes.

10 years ago I went through a phase of spending freely on nights out at an Irish pub eating terrible food and drinking copious amounts of pink wine (the wine choice a clear sign of my lack of maturity).  About 5 years back I went through a similar phase of spending freely but this time my focus was on all things organic and small batch (like $8 chocolate bars).  In both cases, I was saving very little of my income while eating (and drinking) the rest.  My priorities at that time were to be social and fun then, following my divorce, a not so fun organic eating hermit.  I spent freely with money (and calories) and didn’t give a shit.  And then I woke up.  I realized I wanted something different.

In the past two years, I have changed my focus once again…gone are the drunk nights out and chocolate bars in.  My priorities have changed and my sole focus is on freedom – financially and otherwise.  I finally got wise, cut out all the shit, and am now rocking a 75% savings rate. Do you know why??  Because it DID make a difference!!  All the drinking and eating out, all the organic food and stupid chocolate…they DID add up!  Once I got straight with myself and what my priorities were I started to work harder, spend less, and in return save more.  BUT this isn’t about me being good and a free spender being bad so LET ME BE CLEAR, I wouldn’t give up those years of free spending for anything. That is what I felt I needed at the time. That was my priority.  And, again, it is all about priorities.

The point Mr. Avocado was trying to make with his silly analogy was: if you want to buy stupid shit, go for it!  If you want to buy a home (or something else that costs tons of money), stop spending on stupid shit and start saving.  Do not, AND I REPEAT, do not bitch about not being able to save when you are spending on said stupid shit.  This is not to say that all people, or even all millennials ;), spend on stupid shit.  Some people can’t afford to save because of other issues such as low-income, the high cost of living, medical, and otherwise.  Those are perfectly acceptable arguments but not related to this specific discussion.  This discussion is about the privilege of choice.  Choosing a $19 appetizer (it’s got to be an appetizer, right?!) over other priorities.  Again, it is your choice to make, but for Pete’s sake just don’t whine about it later!  Nobody likes to hear a complainer…especially when they have avocado stuck in their teeth.

So let’s talk about my current financial impurities.  I was recently interviewed by Shannon for her Martinis and Your Money podcast.  One of the random questions she asked me at the end was “What’s your biggest budget buster?” My answer to this question 3 years ago would be very different from the way I would answer today.  My answer?  Avocado toast.  Just kidding!!  But my answer is equally ridiculous: organic raspberries.  Seriously, those suckers ARE NOT CHEAP…but they also aren’t keeping me from owning a home. If I do choose to buy raspberries it is on a very rare occasion or if they are a really good price.  I have discipline in my spending that years ago it never occurred to me to have.  What I mentioned in the podcast has now become a joke in my family.  My mother has gifted me organic raspberries multiple times.  She knows how serious I am about saving and also knows I am not willing to feed this addiction at $4.99 a pint!

So, let’s recap, the point of this discussion is not the price of an avocado toast.  It isn’t about saving for a house (we all know not EVERYONE wants to own).  The discussion is about your priorities.  If you want to grab a latte and avocado toast on your way to the farmers market then do it!!  Go on with your bad (in a good way) self…just be sure to bring your recycled totes with you to avoid further ridicule. 😉  And when and if you decide you want to buckle down and save, do that too!! Whichever you choose, do so with full intent and don’t bitch about the outcome later.  Nobody cares what you spend on now until you bitch about it later.  Save us all the nonsense and keep it to yourself!  We have our own avocados to worry about.

***So tell me, if it isn’t avocados, what IS your biggest budget buster??***

Until next time…


50 thoughts on “Defending Mr. Avocado Toast – Priorities are Key

  1. Hello there Miss Mazuma! Let me begin by saying I like your article, style of writing and I think your point about priorities is great. But as a “Millennial” living in Sydney the context makes the issue a bit more complex. Sydney ranks in 2nd in the most expensive cities to live in globally. The property market is massively bloated and housing affordability is perhaps the number one issue in Sydney. For Millennials we find that wage growth has been far outstripped by housing prices, so much so that relying on only ourselves, we may never own a house in our entire lives no matter our savings unless we have rich parents or sit within the upper quartile of income earners. There has been little help from the government, who have openly stated to “get better jobs” or get our parents to fork out for us. In Sydney it’s not only a generational issue, it’s beginning to look like a class issue, the reason for the anger in this whole avocado discuss is because our government seemingly forgets that not everyone in Sydney can earn as much as they do. Nonetheless good article, the lessons regarding priority and sticking by your decisions still rings true. Sorry if I repeated anything you already know. -TC


