Tag Archives: brunch

How I Feel About…Tim Gurner aka The Man Who Hates Smashed Avocado

17 May

To the guy who told me to stop eating smashed avocado so I could buy a house. I.e. Tim Gurner,

 

Man, I love being told how to run my life by rich, privileged white guys. There’s really nothing as life-affirming as being told that one simple change in my indulgent Gen Y lifestyle and attitude is the key to financial success and stability.

You, being the multi-million dollar (or was it billion? I can’t remember) property entrepreneur, went on national television and explained that young people like me can’t afford to buy houses because we are spending too much money on smashed avocado and coffee.

I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that this poorly-drawn generalisation was more about the fact that us Generation Y kids spend too much money on things we don’t really need. Which I’ll concur can be more than true for some. But not the case for most. I for one, fall into the latter category.

You said we weren’t ever going to be able to afford deposits on homes unless we made some drastic changes. You accused us of… “wanting to eat out every day…wanting to travel to Europe every year. This generation is watching the Kardashians and thinking that’s normal. Thinking that owning a Bentley is normal, that owning a BMW is normal.”

Lolz. You’re a funny guy, Tim Gurner.

Saving enough money for a deposit in 2017 is about as easy as stapling a raw egg to the wall.

Before you go ahead and write me off as a spoilt whinger I thought I would just put it all out there for you; warts and all.

I am not ashamed to talk about the money that I make – in fact, there’s really nothing exceptional about the money I earn and that’s entirely the point – there are probably thousands of others in my age bracket making a similar wage. And none of us drive BMW’s or travel to Europe. Heck, forget Europe, I can barely get myself to Brisbane on the Jetstar red-eye.

 

Smashed avocado’s enemy #1.

 

So I’mma break it down for you, Mr Gurner. Just to be clear, I am a single woman with no children:

I earn about $850 per week. That is, after tax and HECS and Super are taken out. A figure that would make most rich white guys like you want to poke themselves in the pee hole, but nonetheless, it’s okay with me.

Straight up, $200 of that goes to rent. Cos even though rent money is dead money and I’m meant to be saving for some elusive apartment, I still gotta live somewhere, amiright? Moving back home with my parents is not an option as they live interstate where my job is not. Also I’m 32.

About $75 per week goes to my car loan. Relax man, it’s a Toyota Yaris. I’m not tooling around in some petrol-guzzling Bentley or spaceship.

Speaking of petrol; that’s $40 per week. Melbourne’s a big city. That means lots of driving fair distances. Also, that number goes up exponentially for anyone who doesn’t drive a battery-operated toaster like I do. Cars don’t run on positive energy, unfortunately.*

And neither does my internet and phone bill which levels out at about $30 per week. Believe me, I don’t even know what I’m paying for most of the time either, considering I’m calling the Optus complaints number more often than I am my own mother. But the bottom line is, having a mobile phone and a working internet connection is crucial to my work. Full stop.

Another $60 per week goes towards various memberships/scheduled payments – e.g. Medibank, car insurance, car registration, home insurance and so on. Things that you self-important businessmen and government officials say I must have.

At the moment, I’m spending $50 a week to see my physio as I have a hip injury. Not an ongoing thing, no, but is it uncommon? Also no.

I like to put $25 a week away for water, gas and electricity bills, cos, you just never know when you’re going to get hit with a $300 + bill for those freezing Melbourne nights when you dared to run the heater that’s older than you are for more than an hour.

I did have a gym membership that was costing me $45 a week (damn you, F45!) but I figure you’ll be super proud of me when I tell you I cancelled it because, believe it or not, it was too expensive for my budget. Instead I spend $20 a week on yoga classes.

Oh yeah, and because I’m a lady and society dictates that I must look sexually attractive at all times, that means I also gotta buy various make up and grooming products, pay for waxing, haircuts and whatever else you’d like to add to that list to make me visually acceptable. But I’m NOT adding it to this list, because these expenses are not incurred by EVERYONE so I’m leaving them out. Because I’m nice like that.  #equality

Food is the biggest shit of them all. Mr Gurner, I f*cking WISH I was eating out every night. Because I already feel like I spend a crap-tonne of money on food. And I’m not even talking about the stuff you get in a restaurant or even at the drive-thru. I’m just talking about schlepping to Woolies and getting my groceries.

