If you hide underneath your coffee table when someone brings up taxes or you’re afraid to look at your bank statements, you might reflexively scroll right past podcasts with the word “money” in the name. But surprise! Money podcasts are packed with some of the best storytelling, interviews, and insight into the world — and can often be fun to listen to.
Whether you’re knowledgeable about the economy or completely clueless, there’s a money podcast out there to help you wade through complicated topics like inflation and the jobs market, narratives about crypto, uncomfortable and juicy discussions about stealing, and tips about how marginalised people can financially empower themselves. These shows offer a mix of all of it, painting a larger picture of how we shape the economy, and how the economy shapes our lives.
Every weekday, Planet Money brings you The Indicator, a 10 minute show zooming in on the finances behind work, business, the economy, science, and subject further afield, from burgers to Teflar purses. The limited scope is what makes the show intoxicating: Who doesn’t have 10 minutes to ponder whether The Simpsons are middle class? There are more newsy items too — recent episodes have covered the housing market, inflation, and jobs reports. This show is a reminder that money can be fun to learn about, and is deeply embedded in all the things we enjoy (and consume) day in and day out.
Anna Sale started Death, Sex & Money in 2017 after realising other financial reporting often pussyfooted around harder, more interesting questions about human nature. So she started a show about just that, and many episodes expose our uncomfortable feelings about, and our very real relationships with, money. Anna is gentle and direct, encouraging her guests to talk openly about downsizing after divorce, gambling addictions, and why they steal. This is a money (and death and sex) show about people, and offers some of the most vulnerable interviews you’ll hear anywhere.
In the limited series Crypto Island, PJ Vogt (founding host of Reply All) tells the story of crypto (so far). He tracks crypto’s beginnings and speaks with both enthusiasts, sceptics, and people have gone from one camp to the other. Episode one, “Welcome to Crypto Island,” which seems like it could be its own series, tells the tale of a Fyre Fest-like scam that involved selling plots of (real) land to the crème de la crème of crypto. The show is amusing, informative, and deeply personal — a weird journey through the realms of bitcoin and the blockchain, with PJ is your guide. (It’s been rumoured that we’ll soon see Crypto Island on the small screen, in both documentary and scripted form.)
Marketplace’s This Is Uncomfortable won’t give you straight up money-saving tips, but it does provide deep dives into people’s personal money issues. Reema Khrais shares narratives that illustrate how having poor dental hygiene can cost you, how people have rebuilt themselves after financial devastation, and even how partners who aren’t on the same page about their budgets might benefit from financial couples therapy. It’s an exploration of the ways our finances impact who we are, and how we can rebuild our relationship to money.
A lot of economic buzzwords are thrown around in the new, but what do they really mean? In Bubble Trouble, economist and author Will Page and independent analyst Richard Kramer cut through the noise to deliver inconvenient truths about how financial markets really work. The title references the idea that financial markets repeat their mistakes — but why? Along with the help of economists and consultants, tackling one topic at a time (from an expansive series about hyper-competition to subsidies, Meta and more) Will and Richard seek to answer that question, break complicated stories down into a digestible form, and providing critical context from the financial world.
There’s no greater economic mystery than the porn indistry — that’s what Financial Times reporter Patricia Nilsson realised when she attempted to track down who was in control of the largest pornography company in the world. Hot Money is a narrative account of her investigation, hosted by Nilsson and her editor, Alex Barker. It introduces us to the billionaires, tech giants, and finance companies hiding behind all those magazines and websites to consider the legalities, the heroes and villains, and the history of porn.
A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, and if you’re squeamish about thinking about your finances, comedian, queer icon, and best–selling author Gaby Dunn’s Bad with Money provides a heaping spoonful. Gaby takes a funny, no-bullshit look at everything from girlboss capitalism and pinkwashing, to childcare and pet costs, to NFTs and crypto, all with the aim of getting marginalised people out of poverty. The show includes the participation of journalists, student loan experts, tax specialists, mutual aid organisers, and other money disrupters as it searches for the facts about money, and the feelings that go along with it.
Personal finance expert and journalist Mandi Woodruff joins Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, award-winning financial educator and author of the New York Times bestseller Get Good With Money in Brown Ambition, a show dedicated to helping women of colour go from saving and budgeting to investing for long-term growth. Mandi and Tiffany let you into their lives and experiences, sharing tips, but shifting mindsets to thinking big about internalizing your ability to grow wealth. They’re the best friends you need to help you feel financially empowered.
You probably have a very specific money question — how do you pay for IVF? Will you ever be able to afford a home? How can you stop living paycheck to paycheck? Nationally recognised money expert Stefanie O’Connell Rodriguez has the answers. Issues that feel private are shared by others, and with the help of other guest experts, Stefanie tackles them one by one, stripping away the fear and stigma of talking about tough money problems. This podcast is practical and tactical, offering specific insight and tips that will put you on the right track if you’re feeling a bit lost with anything from budgeting, to taxes, to money and relationships.
Season two of The Heist is combination of storytelling and true crime exploring the enormous wealth gap between Black and white Americans. It follows a tenacious, entrepreneurial Iowa woman named ReShonda Young, who is fighting back using the tools of the banking systems that helped perpetuate it by opening a new Black-owned bank — something no one has managed in more than 20 years. To open a bank, you need to raise a lot of money. And if you’re aiming for majority Black ownership, the wealth gap will fight back every step of the way. Jamie Smith Hopkins spent more than a year reporting on ReShonda’s journey, and the results are personal, urgent, and illuminating.