Prince had chronic money problems for years preceding his death ... this according to multiple sources who advised the singer.
Our sources -- all of whom had regular contact with Prince and were intimately familiar with his finances -- tell us, the singer refused to leverage or sell his main asset -- his vast music catalog.
The most common way singers like Prince make a steady flow of income is to sell or license their art. We're told Prince consistently shut down business opportunities that could have fueled his finances. Prince had numerous opportunities to use his music in movies, TV shows and commercials, but with few exceptions, he turned thumbs down.
The primary way Prince made money was concerts, but our sources say the singer was so impulsive he would do shows on the spur of the moment with poor planning and little promotion. Although many were successful, enough of them weren't ... causing him to lose a fortune.
The biggest problem ... Prince spent way more than he made, and our sources say money was always an issue. As we reported, the estimated net worth of $300 million was grossly inflated. We're told it's less than half that. It's still a lot of money, but it could've been so much more if he'd cashed in on his greatest asset ... that catalog.