Think Like A Pauper Rather Than A Prince To Get A Fairy Tale Ending

When you’re young, you probably don’t dream of scraping by on a tiny paycheck and subsisting on Ramen and a threadbare wardrobe. Newly minted adults, as well as older people who should know better, can fall into the trap of sinking into debt to buy the trappings they think they deserve rather than living within their means.

The Debt Princess partially blames the unrealistic expectations that fairy tales imprinted on her for her princess mentality that caused her to sink into debt. She shares a cautionary tale about how she overdid it with credit cards, hoping that a storybook ending would whisk away all her money troubles and grant her the life she figured was coming.

Her tale does have a happy ending, but there’s nothing magical about it. She’s climbing out of debt by living well within her means rather than far above them. She writes, “Make your dreams happen on your own. For me, it’s happening late in life but like most things, it’s better late than never.”

Shut It, Cinderella!: The High Price of the Princess Mentality [The Debt Princess]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

    I love happy endings….

  2. maxhobbs says:

    Wow, whodathunkit?

  3. Wasp is like Requiem for a Dream without the cheery bits says:

    Yeah, I know what she means. Beauty and the Beast inspired me to try psychoactive drugs in order to get the full singing and talking housewares experience.


    • sponica says:

      and the little mermaid made me search out a tuna fish so I could staple their fins to my legs and become a mermaid

      • Wasp is like Requiem for a Dream without the cheery bits says:

        Are you now the beautiful mermaid that you always wanted to be?

        • sponica says:

          nope. i realized that my irrational fear of fish would not have been a good thing under the sea.

          • Wasp is like Requiem for a Dream without the cheery bits says:

            Fish will kill you. Everything underwater wants to destroy you in horrible, horrible ways. The same goes for things above water too, actually.

  4. sponica says:

    i don’t blame my debt on fairy tales (although I secretly hope Mr. Powerball will whisk away my money problems)

    • qwickone says:

      I don’t think it’s wrong for her to blame her debt on fairy tales, but only because she realizes it’s her problem to deal with. I don’t mind when people blame their situation on other factors, just as long as they own the solution – after all, it’s still your problem, no matter where it came from.

  5. Hi_Hello says:

    She sounds crazy. It’s not the fairy tale that messed you up, it’s you.

    Take Cinderella, she didn’t buy all those stuff…fairy god mother made it with her skillz. No buying involved. You were acting like Cinderella’s step-mom and sisters, buy nice things to try to marry a prince. Look where that ended up for them.

  6. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Kudos to her for getting her finances under control…but nearly EVERY girl wants to be a princess or a superhero or rich when they’re growing up. If you’re still wishing for that and you’re old enough to drive, you’re just not facing reality.

    I think she’s blaming the wrong thing. Believing that you can just get something if you wish and want it hard enough without ever having to work on it isn’t something you mistakenly learn from a Disney film; that’s just stupidity.

    Reality check: nearly EVERY girl wants to be a princess or a superhero or rich when they’re growing up. If you’re still wishing for that and you’re old enough to drive, you’re just not facing reality.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I…don’t know why I repeated the first paragraph. Oops.

    • Hi_Hello says:

      I’m not wishing to be a superhero, I”m still working on becoming one… the road to become a superhero is a long and hard one.

      • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

        Yeah, I mean, arranging for industrial accidents involving experimental chemicals and radiation … it’s just … not working out for you, is it?

        Maybe you should try to get abducted by aliens. Aliens give people the best superpowers!

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      I wanted to be an astronaut when I was growing up, not a princess.

      Equally unrealistic, but in my case wanting to be an astronaut did not land me in financial trouble. ;-)

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      It feels like American Culture is more and more about escapism.

      In my daily life, I am a boring office worker who is usually not very interesting.

      But really, I’m this awesome person online! I’m this amazing person in video games. It’s like having a secret identity, but all of my powers are … virtual.

