Er, not unless your parents and friends' parents were very well off, or all of them were in the military and bought their equipment duty-free in Asia you didn't.
No, we weren't wealthy...lower middle class.
No one said you bought the WHOLE system at once, no we could not afford that.
I started off with a present from Santa in about 4th grade...a department store little stereo of a turntable and two small speakers..which maybe were 1'x1'x1'.
Not the best sound in the world, but where I started.
I saved my money, and bought a decent Marantz receiver......when I was sick, my Dad found a closeout deal on some decent for the day larger speakers and got them for me, I think they were Fisher speakers. I later saved and got a decent pioneer turntable. Later, I added a nice Sharp cassette deck (one of the first ones that could auto detect spaces and you could song skip on it.
Later years, I saved and bought a used Nakamichi cassette.
Later years...I found a deal on some old Klipsch Cornwall speakers from the 70's...cabinets had some wear but they sounded great, got those for $700.
Along the way the marantz blew up and I got a good deal on some display units of Carver pre-amp and amp....years later the Cornwall speakers got stolen...and I haggled with insurance to get Klipschorns that were display from an shop and got the pair for only $1600. That's a fraction of the price they usually are.
And from there..I found a good little tube amp from a company named Declare online....back when I got my pair (run them bridged for front channels) they were about $499/each. Now mind you at this point, I make a good living.
But I didn't start that way when I was young. I bought, built and traded through the years and through the different technologies with CD, BluRay, etc.
I do decent now, with some disposable income, but I"m now wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. While my hearing isn't what it used to be, I can still tell the difference in sound quality....AND more importantly, a system that doesn't give me "ear fatigue" and allows me to listen pleasurably for hours.
Sure I have iPods and decent shure earphones for the gym and I listen to mp3's for there and the car, since in those environments you aren't gonna hear a discernible difference, but for home and real enjoyment.....you can't beat a good system, and there is no replacement for air displacement.