The most important change you'll need to make is your mindset. The sooner you understand that chasing a lifestyle that your income can't support will keep you broke for the rest of your life, the better.
Have you ever noticed how many elderly people are still holding down jobs? I don't mean consulting jobs for which their expertise is paid a premium. I mean jobs that pay a pittance hovering around minimum wage. Look how many greeters at Walmart, for example, are old enough to be your grandmother - or great grandmother.
I think the free in freelance confuses people sometimes. It's kind of like the way many Americans understood the word entrepreneur in the 80's: they thought it was a French word that meant unemployed street hustler, thanks to Eddie Murphy's (in)famous SNL sketch.