The best financial lesson I received was from my late parents. Both grew up in the depression era and worked hard for every penny. The lesson passed along to me was to save and pay cash for the items that you want to buy. If you don't have the cash, you don't have the money for the item. While this goes against the grain of the current times we live in, more often than not it is true. Paying cash for items you want teaches you the value of a dollar, inspires you to save for a rainy day and encourages a person to truly assess the needs versus wants mentality. Of course, unexpected things come up where you may need to finance the purchase such as a large car repair, part of a tuition payment or something substantial. Let these types of expenses be the exception to the rule and not an everyday habit reflective of your spending. It can be hard at first, but it's definitely worth it in the long run.