Two weeks ago, a story broke loose about the ‘superfluous and crazy’ spending habits of the Australian millennial (i.e. a young person born between 1982 and 2004). Tim Gurner, a luxury property developer in Melbourne, blamed the monetary choices of millennials as the reason why we can’t afford a home or investment property.
Gurner, who has played his part in over $3.8 billion worth of projects, believes young people will never own a home, because “they’re spending $40 a day on smashed avocados and coffees and not working”. Sure, some people were offended by this generalised and unfair statement, but personally I had to laugh. That someone with so much money and worldly experience could be so wrong.
If Gurner stepped foot into the average high school, he would find that probably over 70% of students have part time jobs. Maybe nothing fancy, but it’s a part time job that allows young people to interact with customers and add some savings into their bank account.
What he also doesn’t realise is that majority of people also don’t spend money on paleo brown bread with feta and avocado delicately crumbled over the top. Instead, this money goes towards petrol to get to university and saving up for necessities such as laptops to study and work on, things that weren’t needed 20 years ago.
So whilst I sit at home and continue to eat my two minute noodles, I often wonder why my generation is so pressured with the whole “you need to save up in order to buy a home and start a family” thing. Myself, along with countless other friends, have opted for the other choice.
We’re the new generation who prefers travelling and undertaking internships in order to experience things we usually wouldn’t. We work hard, save up, and spend the money on things that matter to us now. We want to travel and see the world whilst we’re healthy and a little bit crazy, before settling down and focusing on saving up for a family. We want to experience things now before the full-time job sets in. We want to work in internships and try and fail and experience things that challenge us.
We don’t want to be stuck on a path of doing something we don’t love. We’re the new generation who are told to expect at least 5 different jobs in different careers. Things are different now, and it seems like the older Australians don’t seem to accept this change.
So, whilst I relish in the fact that I will be travelling overseas in 3 weeks, I feel no regret or remorse for the money I have spent and will continue to spend. I work hard for savings so I deserve to spend them how I like. And who knows, maybe my dream isn’t the Australian dream, maybe myself and countless others don’t want to own a home.
But we’ll face these issues when they come. We will be the ones to decide when to knuckle down and how we want to save. We will continue to be the ‘spoilt’ generation who aren’t afraid of taking risks and going on adventures.
Whilst I’m sipping on my sangria and nibbling on tapas in Barcelona, I will wish the best to Gurner and his property investments, and say adios to my hard earned cash as I do my best to enjoy some of the greatest things in life- experience, happiness, adventure, and poached eggs on five-grain sourdough (just to stir the pot).