A lot of Americans never understand you just don't piss away your earned W2 income (sweat income) on useless crap from Walmart and the likes.
Money represents freedom. The dollars you earn from your W2 or 1099 if you are a contractor, are soldiers to achieving "f##k you boss" status. You waste your soldiers on crap that doesn't appreciate or generate income, and that makes it that much harder for you to achieve "f##k you boss" status.
And if you use up too much or all of your dollar soldiers, then when the #### hits the fan and some boss or economic climate declares war on your financial well being (like threatening to lay you off or outsourcing you to cheaper areas) , you are totally f##ked, because you have no soldiers, guns, weapons to withstand a full frontal financial attack.
Don't be stupid with your money, even when times are good. Learn how to invest when times are good, never wait until you are f##ked over before you start thinking about financial plan B.
And don't listen to the morons that don't bother to invest and just still their money in a stupid 1%CD for 8-10 years.
Yeah, how's that working out for them? Engineers are good at math, so stupid finance should be a walk in the park.