Community Service Paying Off Loans

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How Rich Are You?

I am the 24,759,564th richest person on Earth by income. Forget the 1%, I'm in the top 0.41% of the world's wealthiest by income. 

In other words, my monthly salary could pay the monthly salaries of 201 doctors in Pakistan.

Uff! Now I feel both burdened by debt, but also selfish and guilty about even feeling burdened. First world problem indeed.

But to add a little context, this time last year I was unemployed, was $42k in the whole, and was living on mom's couch. Fast forward one year, and lots of long nights budgeting, I am now very very happily employed, $28k in the whole ($22k grad, $6k undergrad), and in my own place. (What just one year of determinations can do! Am I right!?)

So, with less money woes tearing at my soul, I am now thinking about the next step. And not just financially but in terms of giving some of it away...say to 201 doctors in Pakistan, or to kids who want nothing more in the world than to have a pencil. 

{Sound of screeching tires!}

I've gotten ahead of myself again. I'm not a millionaire (yet), and although I'm in the top 0.41% in the world, I rank smack dab at the 50% mark in the U.S. And, still have a debt obligation...that I'm squashing like a watermelon off a 50-story building!

Despite my debt, and millionaire or not, I am currently giving all I can right now, with my time, to a cause that is very near and dear to my heart: the arts in my community.

However, it just so happens that following my happiness may help me with my loans. I was chosen to be a beta user for Zerobound - a site that helps those with student loans pay back their loans through community service and sponsorship. Bam! I was all over that! I am one of 10 users nationally chosen to first try it. That's me...I'm one of those 10!

I'll be publishing my Zerobound campaign and updates here as soon as we go live, so subscribe via email to get the latest and greatest!

But, alas, I digress.

I'm very happy for the opportunity to support zerobound's launch, but also, I am very happy to have carved out the time to volunteer and utilize a skill set that I'm super passionate about. And, most importantly, made time to follow my happiness. My entire career has been in the public service sector -- from a public school teacher to a stint with a U.S. Senator's office, and, of course, to the Master of Public Administration that I got into debt for -- for which the irony isn't lost on me -- I love public service.

The problem has been, however, that I have under valued my time. I wish I would've understood the value of time like 6 unpaid internships and 5,000+ volunteer hours ago. But thankfully, now I do. I understand that giving time, skills, experience, a hug, can go just as far, or further, than what I may be able to afford to monetarily give.

So, ladies and gents, the moral of today's story is, get your burdens in perspective to the world/US, you don't have to be a millionaire to give what you can, just do it because it brings meaning to you and others, and finally, start with giving a kid a pencil...or where ever your happiness leads you.

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