  2. My biggest budget buster 99.9% of the time is new skincare products. The good stuff usually is NOT cheap, and I do try to use up a current product before I buy a replacement. However, I have so much fun looking up what the new products on the market are, reading and watching Youtube reviews on them, reading up on the science behind why Antioxidant A is better than Antioxidant B for your skin, etc. Resisting temptation on buying a truckload of new products is legitimately a struggle I face all the time.


  3. Pingback: The Sunday Best (5/28/2017) - Physician on FIRE

  4. Simple Money Man

    My #1A priority is saving for the future while #1B enjoying the present. And who is paying $19 for avocado???? I had a BBQ this past weekend and bought a couple from Walmart for $2 each to put on burgers.


    1. Haha – apparently the up charge is higher in Australia! What we have for $1 from the market (check Aldi!) they have for $3. Regardless of what you pay at the store, what you pay at the restaurant is much higher! We definitely have places in the city to buy such things at ridiculous costs but I choose not to and it sounds like you are on the same page. I love that you are incorporating your future and present in your savings plans! I know far too many people who focus on one and not the other but it is so important to do both. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment!!


  5. I haven’t read the post but I’ve heard about it obviously! I didn’t read it because I kind of figured out that he would be saying not to spend your money on stupid stuff if you are trying to reach a financial goal. Going off your summation, it sounds like I was correct to assume that!

    My biggest budget buster…hmm. I don’t know. I don’t ever spend any money, lol! But that’s from years of practice


    1. Yes – you would have to be living under a rock to not have heard about this one! I love that you can’t come up with a single budget buster…you sound like me!! I mean, how lame is it that all I could think of was raspberries? I am a huge saver to the point of exhaustion and after this month of financial celibacy I think I am ready to lighten up a bit. Perhaps I need to set a goal to be spending instead of saving…like, one pint of raspberries per month. It’s small but it’s a start!


  6. ChooseBetterLife

    I’ve made some great friends over the past few years and now find myself spending more on eating out and enjoying activities with them. Yes, it costs more than making dinner and watching Netflix at home, but I choose to categorize it as spending on my social life and well-being, not on actually eating out. I’d actually rather eat healthier food I can cook at home, but friends are a huge priority and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.


    1. That’s awesome, Julie! Friends are definitely a priority and totally worth the money to hang out and I love that you categorize it as spending for your social life. I still go out with the ladies but I am much more strategic to which invites I accept. Dinner at Topolobampo? No. Appetizers at a BYOB? Sign me up! I am also a big fan of inviting my friends over and hanging out potluck style. We always have a great time and it actually gives us time to focus on the conversation without the single gals looking over your shoulder to see what hottie is walking in next! 😉


  7. I’m a little late to this party…but I couldn’t help but comment. I absolutely LOVE your response 🙂 My biggest splurge tends to be custom finishes for our house – nothing inexpensive about it. But, we plan to stay put for a long time, so I justify it that way.

    I’m not an avocado fan, but my husband can’t get enough of ’em. Obviously, the whole thing was ridiculous, but I can’t say I’d be sad to see the latte hit the road. Ha!


    1. No such thing as late – you are just in time!! Custom finishes sound like a worthy way to spend some dough if you plan to stay put. I’ve always been too flaky to live anywhere past 2 years…I hope that will settle someday because I would truly love to have a home that feels permanent. In the meantime I am sticking to raspberries!! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I think the backlash against the original story came from the fact that in an insane housing market no amount of cutting back on the small stuff is going to make housing accessible, so that article came across as a tad condescending.

    Your more general point is well taken though. Be stupid or be whiny. In the name of all that is holy though, please, please never be both. That is just unbearable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True, I totally see the condescending tone, but you too are in an insane housing market yet managed to buy a house. In the process of doing so you had to make some serious choices. One being location and others regarding your spending (Amazon addictions come to mind ;)). I know from my perspective that I don’t want to work hard enough to afford the cost of living in certain locations. Working more to afford less is a major deal breaker for me. But that’s me. I would also rather go to the store and buy avocados and bread and make my own toast at home. Spending $19 on any meal make my palms itch!


