I started paying my way at the age of seven, picking strawberries and beans. Those funds bought my clothes and school fees.
By thirteen I was a live-in babysitter for the summer. That job lead to another babysitting job that meant working 6-7 nights a week for a single mom bartender. I worked from 3pm to 2+ am and went to school at 7:30. I usually worked from 3pm on Friday until 2 am Sundays with a short break. I did this until I was 15.
At 15, I became a tax season and summer employee for the OR Dept. of Revenue. I did this until I graduated college and got a teaching job at 22.
All this time, I paid for everything except a roof over my head and food. I also paid for all of my college education. And, when I came home to work, during the summer, I had to pay rent.