Photo: T.Tseng/Flickr

Recently, a wealthy Australian property developer dished out some advice for Millennials hoping to get into the property market.

In short: resist the urge to shell out $19 on smashed avocado, and don’t even think about splurging on a $4 cup of coffee.

“When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocados for $19 and four coffees at $4 each,” boasts Tim Gurner during an interview with 9News, an Aussie broadcaster.

At just 35 years of age, Gurner has reportedly amassed a fortune worth nearly $500 million, presumably by sacrificing more than runs to Starbucks and Whole Foods, but who knows?

Really, it’s not hard to see why the internet wasn’t grateful for Gurner’s broadcast advice.

Soon, avocados were being referred to as currency. The New York Times, taking a break from Trump coverage, fact-checked “a mogul’s claims about avocado toast, millennials and home buying.” And then there were memes.

David Rudin, a writer from Toronto, where the average price of a home has increased 24.5 per cent in a year and incomes have not, had his own take.

He created a mortgage calculator just for Millennials, or those aged 18 to 34. It figures in regular avocado and latte expenses to show how soon you could have a 20 per cent downpayment for a home in one of five major North American markets, including Rudin’s hometown, if you just gave up these financial vices.

By giving up a daily latte — and with it a little bit of downtown elite status — a Toronto Millennial could save $1,460 per year, according to the calculator. Not exactly small change, but here’s where the crux of the argument deflating Gurner’s argument becomes obvious: given Toronto resale homes average $916,000, a 20 per cent downpayment equals $183,200. With all the money you’d save foregoing your daily latte, it would only take you until October 9th, 2142 to save for a current downpayment!

See how far your sacrifice will get you towards the dream of homeownership in Toronto, Montreal, New York City, San Francisco and Boston by trying the calculator.

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