      1. You’re right, I did. OTOH, I am extremely fortunate in that I make a pretty high salary, as does my husband. We don’t make those salaries because we are particularly brilliant or talented – it is more a case of in the right place at the right time. So I am very careful about just assuming that because we did it, other people should be able to as well.

        I would happily spend way more than $19 on a meal – it just won’t be a meal that I can make for myself at home. When we do splurge on eating out, we try to eat meals that we simply don’t have the talent or time to reproduce at home. Avocados on toast come nowhere near meeting that criteria.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I absolutely agree – just because you did it doesn’t mean everyone else can and I don’t assume that is the case. However, I totally disagree with one point – though your pay may have nothing to do with it, I do think you are brilliant! 🙂

          Look, as I mentioned before, my approach to this stupid and flippant remark was more on the side of spending on silly things without thinking about what that money could better be used for. When I read the article I thought of my girlfriend who currently lives paycheck to paycheck funding her lavish lifestyle while crying that she can’t afford to buy a home. We make the same amount but we also make different choices. That is the chord it struck with me and that is who this post is addressed to. Now if only I can get her to read it… 😉


  9. The wrath of Miss Mazuma. I love it. Don’t spend your money on “stupid shit” and then complain you’re broke. I was the king of stupid shit when I was younger. Bar pies and copious draughts at the pub were just the tip of my viceberg. But to my credit, I never complained about the sorry state of my finances. Keep giving them hell, Miss Mazuma. Man must be shamed and cajoled into financial virtue.


    1. Haha! Well, I can’t say I am perfect but I’m getting closer. 😜 I have some spendy friends that I have to be a little more choosy with in terms of how often I go out with them and where we go. I don’t want the dark side coming for me and next I know they inadvertently cajoled ME into spending more!! Haha – it works both ways! 🙂

      Thanks for the comment, as always. Loved getting to know the Mrs better in her post today. You guys were made for each other!!


  10. Interesting perspective on the whole thing – and I do agree with your sentiment that if you want to get ahead financially you’ve gotta prioritize your cash.

    Though as Australian PF/FIRE bloggers (and we would like to think that we are very good with money) I feel the bigger point to the backlash against “Mr Avocado” is that it’s a very insulting statement that frivolous spending is the factor keeping millennials from being home owners, it simply isn’t the case in our major Aussie cities.

    There are quite a few factors that have made the housing market fly up to unattainable levels; hoards of international (mostly Chinese) buyers have been parking their money into Australian property, a tax benefit called “negative gearing” which encourages wealthy investors to buy up lots of property to get tax off-sets (which tramples all over the genuine home buyers who are not buying for investment/negative gearing) among many other things which has contributed to a big gap between income and property prices. One of the biggest issues is that young buyers have simply not been able to build a house deposit fast enough before the market outruns them on price.

    As an example, a family member purchased a house in a fairly quiet suburb for $250k in 2002 and sold it earlier this year for 1.4 MILLION. 15 years. In 2002 a reasonable deposit of 20% would be $50k. The deposit needed to buy the same home in 2017 would be $280k, more than the entire cost of the home in 2002. This is not an unusual story, this is the state of the entire housing market in major Australian cities.

    The average Australian income in 2002 before tax was $36,275 (taken from the Australian bureau of statistics). In 2016 it was $60,502, a 66% increase in 14 years. meanwhile the property my family member sold had a 460% increase in the same time.

    In 1990 household debt to income was 56%, in 2002 it had reached 125%. In April 2014 it reached 177% and according to the OECD it now sits at 206%. Even those people who can get on the property ladder are crippling themselves with debt; Australian household debt-to-GDP is at 123%, which is the 3rd highest in the developed word. By comparison the UK is 88% and the USA is 79%.

