Prince Charming Isn’t Coming: How Women Get Smart With Money
So, this isn’t exactly a romance novel…in fact, you could argue that it is the complete opposite of a romance novel. This is a wake-up call to women who are waiting around for their “Prince-Charming” to get their shit together for them.
What does this have to do with Love?
This book focuses on the most important kind of love: self-love. It spoke to me especially because of its focus on the history between women and money; the idea that a woman who is financially fit is undesirable and unfeminine. For centuries, men have been the caretakers of a family’s finances, which has created a masculine tradition passed down from fathers to sons — rarely to daughters. Even in the modern age, it is hard to shake this kind of cultural conditioning. Barbara Stanny, daughter of one of the founders of H & R Block (and victim of her husband’s mismanagement of her inheritance), calls attention to this kind of cultural conditioning, and helps women to create a better relationship with their money.
Prince Charming, in truth, is nothing more than a projection of our disowned selves. He rose out of the ashes of our perceived incompetence, out of our lack of self-trust. He is the self we refuse to see. So often we feel inadequate, or as one woman put it, “like there is something intrinsically wrong with me.”
Prince Charming Isn’t Coming…is about reforming our idea of ourselves as women and how we relate to our finances.
What’s so great about it?
It’s important to note that this is not a complete manual on getting your finances together or getting out of debt. More than anything, it focuses on the psychological aspects holding women back from taking control of their own money. Barbara Stanny has interviewed dozens of financially-fit women and intersperses their personal anecdotes throughout the book. The book has a personal feel to it, as if you’re chatting to your best girlfriend over brunch, rather than the dry writing of most books about finance. I truly enjoyed the process of reading this book, despite the fact that I was learning about money throughout.
While some of the material feels a little outdated — the book was originally published in the late ’90s and then updated around 2005 — there is enough good material here to motivate you to get started. Even if you know nothing about money or investing, by the end of this book you’ll feel educated enough to know what to do next.
It takes more than mechanics to learn about money. Factual information does little to change years of conditioning. There is a colossal psychological component that casts a dark shadow over our financial dealings. For many of us, getting smart with money is as much about conquering fear and overcoming resistance as about learning facts and managing assets.