No one will read this, but that's ok.
Ironically, either people will ignore you, or offer some stupid counterpoint about how you can't do that.
I got out of college (where I didn't have loans, but went part time with a night job fo many years) and quickly made an exciting job at a call center for $8 an hour.
I live(d) within my means, and after taking pay cuts even more to try and get ahead in a career. I had roomates, split rent, car pooled, etc. I had and have nothing but shit cars my life. I shop and Walmart and mostly Goodwill or army surplus stores for clothes.
I didn't get a mortgage for a home. I got two full time jobs, one W2 and one 1099, and balanced between them. Within two years I bought a small home for cash. I then bought another small home, because I could rent out the existing one, and I live cheap. Now I have a free home, and one providing rental income, so I'm profiting on it as an additional income stream.
Now work doesn't matter. It was a lot of stress having two jobs, and I had to kiss a lot of ass to balance it, but now I can live on one. I take extra jobs now and then (above my full time one) to gravy a bit more on my assets. I have few bills, so I'm maxing out my savings. Since the beginning I maxed anything I could save and lived on the smallest amount I could. i never went the management track so I wasn't locked into one company.
Now I have hundreds of thousands in the bank and tax free investments and I lost plenty in the real-estate bust before that. However I have no debt, I have assets. My held liabiilities (real estate) is offest by rental income.
I've helped some coworkers in the philosophy of getting out of debt, and now, like a crazy cult, we meet at lunch and they're excited about how soon they'll pay off a second mortgage, or a car, and things like that. They actually LIKE the idea of doing math and setting budgets, and seeing how a $20 here and there in expenses can cause large changes to their debt levels.
As a counter point, people used to tell me that I'm living life not to its potential, not having fun, I might die any moment, or I'll retire early and not be healthy enough. I am constantly abused by friends telling me to spend money (above the triple minimum wage I've set myself at) because I'm...what...not keeping up with the Jones' or something?
I remember being mocked, because in 2007 I was talking to my boss about buying a home and I was looking at some double wides on an acre, or a cheap 2/1 outside of town, and being told I was "stupid" because I should get a mortgage for as much house as I could max out on my credit. I guess I disappointed him.