9 Personal Finance TED Talks and Videos That Will Teach You More Than a (Finance Degree)

Growing up can be stressful when you have to learn how to manage money. From students going to school to parents paying for tuition for their children, money management is a big part of our lives that we need to get right.

One wrong move and it will cost us.

Personal finance is the financial management that a person performs to budget, save and spend their monetary resources over time, and not many such life skills are taught in schools.

The closest you can get to learning about personal finance is if you studied finance at school. How about instead of sitting through hours of lectures to learn everything, consider learning as quickly as possible through short online videos from experts?

Such personal finance can be found on TED Talks. The best part? The lectures are free to listen to anytime online.

Here are nine videos for you to watch and pick up potentially life-changing personal finance tips.

#1 A Life-Changing Class You’ve Never Taken

The speaker notes that personal finance is something we don’t learn in school.

But the crucial decisions that new graduates make when they earn their first paycheck set them on a path to living paycheck to paycheck or to financial freedom. The speaker explains how you should keep part of your salary to save for the future.

Paying only your minimum credit card payments and not thinking about emergency savings will leave you vulnerable if you lose your job tomorrow. You will be vulnerable and will have to rely on credit card debt that will get worse.

To plan ahead, you should think about retirement and negotiate a salary that suits you. The advantages of having low consumer debt are that you have a higher rate of home loan approval and can own a home.

Where to watch this:

Also read: How to start investing with just $100 a month in Singapore

#2 The True Cost of Financial Dependency

Financial dependency is when someone depends on a person, job or situation for money and they feel trapped.

The speaker recounts how she depended on her husband to manage her money, and when an unexpected divorce came, she was left with a house she couldn’t afford and bills she couldn’t pay.

Some people give up their financial power because they may not have a choice in their situation, for example the elderly. She emphasized that knowing about money and having money is not always the solution, you have to be aware of both the money and the situation.

The second way to tackle this is to be financially literate – having the skills and knowledge to make informed decisions about your money. This includes topics such as savings and investment, budgeting and debt.

You can also look for free resources online to learn and establish healthy money habits.

Where to watch this:

#3 Why you should define your fears instead of your goals

The speaker says he relies on stoicism as he deals with his bipolar depression, and he has had several major depressive episodes.

He also shares the exercise “premeditation malorum” which means premeditation of evils. Simply put, this is visualizing worst-case scenarios so you can take action to overcome your fear.

Practicing stoicism – which is training the mind to separate what you can control from what you can’t – can be done by doing exercises to focus on what you can control, which will reduce emotional reactivity, which can be your superpower.

He goes through the define-prevent-repair scenario steps in his mind and writes them down so he is prepared for the worst situations in life. The next few steps to deciding on a scenario are deciding whether he needs to intervene to change things and predicting how things will go in order to be in control of the situation.

Where to watch this:

#4 Why we ignore obvious problems – and how to act on them

We are more likely to ignore obvious problems in life precisely because they are problems. Most of the problems we face are so likely and obvious, but people don’t do anything about it. The speaker talks about gray rhinos – things that are very obvious, highly probable, but still neglected.

She encourages people to take a fresh look at gray rhino situations and talks about why some people see things and deal with them and others just look away. She also talks about being willing to learn and see things you don’t like and correcting our blind spots.

Each one of us has the opportunity to change our attitudes, our own and the people around us.

Where to watch this:

#5 Pay off your credit cards faster with these 4 easy changes

Prioritize your payments instead of looking at a credit card balance and pay off the credit card with the highest interest rates, the speaker shares.

Some tips for paying off your credit cards faster include calling your card company and asking them to lower your interest rate. With timely payment, your credit score will improve, and the credit company will loosen the interest rate given your credit score improvements.

You can also ask to change your payment due date to match your cash flow. Choose the payment date that works best when you have more money in your bank account.

Another tip is to change how often you pay your credit card by splitting your payment to pay more regularly in weeks instead of months.

Where to watch this:

Also read: Editor’s take: Why learning new skills has never been just about pay or career growth

#6 A simple 2-step plan to save more money

Focusing on just one goal at a time instead of having different savings funds can be a way to go to grow the pot of money.

Think of one thing to focus on, for the next six months to a year, and then focus on increasing the amount to save gradually. You can save more when you make progress on one of your savings accounts.

Finding a provider to set up an automatic savings plan is also another easier method for a person to save more.

Where to watch this:

#7 Can’t stick to a budget? Try these tweaks instead

The reality is that most of your spending budget is fixed, and you can’t change much of the money you need to spend.

People struggle with shopping like eating out and delivery. Eating out is the biggest financial regret people have. Instead of focusing on the amount of money, limit the number of times you go out to eat so you can track your budget.

Instead of eating out, sign up for an exercise class or take a picnic without spending $50 or $60 a meal.

Those who order through a delivery app spend on delivery fees and the increased price of the items sold on the app. One tip is to delete the app from the phone or to slow down the pace of purchases by limiting the amount to a payment card.

You can also spend money on others and experiences instead, as they can make you happier, and you might spend less by, for example, making a donation.

Where to watch this:

#8 6 ways to improve your relationship with money

Take control of your personal finances by having a mental talk with your money. The first thing is to talk about your stress on money. Are you spending on things that don’t align with your goals? It’s time to act.

Money doesn’t define you, it’s a mechanism to get things done. Your self-worth is not determined by your net worth. Ask yourself what you are saving for and visualize what you are trying to achieve and the steps to get there.

It’s not about what you make, but what you keep. Can you earn enough for your basic needs? Start small with auto savings accounts or put some money aside in investments. Ask if the items you are buying match your measurements.

Where to watch this:

#9 How to get back to work after a career break

The speaker calls people returning to work after a career break “relaunchers” and talks about how these people take career breaks for elder care, child care reasons, and to pursue a personal interest or personal health issue.

She shares her personal experience navigating back to work and encourages those restarting their careers to make sure people remember the version of you when you last worked, and not really the version of you running around on your own errands in the break.

If you’re returning to work after a career break, don’t hesitate to suggest an internship or internship-like arrangement to an employer that doesn’t have a formal re-entry internship program as a way to get back in the game.

Where to watch this:

Also Read: 5 Popular Basic Finance Courses on Udemy That Will Give You an Unfair Advantage in Investing or Your Workplace

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