Recently, I decided to confront my longstanding anxieties and fears about money once and for all. My first step was to hire a financial planner, and she’s helping me prep for the long-term. But to truly build a wealth mindset, it pays to tap into a range of wisdom on the regular, so now I’m digging deeper into the (formerly) intimidating world of investing. Lucky for me—lucky for all of us—friendly finance podcasts abound. Real Simple‘s own money podcast, Money Confidential, tackles readers’ real-life money problems in approachable ways. Read on for 10 more standouts that won’t put you to sleep or send you screaming, overwhelmed by stuffy insider lingo.
The Fairer Cents
If you add only one finance podcast to your queue, make it this show about “rad women and real money stories instead of the same old financial bullshit.” Tanja Hester and Kara Perez are not interested merely in success—or the traditional, patriarchal notion of success. This is not another break-free-from-the-system-and-live-a-life-of-leisure” sales-pitch cast as self-help. A quick scan of episodes to date gives a sense of their mission: discussion of the wellness industrial complex, invisible disability, beauty double standards, the rocky waters of ambition, comparison and competition, and so much more. No wonder they nabbed a “Best Podcast for Women” award in 2019.
My first exposure to this show from dynamic duo Mandi Woodruff and Tiffany Aliche was an episode called “The Princess Diaries Was a Lie,” and you can bet that got this Gen Xer’s attention. These hosts have incredible creds and rapport, and they answer listeners’ thorniest questions regularly. They, too, cast a wide but targeted net, looking at issues like COVID-19 scams, wedding savings, negotiating salaries, drama triangles, and more.
Clever Girl Knows
Clever Girl Knows: Bola Sokumbi, founder of Clever Girls Finance, learned important lessons about saving from her mother, “the hustle queen,” who was able to put Bolu through college after Bolu’s father’s finances took a dive. But Sokumbi learned by rebounding from her own money mistakes, too—like a penchant for pricey handbags. Her show offers conversations with regular folks about personal finance, business, and life choices, and is what one reviewer called “the embodiment of women supporting women.” Sokumbi’s shows focus on meaty topics such as money conflicts that lead to divorce, paying off debts with a side hustle, overcoming a scarcity mindset, and finance tips for single mothers.
Award-winning podcaster Farnoosh Torabi (who was also recently featured on Money Confidential), knows from being young, smart, and….crazy-deep in debt. But she got out of it, and she spun that savvy into platform gold. Her lively show features Q&As with Farnoosh and chats with not just “money folks” but artists and visionaries. Recent episodes have touched on real estate, racial equity, student loan debt, the power of intuition, and ditching Amazon—with new eps dropping almost daily.
Host Bobbi Rebell is a certified financial planner with a lot of media experience under her belt. Her episodes stay in the 20-minute range, a real bonus for media-saturated lives, and full transcripts are available on her site. Her episode “That time we joked about $18 cocktails with Amanda Holden” makes for an especially entertaining listen, nice when you need a break from the nitty-gritty. Holden, aka Dumpster Doggy (@dumpster.doggy), broke free from the world of finance bros and scraped by (hence the name) until she got on her feet. Now she’s helping other women take control of their financial futures. Holden wants everyone to name a specific money goal and nail it. She’s a fresh, funny, irreverent voice, and I hope she’ll someday host a pod of her own.
Speaking of Dumpster Doggy, she counts the Freakonomics Episode “The Stupidest Thing You Can Do With Your Money” among her all-time faves, and I’d trust her even if this show weren’t also, generally, the gold-standard in brainy, paradigm-shifting infotainment. In this episode we learn about “the revolution in low-cost index investing,” which is making the market more accessible to all. Freakanomics covers wide ground, not just money matters, and listening in regularly will make you a smarter person in the world.
In her exhortation to “chase purpose, not money,” Patrice Washington defines wealth as well-being, and her guidance centers around six pillars to create that sense of well-being, these being “the areas of life that impact our finances, even when we’re not thinking about it.” If you like what you hear and want all-in, Washington offers a free “Truth About Wealth” audio training, newsletters, and more.
Jean Chatzky, financial editor of the Today show, is the rad woman behind this brand and its judgment-free world of content—in addition to the podcast, there’s a robust website with sections on loans, investing, saving and budgeting, the job sphere, family and community, and more. Listen in for expert takes on talking to your parents about their money, turning art into an income stream, and more.
You Need a Budget
This one is the podcast arm of software tools that teach you to budget in an approachable, no-shame way. If you’ve been telling yourself for years to create a budget but haven’t made the move, YNAB is a great place to start. The podcasts skew short, many under five minutes, but they don’t skimp on compelling subjects, such as the conundrum of wanting to help loved ones (are you in fact enabling?), what the Enneagram can tell us about our financial selves, traits of people who don’t stress over money, and more. Another YNAB pod series, “Debt Stories,” tells real-life stories of families getting out of debt.
Death, Sex & Money
When you need a break from advice and expertise, cue up this award-winning show from WYNC that confronts topics we struggle to discuss through a narrative lens. Recent episodes have explored strip clubs, pandemic dating, and life after 60, and the show offers a “starter kit” list of episodes for new listeners. During the pandemic, they launched a new series, “Financial Therapy,” hosted by a clinical social worker, which explores emotions and anxieties around our financial behaviors.