    Mr DDU and I live 40 minutes away from this family member who sold their house and our area tells much the same story (we a bit over an hour away from the city), we could not afford to buy a house at this point, in this area which we are renting in. We think of ourselves as very good with money and are aiming for a 50% savings rate over the course of this year, we only have 1 car as a couple, and work very hard to save money. If we wanted to buy a 2-3 bedroom, rundown house it would take us around 3.5 years of 50% of our income solely going towards a house deposit to get a 20% deposit for this area, and that is assuming that the housing market would not increase at all in that time.

    If we would struggle with that (or even just struggle to justify the cost), I really feel for our fellow Australian millennials who don’t earn as much as we do, who live pay-check to pay-check already, who barely eat any avocado on toast.

    Sorry for the extra long comment, but it really is much more complicated than Mr Millionaire Mr Avocado spells it out to be.

    Mrs DDU


    1. No apologies for such a long comment!! I am guilty of doing the same quite often. 🙂

      Yes, I agree the housing market is out of control in Australia and much of that is unrelated to toasts. I had a similar exchange with Miss Sophie as she pointed out food costs in some areas for me. We do have similar markets here in the states (particularly San Fran and New York) where most people will never be able to buy, but thankfully we have plenty of other areas to choose from as well. We’ve also experienced foreigners snatching up properties and during the housing crash to try to buy a home up against the investors and builders was near impossible unless it was a full cash over asking offer. I was a Realtor during those years and it was crazy to see how many offers people (me included) put in an offer to be turned down against multiple buyers which caused a complete frenzy of people trying to buy whatever they could just to get in the market…then short sale or foreclosing a few years later because what they bought they couldn’t afford or they didn’t like/want in the first case…or their tenants lost jobs and quit paying (as was my case).

      I understand this article was a much heated one. I took a light hearted approach not so much against the millennials he spoke about or even the housing market, but the overall approach of people spending money in frivolous ways then not being able to afford other things. This statement could have come from anyone, it happened to come from an Australian. I am sorry if my post offended you in any way (that is never my intent!!), however, I do stand by the points that I made in it as a whole. Yes, some people will never be able to buy a house. They will be priced timed out of the market and that has nothing to do with a lack of hard work or savings. However, some people will never buy because they can’t afford to buy because they spend money on stupid shit…those are the people I aimed to address in this post. We have those people everywhere.

      You guys keep doing what you’re doing!! A 50% savings rate is AWESOME!! 🙂


      1. Not offended at all! I completely agree with the mindset of prioritizing where your money is going, that is exactly what Mr DDU and I are doing, so of course we agree!

        I just wanted to share that for a lot of Australians in the last 10 years it hasn’t been that easy. I also find the statistics of Australian debt mind-boggling. I really wouldn’t be surprised if we are heading towards a housing market crash in Australia (or at the very least, a stagnant market) because this growth in prices, growth in debt and lack of income growth to keep up is a scary dangerous combination.

        The context in which Mr Avocado made his statements weren’t quite as understanding as you :). And you’re right, we all know someone who could do with a little less frivolous spending and a little more financial priorities.

        Mrs DDU

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I agree – it sounds like you may be heading for a crash. Hang on tight because that is when stuff gets REALLY crazy! In my neighborhood prices aren’t quite back to where they were in 2007 but the way people are snatching places up as quick as possible you would think it was.! Market times are 2-7 days and they are contingent. This is exactly how it started last time… have we not learned our lessons?? The other thing driving it is all the people who had short sales are now able to apply for loans again (there is a 4 year wait after short sale and 7 years after foreclosure). They are itching to get in but the market is moving fast again!! I know, I feel the itch too but I also have scars to warn me off.

          In all, real estate is always a game. In school we were coached to always answer questions about the future market by saying “there is no crystal ball”. That’s about as vague as it gets but it is SO TRUE!! For now I am piling up cash waiting for my next move. While I love real estate, I know it is tricky situation. Perhaps I will just sit here with my homemade avocado toast and watch the world go by… 😉

          Thanks again for the great comments!!

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Great post as always Miss Mazuma.

    I live by the principle that if something makes you happy, and isn’t hurting anyone else, then go for it.

    By the same token you are exactly right, life is all about choices, and opportunity cost. Spend on one thing, the money can’t be used for something else. Invest time on one activity then that time can’t be applied elsewhere. Simples!

    I do have to call bullshit on one thing though: “Some people can’t afford to save because of other issues such as low-income, high cost of living, medical, and otherwise.”

