Let me just say right now, right here: I have never eaten avocado toast. I don't even BUY avocados because every time I BUY an avocado, it's not ripe enough to eat and it spoils before I realize it's edible. I have a mountain of student debt that eats up a couple hundred dollars of my income every month. I live in a city where millennials live with their parents at a higher rate than anywhere else in the country. I am, at 25, financially independent for the first time in my life. I am, at 25, also flat fucking broke. As easy as it was for that dude to say, "Stop eating avocado toast, millennials!" it was insulting and inaccurate and belittling. To you, sir, I thrust my middle finger high into the air.
This quote, taken as a blanket statement, oversimplifies the problem and vilifies the millennial. We live in a very polar world right now where something is either right or it is wrong, left or right, black or white. (Some stuff is, of course, that cut-and-dry and the world needs to get with the fucking program and understand that trans folk deserve respect and acceptance, people with vaginas deserve access to whatever fucking birth control they want, the patriarchy is damaging to everyone, and children deserve access to a good education/the fact that school funding comes from property tax is a SHITTY WAY TO ACCOMPLISH THAT). If we consider, though, that there may be some truth to the statement that millennials spend frivolously, we can begin to examine where we ourselves are spending money where we don't have to.
My avocado toast is cosmetics. On a good day, I use three serums and a four-step cleansing/moisturizing process. I get my nails done every three and a half weeks. I have a waxing appointment every four. I get my hair cut about twice or thrice a year. On my nails and body hair alone, I am spending upwards of $1,100 A YEAR. THAT IS ABSURD. THAT IS AN UNNECESSARY AMOUNT OF MONEY TO SPEND ON AVOCADO TOAST. Effective immediately, I will no longer be getting my nails NexGen-ed or my hair follicles ripped out of my nether regions. To compensate for the lack of regular maintenance of these areas of my body, I doubled my subscription to Dollar Shave Club (Now spending $336 less a year on vag follicle removal) and bought a cuticle trimmer, cuticle remover, and polish remover pen (Now spending approximately $550 less a year on nail care). Instead of buying Lancome eyeliner and mascara (although my #1 favorite brand for both products), I opted for drugstore products that I researched (thanks Allure) before shopping.
I realize that I'm definitely coming from a place of privilege here. Not everybody reading this can identify with spending a butt-ton of money on a beauty regimen. It's a lot harder to figure out where you're wasting money when you're examining the things you do need to spend money on. I found that utility usage can be a good place to start; being mindful about how much water you use can make a significant impact. When I first moved into my apartment, I was very conservative with my water. I've gotten lax with my usage and water waste, and my bill is now 50% more than it was during my first full month here. One of my good friends was just describing a grey water system to me that she uses for flushing the toilet. Other areas where you might be able to create some wiggle-room in your expenses include your data plan and car insurance....basically, any bill that you have some flexibility with. Talk to your car insurance provider, too, about a tool that could be used to track your driving patterns to save money on insurance.
Millennials have a lot of unique fucking financial challenges that previous generations haven't had to deal with in modern times; we're living with our parents at higher rates than any generation has had to within the last 100 years. We have crippling student debt. We're not making a living wage. We prioritize self-care and the many forms it can take. But we also have a taste for the finer things in life, and it's important to consider if we have any avocado toast in our life and how to eliminate or reduce it when we're feeling the financial burden of a lot of real debt and high living costs that come with life in 2017.
Let's maximize our saving strategies! Are there any apps that you love to use? Any methods you have to stash cash away? What about ways to cut down on expenses? PLEASE comment below and let us know how you manage your millennial moniez.