For me, one of the scariest things about debt is how much there is to know about personal finance. I have debt mostly because of things that I didn’t know when I was younger, and now that I’m trying to get rid of it, every financial decision I make is characterized by a little voice in my head asking if I’m sure I should be doing that?
Everything from my choice of a grocery store (should I just go to the cheap one even though it grosses me out?) to my retirement plan (what do you mean my 401K is risky?) gives me pause.
The obvious solution to this problem is learning more. But it seems like everything that’s out there is so complex and dense and hard to wrap my head around. It’s scary! (This is obviously where I should plug Debt.com’s super easy to understand resources, and I would like to, but I’m building up to something here.)
In an effort to get over this fear, I’m finding ways to more passively indoctrinate myself to the world of financial literacy. Enter: personal finance podcasts. Every once in a while, on my commute or while doing household chores, it will not kill me to cut into my true crime time in favor of something that will actually do me some good. So that’s what I’ve been doing.
The best financial podcasts to help you make sense of money
As a budding podcast connoisseur and a relative finance novice, I am uniquely situated to tell you which podcasts are the least scary. Because, as explained above, I scare easily.
These eight top financial podcasts are accessible, informative and maybe, just maybe, will help kickstart your self-confidence in the financial realm and embolden you to learn even more. These are all very good starting places with a lot of money management tips, so test them out and see which one feels right for you.
Comedian Gaby Dunn was really confused about money, mostly because she didn’t have any for a long time and then she got a lot really quickly. She made a lot of mistakes, then started this podcast, to figure out how she got there. She interviews her parents, her friends, psychologists, and experts in the field who all tell her she’s not alone. This podcast is the perfect laugh-out-loud “financial” podcast to dip your toes in. Gaby and her guests remind me it’s all going to be OK. Start at the beginning of this pod to lay the foundation, and then skip around based on what topics interest you.
There are more than 800 episodes of this podcast from financial journalist Farnoosh Torabi, meaning that basically anything you want to know about money, she probably has answered for you. It’s a mix of interviews with authors, CEOs and financial experts in a billion different subjects, and just answering your questions like “Does leasing a car make sense?” (Ep. 737) or “How do my husband and I tackle credit card and student loan debt in our marriage?” (Ep. 548). There are smart, easy-to-listen-to 20-40 minute segments that will increase your financial IQ, guaranteed.
Self-proclaimed “relatable, funny and brash” Andrew Fiebert and Matt Giovanisci are here to give you actionable advice on things that matter to you. Everything from how to stop living paycheck-to-paycheck, to investing (what is it? How do I do it? When do I do it?). These roughly hour-long episodes are informal and offer a lot of tangible advice. Jump in anywhere, depending on what kind of advice you need.
This female-centric podcast by Tess Wicks is all about what it takes for young women to be finance-savvy. It also touches on topics of personal development, mindset, and well-being which very closely aligns with money — especially for women. Wicks puts a lot of herself into each episode of the podcast, which is a mix of her talking, interviewing financial experts, and talking to other women about their experiences with money. If Listen Money Matters is a little bro-y for you, the tone of this one is on the opposite end of the spectrum. It also touches a lot on travel (Wicks is based in Italy nowadays).
This NPR podcast isn’t about personal finance, but sometimes when I’m thinking about my own money situation, a) I need a break or I’m going to freak out, and b) I want to understand where I fit in the world. By explaining the economy in very plain terms, this pod hits that sweet spot on even dense topics like government shutdowns and trade regulations. You’ll be dying for a break in conversation with your friends to say “So I heard on NPR …”
If you’ve been on the fence about all of these other financial podcasts, this is the one for you. It explains money topics in five minutes. Just five minutes! It tackles all the big topics — saving, retirement, debt — and a lot of things that you were probably thinking about but didn’t think to look up — are cats or dogs more expensive? Am I making enough money off my side hustle? Is job security or work you care about more important? This podcast is a little more low tech than some of the others, and there hasn’t been a new episode since June 2018, but did I mention they’re only five minutes long?
These 60-90 minute shows kind of fly by. The hosts are quick and funny, and do a good job of helping money not feel so serious. Their goal isn’t to be your one-stop-shop for financial literacy, but the springboard. The show boasts “fewer gurus and more discussions,” and it’s a good starting place to get your sea legs.
When it comes to financial podcasts, this one is about making the most of your money, and has something for everyone, no matter where you are in your journey — in debt, nearing retirement or just confused. Host Rob Berger has a reassuring voice and makes a lot of sense. Try Episode 293, “Financial Life After College” or Episode 100, “100 Ways to Improve Your Finances” to see if this podcast is for you.
Your finances don’t need to scare you. Check out Debt.com’s super easy to understand resources, like How to guides and supplemental personal finance tools. Pros offer advice that will help you face the scary beast called personal finance and you will see that it’s really more like a house cat. If you get careless you could end up with a few scratches. But, if you feed it and show attention you will be rewarded.