6 TED Talks on Managing Money You Need to Watch

Sometimes it can feel easier to bury your head in the sand than to face the fact that you may not know as much as you should about your finances. Instead of ignoring this reality and hoping you’ll magically master the art of money management, the best thing you can do for yourself and your loved ones is to start learning the ins and outs now. Not sure where to begin? Try TED Talks.

These short clips are filled with expert advice from leaders in their respective fields and can provide the insight and inspiration to help you improve your finances. This first step will make the concept of money feel less daunting and hopefully encourage you to take action and learn more. Take a look at a few of our favorite TED Talks about managing money to get started.

An Honest Look at the Personal Finance Crisis - Elizabeth White

Author Elizabeth White doesn’t hold back when it comes to telling the brutal story of her own financial crisis, and it helps break open the truth for many people her age: they don’t have enough saved for retirement. According to White’s research, nearly half of all American households have no savings for retirement at all. That fact combined with the societal pressure of keeping up appearances means that many are in severe debt. White offers practical advice for people who need to face truths about the things they need to do in order to improve their financial situations. Things like “smalling up,” which White describes as getting rid of everything you can do without so you can save, and “bridgework,” or taking jobs that may be below your experience or pay grade. In short, there’s a lot that may be difficult to take because it involves swallowing your pride, but White delivers it in a palatable pill.

How I Learned to Read – and Trade Stocks – in Prison - Curtis Carroll

When Curtis Carroll was incarcerated at the age of 17 for robbery and murder, he couldn’t read, and he definitely knew nothing about saving and the stock market. Through the telling of his own harrowing personal journey, Carroll’s TED Talk highlights the pandemic of financial illiteracy rife throughout the country and the role it has in keeping communities like the ones he grew up in stuck in a cycle of poverty and crime. Carroll was lucky to have a cellmate who taught him about the stock market, and he not only began studying finance, but he developed a financial literacy class that he teaches with Zak Williams, Robin Williams’s son. The takeaway here is not only to realize that a financially educated incarcerated person has a better chance of becoming a fulfilled tax-paying citizen, but that anyone and everyone can be empowered by financial literacy because it’s an essential tool for everyone.

6 Ways to Improve Your Relationship With Money - Thasunda Duckett

One well-known statistic you’ll hear throughout the TED Talks is that 46% of Americans wouldn’t be able to put together $400 for a sudden emergency, but few of the discussions lay out a clear step-by-step guide like Thasunda Duckett’s. The foundation for getting better with your finances, she posits, is that you have to improve your relationship with money. The former CEO of Chase Consumer Banking has a wealth of experience in finance and has seen time and time again the common mistakes people make when it comes to managing their money. Her TED Talk features solid and straightforward advice, like the fact that you should talk about money to dispel its power and that you should be clear about what you really want from your money. The last piece of simple advice? Be good to yourself, which is important too.

Saving for Tomorrow, Tomorrow - Shlomo Benartzi

Using the concept of behavioral finance, Shlomo Benartzi hosts an interesting TED Talk about human behavior. He shares results from fascinating experiments about gratification, self-control, and action inertia and how those attributes can come into play when it comes to saving and personal finances. Together with Richard Thaler from the University of Chicago, the renowned behavioral economist and professor emeritus at UCLA devised a system called Save More Tomorrow, which was essentially created to help people get around “mental weaknesses” so they can make better financial decisions. The answer, they found, was to create a system that set up a saving plan that removed the perceived pressure of needing to save now by getting a commitment to save in the future. In this amusing talk, you’ll find that there is a way to get around some of the behaviors that block us from our best financial selves, and it’s a relief to know there might be a way out.

One Life-Changing Class You Never Took - Alexa Von Tobel

While a lot of the talks around personal finance involve retirement and how to maximize savings, they don’t focus on the central issue: not enough people learn how to manage money from a young age. Alexa Von Tobel, who is the founder and CEO of personal finance website LearnVest, uses an example case study to showcase all the pitfalls that can happen to a person because of poor financial literacy. Along the way, Von Tobel breaks down the basic requirements that are needed for smart money management, which include budgeting, salary negotiations, and paying off debts. Though the bottom line of this talk is to advocate for personal finance to be added to school curriculums, it’s an important reminder that we can break the cycle of debt by educating ourselves and our children.

Sell Your Crap, Pay Your Debts, Do What You Love - Adam Baker 

In this liberating talk, blogger Adam Baker challenges everything most of us have been told about what it means to be successful and living the American dream. The reality of those myths is that there are many people trying to live up to impossible expectations, and following the conventional rules has resulted in people swimming in debt they are unable to climb out of. Baker takes a radical but realistic approach to his personal finances, which involves evaluating the things you have and distinguishing between the things that you really need and the things you just want. Doing that can help you manage your debt faster and free you to focus on the things you love, whether it’s changing to your dream career or retiring earlier than you thought you could. On his website ManvsDebt, Baker outlines each step so you can take the next step after watching the TED Talk.

The information contained herein was prepared for general information and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional, tax, financial or legal advice or a legal opinion on specific facts or circumstances. Eloan a Division of Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, its subsidiaries and/or affiliates are not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or tax advice. Please consult with your attorney, financial consultant/planner, accountant, and/or tax advisor for advice concerning your particular circumstances.