The Rant – #1

The coffee queue. The 6am, first shift of the day, line out the door, coffee queue was when I had the epiphany. Avocado is responsible! Avocado and Ralphie. I am in the coffee queue, listening to my local garbologist (good bloke, Ralph) cheerily order his morning avocado hit and coffee. Not just any old avocado on toast (burnt if I’m doing it) with a squeeze of lemon (don’t drown it!) and Cafe 43 bean coffee. No. Oh no. Ralphie stumps up for his plain ol’ avocado tempura fried, coating the thing in panko (no less) breadcrumbs and then drop it in hot oil to then dip in a creamy dipping sauce…on toast! Ralphie flashes the plastic, scoops up his macchiato (it took me ages to google how to spell that) and gets a bead on a table to await his gastronomic feast and drag out his Best Bets sticking out of his back pocket and tally his winnings from the gee-gees.

Ralphie gets excited (like Big Kev) about his morning coffee and smashed (sometimes) avocado hit, the fact that it costs him $25 every morning 5 days a week has got nothing to do with the price of eggs on a given Tuesday or budgeting. Yeah…did you see what I just did there? The dreaded B word. Ralphie gets about as excited about the B word as Stevie Wonders panel beater (if Stevie is early and the roller door is down, that can be a bit of a drama).

Before Ralphie saunters off to said table I did my best to edumacate him with some numbers; “Ralphie, did you know we have over 16.5 million credit cards in Australia with an average debt of $4k? Um…no, says Ralphie. “Did you know that if you saved and invested your $125 a week in the markets over the next ten years at an average of 8% p.a. you could turn it into $100k which you could put towards your retirement in (gee, what a coincidence) ten years’ time?” No…says Ralphie, and yawns. “Did you know that Australian tax payers owe the ATO $19 billion dollars at the minute, total private (business/corporate) debt in Australia is $4.5 billion, up 620% from 1989 and we have the second highest consumer debt in the world?” …hmmm? Ralphie yawns, eyes glazed over and finally looks at me and asks with a slight frown “What’s all this got to do with me?”

“FFS man, how do you feel about you and Ethel living out your retirement years in a Gunya, living on bread and butter pudding for breakfast lunch and tea with 600,000 km’s on the Captiva! Ya gotta budget man” I say trying not to shout. “It’s not that hard Ralphie” I plead “Y’know – from little things, big things grow” giving my best Paul Kelly rendition (and failing badly judging by the filthy looks from said coffee queue). Ralphie looks at me thoughtfully “Bread and butter pudding?” he says “Y’know, you might be right.” says Ralphie. “About what?” I say hopefully. “I better plant an avocado tree when I get home. It’ll be ready just before I retire!”

My point? My point is that whether your vice be avocado or shoes or kitchen appliances sold on TV or simply not pulling that $125 out of your business every week, these things really add up. The simple act of doing up a realistic budget that allows for that $125 a week to be invested (out of your reach no less) can be the difference between eating canned tuna and Saos in retirement and being ‘comfortable’.

Wanna know more? If you’re not in the same coffee queue as me, then perhaps you should drop me a line or give me a call instead.