Sometimes just thinking about money is overwhelming. With questions about investing, paying off loans, saving for the future, dealing with unexpected expenses and budgeting for fun ones constantly swirling through your head, it can be tempting shut all those thoughts down and “deal with it later.” But of course, that won’t help much in the long run — and the more educated you are about money, the easier dealing with it will be.
Enter: Podcasts. If you’re overwhelmed, tuning into experts while on your commute, eating breakfast or just getting things done around the house can be an easy way to up your knowledge and get some of your questions answered. The key, then, is finding podcasts that will make your time investment worthwhile. “To me, the best personal finance podcasts give useful, actionable advice,” said Kevin Goldberg, founder of Discover Pods. “There are too many out there that simply give canned obvious suggestions that aren’t worth your time to listen to.”
With that in mind, here are five personal finance podcasts that get the green light from Goldberg and a few money experts.
So Money by Farnoosh Torabi
When Torabi was 22, she was more than $30,000 in debt; but the now 39-year-old worked her way out of debt and eventually became a financial expert (she published her first book, You’re So Money: Live Rich, Even When You’re Not, in 2008). She now shares valuable insight through her podcast, which features interviews with a range of accomplished guests, like Jillian Michaels and Tony Robbins. “Farnoosh is fantastic to listen to, and despite her background in personal finance, she approaches her interviews from the viewpoint of her audience so they get max value,” said Priya Malani, co-founder of Stash Wealth.
“Farnoosh’s podcast is great because it introduces personal financial concepts through storytelling and inspiring interviews,” said Stefanie O’Connell, author of The Broke and Beautiful Life, also noting Torabi hosts a weekly ‘Ask Farnoosh’ episode during which she answers audience questions.
Fairer Cents by Tanja Hester and Kara Perez
The tagline for Fairer Cents is “Women, Money and the Fight to Break Even,” and that’s certainly reflected in this self-described “podcast about badass women and their money stories.” Hosts Hester and Perez eschew the usual “expert” guests in favor of “financial underdogs and underrepresented voices,” per their website, and discuss issues like the wage gap and the ever-exclusive “boys’ club.”
“Fairer Cents tackles a lot of the social issues in personal finance,” said Erin Lowry, author of Broke Millennial Takes on Investing. “There is a strong focus on inclusivity [and] the podcast elevates voices from people at various points in their financial journeys from myriad backgrounds.”
Planet Money by NPR
Planet Money is a podcast from NPR, and it comes with the type of solid advice you would expect from such a massive platform. “Planet Money is expertly produced with truly compelling stories that run the gamut of economics,” Goldberg said. While this podcast is about the economy, and not always specifically personal finance, Goldberg noted “there’s usually a couple takeaways you can apply to your own life.”
“It’s more of a nuts and bolts podcast and good for people who want no fluff,” Malani said. “My favorite episode is ‘688: Brilliant vs. Boring.’ [It] teaches you everything you need to know about investing in under 25 minutes!”
Afford Anything by Paula Pant
Pant’s mantra is “You can afford anything, but not everything,” which she said on her website applies to money, time, focus, energy and attention. Her podcast encompasses all of that, to help listeners figure out how to achieve financial independence and make smart money decisions within the context of building the life they want. She discusses retirement planning, big and small spending decisions, productivity and more. “She’s...a former journalist with an incredible ability to listen and ask insightful questions of her guests,” Lowry said, adding, “Paula is also something of a real estate mogul and has really interesting episodes about the journey of real estate investing.”
Journey to Launch by Jamila Souffrant
Souffrant is a Certified Financial Education Instructor whose financial savviness started early (“Raised by a single mom, I learned the concept of hard work and the value of money at a very early age,” she said on her website). In fact, she bought her first real estate property when she was only 22. Her podcast covers a range of topics aimed at helping her listeners achieve financial independence. “Jamila makes money talk something you actually want to listen to and engage with, which is why I love her podcast,” O’Connell said.
Need more convincing? “Jamila and her husband saved $85,000 last year while raising three kids in New York City,” Lowry said. “If that doesn’t pique your interest, I’m not sure what will!”