Money can't buy happiness, but a certain amount of it can shield you from sorrow. A good minimal goal in life, as far as money goes, is to always have enough of it that you can see a doctor if you're sick, see a mechanic if your car breaks down, replace your refrigerator or your washer and drier if they break down, without going into debt. The thing is, it takes a good-sized amount of money in the bank, thousands, not hundreds, to meet even this minimal goal.
A common conversation in Hawaii, where we rightly respect manual labor, is that someone in the family had no college education but still did well by working on the docks or driving a truck. That may be true, but not everyone can be a longshoreman, and the income from driving a truck only lasts as long as your back holds out. People with more education not only make more, they're out of work less.
If your family has a cynical view of the value of education, try to talk them out of it. There is ample statistical evidence that the more education you get, the more money you make. Even people with a couple years of college and no degree make more money on average than high school graduates. Take responsibility for your own happiness, of course, but this is one of the ways you do it.
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