A new question has crept into my catch-up conversations with friends. They start with “What are you watching?” and “What are you reading?” Then we lean in and almost whisper: “What podcasts are you listening to?”
And while true-crime stories and heartfelt narrative arcs dominate much of the podcast scene, the beauty of the medium is the variety at your fingertips — most of it absolutely free to consume.
If you have money on your mind, there’s a podcast to help, whether you want education or commiseration.
Next time you’re clipping your coupons and working on your budget, tune your ears to one of these personal finance podcasts.
1. Planet Money
This long-running NPR segment and podcast has a way of turning even the most complex or mind-numbing facets of economics into clear, often fun explanations about how money rules our world. Over the summer, the Planet Money team changed their podcast feed into a summer school for economics. And at just 15 to 30 minutes long, we promise your eyes won’t glaze over during the lessons.
“Anyone who tells you women don’t need financial advice specifically for them is wrong,” the “HerMoney” intro page warns. With topics ranging from expert tips to discussions on the psychology of money, financial journalist Jean Chatzky’s half-hour interviews dig into money issues with women in mind but without the froufrou lady branding.
3. Death, Sex & Money
This interview show hosted by Anna Sale covers big, often scary topics with everyone from Oscar-winning actors to prison guards. Money-related conversations tend to come up even if they’re not the focus of the interview. Episodes range from less than 30 minutes to an hour, but the time will fly.
4. Bad With Money
Through interviews with experts and personalities, money non-expert Gaby Dunn opens up some of the most personal questions about money — the ones we won’t even talk about with our best friends. While Dunn’s segment introductions sound more like a book report than an intimate performance, she really shines when she talks with her guests. Episodes tend to hit the 45-minutes mark.
5. So Money With Farnoosh Torabi
“Looking for ways to save on gas or double your double coupons? Sorry. You’re in the wrong place,” the intro for “So Money” quips. Instead, this thrice-weekly show with episodes lasting about 30 minutes focuses on how your relationship with money can help you “live a richer, happier life.”
6. Freakonomics Radio
Using everything from soundtracks to careful storytelling tactics, the makers of this hugely popular podcast know how to captivate listeners. Sometimes the topics are big — like the economics of saving the Amazon rainforest — but usually, this weekly show is surprisingly relatable, no econ degree required. Episodes are usually 30 to 40 minutes.
7. You Need a Budget (YNAB)
Jesse Mecham’s “You Need a Budget” has grown from a blog to a massive budgeting site and system. But before you get overwhelmed, subscribe to the YNAB podcast. Weekly episodes provide quick tips and money reflections, typically in 15 minutes or less (interviews are a bit longer). Listen if you’re familiar with YNAB and want reminders of its concepts.
8. Listen Money Matters
Hosts Andrew Fiebert and Thomas Frank promise “this is not your father’s boring finance show.” “Listen Money Matters” offers actionable advice for the 99% (that would be you and me). Pour yourself a cold one, and settle in for an irreverent weekly show that’s sometimes as much as an hour long.
9. Millennial Money
Certified financial planner Shannah Compton Game talks about the nitty-gritty of setting yourself up for financial success. The show is instructive and tough love-centric, mixing interview episodes with 20-minute monologues from Game.
10. Paychecks & Balances
Don’t let the dulcet tones of hosts Rich and Marcus fool you — these conversations about work and money are upbeat and lighthearted. They say it’s money with a millennial spin, but you don’t have to be a ’90s kid to find yourself nodding along with this show.
Lisa Rowan is a former writer for The Penny Hoarder.