In order to be truly independent, it's imperative to live within your means. Your freedom is limited by owing money to anyone, whether it's a credit card company or a family member, so set yourself up for an unrestricted life by saving for the things you want and spending with a plan.
Do this: Assess your lifestyle and start looking at areas in which you can slash costs. Make some changes in your spending and saving so you can be more aggressive when paying off your debt or padding your savings. For budget cuts, the most efficient saving method is the top-down strategy. This means you should start cutting down on your biggest expenditures, such as rent and transportation, before you work your way down to the less costly ones.