Hello first world problem. No, I am not as poor as I think I am.


I know that we all want to get out of under debt, and I’m not trying to belittle anyone elses road to financial freedom and security, this observation relates to me and how I view my debt situation.

Now we got that out-of-the-way…

I have come to acknowledge that my debt is a first world problem. From Wiki (and yes referencing Wiki is not research I know, but I just can’t be bothered) a first world problem is:

 refers to issues perceived as difficult to those residing in the more developed nations in the global arena (i.e., the First World), but which are banal when compared to the difficulties encountered by those in the less developed Third World.

 I have credit card debt. Okay, I have a lot of credit card debt. But I have a roof over my head. I have food in the fridge. Hell, I HAVE a fridge. I have a job that provides enough income that I will eventually (if I budget and monitor my spending) pay off this debt.

I do not have to walk 20 kilometres to find clean drinking water. I do not have to scrounge in the discarded waste of others to find food. I do not have anyone with a machete who wants to dismember me (with the possible exception of one crazy ex). I do not have to struggle with starvation, disease or a war-torn country.

Yes, I know that debt is not good. But I have to keep it in perspective. Having the option to get into credit card debt is an ability that a majority of the world’s population will not have in my lifetime. Or if they do go into debt (it may not likely be credit card related), they may be liable to sell organs, prostitute themselves, or get conscripted into doing all sorts of despicable acts that some sections of humanity seems only too glad to inflict on each other.

If I default on my debts, I have the option to declare bankruptcy and move in with my parents/sisters/friends. I do not have to worry about someone coming into my home and threatening (maybe even inflicting) death and dismemberment if I cannot pay my bills.

So to you dear self, next time you grumble at the amount of your paycheck that goes into paying off debt, or moan that it will take you an entire 12 months to pay off your credit card, or that you cannot buy that PS3 game just released the day its available because you have to wait another week to save enough money, please remember, if not for the small twist of fate, or you beating the staggering odds against you (depending on whether you believe in fate/destiny/karma or blind chance) you would either be homeless, starving, orphaned and/or in fear of your life. Hell, maybe all of the above even.

Lets keep things in perspective shall we?

NOTE: I reserve the right to moan, complain, rant, grumble and winge (hell, maybe even all of the above even) about my debt in any future posts. I only said I had to remember… not that I had to do anything about that information… 😛

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6 responses to “Hello first world problem. No, I am not as poor as I think I am.

  1. Good post. I’m amazed by the things I get worked up over sometimes. It’s so important to keep things in perspective.

  2. Whenever I’m tempted to let myself get too whiney about my debt I go re-read this post: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2005/09/03/being-poor/
    It’s very eye opening. I always thought I was raised poor, but really I had no clue.

  3. Agreed. One million percent. It really IS a first world problem and in many cases, my own included, not even a huge one on the grand scale of things. It’s a pain in the ass. It can keep you from doing some things right now. But whatever, it’s completely conquerable.

  4. You speak the truth, good man.

    Also, I’ve nominated you for a Liebster Blog award. Check out my blog for details?
    Link Love for YOU!

  5. Pingback: Christmas Eve Link-Love (#15) | Nickel by Nickel

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