How Christy Carlson Romano ‘Blew’ All Her Disney Money

Christy Carlson Romano, Disney Channel star of the  early 2000s, recently opened up about her finances, saying she is not a millionaire and explaining how she lost all her “Disney money.” Here’s what she had to say. 

She said she wasn’t told the work would ‘slow down’ 

Christy Carlson Romano outdoors in plaid purple top
Christy Carlson Romano | Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Per People magazine, Romano shared some financial advice for child actors in a video posted to her YouTube channel on August 26th. 

She wanted to share how she “made and lost millions of dollars” over a career that essentially began at 16. The young star became famous as the star of Disney Channel’s Even Stevens opposite Shia LeBeouf and as the voice of Kim Possible

“This is how I blew all my Disney money,” she explained. “I started making money with Disney when I was 16.” 

That’s a young age to begin work on such a high-profile platform. But rather than being an advantage and a foundation for further work, Romano found that she lacked critical knowledge about how her career was likely to go in the future. 

“My biggest thing about child actors, you aren’t told that the work is going to slow down,” Romano said. “In fact, I was told the opposite, specifically by my mom, some of my team, even my money manager at the time.”

Ultimately, the bad advice put her at a disadvantage, as she simply didn’t know there would ever be a time that money would become a problem; the future wasn’t a concern. 

Christy Carlson Romano said she ‘didn’t care’ about money

Romano said she wished she had bought a house or invested her money in other ways. She added that it was also a problem that she didn’t have a concept of what money meant at such a young age. 

“Then I had this money at my disposal,” said Romano. “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.”

Helping her parents out also set her back. It was a big enough problem that she briefly cut them out of her life. She says she did so because she “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.”

Unfortunately, the independence from her parents didn’t translate to better money management. 

While she now understood what it meant for her lifestyle, she didn’t have the experience to know how to handle it. She said she lost a lot of money on “big ticket” items, including a G-Wagen and services from an aggressive psychic who  “managed to get a lot of money from me.” 

It left her in a bind, and she wound up doing movies she “didn’t want to do” to make ends meet.  

She says she is ‘OK now’ 

Christy Carlson Romano wearing Mickey shirt
Christy Carlson Romano in 2005 | Jemal Countess/WireImage

While noting that she is not a millionaire “in any way, shape, or form,” Romano did reassure fans that she is on her feet and doing fine. She’s just a “mom monetizing my channel,” she said. 

“Obviously, I’m OK now,” she told fans. “I promise you I’m OK. I have made peace with this.” 

The 37-year-old actor has clearly moved on. She married Brendan Rooney in 2013 and has two children. 

RELATED: Why ‘Even Stevens’ Star Christy Carlson Romano Says the Disney Channel Series ‘Still Holds Up’ Today