My Debt is Bigger Than Yours

I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon when talking to people in real life about debt. Generally they have more debt than we do, and the comments always similar, “That’s nothing. I wish I only had $10,000 in debt. Try having $35,000 in debt.”

The implication seems to be that I’m fussing about nothing. As if we have no right to work at paying down my debt, since it’s so much less than the other person’s debt.

I haven’t talked about debt with many people who have none. I know only one lady who has excellent credit, no debt (except for her mortgage) and saves for big purchases. When she finally makes the purchase, she buys exactly what she wants. For example, when she bought her washer and dryer set, she invested in Maytag front loaders. She bought the set a few years ago, paying over $1000 for the pair.

She is an ex-coworker of mine, and one of my current coworkers used to be scathing toward her, sayings things behind her back like, “This is America, land of debt. Get with the program.” The ex-coworker migrated here, and had recently become a citizen. She said her father raised her to do without, unless she had the money to buy the item with cash.

Both these women are about 20 years older than me. Interesting that the one raised in America feels it’s the norm to be in debt, considering the state of our nation today.

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