Money Management

10 TED Talks About Personal Finance, Life, And Happiness You Need To Watch

By | Saturday, September 19, 2015


What a better way to spend a Saturday evening than taking time to watch some inspirational videos across a number of different topics (whilst sipping on wine of course). Last night, I fell into a bit of a TED video bender, which left me feeling inspired and full of ideas for how I can improve my own life over the next few months. Before you know it, the fall and winter season will be upon us and the last three months of 2015 will come to a close (in case anyone was in need of sobering reality check!). What better way to stay inspired and productive than will the help of the stimulating TED talk videos that offer a vast library of powerful ideas.

I’ve rounded up some of the best TED videos I’ve seen, which span topics ranging from personal finance, career advice, consumerism, and illustrate the power of inspiration. Check out these 10 fantastic videos below! I promise you, once you get a taste of them, you too will look up at the clock two hours later and wonder where the time went.

1. Maya Penn — “A Young Entreprenueur Cartoonist, Designer, Activist, And More.” (she’s 13)

Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 8.11.54 AMThis now 13-year-old young entrepreneur (who started her business back when she was only eight years old), is a true inspiration. She creates and sells sustainable fashion in her own home, and she sells it on a website that she coded/created. She then donates portions of her sales back to charity organizations. Take that for a bit of Saturday afternoon inspiration.


2. Stephanie Shirley — “Why Do Ambitious Women Have Flat Heads?”

Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 8.15.18 AMShe founded a female-only software company back in the 1960s and has been a champion for women, a philanthropist, and a highly successful business woman since then. The title of the video alone gets me pumped to watch it, and she says “You can always tell ambitious women by the shape of our heads: They’re flat on top for being patted patronizingly.” What a hero.


3. Shlomo Benartzi — “Saving For Tomorrow, Tomorrow.”

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A fascinating financial talk that is NOT boring! I promise! Economist Shlomo Benzi introduces his “save more tomorrow” plan, which is described as:

“Employees are shown how to save money for retirement without experiencing the pain of “losing” money in the name of saving. The program recommends a balanced approach which can be achieved by simply allocating a percentage of each raise into a retirement account such as a 401(k). The remainder of the money earned from every raise can be spent.”


4. Graham Hill — “Can Less Stuff Lead To More Happiness?”

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Graham Hill gives a short talk about his journey to edit down his life into a 420 square foot apartment. He stresses the importance of making the products in your home more functional, multi utility, and more compact/smaller. He urges us to ask ourselves – do we really love that item we’re about to purchase? Is it worth the amount of space it will take up? Could we do with less material goods to free up our time, energy, and resources? He says, “of course we are going to need to buy some stuff, but we should buy quality items that will last us forever.”


5. Jessi Arington — “Wearing Nothing New.”

Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 8.45.08 AMWhat happens what a fashion blogger and secondhand store shopping obsessed designer from Brooklyn heads to the TED Talk convention with nothing but seven pairs of underwear packed? You get some crazy quirky outfits, which (while they aren’t 100% my taste) illustrate the ability to reduce your carbon footprint, save money, and live your #bestlife. She teaches us to not get invested in material items, and that we don’t need the perfect new outfit to provide us with self worth. A great talk from a bubbly and inspiring individual.


6. Nigel Marshall — “How To Make A Work-Life Balance, Work.”

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Nigel Marshall gives a fantastic talk about the reasons why we need to map out our own plan for a work-life balance, and not allow it to be dictated to us by our employer. He lays out what he imagines a perfectly balanced day looks like, which serves as a useful jumping off point for us to do the same thing for ourselves in our own life.


7. Meg Jay — “Why 30 Is Not The New 20.”

Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 8.59.03 AMClinical psychologist Meg Jay talks to millennials about the most crucial developmental period of their lives — your 20s. She says that many people view this period of their lives as “downtime” — a waiting room where they can goof around until they reach their 30s when life, marriage, and kids become a more vivid reality. Meg says, “claiming your twenties is one of the simplest and most transformative things you can ever do.” She urges the generation of 50 million twenty-somethings to rise to the challenges around them in work, play, love, and life.


8. Larry Smith — “Why You Will Fail To Have A Great Career.”

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This is a hilariously blunt talk in which Larry he calls out and dispels the absurd excuses people invent when they fail to pursue their passions. It’s an inspiring talk that really makes you feel like you have no reason to not push yourself to live to your fullest potential.


9. Alexa Von Tobel  — “One Life-Changing Class You Never Took.”

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Alexa gives a fantastic talk about money, personal finance, and the inherent problem with not being properly educated about personal finance high school or college. She explains that most of us learn abut money on a trial and error basis, yet we make eight to ten money-related decisions per day. This talk is a must-watch! Alexa takes you through the life of a very average new college grad, Jessica, and explains the pitfalls in each of the poor financial decisions Jessica makes and the way in which they affect her future.

10. Susan Colantuo — “The Career Advice You Probably Didn’t Get.”

Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 1.18.12 PMAnother great talk for a primary all-female audience. Susan describes the one piece of powerful career advice you might be surprised to hear put so bluntly, but which might transform the way you work and view your career path. It’s a great talk for new grads too!



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