Series 1, Episode 1
Millennials are Frivolous

Some people think millennials aren’t getting ahead because of their frivolous spending on fancy phones, trips to Europe, and avocado toast. Studies show, however, that millennials are more budget conscious than other generations. Rising rates of student loans, precarious employment, and consumer debt suggest millennials are getting a bad rap. In the first episode of this series, Ausma breaks down the myth of the frivolous millennial and their alleged personal failings in conversation with Matt Gurney, Yasmine Mathurin, and Armine Yalnizyan.

Matt Gurney is a morning show host at Global News Radio 640 Toronto and a former national columnist at the National Post.

Yasmine Mathurin is a freelance radio producer and filmmaker.

Armine Yalnizyan is a labour market economist. She is currently the President of the Canadian Association for Business Economics and has a long list of publications and accomplishments to her name.

Get Connected

Check out the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Canadian Association for Business Economics. Armine has been connected to both organizations for many years.


“When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each,” said Tim Gurner, the Australian property developer who started the endless memes that inspired our series name. This article by Jennifer Calfas, “Millionaire to Millennials: Stop Buying Avocado Toast if You Want to Buy a Home”, will give you the back story.

In this column, “I am really glad someone was a jerk to millennials before I had to be”, Matt Gurney suggests that millennials should move out of the city if they want to buy houses.

Here’s Yasmine Mathurin’s CBC Doc Zone documentary about debt and faking money called Insufficient funds: a grad’s biggest secret… is that she’s broke.

The Canadian Labour Force Survey, despite its challenges, is Canada’s main source of statistics on work.

Take a look at the ILO report mentioned by Armine. It’s by Janine Berg at the International Labour Organization. Income security in the on-demand economy: Findings and policy lessons from a survey of crowdworkers.