Okay, I admit, I do order $70 worth of fresh meals per week from a home delivery service, simply because my job often leaves me working into the evening past dinner time, and I would rather spend $10 on a well-balanced meal as opposed to $20 on a shitty burrito. So yeah, I get some help in that department. Now combine that $70 with another $90 per week on regular groceries. (YES THAT’S FOR ONE PERSON BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN CAPSICUMS ARE $7.99 A KILO!)

I don’t know if you noticed, but eating well is not cheap. I tried the Mee Goreng diet, and as much as I loved it, it left me as bloated as a dead lizard in a swimming pool.

A point to you there, Mr Gurner. But would you call that Kardashian-level indulgence?

Side note: I love avocados. Love them like a family member. But I buy them myself and spread them on toast myself like a big girl. Same with my coffee – I have a Nespresso machine (I know, so FANCY) and I just buy the pods which turn out to be about 50 cents per cup plus the 150ml of Aldi $2 milk I add to it. I’m not going to do the math because I don’t want to, but yeah, that’s not even close to $4 a coffee.

 

Devil food.

 

Call me selfish, but I would probably spend $30 a week on treating myself to either a movie ticket or a nice bottle of wine or ONE dinner out. I’m dating someone at the moment; it’s very hard to do things that don’t cost money. And I refuse to sit at home every weekend and watch re-runs of bad reality TV. People need to LIVE!

Then, finally, chuck on any miscellaneous amount you like that goes to the old credit card bill or other f*cking thing that inevitably comes up each month like flat tyres, doctors’ visits, medical prescriptions and the like and you’ve got yourself a weekly expense bill of around $700.

Leaving a grand total of $150 spare.

And this isn’t even scraping the surface of other random bills, incidentals and attempted savings for a wedding in QLD or a trip to the dentist. Plus I have no children to support; imagine if I did – as far as I know children are basically expensive poop machines. This is a generous estimate.

Now let’s say I don’t spend any of that on smashed avocado with seeded bread and put it straight in my piggy bank; I would be saving $7,800 a year. Which is a neat little amount but isn’t even a f*cking pin prick on a home deposit in 2017.

 

Tim is mad that we got mad at him for telling us not to eat smashed avocado.

 

Considering your wisdom about our demographic, I probably don’t need to tell you that the cost of living is far surpassing the rise in wages. Smart people like you already know that.

But what you may NOT know, is that lots of us weren’t gifted with $34,000 to start up our own business, nor are apartments in St Kilda still going for $180,000. Additionally, most of us didn’t have a boss who was willing to front up the money for aforementioned apartment so we could renovate it, nor did we study economics or property development or whatever else gets you the big bucks. We are teachers, nurses, artists, administrators, assistants, designers, managers, laborers and technicians. As in, regular people without a lucky window or leg-up into the property market.

I’m not saying that buying a house is impossible for us. Because it’s not. But it is bloody hard and as housing prices in Melbourne continue to inflate quicker than you can say “hipster café” us regular people are being forced out of the race.

So sue me if I choose to pursue a career that makes me happy but doesn’t pay me a fortune. I get that that’s my choice. (Actually, don’t sue me, because I don’t have any money for a lawyer).

I live a pretty modest life. And I’m not complaining about it. But, without the help and assistance of parents, bosses, grandparents and other third parties many people DON’T have the luxury of relying on, it can be frustrating to watch the window of opportunity close in front of you.

What makes it more frustrating, though, is being scolded by the likes of you for attitudes and expectations we don’t even have.

So maybe, rather than waxing lyrical about a lifestyle you know very little about, perhaps you could channel all your billions of dollars and property wisdom into something that might help us regular Joe’s get a toe in the door.

 

If you would like to discuss this further, I would be happy to do so over a plate of smashed avocado and a soy latte. You’ll be paying, of course.

 

I’ll have some poached eggs on the side, kthanx.

 

 

*Can someone research this? Maybe Bill Gates is still throwing money around for things?

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