If you’re somehow unaware of the cultural obsession with podcasts, you’re seriously missing out. Plain and simple: Podcasts are an excellent way to learn about money. While there are a number of personal finance podcasts out there, many of us lack the higher-level financial literacy to truly benefit.
But these seven are incredibly accessible — well-produced, excellently researched, full of big personality, and on heavy rotation with the DailyWorth staff.
1. To understand the economy, listen to Planet Money.
Planet Money’s simple tagline, “The economy explained,” isn’t kidding: The show has all the education of a college course without any of the pretension. Imagine your most patient and interesting friend simply chatting with you about the economy in an accessible and engaging way, and you will have conjured Planet Money. Born out of This American Life, Planet Money is a must-listen for anyone who wants to know what’s going on in the world without first obtaining a degree in economics.
Start with: The Case Against Patents
2. To see how a business is built, listen to Start Up.
If you’re already a fan of podcast all-stars Planet Money or This American Life, Start Up is for you. Hosted by Alex Blumberg, Start Up traces the first stages of a company (it focuses on a media company in its first season) from initial conception to gaining investors, setting up an office, and trying to turn a profit in sometimes cringe-worthy detail. Now in its second season, Start Up covers a new company, a dating app run by two young women looking to change the online dating game.
Start with: #1: How Not to Pitch a Billionaire
3. For female-focused, no-fuss information about the business of being a grown-up, try Stuff Mom Never Told You.
Stuff Mom Never Told You is true to its name — hosts Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin cover a wide range of nitty-gritty information about how to be an adult. While their content isn’t 100 percent money-focused, their shows about working women, the socialization that holds women back, and the education gap between men and women when it comes to finance are clear and compelling.
Start with: Are Women Less Financially Literate Than Men?
4. For personal finance and quick explainers, listen to Money Girl.
If you’re looking for personal finance advice, it doesn’t get simpler than Laura D. Adams’ Money Girl podcast. In her bite-size podcasts, she explains vital topics like the pros and cons of credit unions versus banks, the difference between a 401(k) and a Roth IRA, and the effects of hard and soft credit checks. Plus she answers personal questions, helping you to better control your money.
Start with: 4 Radically Simple Places to Invest Your Money
5. If you’re fascinated by the weird truths in the world, listen to Freakonomics Radio.
You might remember the success of Freakonomics, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner’s 2005 book that applied the principles of economics to those questions you never thought to ask: Why do drug dealers tend to live with their moms? Are parents actually that important? Which is more dangerous: a gun or a swimming pool? Freakonomics Radio expands on that foundation, helping you better understand the world around you — or just give you some excellent fodder for your next dinner party.
Start with: Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better?
6. If you want to up your side gigs game, Smart Passive Income is for you.
Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income podcast gives you a look into the ins and outs of passive-income businesses, which generate money but require little to no regular effort. Flynn regularly interviews successful entrepreneurs who have nailed the passive-income model, and gives real advice about ways to cut down on your effort without risking revenue.
7. Honorable mention: This American Life.
You’re probably already familiar with Ira Glass and team’s narrative storytelling show, and it lends itself brilliantly to explaining large financial events. Don’t fully understand the 2008 housing crisis, from which we’re still trying to bounce back? Listen to The Giant Pool of Money. How about why everyone still hates banks? Try Bad Bank.