Thomas Sankara was right, “he who feeds you, controls you.” He said regarding foreign aid but his words are true for individuals too. A person who is earning enough to live and not responsible to anybody for spending money, can be considered financially independent.
Financial independency only is not real freedom but allows one to live and express oneself as he/she is. I sadly feel, most of activities around me are either controlled by money or works for money, while I know the truth is ‘I can’t eat, drink, breath money’.
One who is not earning and spending his money without being responsible to anybody cannot be happy. His freedom can be freedom of his mind, freedom of thinking, but this idealistic freedom is not real freedom in practice on this world.
Financial freedom is the first and most strongest step to be free.