I’m fascinated by learning about the way people live in other parts of the world. I love to see what their homes look like, how they spend a typical day, what they do for a living and I love to learn about the little things that make their culture unique. Our travels throughout Asia provided a great opportunity to be able to see first-hand how some people live in the poorest countries in the world-China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, and India to name a few. There is worldwide heart-breaking poverty out there.
Just check out this calculator (click the picture below) and you’ll see how you rank in the worldwide population based on how rich you are.
Well, were you surprised? Even if you feel like you are struggling just to get by, chances are you are still in the richest 10-15% of the worldwide population.
Did you know that…
- 43% of the world’s population lives on less than $2.50 per day
- 80% of the world’s population lives on less than $10 per day
- The average American spends $140 per day
- The poorest 40% of the world population makes up only 5% of worldwide income and the richest 20% makes up 75% of worldwide income
- The global median annual household income is around $9,733
And for the United States…
- Even an American in the bottom 5% of income is still richer than 68% of the world’s population
So what’s the moral of the story? As Americans we need to realize how much wealth and opportunities for wealth we have in our country, stop complaining about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer (although that seems like it very well may be true) and actually do something about it.
What can I do?
- It starts with getting our own finances in order. Set your goals, realizing how fortunate you are that you have the ability to achieve your goals, unlike the situations of so many around the world.
- Start tracking your expenses and eliminate the expenses that aren’t helping you to reach your goals. When 80% of others are living on $10/day is it really such a big deal to cut out $5/day on coffee if you need in order to save for the future?
- Set aside money in your emergency fund so that if you do encounter financial emergencies, you can be self-sufficient and don’t have to rely on others and the government for assistance. Think about how you are living in the top 10-15% of the world’s richest people. Does it really make sense in the long scheme of things that you can’t set aside this money because you want so many material things?
- Be grateful for the things that you have.
- Set aside money every month to give to others. When you give to others, you are not only helping them, but you are helping yourself learn that life is about helping others, not getting more and more things. Be the good in the world!
Were you surprised by these statistics?
I’ve heard these before, but it’s so good to be reminded of them. In the global spectrum, America is really a very fortunate nation, no matter how much we complain about everything.
It’s amazing from the places that I’ve traveled how much happier a lot of the people seem, even those that have sooooo much less. We really do complain too much (me included!), because even though we may not have everything we want, we have opportunities that most people don’t have.
One of my favorite posts!! Yes. Be grateful. And. The wealth calculator was almost astonishing. I would have never guessed.
I was surprised by it too-I’m working on being more grateful 🙂
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