You have probably seen that meme by now, the one that says “I’m glad I learned about parallelograms instead of how to do taxes. It’s really come in handy this parallelogram season.” It is funny in the way much humor is: maddeningly true. Traditional high schools and colleges do not truly prepare us for the reality of adulthood finances, loans, mortgages and debt. At the age of 23, I called my mom and asked her how to write my first rent check. The good news is that if you want to learn more, there are plenty of ways to educate yourself on how to manage your money.
I am part of a small, women-only finance group where we pride ourselves on having open, honest conversations about money. We meet every six weeks and read a finance-related book leading up to each meeting, (we just finished “Invested” by Danielle Town and her father, Phil Town which I highly recommend). I can’t meet with this group every day, which is probably for the best because if I could, I would be made of Trader Joe’s wine and cheese straws. When I can’t be with my financially savvy friends, I turn to podcasts for financial advice that comes from a neutral party. Below are some of our favorite finance and money-related podcasts that have something to offer regardless of where you are in your own financial journey.
If you think you are bad with money: Bad With Money With Gaby Dunn
Gaby Dunn’s podcast is something I did not think money podcasts could be: fun. Dunn, a TV writer, actor and bestselling author does not claim to be a financial expert; in fact, she trudges through her own financial history and shortcomings as a sort of cautionary tale. She tackles a different financial theme each episode with the help of her guests, including Mara Wilson (who you may remember as Matilda). Other guests consist of politicians, celebrities, finance experts, authors and activists. The fourth season starts on April 24th — catch the first episode now — but there are gems to be found in the first three seasons, including my favorite “What If You’re F*cked (aka No, Seriously – What Then?)” which is helpful for anyone who feels like they are buried under a debt mountain as a result of freelancing, mental health situations, substance abuse or identity fraud.
If you are seeking advice in all areas of finance: HerMoney with Jean Chatzky
Jean Chatzky kind of does it all: She is the financial editor for the TODAY show, a journalist, the personal finance ambassador for AARP, and of course, the host of the HerMoney podcast. Chatzky’s philosophy can be distilled into five easily understood bullet points, and her podcast delves deeper into all aspects of money. The podcast is made specifically for women and addresses larger societal questions like why women are so much less likely to invest than their male counterparts. Each episode is money-related but tagged to a larger theme including careers, love, family, save, job hunting, financial planning, entrepreneurship and more. This makes it easy to find the episodes that will resonate with your specific questions.
If you are interested in how money influences other aspects of your life: Money Girl
Laura Adams, finance expert, speaker and author with bylines in The New York Times, Forbes and more, has hosted Money Girl since 2008, which means there are over 10 years of episodes to listen to. You will find episodes on anything from how to stop impulse buying, tips for buying your first house, managing your 401K, or saving on health and fitness expenses. Adams’ mission is to help you “Live Rich and Love the Journey” and her advice is genuine, easy to understand and succinct. Best of all, each episode clocks in between 10 and 20 minutes, perfect for listening to while you clean up the kitchen or run a quick errand.
If you always go too deep during the small talk: Death, Sex & Money
Who doesn’t love the soothing voices of an NPR podcast? Death, Sex & Money, hosted by Anna Sale, journalist, creator of this podcast, and author of the forthcoming book “Go There: The Art of Talking About Hard Things,” addresses some of the pertinent topics that are “often left out of the polite conversation.” This is not solely a financial podcast, but a little digging reveals important financial conversations from real people dealing with real-life issues including student loan debt, money and love (think: prenups), and opportunity costs, which largely deals with class issues.
If you have 5 minutes or less: Millennial Money Minutes
This podcast speaks to my easily-distracted soul because it distills complicated personal finance topics in five minutes or less. The hosts, Grant Sabatier, author and founder of the Millennial Money website, and Matt Zubricki founder of the website, Distilled Dollar, make you feel like you are listening to your most knowledgeable friend. You will get bite-size information on anything from Bitcoin to stocks and net worth, and you may even laugh out loud. If a subject piques your interest, you can always listen to a longer podcast on the same topic, and if not, you have enough basic info to talk about it at a party (you know, those really fun parties where you gather around and talk about finance, proving you are officially an adult).
If you are thinking of quitting your job: Afford Anything
The name of this podcast really appeals to me because I have my eye on a pair of Rachel Comey mules that I just can’t justify on a freelance writer’s salary. The basic premise of the podcast is if you act accordingly (by spending less or making more), you may not be able to afford everything, but you can afford anything. Creator and host, Paula Pant (who has a blog by the same name of the podcast) saved money, quit her day job, then spent two years backpacking and vowed to never return to a desk job. She has made this dream her reality and will teach you how you can too. She interviews all kinds of experts, including Tom Herman, who teaches the practice of creating alter egos to improve your performance in any area of life (basically you can Sasha Fierce your way to a better financial situation) and teaches “normal” people about a myriad of topics including loans, real estate investments, financial mindset, and the FIRE technique which is buzzy right now in the personal finance world and stands for “Financial Independence, Retire Early.” Sign me up!
If You Want to Learn From a Finance OG: Women & Money by Suze Orman
Ah, Suze Orman, the original Girl Boss of the finance world. With over 35 years of experience helping people create and maintain their wealth, Orman’s turned to the podcast forum to reach a wider audience. As the title suggests, the podcast is geared toward women and “men who are smart enough to tune in.” She balances her no BS, straightforward attitude with advice that is empathetic and easy to understand. She will give advice on anything from trusting yourself to make the right financial decisions for your life, to addressing anger, which she sees as one of the obstacles to wealth.