    • sponica says:

      i’m pretty sure if I won Powerball, I could be Batman. There are books out there that instruct people how to be Batman

  7. raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

    Oh yes, let’s blame the media for our woes, because it’s an easy target.

    I grew up on the same cartoons. So did much of my generation. But I don’t know, maybe I just learned to separate reality from fantasy, but I never wanted to be a princess. The more I learn about what life is like for “royals,” the more I’m glad to be a peasant. When I glance at magazines featuring celebrities, all I can do is be thankful that people aren’t paid full-time to dig into my dirty laundry.

  8. CosmosHuman says:

    I took a look at her balances listed on her spreadsheets and OMFG is she is debt! Oy vegh!!!

  9. Taed says:

    On the weekends, CNBC shows the wonderful consumer finance semi-reality shows, _Til Debt Do Us Part_ and _Princess_. They both follow the same formula (meet people with horrible financial habits and then get them budgeting), with the first focusing on couples and the latter on young women.

  10. Ratty says:

    If superfluous apostrophes were dollars she could certainly pay everything down a lot more quickly.

  11. tinyninja says:

    I wanted to be a princess as well. But I also understood at a fairly early age that credit cards aren’t free money–rather, they need to be paid back. You don’t even need to be good at math to understand that particular concept.

  12. SporadicBlah says:

    Ive spent the last three years sliming down my life. At 40 I realized the less I had the happier I was. At 60 I hope to have nothing but my savings and a motor home for the rest of my life.

  13. dush says:

    Common sense and living within your means. revolutionary.
    Too bad there’s no real economics courses that kids go through in school to preach this to them. Or that parents aren’t instilling this in their kids.

  14. ponycyndi says:

    I was just thinking about this last night, while looking at the Williams Sonoma catalogue, where I saw a $2400 coffee machine and a $250 food processor.

    I have a food processor from the 80’s that I picked up for free from a neighbor’s yard sale leftovers. It wasn’t working, but it took all of 30 seconds to figure out what was wrong with it, and now it works fine, and has all the fancy attachments. My coffeemaker is a 6 year old $5 black friday deal my sister bought for me as a gift.

    Both of these things bring me happiness on a regular basis. Would I be happier if I had the expensive ones? Who knows. But I have money in the bank, and I’d much rather have that security.

    • Snaptastic says:

      My best kitchen purchase was a $3 crock pot from Goodwill. Best purchase ever!!

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:


      It’s fine and well that you have things that are less expensive and serve your purposes. But it doesn’t really apply to everyone. Would I buy a $250 food processor? Yeah, if that was the best one and it had all the features I wanted and I really wanted a food processor. Would I get a $2,500 coffee maker? No, but there are many who consider themselves serious espresso enthusiasts and really want to make very good espresso, and they would pay $2,500 for an espresso maker. It’s beyond my price range, but I don’t necessarily see the problem if people can afford it.

  15. Snaptastic says:

    I never once thought the prince would save me and make life easier. Every “prince” I have come across has been financially irresponsible, a slob, or had some other kink in the armor that ultimately made him more trouble than he was worth.

    I prefer to be a self-rescuing princess with good budgeting skills. Life is far easier that way. (and my loyal woodland friends/dogs are still the best!)

  16. jeni1122 says:

    Wow. This is a good example of parents not preparing children for the real world.

    I’ll be real honest here. I have a very wealthy fiancee. I don’t have to work unless I want to and we travel to some really cool places, but the reason our relationship has lasted as long as it has is because I DO work (full time) and I DO pay all my own bills and half of our living expenses and I DON’T have debt issues (just car payment and student loans).

    A lot of times price charming sees someone with a ton of debt as a gold digger instead of a good girlfriend option. Makes sense to me.

    • Sad Sam says:

      Good plan, you never know when a rich spouse might, sadly, be stricken by a disability, death, or financial collapse. And there are also risks of divorce as well, in many states a spouse is not required to pay alimony until after a certain number of years of marriage.