Plugged In: My 5 (I mean 6) Favorite Personal Finance Podcasts


I love listening to podcasts.  Especially podcasts about personal finance.  They have been instrumental in reshaping my financial perspective over the past few years.  So, I thought I’d share what I can’t get enough of.  Here are my 5 favorite personal finance podcasts:

#1 – Radical Personal Finance

This is the one that jumpstarted my interest in financial freedom.  I had to give Joshua Sheats at Radical Personal Finance top billing.

The name of the show says it all.  There is nowhere within earshot of an iPhone where you can find more breadth and depth about personal finance than on Sheats’ show.  There’s an hour-plus long episode about dumpster diving, for heaven’s sake!  I love that one.

But don’t let that seemingly silly topic fool you.  He talks about “normal” stuff too… Tax-planning, student loans, all kinds of insurance… Sheats has forgotten more about finance than I could hope to absorb in my lifetime.  His goal for the show is to build out a “masterclass on how to achieve financial freedom.”  And he’s doing a great job so far.

The episodes are longer than most podcasts.  Many of his early shows are longer than a feature-length film.  And he tends to ramble.  But the longer format allows him to get really deep into his topics, many of which are so novel and new to me that I really don’t mind.  Besides, I actually prefer longer podcasts.

He can get preachy.  Some episodes are controversial.  I certainly don’t agree with everything he says.  But if you want a podcast that will challenge your preconceptions and stretch your mind about money, there is no better place to start than here.

One of my favorite episodes:  Interview with Trevor Van Hemert of Pedal to Petal About His Composting Business, Entrepreneurship, SPIN Farming, Financial Independence, and Cryptocurrencies RPF0037

#1B – Dough Roller Money Podcast

(Updated June 2, 2017 to include a podcast that I should have mentioned in the original article)

I left Rob Berger’s popular Dough Roller Money Podcast out initially, because, I don’t know, I thought it was a little too “basic” for my list.  Maybe not skewed enough toward FIRE-related topics.  Hmmm.  That’s not fair.  

Yes, Berger does cover a lot of the basics of personal finance in his podcast, but it’s usually from an interesting angle and I always seem to learn something new when I listen.  I’ve listened to almost every episode, in fact.  Even if it’s a topic I think I’m well versed in, Berger tackles the topic in a way that helps me understand it at a much deeper level.  It’s always worth my time.  

Berger is a former lawyer, a good-hearted Atticus Finch that I’d love to have on my side in a courtroom and I’d love to have a beer with in an Irish pub.  And like any good lawyer, he has a way of breaking every topic down into easily digestible bits.  Maybe it’s why his podcast had seemed so basic to me when I wrote my original list and left him out.  He’s just that good at simplifying complex topics.   

Well, upon further review, The Dough Roller Money Podcast is easily one of my top personal finance podcasts.  And it has been for quite a while.  Berger is extremely easy to listen to and his 30-60 minutes on the air flies by.  I like Dough Roller more and more each time I listen, so I’m going to squeeze it in between 1 and 2.

One of my favorite episodes:  DR 074: My Real Life ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’

#2 – Listen Money Matters

Crack a cold one and enjoy a laid back conversation about money with Andrew and Thomas and their guests on Listen Money Matters.  Fueled by banter and wit (and beer), Listen Money Matters has become one of the most popular personal finance podcasts on the planet.  They are just damn fun to listen to.

The podcast is infused with great money lessons too.  Not necessarily because they know every topic themselves, but because they book great guests and ask pretty darn good questions.  It’s fun to learn along with them.

Beware!  There’s language (blame the beer).  And every once in a while they lose track of what they’re talking about (blame the pumpkin spice ale).  But they usually find themselves down a fun rabbit hole.

Even if it’s a boring topic I’ve already heard all about, I’ll usually want to listen to how Andrew and Thomas break it down.  Did I mention fun?

One of my favorite episodes:  Level Up Your Life With Steve Kamb

#3 – Afford Anything

I was originally lured in by the infectious personality of former co-host and renegade blogger J. Money of Budgets Are Sexy when this podcast was known as The M.O.N.E.Y. Show.  Then J. Money up and quit 26 shows in because it was stressing him out.  Talk about a kick to the gut!  I didn’t really care for the other co-host, Paula Pant, so I almost deleted the feed.  I’ve since changed my mind about her.  And I am really glad I kept listening to her podcast.

