So I'm almost 30 and i really don't understand this whole money thing. Like i really don't get it.

Especially if your not school material. I currently have school debt and wont return to school unless I graduate with a degree that really worth a good paying job off the bat.
Ive opted to work as a free lancer. I do carpentry, Paintwork, lighting and electrics, mainly in entertainment. I get jobs varying from $17.50 and hour to $35 and hour depending on company/production cost. At the level i'm at i make about a month as someone who make $17.00 an hour full time. The jobs I get are not always consistent, but i do get some job that pay really well for less time spent because of a skill I have. Which is why i do this and it keeps me from hating life as i'm always doing something different. 
so with that said how do I save, payoff debt, live and peruse goal/ achievement and advance myself while not going broke. I feel like it not setup that way and any mistake made can lead towards a money/life loop that goes nowhere at all.  Wtf is money and how does it actually work in a way that I can make it work for me. Because it's not actually real. Give me some answers please and sources if available.