Keeping expenses low is the key to being free in this money world. Unless you can be totally self-sufficient (which is nearly impossible) you'll need some kind of money to survive. The more money that goes out every month however the more you need coming in. Most likely it will be coming in from a job you work for an employer. Those are hours of life you and I are trading for money to pay our bills. This concept is called keeping your overhead low. Businesses do it, why not you? With low overhead, let's say $1000-$1500 a month you can survive on even low wage jobs.
Debt is a burden! It limits your freedom. The problem is the vast majority of us don't have the cash lying around to pay for a house, car, and education among many other things. So what do we do? We borrow. The people that have the money loan it to us through an intermediary called a bank. Remember you don't own anything until you have clear title to it. I have avoided all debt like the plague since I was in credit card debt in the 90's during and after college. It can be a very limited life because you have to pay for everything up-front. It's nice though not to owe a soul any money. Strive to be a debt free person in a decade or less.
Of all my hair brain schemes dividends have been the only form of passive income I've consistently and dependably been able to build for myself. I'm always open to other ideas, but for me personally dividends from stocks have been the best thing going. I started dividend investing 11 years ago and now have $150 a month in dividend income. That's discouraging when I think about it. Why bother right? Believe me I've had those thoughts. I figure though any passive type income is better than none. We're taught zilch about this type of thing in our education system so I still figure I'm ahead of the pack.
Don't blame yourself if you're out of work or not doing as well as you think you should. Jobs are going the way of the dinosaur as are traditional pension plans. I'm in a low paid job right now that is way beneath my abilities, but I'm doing the best I can. Remember to cut yourself some slack on your way to being sound financially. Money is a pain in the butt really. I wish we didn't need it for everything, but we do. Therefore follow these basic guidelines, and your life should be better.