Born to working class parents I learned early and was reminded often about the value of a dollar. Dad could (and often did) fix or build anything and mom combined coupon clipping and hamburger helper to stretch the budget farther than anyone thought possible. I began investing what money I earned from painting houses and stocking shelves to pay my college tuition. I made mistakes along the way (and will again) but did ok and actually ended up with a small surplus after graduation. This pretty much sums it up for me in that "If it doesn't make money, it doesn't make cents."