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To everyone who says "rent money is dead money". F*ck off. 

People who tell you that rent money is dead money often fall into (at least) one of five categories.

  • They’re currently living at home. With their parents. For free.
  • Those same parents still pay their phone bill and gifted them a car for their 18th birthday.
  • They have $100,000 sitting in their bank account and no one knows how or why.
  • Ever since they were five years old, money was thrust into their hand whenever they left the house. Which, upon consideration, might be why they have $100,000 sitting in their bank account.
  • Their dad says things like “rent money is dead money” over the dinner table three to four times a week and they like the way it sounds.

There is nothing fundamentally wrong with any of those things.

Twenty-somethings on buying property. Post continues below…

It’s absurd to begrudge people the lucky hand life dealt them – and most parents, unequivocally, would pass on the same economic advantages to their children if they had the resources.

The problem with people who say “rent money is dead money” is that they appear to believe that there’s other money that’s alive. 

Breathing. Defecating. Growing knee caps and ears and teeth for goodness sake.

But according to my research, there is no such money. Or at least people like me don’t have access to it.

The interest on your mortgage? Dead. Stamp duty? Dead. A bond? Dead. Morning coffee? Dead.

Money is by its very nature a form of exchange – a symbol of trading one thing for another.

And surely we can all agree that paying to have a roof over your head is a worthwhile thing to spend your money on especially given the alternative.

What would… Jonathon we shall call him – prefer us to do, exactly? As he scoffs at the utter waste of renting, crossing his left ankle over his right knee, leaning back on his chair, hands clasped behind his unusually large head and raising an ‘I-dare-you-to-argue-with-me’ eyebrow, it’s difficult not to retort, “Mate, do you think I have $200,000 in my account, and every Tuesday I withdraw a few grand so I can flush it down my rented toilet just so I can’t buy a house? IS THAT WHAT YOU THINK?”

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And even if I did have $200,000 in my account which I certainly do not, what’s it to Jonathon? Sitting there. Investing it. Gaining interest. Bathing in it. Withdrawing it just to sniff it and deposit it again.

I can do what I like with my very dead money, Jonathan.

There are various economic arguments as to why buying a house isn’t necessarily the best financial decision you can make – and many counter arguments just as compelling.

Home owners pay for security. Renters pay for flexibility. There’s no right or wrong – just preference.

Rent money is no more wasted than every cent we’ve ever spent on food. Or energy bills. Or health care. Or taxes.

And if money is paying for the most basic needs responsible for keeping you alive, well, that doesn’t sound much like ‘dead’ money to me.

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