This is a story of over 45 years. Let me start by saying that it is my experience that there are no shortcuts. In my mid 20s I was living paycheck to paycheck and a lot of credit card debt. At that time I happen to read a magazine article that said, in short, the only way to ever get ahead is get out of debt and live below your means. It took a few months for that to become my way of thinking. I got a 2nd job, part time, and used ever cent of that paycheck to pay off all that debt. I don't consider housing cost be it rent or a mortgage debt. The result was since debt service no longer came out of my primary paycheck I was able to start saving money, $400-$500 every month. It took a bit over 3 years to pay off all my debt. I must confess, at the time, it seem excruciating slow. I worked that 2nd job 2 more years banking every cent of that too. I will continue this in another post as it may become quite long.