I came across a very cool website that calculates how rich you are compared to others in the world based on your income. President Obama for example, if you take his presidential salary alone of $400,000 puts him in the top .02% as the 1.3rd million richest man on earth. If you take Bill Clinton who made $17M in 2012 in speaking engagements alone, he is in the top .0001% and is richer than all but 4,228 people in the entire world. Wow! Public service may be the way to go after all!
Even U.S. public school teachers just starting out at $30,000 per year fare pretty well. They are in the top 1.23% with roughly 73,000,000 people of the world’s population of 7 billion.
It’s interesting how wealth is a matter perspective. Most of us do not have an income problem as much as an outcome problem. Especially in America, where convenience and opportunity usually abound. But, good people still find themselves more often than not, confronting financial concerns.
Did you know that 76% of the U.S. population lives from paycheck to paycheck? A recent article on betterment.com shows how even the “rich” live from check to check in our country.
Their research concludes that spending more money even leads to less happiness each year.
I have to agree. So often people believe the answer to their financial problems is simply “more money.” But, in my view the answer is not more money, the answer is better money management. Too many of us spend money we simply don’t have. Or have, but that we should set aside for a rainy day. Instead when we have money, we spend it.
This crisis certainly keeps our lending partners in business, but as a loan servicing company our goal is to help customers use financial products wisely. Everyone needs credit at some point.
Credit is not necessarily bad. In fact, it’s interesting that no one seems to care when a person is overcharged on a luxury item such as a car, a purse, or a watch. No one will be suing Rolex anytime soon for charging a person who can’t afford it or who has bad credit, $25,000 for a watch that only cost them say, $500 to make.
No one will be suing 7-11 for charging too much for milk or soda for that matter, nor will anyone punish you for making shopping decisions out of convenience.
All of us as consumers make decisions on a daily basis that we can each evaluate to decide what changes we may want to make.
Life is after all, a balance between satisfying our needs and our wants. My recommendation is for people to try to better live within their means, myself included. Use debt and credit to try to get ahead. Set money aside when you can for a rainy day. Avoid spending everything and learn how to make investments so that you too earn interest.
I also recommend trying to keep things in perspective. For most of us, even on our worst financial days, we are still very “wealthy.” Make changes today, little by little, that will help gradually improve your financial situation.
If you do in fact, need more money, invest in yourself if you can. Go back to school. Start a small business on the side. Team up with family members, find a support group. And remember it’s just money.
At ExtraFunds, we aim to continue providing leadership in financial wellness education. Thanks for your interest and support!