To achieve financial independence or freedom (however you define this), you must follow certain basic rules, which haven't changed in 6,500 years of recorded history.
My definition of financial independence is: 1) Not living paycheck to paycheck; 2) Be debt free, except for a mortgage, as long as you have plan to pay off that mortgage as fast as you can; 3) Have a well-funded emergency fund; and 4) have a well-funded retirement account that is invested properly, or have a plan to have one before you retire.
You're an adult now (unless you're younger, so good for you for even reading this), so there no excuse. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE. You can't blame in on your parents, your boss, your spouse, the dogs, the kids. GET GOING TODAY.
Like Denzel tells his young prodigy in the Equalizer, Change Your World.
Don't fall into the entitlement trap. You are not a victim. Take charge of your own life. Build your own life. Do you think anyone with wealth creating it by sitting on the couch and watching reruns of NCIS? If you search for survey's you'll find successful and wealthy people don't watch that much television. They study, plan, work.
Here are the essential rules, which you must start today.
1. Set goals and have a planRead this recent article on 10 LIFE-CHANGING New Year's Habits
2. Budgets and Net Worth statements are essentialIf you don't have a budget, you can't do step 3. So might as well as give up now and live the life you deserve. Which is probably what you have right now.
How to do a budget
Your Personal Net Worth