    People choose not to be able to afford whatever. Everybody has the option of moving to a lower cost of living location. If sufficiently motivated they can even move to a country where financial happiness isn’t tempered by the fear of outrageous healthcare costs.

    Again it is about choices, and about opportunity cost. We’re only as trapped as we choose to be, as any of the millions of migrants out there (me included) can attest to.


    1. Yes, I definitely see your point and in many cases I completely agree with you. But there is an exception to every rule and those are the few I was mentioning. Because, lets face it, if you don’t speak about every side of the coin the backlash is immense! 😅 So when I speak about the unfortunate few, I am thinking about the many youth in our city with parents in prison or dead due to overdose/gun related violence. The only home they know is here and while there is no doubt they would be best off getting out of this city, at a young age that is rarely a consideration and they turn to gangs instead. That’s a tough nut. I think about my ex husband who came here at 17 as a war refugee with a mother and younger sister in tow, their dad/husband having just been killed in action. He came here because he has family and together that stayed 10 to a 2 bedroom apartment. In his case, he was able to work his butt of and move forward. But it took time, especially at that age and English slowly becoming his second language. I also think about the war vets missing limbs or with PTSD or whatever ailment they have that keeps them close to the VA hospital. My step dad being one of them, I realize how hard it is to pick up and move away from doctors who have treated you year in and year out while more and more parts of your body fail. To say our VA system is flawed is an understatement. They stay where they are for fear of getting lost in the system. It’s insanity!! Thankfully my step dad isn’t on his own and has my mom to help navigate the system. Those examples are just off the top of my mind but they are out there. Some are fortunate to overcome the cards dealt and some aren’t. It isn’t always moxie that determines the outcome. So while I completely agree that most of it is bullshit, I can’t help but voice the rare exceptions. In the end, not all outcomes are due to poor choices.

      All that being said, I agree that most people can overcome shitty circumstance. This guy comes to mind: Seriously? Have you ever been more inspired?!

      I write from my viewpoint but I haven’t experienced all the hardships that others have. I tried to be sensitive while also trying to motivate those who THINK they have no options but in reality they have many. That coming from the girl who lost her money, homes, and marriage within a 3 year period. If anyone is in that position, I happen to know that they CAN get over it. I’m proof. 😉

      Thanks for the comment and always inviting great discussion. You know I enjoy a good razz on a Saturday morning – Cheers, Slow Dad!! 😘


  12. Indeed, those raspberries are not going to prevent you from buying a home! I love your fire (as in fiery, not FIRE for once) in this post!

    What annoys me most about the avocado toast is how food becomes a way to keep up with the Joneses. When I lived in NY, if NY Magazine reviewed a trendy restaurant with a tasty dish, that dish became the knew fad. And people wanted to be “seen” in said restaurant eating that dish. Then they wanted to report back and talk about it around the water cooler at work so they could say they’d been there. Just like seeing a Broadway play or the latest MOMA exhibit.


    1. Well, at the rate I was eating them before I might never have saved enough! 😜

      It is so true that food is super trendy. Thankfully I am not the type of person that likes to be seen but I do like to eat!! I got sucked in a few years back and took my boyfriend to Alinea for his birthday. $500 later I wondered what the heck I was thinking especially after we broke up a month later! Nowadays I can’t say I would pay for a meal like that again. I might, however, splurge on an avocado toast if the mood struck. 😉


  13. You had me at the first sentence “I HATE when I feel compelled to weigh in on stupid shit but it is hard to bite my tongue in certain cases…”

    It’s funny you decided to weigh in on this topic because I’m writing an article myself about this whole ridiculous avocado toast fiasco and many of the points you made here are the exact points I would make!

    To me, it’s not about whether or not you spend $0 or $19 on little treats like avocado toast, all that matters is the value you gain from the purchase. I know I spend a ridiculous amount on Chipotle but it’s not something I regret because it’s my favorite food and it’s worth the $7. You bring up a great point that values change over time too!! The purchases that make us the happiest will be different at each stage of our life.