Rebranded as Afford Anything to align with a blog of the same name, Pant’s program is quickly becoming a favorite even without the splashy J. Money.  It turns out Paula Pant can pull off a pretty slick podcast on her own.  It’s professionally produced, well-organized and the topics and guests are almost always interesting.  Pant asks great questions and even recaps key take-aways at the end of each show.

Even though Pant is an expert on real estate investing and rental income, she’s careful not to make that the theme of her show.  In fact, her show is not even entirely focused on money.  Afford Anything is really about how to set priorities, how to get the most out of your money and your time.  A great example is when she lets us listen in on one of her mastermind calls, a business strategy session with J.D. Roth.

Pant can come across as know-it-all, even a little fake at first.  But that may be just her “radio voice”.  Hey, some people have one when they step in front of a microphone.  I probably do… but my voice sucks, so you’ll never hear it.  Besides, she is a very smart person.  If that sort of thing annoys you (like it annoyed me), GET OVER IT and continue listening.  You’ll be glad you did.

One of my favorite episodes:  #42: The Incredible Value of Deep Work, Instead of Distraction, with Cal Newport

#4 – Planet Money

I love this show.  Brought to us by National Public Radio (NPR), Planet Money explores every corner of the world economy.  Every niche big and small.

Planet Money does an awesome job tackling economic topics by slicing them up into bite-sized stories we can all relate to.  Ever wanted to know how import tariffs work?  Me neither.  At least I didn’t think so.  But the Planet Money team found a way to dress it up in a holiday story on Santa suits.  Fascinated by minimum wage law?  Not really.  Well, Planet Money found a mall in California quite literally straddling both sides of the debate.

There is a show about the economics of red roses on Valentines Day, how much dinosaur bones are worth, how to buy jeans from North Korea, and even a show explaining why apples don’t taste like shit anymore.  There are hundreds of interesting topics to choose from.  If money is moving through it, Planet Money wants to explore it and share it with you.

One of my favorite episodes:  Episode 609:  The Curse Of The Black Lotus  (about how creators of Magic kept their card game bubble from busting)

#5 – The Voluntary Life

Ahh… Relax and sip on a soothing conversation with Jake Desyllas of The Voluntary Life.  His soft English accent and steady pace is like cocoa with little marshmallows floating on top (extra marshmallows when his wife co-hosts).  Seriously, this guy would friggin’ put you to sleep if his topics weren’t so interesting.  At least they’re interesting to me.

The Voluntary Life leans heavily into the philosophy of money and life.  Desyllas talks extensively about entrepreneurship and financial freedom.  He has even written a couple books on those topics.  But I especially enjoy his take on minimalism, productivity and just living an all-around rich, unencumbered life.  Desyllas literally lives out of a suitcase (all of his stuff fits inside) and is quite happy to do so.

I don’t agree with everything he says. Desyllas’ philosophy on reason and faith doesn’t perfectly align with my own values.  But like I said, I love listening to podcasts that stretch my mind and this one does just that.

I have to say one more thing.  I wish the episodes were longer.  If you’re listening, Jake.  No more 9-minute episodes, mmm-kay?  

One of my favorite episodes:  217 Panama: Our Adventure Begins (because it marks the start of his perpetual travel adventure)

Honorable Mention – The Optimal Living Daily franchise

What a great concept!  Creator Justin Malik scours the blogosphere for personal development posts and reads the best of what he finds on his Optimal Living Daily podcast.

Optimal Living Daily spawned 3 other podcasts (Optimal Finance Daily, Optimal Health Daily and Optimal StartUp Daily).  Optimal Finance Daily is, of course, my favorite.  I love plugging into the Optimal Finance feed and listening to the best personal finance content out there without having to search for it myself.  Malik curates the content for me.  I can’t wait until I’m featured on the show!

What are your favorite personal finance podcasts?  I’m always looking for new podcasts to listen to.

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    • I’m a big fan of Rob Berger! I should’ve done 6 spots! Seems like a great guy and knows how to explain stuff really well. Probably the lawyer in him. Sometimes a little too basic for me, but I should’ve added him to the list nonetheless. Good call!


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