to be taught and (re)learned.
I was very harsh to you US-citizens among my readers ( I guess a few of them may have stumbled upon this blog, and maybe one or two are reading it on a regular base). Now it's getting a bit less harsh, but nevertheless it may still hurt.
So here we go: "Get rid of you debts". Does this sound not that bad? Well I've some really bad news for you. The USA is even worse than at least Italy, Germany, Spain in regard to savings. I do not even know if it's at the top of the bad countries. Why? Well you do not save. Yes it's true you even had have a negative saving rate (which just means, you're living way beyond your means) . One can blame Germans for stupidity also and if you write/say they are believers (in states) you hit the nail on the head (is that used in english?). It's true we are guilty of that (at least it seems over three quarters of the Germans) BUT Germans do save. Saving is still a virtue. And we do not save as much as one could hope for. But we do save between 10 -15 of our income (on average)
I know some of you do save. I guess most of the readers do because a socialist hardly will read any entry here. So you are probably taught or grown with the austrian economics. And from there and self learning you know. That savings are the base for sound growth. Nothing will change that and the Fed can print money as mad. It can distort the prices for money to the max (as it currently does)
but it will not help grows on debt is a fire burning hot and fast and never will be cozy. You know if are near you may get burned too. But saved money and then investes is like a cozy fire, which keeps you warm even in the case it's getting cold out there. So this is what most of the Americans have to (re)learn. The re is justified because to the time before the FED it was the way of live to keep to the saying. "A penny saved is an earned penny" and that is true.
For any of your with debts for private things I suggest you have a look at "Credit card nation" and well the lesson you hopefully will learn (if not, well bad luck for you) is get rid of your debts. Nothing does more to your freedom. A life without debt is a "free" live, the live of a debtor is mostly a slaved live. You may think you're in control, but that's just wishful thinking.
Do an internet search for living without debt and read the stories you find. Here are examples http://www.astoryofdebt.com/ , http://www.milliondollarjourney.com/how-to-get-out-of-debt-our-story.htm,
http://rowdykittens.com/about/our-downsizing-story/ and many more
I'm not an example of your way of life. I do not like socializing. In fact too many men at one place are hell for me (but that's another story). Anyway I live it without personal debt and you can bet I will not give in to the singing of the sirens of "buy now, pay later". Never in my hole life did I buy anything on credit and I want to keep that track. Debt is another word of not owning yourself and if there's one nightmare for me it is getting dependent on transfer payments from wherever. I had luck my parents were clever enough not to spend all their money and well I guess my children may have some kind of luck also because I'm not spending all my money also. So they will have a starting with assets. I just can't do more for them. In the end they have to live their live. I just can try to teach them to live in honesty and upright. That's not possible while living in debt. Living in debt means owning someones else parts of your live. The higher the debt the more you live for the debtors. That's the opposite of freedom. So think about it and take or leave my personal advice.