    Awesome article as always 🙂


    1. Keep buying that Chipotle!! My stock is slowly rising one burrito at a time. 😅

      I am so grateful our values change over time. If not, I might be living on the road following a band with dreads in my hair. Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with that lifestyle, I just want different things now (funny enough I still wouldn’t mind living out of a van if it was temporary). 5 years ago it never occurred to me that FI would be possible. Now that I’m looking 5 years ahead of me I honestly can’t say what I will do when I get there. I have some ideas, but thinking them and doing them are very different. I know that whatever happens in the future will be possible because of what I am doing today. That is enough to keep me steady on my goal. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. FrugalFox

    Great piece again. Like you my priorities and spending whims have varied dramatically over the last 5 years.
    Not so long ago i was wasting money on gym supplements. I’m talking protein, pre-workout supps, post-workout supps and all many of other exotic sounding pills (I’m looking at you tribulus terrestris!)

    Nowadays my biggest budget buster was buying a dog, I’m sure we spend more money on his food than we do our own, but you know what, I wouldn’t change it for a thing.


    1. You know you made me google “tribulus terrestris”! Hysterical. I can’t believe I spent so much money on organic food for so long!! To be fair, when I had my own home I also had a HUGE organic garden. After planting and picking my own food nothing else tasted the same but organic came close. Now I could care less…except the raspberries!

      I agree – a dog is worth it’s weight in gold. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. You know, it took Financial Samurais post on this one for me to even realize this was a thing, I agree with your message here though. Its all about choices. It’s your perogative what you choose but you deal with the consequences. Perhaps those avocado toasts are the only thing that keeps you happy (sounds like a miserable existence to me). If that is all you blew money on you’d probably be better off then most people.

    As for the price of eating out in Australia, it’s insane. I worked there on and off for 9 months around 2010. Maine lobster locally was 300 dollars a plate. A plate of Spaghetti in a nice restaurant was 20 dollars. The cities there are some of the most expensive in the world.

    My personal thing is cars. Our household still owns three cars with one being a relatively expensive Corvette. I could sell that car for 30K easily, so to many it would be a waste of 30k. But given that and travel are my only things (travel is paid for with credit card points) the impact on my finances over 30 years is statistically insignificant. As long as you limit and choose your poison you can still be financially successful.


    1. Spaghetti is such a rip off (even by American standards) but $300 for lobster?! No thanks! Surely there are other fish in the sea (ha!). But, yes, if avocado toasts make you happy then go crazy! I can’t imagine food being more important than freedom but I guess that correlation only makes sense if freedom is your priority.

      Cars are a huge expense…especially when you have NICE cars. My Dad is a car junky and has been since we were kids. He isn’t into classic cars – he is into drag racing. My mom and dad are divorced but she very much considered herself a car widow. Dad spent way more time in the garage than the house…he might still! 🙂 I totally understand the obsession and as long as you can afford it (and not bitch about the things you can’t) then it is a reasonable expense. We only get one shot at this life. Live it how you see fit without being a burden on everyone around you…I think that is key.

      I totally didn’t want to get sucked into this debate so I didn’t read any avocado related posts but after watching the news this morning I couldn’t help myself!!
      I had to get it all out. 🙂 I’m off to read Sam’s post!!


  16. Frugal Turtle

    I spent so much money on stupid crap when I was younger! Meals out, new clothes and shoes. So. Many. Shoes. I had an obsession for a while in my 20’s. Thank god I realized I had a problem and stopped! My priorites changed when I got to my 30’s and I wanted to be debt free and then Financially Independent. You’re right. It’s all about priorities.


    1. Shoes! Thank goodness I quit with the shoes when I did… after a few years of long distance hiking my feet have grown .5 to 1 size larger than before. I hear this sort of thing happens with pregnancy but my foot swell happened with hiking and never went back to normal…Argh!!


  17. luxestrategist

    If I really put my mind to it, I can afford a home in NYC. But that would tie up allll my money and here’s what I’d have to show for it: a 700 sq foot apartment with no closets and probably slanty floors! Not sure how much I value having a home in my market, but here, it would probably be my greatest achievement ever if I did it myself. Everyone in the city here has help from their parents for their downpayments, so in that case, spending on avocado toasts doesn’t really matter. Not sure if you read the Financial Samurai post on the avocado thing, but he talks about it there.

