Well, well, well. Today I got the greatest gift of my life — I realized I’ve been living life wrong all along. If I want to save up enough money for a house…
I NEED TO STOP BUYING $19 AVOCADO TOAST.
YES. THAT’S RIGHT. ADVICE STRAIGHT FROM A MILLIONAIRE.
If I cut back on $19 avocado toast and $4 coffee, I can afford to put a 20% down payment on a house, and a house represents happiness and Americana, so finally, I can be happy. With the purchase of a house.
And this MUST be true, since a MILLIONAIRE said it.
A MILLIONAIRE, guys!!!
Well, I’m also a millionaire, and I’m about to lay down some fucking real talk. 10 points, that’s it.
1. No amount of saving avocados is getting you a house. The median price of houses listed in America is $245,000. (Laughable, since the median price of an apartment in NYC is over $2 million, but just go with it.) If you want a 20% down payment on that $245,000 house, you’ll need to cut back on 2,578 avocado toasts. At one $19 toast per week, that would take you 49 years to save a 20% down payment. In other words, according to this advice, you’ll be able to save enough for a down payment when your name changes to Mildred and you find yourself really into 10% off Tuesdays at Ross.
2. HOW FUCKING DUMB IS THIS ADVICE. AND WE’RE ONLY ON POINT #2 SO FAR.
3. This guy (and many others) also tell you to cut back on $4 coffees. Aside from the fact that I like coffee, if you run the numbers, $4 every day doesn’t really add up to that much. In this case, it would take you eliminating 12,250 coffees to save up for a 20% down payment on a $245,000 house. That’s eliminating buying $4 coffee every day for 33 years. Good luck, you poor caffeine-deprived bastard.
4. Why is the goal in America always to buy a house? Could it perhaps be the decades of propaganda by the National Association of Realtors? Why are more and more people choosing to rent (including me)? Oh, I don’t know…maybe it’s the fact that in large cities, it makes no financial sense to buy. Or that as an asset class, real estate dramatically underperforms the stock market. Or the phantom costs of real estate that nobody talks about (except me, in Chapter 9 of my New York Times bestselling book, where I show you the real numbers behind buying a house). If you want to read about why real estate isn’t always the best investment, click here. If you get angry because this is contrary to everything you’ve been told your whole life — even though I back it up with concrete numbers — please email me your angry comments right to firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. What are they not telling us? What are the experts not telling us? Hmm, let’s dig in. This guy, who became a very wealthy multimillionaire, claims we need to cut back on expensive food and coffee. I wonder if he did that…I wonder if possibly, maybe, he had a little help he doesn’t like to talk about. Let’s just look around at the TIME article for a second…
Step 1 to buying a house: Stop buying $19 avocado toast
Step 2: Stop buying $4 coffee
Step 3: GET A 34 FUCKING THOUSAND DOLLAR LOAN FROM YOUR GRANDPA TO START OUT
Just an innocent oversight, I’m sure. (Thanks to @maxwelltani for the find.)
So many of these personal finance experts preach one thing to you, then do another. You really think the person on that national TV show is cutting back on lattes? Their dress (or suit) costs $2,000. You think they’re counting their pennies when they have a 3BR apartment in Tribeca? Get real.
By the way, if you want to hold my feet to the fire, please do. I started out writing about personal finance — which is where you should start, and where I’ve made considerable money. More importantly, I sleep well at night because my finances are automated. Then I’ve talked about freelancing, finding a dream job, salary negotiation, and starting an online business — all of which I’ve done. Above all, putting in the work to become truly great at your craft and loving what you do. Walk the walk, talk the talk.
6. Why don’t personal finance experts talk about earning more money? Answer: Because they don’t know how. They’re not financial experts, they’re journalists. That’s why they write about cutting back — it’s all they know. They don’t know about Big Wins or how to automate your money. They will never tell you how to afford a $1,000 dream coat or $5,000 dream vacation (even though they take them themselves).
But they sure do know how to tell you what you SHOULDN’T do with your money. Here’s an article that goes into other cost-cutting strategies. According to them, you need to cut back:
- No coffee
- No taxis
- No dinners out
- No nights out
- Cut back on one subscription service
- No lunches out
- No overseas travel
- No weekends away
- No bottled water
- And, inexplicably, a random photo of two half-naked women (???)
According to them, if you do all of this…in 4 years, you’ll have enough for the $34,000 that millionaire guy got from his grandfather. Do these people look at themselves in the mirror when they write this stuff?
Hey guys, if you give up water and oxygen, you can also save money too. In fact, you’ll never need to spend another cent after implementing this strategy for approximately 2 minutes.
7. Some of the advice is actually good. In general, Americans DO spend too much. Yes, you. Yeah, you eat out too much. No, you don’t even know how much you spend. You have no savings goals, you don’t know how to invest, and you say “you don’t want to lose money in the stock market” but you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. When you tell people this (including that 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings), they get really mad and try to argue that they can’t save. Everyone can save. Most of you have never even read one good personal finance book in your life, until the predictable day (in your 40s) where you realize… “Oh shit, what is all this money stuff?” The sad truth is it will be too late then. Wake up and take control of your money. I spend less than 1 hour/month on it. You have the time for one of the most important areas of your life.
8. It’s not hopeless. But if you follow the old rules, you’re screwed. If you believe you need to (1) cut back on tiny things like coffee to (2) ultimately save up for a house, then (3) buy it and live happily ever after, you are screwed. You’re playing the wrong game and you don’t even realize it. You’ll spend your life chasing a goal where you cannot win — and you’ll never realize why. Dig deep into your invisible scripts about your happiness and money. This is really challenging, but what you’ve been told — “real estate is the best investment” and “if I just buy a house, I’ll be okay” — might not be relevant for you any more.
9. Follow better advice that actually rings true for you. As you can tell, I think this typical advice is bonkers. But I also have zero tolerance for people who just want to complain about how hard we have it. “Waa, our generation is screwed…student loans, Baby Boomers, waa.” Shut up. We have more opportunity than ever before. Instead of complaining about the government or Baby Boomers, what have you done to live a Rich Life?
Let other people cut back on random $2 packs of gum. There’s a limit to how much you can cut, but no limit to how much you can earn. Get really good at your job and negotiate your salary. Start a side business. Set your finances up to automatically save and invest for you. Learn how to improve your social skills, master your inner psychology, & get more productive. When you’re ready, start an online business. READ. God, I don’t even care if you read my material or other people’s. Just get off your ass, stop taking bad advice, and create YOUR Rich Life.
10. Forward this to 3 of your lazy-ass friends who need it. Tell them to get on the newsletter at iwillteachyoutoberich.com from this weird Indian guy who wrote a New York Times bestseller and takes no shit.
Love me or hate me, I don’t care. What I do care is that you do something today. Nobody else is gonna do it for you.