For auditory learners, commuters, or gym-goers, personal finance podcasts offer a convenient, pocket-sized alternative to reading books or articles. They also cover a variety of topics from coupons to car insurance to the debt crisis.
Listen in to these eight podcasts to learn new investment strategies or beef up your money knowledge on the go:
1. Brian Preston's The Money Guy: Brian Preston, a Georgia-based wealth manager, certified financial planner, and blogger/podcaster, chats with co-host Bo Hanson about a variety of money topics, offering tips on bypassing Coinstar fees, lowering utility bills, comparing airfare costs, and otherwise trimming your budget to focus on the reducing debt and saving for the future (though Preston isn't against enjoying a nice vacation). His 30- to 45-minute podcasts use a breezy, conversational tone to break down budgeting into simple, actionable steps.
Takeaway: Shopping and booking travel through Upromise.com allow you to earn rewards toward a high-yield savings account or tax-deferred 529 plan for college.
2. The Clark Howard Show: No-nonsense consumer advocate Clark Howard shares money-saving tips several times a week in this radio show and podcast. He also answers questions from callers about saving for retirement, buying a more fuel-efficient car, and getting the best rates on calling overseas. Howard's motto is "where you learn to save more and spend less and avoid getting ripped off." Each two-hour radio show is edited into two parts of roughly 35 minutes each.
Takeaway: When a cashier rings up your purchases, always pay attention to make sure you're being charged the correct price.
3. The Consumerism Commentary: In this weekly podcast produced by the personal finance blog Consumerism Commentary, hosts Luke Landes (aka Flexo), Tom Dziubek, or Bryan J. Busch discuss trends in budgeting and money management with guests like Credit.com co-founder Adam Levin, consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch, and BillGuard.com founder and CEO Yaron Samid. Topics include the creation of the new federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, IRS innocent spouse relief, and the consequences of extreme couponing. Most podcasts are under half an hour.
Takeaway: When using coupons, shop during off-times when cashiers can give you more attention. Also remember that stores can legally refuse your coupons, so manners matter!
4. The DailyDollar: Hosted by Korey Dixon of the DailyDollar newsletter, this weekly podcast aggregates quick, practical budgeting tips around themes like back-to-school savings, life insurance, credit scores, and travel. Most of DailyDollar's podcasts clock in around five minutes, so they're an ideal length for listening while doing quick tasks around the house.
Takeaway: Life insurance policies provided by an employer end once you leave the company, so for many people, it makes sense to buy their own policy.
5. Marketplace Money: American Public Media's Marketplace Money bills itself as "the money show for the rest of us." Running just under an hour each, weekly podcasts feature frequent guests such as Suze Orman and Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed. Recent topics include preparing college freshman to manage their money, financial downsizing, and planning for a natural disaster. Podcast transcripts are also available online if you prefer to read or follow along. For shorter, timelier podcasts, APM also synthesizes and analyzes business news multiple times a day in Marketplace Morning Report and Marketplace Mid-Day Update.
Takeaway: "Structural" changes to your budget, like moving to a smaller home or switching to a cheaper car, are easier to maintain than behavioral changes like skipping dinners out.
[See How to Be a Savvy Cheapskate.]
6. NPR: Planet Money: With new podcasts released on Tuesdays and Fridays, NPR's Planet Money podcast looks at recent international events and how they impact consumers in the United States. Recent topics include the European debt crisis, computer hackers, Norway's oil industry, Switzerland's strong economy (and why it's working against them), and how North Korea keeps foreign currency flowing into the country. Each podcast runs between 14 and 45 minutes.
Takeaway: While the euro falters, demand for the Swiss franc has shot up. Ironically, having such a strong currency has not lowered prices in the country and could hurt Switzerland's export business.
7. Rob Black and Your Money: Portfolio manager and radio show host Rob Black uses stories from behind the scenes of Wall Street to explain market ups and downs and answers stock questions several times a week in the radio show and podcast Rob Black and Your Money. He also muses about business news like the announcement of Steve Job's retirement and what that might mean for the company's stock. Most podcasts run between 45 minutes to over an hour, so it's a good bet for long car rides.
Takeaway: Stock appreciation and depreciation is for traders. Dividends are for investors. As long as you get your dividend, it doesn't matter if the stock price goes up and down.
8. The Winning Investor: Part of the Quick and Dirty Tips podcast series, The Winning Investor offers weekly five- to ten-minute podcasts for self-directed investors. Certified financial planner and author Andrew Horowitz defines investment jargon and guides listeners through basic topics like managing risk, reading a stock chart, and finding a financial adviser. If you prefer to read or follow along with the audio, The Winning Investor also includes written transcripts online.
Takeaway: Don't jump in and out of the market because of emotions or advice from "gurus" who supposedly know how to time the market. Base decisions on current economic data and actual trends.
Looking for more podcast recommendations? Check out our list of 10 Top Investing Podcasts.