Money Management

6 TED Talks About Money Management and Happiness

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Want to feel inspired?

Watch these six ted talks about money, personal finance, and happiness to get your finances on track.

#1. Why 2.5 Billion Heartbeats Might Change The Way You Think About Money: Preet Banerjee at TEDxUTSC

Why it’s a must watch: Preet Banerjee does an excellent job of shifting your perspective on debt.

Favorite quotes:

  • Debt used to be a four-letter word. Technically it’s still a four-letter word, but I mean it used to be a four-letter word. You go back far enough in history and if you borrowed money to buy something that went down in value, people would look at you funny. Today debt is everywhere. It’s so normal that if you tell people you don’t carry a balance on your credit card you’re the weird one. We need to start hating debt again
  • When you walk into a bank it’s not the bank that’s really lending you money — you’re borrowing money from your future self. 
  • Do you want to guess what the cost of interest is from 18 to 65 if you carry a balance of $5,000? It’s $75,000 in credit card interest just by carrying $5,000.
  • Think of borrowing money today as negotiating a future pay cut for yourself. 

#2. Money Can Buy Happiness: Michael Norton at TEDxCambridge

Why it’s a must watch: Sharing a strong purpose with your spouse about money is fundamental to managing it well together.

Favorite quotes:

  • Almost everywhere we look, we see that giving money away makes you happier than keeping it for yourself.
  • Across all these different contexts — your personal life, your work life, and even silly things like intramural sports — we see that spending on other people has a bigger return for you than spending money on yourself.

#3. Financial Literacy: Mellody Hobson at TEDxMidwest

Why it’s a must watch: By far the most motivational of the talks. Mellody came from poverty to become the president of Ariel Investments. In her talk, she shares four quotes that most impacted her life, beautifully weaving in personal stories of her own.

Favorite quotes:

  • As women, we’re raised to have rescue fantasies and I’m here to tell you no one is coming.
  • I think about, especially today, all of these individuals who are risk-averse. They don’t want to take risks. They have their money sitting in cash, which is basically making nothing, or they say “I’m scared of the stock market and I don’t want to invest.” By being scared, they actually lose out over the long term because over the long term the stock market has outperformed all other investments.

#4. Get Serious, Get Smart, Get Going! Kathleen Murphy at TEDxBeaconStreet

Why it’s a must watch: A great talk for those in a relationship as Kathleen discusses many things we simply don’t like to think about.

Favorite quotes:

  • You can’t delegate your future.
  • Women overwhelmingly defer to their spouse on financial matters. The primary reason? They think men are “better with numbers,” despite the fact that there is overwhelming evidence that women are the better long-term investors.
  • I want to let you know a little secret that the financial service industry does not like to promote: investing is not that hard. Anyone can do it, if you just take a little time.
  • Make sure that you take control of your future by taking control of your money. It’s your life, it’s your future, it’s your dreams. What the heck are you waiting for?

#5. When Money Isn’t Real – The $10,000 Experiment: Adam Carroll at TEDxLondonBusinessSchool

Why it’s a must watch: Kids can cause their share of financial problems in a marriage. As a father of young children, I’ve been thinking a lot about this subject. As I rarely use cash, the only interaction my kids have with money is when I spend using a credit card.

Favorite quotes:

  • When money becomes more and more of an idea, less tangible and therefore more abstract, it changes the way we interact with it.
  • I believe that kids today are being raised in a world where money is no longer real — it’s actually an illusion, [though] it has very real consequences. 
  • If kids are given financially relevant experiences in their lives and someone is there to help them learn the lessons from those experiences, they have a higher likelihood of achieving financial success later in life.

#6. A Rich Life With Less Stuff: The Minimalists at TEDxWhitefish

Why it’s a must watch: Being happy with less is one of the biggest mindset shifts one can make to lead a richer life.

Favorite quote:

  • And so we’d like to encourage everyone to take a look at your day-to-day lives. Take a look at whatever eats up the majority of your time. Is it checking email, or Facebook, or watching TV? Is it shopping online or at retail stores? Is it working hard for a paycheck to buy stuff you don’t need — things that won’t make you happy? Now, it’s not that we think there’s anything inherently wrong with material possessions, or working a nine-to-five. There’s not. We all need some stuff. We all have to pay the bills, right? It’s just that, when we put those things first, we tend to lose sight of our real priorities. We lose sight of life’s purpose. And so maybe getting some of the excess stuff out of the way, clearing the clutter from our lives, can help us all focus on everything that remains — things like health, relationships, growth, contribution and community.

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R.J. Weiss
R.J. Weiss is the founder and editor of The Ways To Wealth, a Certified Financial Planner™, husband and father of three. He's spent the last 10+ years writing about personal finance and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, MSN Money, and other publications.

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