Living with credit

Money lessons from ‘You’re Cut Off’

Emily Crone

This summer, VH1 aired a new reality show called “You’re Cut Off.” It starred nine rich and spoiled ladies who go through “princess rehab” to teach them how to be responsible and value their families’ money that they spend so carelessly. I know about it because a girl I grew up with was one of the nine girls, and when I found out she was on it, I DVR’ed the whole season (I’m not naming names). I finished watching it a few days ago, and I’m still in shock.

The wild-spending princesses of 'You're Cut Off'

The funniest part is that the girls’ parents were all in on it. At first, the princesses were told that they were going to be on a reality show called “The Good Life” — all about their exorbitant lifestyles. The clips from this segment is hilarious — one girl is in a hot tub with nice champagne being poured down her mouth who later brags about her hundreds of thousands of dollars of credit limit spread across multiple cards. Another is a girl getting into a private car in New York while swathed in a massive fur coat. Another getting Botox injections, while another shows off her four luxury cars.

Then the girls are informed that they are on a very different show where they are being cut off from their families and forced to “live like normal people.” They all showed up with dozens of suitcases of luggage full of designer garb, but were forced to narrow it down to one bag (strangely, one girl managed to fit her hookah in there).

The girls are forced to live in a small house together and must do chores, clean and cook for themselves. Fights constantly break out amongst the divas, many of whom insist that such tasks are beneath them. Throughout the show, they are mentored by a down-to-earth life coach whose goal is to teach the young women how to value money and be responsible adults. In one lesson, they spend a day at a job at a shoe manufacturer and see what it’s like to be a working adult and take home a modest paycheck at the end of the day (one girl said she didn’t realize that some shoes cost less than $800). In another episode, they were taught to value inner beauty more than external beauty, something these rich girls put insane amounts of time and effort into. One episode takes them camping out in the country, and another has them spend a day as a maid for another diva — Omarosa, who gained celebrity for her loud and obnoxious forceful and determined appearances on Donald Trump’s TV show “The Apprentice.”

In the final episode, the girls reunite with their families. The girls read letters aloud that they have prepared, most of which convey that they now appreciate the work that goes into earning a paycheck and not taking money for granted anymore. Then the families got to make their demands. One mom insisted that she was not paying for her daughter to go to tanning beds any longer. Another family decided that the daughter would have to move out and get a job within a month. And the girl with all the credit cards? Her parents told her she could only keep one, and that the limit was now $500.

All of the girls had to accept these new terms in order to “graduate the program.” At the end, it was revealed who actually stuck to the terms. As expected, many were still living at home or mooching off family, though some had made improvements, such as getting a part-time job or pitching in on certain expenses.

The credit card girl? She hit her $500 limit within 24 hours. It’s no surprise that she’s the same one who made the comment about the $800 shoes.

Regardless of all the silliness, you could see that the lessons really resonated with some of these girls. It took a few weeks, but some of the girls really seemed to get concepts they’ve never been forced to think about before, like what a hard life it is to be a maid, or how gratifying it is to earn some of your own money.

Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, we ask that you do not disclose confidential or personal information such as your bank account numbers, social security numbers, etc. Keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The editorial content on is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company's business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.

  • Sounds like an interesting show. I’ll have to look for re-runs.