Check out these top 5 TED Talks if you want to learn more about personal finance!
I love TED Talks because they are short, educational, sometimes motivational lectures on pretty much any topic you can think of. Also, many times these lectures give me a completely different perspective on a certain topic – and I love those eye-opening moments. TED Talks about personal finance are some of my favorite. Here’s a list of my top 5!
Most people never took a personal finance class in school – elementary school, high school, or college! In Alexa’s Ted Talk, she emphasizes the importance of financial education. By walking us through a very typical financial situation of an American (student loan debt, consumer debt, no retirement savings, not negotiating salary), she points out that knowledge could have prevented this bad situation. If we didn’t have to learn about money through trial and error, and had the opportunity to learn about money early in our lives, we could set ourselves up for financial success.
This starts as a very sobering TED Talk. Sajay talks about the extraordinary number of students in debt, the high cost of a college degree, and the fact that more than one-quarter of students can’t make their loan payments. Sajay suggests we treat higher education like a consumer product. Before purchasing a college education (before paying tuition), the college should warn the consumer (the student and parents) on the expected income for the chosen major. I highly recommend this Ted Talk if you are planning on financing college with student loans or if you are in college trying to pick a major. I listened to this Ted Talk after college while still in debt and was ferociously nodding my head during the lecture!
Dusty talks about education arbitrage, which is a term I did not know before listening to this Ted Talk. Education arbitrage is essentially the disparity between higher education and income. This talk is at a pretty academic level (think: economics), but makes very valid and easy to understand points. Roughly half of college graduates are in jobs that don’t require a degree; they are in jobs that don’t pay more for a degree, yet the student/employee still has to pay student loans. Unfortunately, these high student loans and low income are delaying people from buying houses, cars, even saving for their own kids’ college education! Dusty wants to eliminate education arbitrage and emphasizes that you need to make sure there is a job and a salary before you make the decision on what your major is.
This talk only has a few thousand views and I have no idea why. Kelly interviews students on Johns Hopkins campus and asks them basic financial questions. The students’ answers (“uh, I have no idea”) emphasizes that the lack of financial knowledge and the inability to make basic financial decisions is not an intelligence problem. Our society lacks basic financial education and Kelly advocates the importance of getting accessible financial education at the right time before making financial decisions/mistakes. Millennials want to change the world, but we need to understand how to handle our money in order to do that.
Giving should always play a part in personal finance…and Michael explains why. He reveals results of his studies showing that spending money on others rather than on yourself increases your happiness. Instead of making sure you have enough money in your “fun” category, maybe you should make sure you have enough money in your “giving” category.
Adam explains that we don’t need things (crap) and we don’t need to rely on debt to make us happy or to make us rich. Through sharing his story, Adam explains that he was able to achieve his path to happiness, his “freedom”, by selling his stuff and getting out of debt. He encourages us to do the same. This is a great TED Talk for someone looking for some motivation and a “why” to get out of debt.
Personally, I’m so glad that I decided to get out of my six figures of student loan debt – being debt-free is such an incredible feeling that I didn’t think I would ever get to experience. I used the Debt Snowball Method to get out of debt. If you need to jump-start your debt-free journey, grab these 3 free debt snowball printables (you’ll get them over the course of 3 days) to help you organize, visualize, and pay off your debt.
Do you watch/listen to TED Talks? What’s your favorite? <– it doesn’t have to be related to personal finance!