    With that said, my biggest budget busters are clothes and travel. I also eat avocado toast quite a lot! But I make it at home for a fraction of the price, because it’s a super easy breakfast. That’s the thing: I don’t believe in spending willy-nilly on your splurges just because your savings are on point. I find ways to buy $800 jackets for less, I hardly pay retail for travel nowadays and avocado toasts are made for a little over a $1 a pop. You just have to be willing to put in some work and be creative.


    1. Slanted floors? That would make me crazy!! What you said about that is ALL you would have strikes home to me. I remember buying my first place and having this image of starving to death with no furniture but, hey, at least I had a roof over my head! My mom was gracious enough to assure me I would probably never starve…Italians will always find a way to eat! Anywho, the place I bought was a well kept (but sadly in need of upgrades) one bedroom in a location I had no business being in. For a year I looked at the avocado (seriously) colored toilet/bath/sink combo and wondered how long it would take to save enough money to update them. Too long, it turns out. I moved within a year to a place better suited for my age range.

      I haven’t read Financial Samurais post yet but he is usually spot on. Clothes and travel a re huge but they can also be done quite reasonably. Sounds like you have the skinny on being creative with your finances…and jackets! I forego clothes for travel but that’s only because I have a bunch of clothes I don’t even use. I hate seeing my money sit in my closet with no place to go. If they were worth anything I would sell them but there is no labels of value…unless you value The Gap! 😉


  18. You are right. This whole avocado toast thing is kinda silly. It is just a basic statement to not waste money, so you can save more. It also made me hungry to try avacado toast.


    1. Oh my gosh, Dave…I have been dying to go to the store to buy avocados!! You need to try it. Here is the key: toast the toast and then take a cove of garlic and rub it in the toast before adding the avocado. Pure heaven!! I added the soft boiled egg and some Parmesan shavings but that’s just me. 😉


  19. Exactly, it’s all about the choice to spend on what you want and realize the impact it has. Like someone said, “You can have anything you want, just not everything you want.”

    If you’re fine spending on things you want and realize that it has an impact on what else you can and can’t spend money on, then go for it. to each their own. Just don’t whine about not being able to afford things because “adulting is hard…” Seriously I hear that about every other week from my protegee at work. I think, no, it’s not, but when your priorities are set up the way you have them, you’re screwing yourself out of these things you want, not life. 🙂


    1. We’re totally on the same page. I’m guessing this millionaire hired too many whiny brats and couldn’t take it anymore!! Anything worth having is worth working for. When you get it handed to you it just doesn’t mean as much… Make a choice to be successful at whatever you want to be. It doesn’t mean you will get there but at least you will have tried. And no one can blame you for trying. 🙂


  20. To me it is about conscious spending. Sure, I splurge here and there, but I am fully conscious I am spending on a little something and the amount of time that adds to my retirement date. I have friends that go out regularly and then don’t have the money to ever stop working, let alone purchase a big ticket item like a home. I wrote a post entitled “It’s not about the budget…really” that discussed talked about the mindset and conscious spending being most important. As for home ownership, part of my freedom when retired is not just financial, it ‘s also having the ability to move about the country/world as I like…a nomad. When I was married I had the big house and it felt like a prison I had to pay to stay in, and I had to repair on the regular. No thanks. Renting is where it is at (or living in an RV!) for me. Very steady costs when figuring withdrawal rates in retirement and less responsibility with upkeep and more freedom to do what I want, when I want. 🙂


    1. Yes!! This is exactly what it is about. Conscious spending. Making the choice instead of letting it make you. I stopped going out with certain friends because they always picked these expensive places and then wanted to split the bill. You lose all control!! I don’t want to work more years just to go out to fancy restaurants.

      As for home ownership, I agree with the big house prison – I was there and I HATED IT!! Our house wasn’t even big but it was still a lot of work and worry. Even though the choice was something I decided and fully committed to, I realized it was way more than I ever needed. I think this is something that will change for everyone over time. I love the idea of heading out and traveling the globe…but, then again, I already have a fair chance to do that now. I find that every time I am gone for a couple weeks I miss the comforts of home – my own home and I like having a place to hang my hat. That place can be an RV or my studio in the city, but I like knowing it is there. I am sure I will vacillate back and forth on this as the time gets closer and especially after a 6 month hike in the woods (my FI plan is to hike the AT) but for now, my studio is staying as a safety net…you know, just in case!


