This is a big topic for many people.
Tom and I have climbed out from under debt a couple times, and with family needs always manage to get back in again. It’s not as much as many people carry, but still it rankles. It’s partly the reason I am back in school, working toward getting a job I would enjoy long enough to pay off the debt I am incurring to be in school (and the extra we carry)!
For us, it’s hopeful: we are young enough, our kids are old enough, we have the education and the good fortune to be interested in fields that are pretty steady, if not the most lucrative. And of course, our debt is not as high as it could be. For others… it’s much more daunting. With the economy — of the world, not just the United States — in such turmoil, it’s even more critical that people be aware of both their current patterns and careful in the way they work to eliminate existing debt.
My friend Mark has put together a website that has both his own work and links to other people’s writing. I like the research he is doing to find ways to improve one’s financial status. You might want to check out his ideas: Debt Relief How-To.com