Even though Mr. and Mrs. Y were raised 7,000 miles apart, it seemed like they were brought up with a very similar set of values. Thanks to their parents, they both grew up understanding the value of money at a very early age.
Mrs. Y was given her own debit card/personal bank account when she was in middle school. Her parents gave her an allowance - not weekly, not monthly, but yearly. The entire amount was deposited into her bank account at the beginning of the year. How she handles it is all up to her. This was her very first money management experience.
Mr. Y, on the other hand, had a joint bank account in high school through his parents. His parents deposited quite a bit of money in his account, and he never used a single penny until college for paying expenses.
As both of us grew up slowly into adulthood, we were used to saving most of our income rather than spending it. Leaving most of the money in the bank seemed to be a natural habit. As you can see, it is very important to start understanding the value of money and to start a good savings habit when you are young. So if you have kids, it might be good to teach them these values.
There are always two things in life, needs and wants. Needs are your true necessities, such as clothing, shelter, utilities. Wants are material things that can buy you short-term happiness, such as that $500 wallet or bag you have been thinking about for months.
Many personal finance bloggers talk about living below your means and saving at least 50% of your total post tax income. The method helps with two things, avoiding debt and getting you on the fast track to financial independence. The less you spend, the less likely you will have debt.