      1. 450 sq. ft. studio (I own it outright) here as well, with low common charges… Sooo nice to walk out the door, shut it behind me and know I don’t have to mow the lawn on the wknd, or clean the gutters, haha. As for hiking the AT, have you ever checked out Great resource for lightening your load on the trail. I’ve sectioned hiked parts of the AT… would certainly be a low cost adventure in early retirement, GL!


        1. sunny

          Love this idea. Own something just the right size with minimal upkeep. You’ve just articulated my financial goal once I’m debt free this fall.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Hey!! Mine is about the same size and I own it outright also. Is your name Bianca by any chance?? 😉

          Thanks for the link – I’m adding it to my AT bookmark page. I’m sure there is some great info and resources and I am also sure by the time I hike it in 5 years so much will have changed! I mean, this is something I bought gear for 15 years ago then chickened out. I wound up selling all of my gear because the light weight tech has gotten so much better now! 🙂 Oh, and thanks for the luck – my knees aren’t what they once were so I’m going to need it!!


  21. sunny

    I hadn’t read the post about avocado toast until now. Isn’t part of the change in home ownership that some people don’t want to own a home? I’ve never owned a home because I’ve moved a lot and have lived in areas that are quite expensive, but I also like the ability to easily pack up and move without having to sell a house first. I’m new to the FI world, and am seeing the appeal to owning a home. So I might one day. I do agree that if we choose to spend our money on temporary things (food and travel) then clearly our priorities are not on buying a home. Or is the millionaire addressing people who want both good food/travel AND to own a home? I agree with curbing small purchases so that you can save for larger ones. I’m still learning!


    1. Hey Sunny! Yes, I think it is true that less people want to own a home…and as you get deeper into the FI world you will see that there is MUCH disagreement in regards to this topic as well. Personally, I own my home…though I am also paying part rent at my BF’s as I wait to be able to rent my home out. Once I am FI I might consider selling all together but the REASON I am able to save so much now is because my housing is essentially paid for. Once I reach FI I will still need a place to live unless I take it to the road full time but I don’t think that is in my DNA – I like having a place to call home.

      As for the article, I think his point is that people complain they can’t buy a home but then pay a lot of money for silly indulgences. He targets millennials which, let’s face it, everyone likes to blame for being the most complainey (should be a word!) of all generations but this is something that reaches a larger crowd. As a wise man once said, “You can’t ride 2 horses with one ass, Sugarbean.” Make up your mind – do you want to spend or do you want to save? Whichever you do, run with it! YOLO!! 😉

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment!! And welcome to the world of FI – if you have any questions be sure to reach out. 🙂


      1. sunny

        Thanks for clarifying for me! (Still new to it all.) I have to say that your particular situation and the details you’ve shared have greatly influenced me in wanting to own a home (just the size I need, nothing grand) and pay it off early so that I can have lower housing costs. I wish I’d heard about all of this when I was in my 20’s!! That saying is HILARIOUS (the one about the two horses!)


        1. Right?! It’s from the movie Sweet Home Alabama. Love that movie!!

          It’s funny you say you wish you knew about it in your 20’s. This is a conversation I have had several times with some other PF bloggers who feel like they missed out on the “early” early retirement. I try to be the voice of reason by reminding them that we lived in blissful ignorance for years before wising up! Being an adult is hard – you have to make choices. When I was younger I was way more carefree and loved most of it. In my 30’s I was shocked by the outcome of some of the financial decisions I made in my 20’s such as buying way more real estate than any one person on a small income should ever have. I learned a valuable lesson – one that I could say is priceless but it actually did have a price…about 120k in cash plus my dignity. Anywho, you win some you lose some! 😉 You are hearing about all this at exactly the right time for you. Whatever it is that brought you here came at the time you needed it most. If someone tried to tell me a few years back that I was making a mistake I wouldn’t have listened to them. If they told me I should be investing instead of buying I would have scoffed. I did’t have the maturity to admit fault or listen intently. I just bulldozed my way into the market and got my ass kicked right out of it. Haha – Like you, I wish I knew better in MY 20’s! 😉


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