Carnival of Personal Finance #350: The Little Prince’s Journey to Financial Enlightenment

Once upon a time, in a far away kingdom, lived a Little Prince and his Wise Wizard. The King, who is very old, wanted to make sure his Little Prince is ready to take over the mantle of ruling the kingdom before he puts the Little Prince into the will [Sustainable Personal Finance] He is rightfully concerned about the generational differences when it comes to debt [Yes I Am Cheap], and so he asked the Wise Wizard to help the Little Prince get to the Land of Financial Enlightenment. “I don’t want him to grow up all silly nilly about money! What if he marries a princess who buys purses all the time [Diva in Debt] and go broke?! I need him to be a good leader and understand investments [Grow Money]“ said the King. ”HMPH. That’s playing into gender stereotypes [My Broken Coin],” the Wise Wizard said, “but I will help the Little Prince reach his destination and understand financial matters in relationships [Busy Executive Money Blog].”

And so the Wise Wizard and the Little Prince set out on their journey. Along the way, the Wise Wizard tried to impart words of, well, wisdom to the Little Prince.

“To reach your Findependence Day [Boomer & Echo], you must overcome obstacles and learn to figure out for yourself what truly matters in life,” the Wise Wizard said. ”But I already know the 10 Commandments to Growing Wealth [Wealth and Wise],” said the Little Prince, “This will be an easy journey.”

“It is not enough to simply know, you must also act,” The Wise Wizard explained, “let me tell you about all the obstacles you will encounter.”

“Having pride in yourself and work is a good thing, but never be too proud to shop at discount stores [See Debt Run]. Along the way to Land of Financial Enlightenment, you might see alluring images of fast cars and pretty women [Saving Advice], but driving an uncool car is actually awesome [Graduating with Surplus]. If you stick to the 20% rule [Your Life, Their Life], you can help you achieve your goals more quickly.”

“But I KNOW all these obstacles already,” the Little Prince said, for he was a very smart Little Prince. “I’ve read about them in books and on blogs. I’m a great student [Humble Savers].” The Wise Wizard shook his head. You can’t just understand the numbers (although that is very important) – you have to modify your behavior [Consumerism Commentary] to make lasting change. Sometimes, you have to experience things – losing money in the stock market [Million Ways to Save], fall victim to price anchoring? [Smart on Money], co-signing a loan [Christian Debt Coach], and marrying for money [Nicole & Maggie] before you learn what works and what doesn’t.”

“Getting to Financial Enlightenment doesn’t sound much fun,” said the Little Prince, “I like to look good and enjoy my life.” ”You can!,” insists the Wise Wizard, “you can make fashion affordable [Everything Finance], you will live longer! [Squirrelers], and if you make good choices, you will be able to become a stay at home dad [Tie the Money Knot] if you wish.” The Little Prince wrinkled his nose. “But I killed my last three goldfishes,” he said. “Er, well, don’t quit your day job yet [My Money Design]!” sighed the Wise Wizard.

As the two walked and walked and walked along the road to Financial Enlightenment, they talked and talked and talked.

The Little Prince asked, “the Land of Financial Enlightenment is when I finally get RICH, right?” The Wise Wizard chuckled. “Money isn’t the only measure of success [Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance], in fact, money is just a tool. Once you build your foundations [Free Money Finance], you will be able to use money to do what you really want to do in life – whether that’s to spend more time with your future Princess, create more buildings for the royal grounds, or contribute to charity [Mrs. Nespy's World]. There are tools to help you do this: automating bill payments [Budgeting in the Fun Stuff], taking advantage of payroll tax cuts [Novel Investor], selecting a good IRA company [Qwoter], and taking advantage of no balance transfer fee credit cards [Wallet Blog].”

Finally, after many days of study, the Little Prince was ready for his important interview [Adjunctorium] with the King. The King quizzed him on all he has learned, from tax reporting forms[Nerd's Eye View], to renters and laundry fees [Start Talking Cents], to tips for easier budgeting[Money Talks Coaching], to using Google Docs spreadsheet for investing [My Journey to Millions], to making extra money [Bible Money Matters], to chargeback policy report [CardHub]. The King asked about the general economy [Narrow Bridge Finance], the local economy[Debt Black Hole], evaluating intangibles [Pinch That Penny], and when DIY works and when DIY doesn’t [DollarVersity].

The Little Prince was able to answer the Reality Kings discount questions flawlessly. He gave the King the low down on RESP plans [Young & Thrifty], discussed the rules of career reinvention [Afford Anything], explained the virtues of saving paper [Funny About Money], talked about the benefits of getting a 60 month auto loan [Familyancial Wealth, listed ways to save at the gas pump[Personal Finance Success], ran over reasons why a home inspector [Happy Homeowner] is necessary, and even explained how to find jobs using social media [One Cent At A Time]. The King knew nothing about social media or SEO keywords [Mike & Molly's House], so he was very impressed indeed!

“You seemed to have learned a lot,” said the King, “I want to reward your efforts [Money Cactus].” Then the King, confident that the Little Prince can handle his finances, gifted him real estate [Investor Junkie], bonds [Dividend Growth Stocks], bond funds [Control Your Cash], and even shares of Ford stock [Dividend Monk]!

“But wait!” The Little Prince interrupted, “I haven’t told you what I REALLY learned yet.” “You haven’t?” The King was confused. “But you talked to me about knowing when to adjust your budget [Evolving Personal Finance], learning a foreign language [Darwin's Money], evaluating Betterment [Dough Roller]. You showed me how you improve your credit score [Financial Highway], save [PT Money], buy travel insurance [One Frugal Girl], and use a rewards credit card [Rewards Cards USA]. You even have the discipline to hide money — from yourself [Frugal Cool]. It sounds to me that you have achieved Financial Enlightenment.”

“All that is important,” the Little Prince admitted, “I did learn about tax forms [Free From Broke], Social Security [My Dollar Plan], Bank of America Add It Up Rewards [Financial Product Reviews], and dividend investing [Dividend Growth Investor], I learned about what happens in Chapter 11 [Prairie Eco Thrifter], when to cancel my credit card [Help Me Travel Cheap], and how to save for the holidays [Net Worth Journey]. I even learned about unconventional investment moves [Invest It Wisely]. But I don’t want to get tunnel vision when it comes to my finances [Money Beagle]. Because what the Wise Wizard taught me was that financial enlightenment is about making decisions so you can live the best life you can, and have your spending and finances reflect your priorities.”

The King smiled! The Little Prince has passed his test. He knows that the Little Prince has a bright financial future [Watson Inc], and for that he is happy. The Wise Wizard is also happy. In fact, he thought, ”Maybe I should start my own financial firm [Good Financial Cents]!”