When I was in Albania, one of Europe's poorest countries, My Love was venting to an Albanian friend about the costs of travel in Croatia. I recognized his venting as sticker shock after having adjusted to having a relatively wealthy lifestyle in a poor country, but this friend sagely cut him off and said, "Money is money. Don't waste time worrying about it. Money comes and money goes."
It was strange to hear such sage advice from someone whose annual salary is probably comparable to what I spend on six months' rent. But sage advice indeed.
The reality of income disparity really became apparent to me as I traveled last year. But even then, I didn't realize that as much as I worry about about being poor here in America, I am actually really wealthy. It's all relative.
According to Global Rich List, my salary puts me in the top 0.93% of wealth world-wide. Translation: 99% of the world makes less money than I do.
At a $40,000 annual salary, top 3.17% of the world's population
At a $20,000 annual salary, top 7.16%
At a $5,000 annual salary, top 14.39%
At a $2,000 annual salary, top 17.62%
At a $1,000 annual salary, top 44.1%
At a $500 annual salary, top 80% (now considered "poor" but still wealthier than 20% of the world's population)
Damn. I'll sure think twice about complaining about the size of my bank statement from now on.