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Christy Carlson Romano revealed she “blew” all of her Disney money, opening up about the importance of financial literacy.
The “Even Stevens” alum explained in a YouTube video posted last week that she started making money with the Disney Channel at 16 but was never taught about managing it.
“My biggest thing about child actors, you aren’t told that the work is going to slow down,” she explained. “In fact, I was told the opposite, specifically by my mom, some of my team, even my money manager at the time.”
While Romano — who also voiced the titular character of “Kim Possible” — put some of her money toward college, she ended up dropping out a year-and-a-half later. (She would go back to finish her degree when she was 30.).
“Then I had this money at my disposal,” Romano shared. “I was never told how much money I was making. Money didn’t have a purpose for me, I didn’t really know what it was. I just knew that I had it and didn’t care about it. That’s a problem.”
The “Cadet Kelly” actress, now 37, ended up spending her money on “big ticket items” from Ralph Lauren, a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon and a psychic that “managed to get a lot of money from me.” She expressed regret on not using her funds on smarter investments such as a house.
When she turned 21, Romano cut ties with her family for about a year “because I didn’t like the way that my money was being managed. And it was a sad year for me, but it was also an interesting year.”
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The former Disney darling ended up taking roles in “movies I didn’t want to do” because she needed the money.
“Basically, I did a nude scene,” she recalled. “I had never thought in a million years that I would ever do something like this. I was America’s sweetheart, morally sound in my mind. I believed in the Disney magic, I still do. And then I felt so exploited and marked and horrible.”
Romano ended her video by assuring fans she’s “OK now” but dispelled the online rumor that she has a net worth of $3 million.
“I am not a millionaire in any way, shape or form, I’m just a mom monetizing my channel, doing sponsored content, having fun, working when I can,” Romano insisted.
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