The Marfo Makeshift Money Manual: Podcast Edition

Hey there, me again.

I haven’t been writing in this space as much as I once had, thanks in large part to strenuous writing posts with Social Media Week, as well as a hectic speaking schedule and content work with Swoot, a podcast app built for “socially powered podcast recommendations.” But the bright side of working with Swoot, is just how many podcast I’ve been able to listen to. Seriously, it’s nearly nonstop listening over here. I’ve applied that process to some of my favorite things – comedy, pop culture, even history – but have also used the wealth of podcasts in the world to educate myself on something I would never have been interested in before this year…money.

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I’ll admit it. I was the queen of letting envelopes from my bank, retirement fund, and the like pile up. To be clear: bills always got paid. But statements got ignored. I was afraid to know what was in there…or more to the point, what likely wasn’t there. So I treated 2019 as a turning point. This was the year I was determined to make myself unafraid. To borrow a phrase from the lovely and eloquent Sara Benincasa – “identify a personal prejudice, and educate it into nonexistence.” For me, that personal prejudice was that I would never have “enough” money. Enough by social standards to be considered a “real adult,” enough by my parents’ standards to be “good with money,” and enough by my own standards to ever feel comfortable.

When it came time to start that education Sara refers to, I quickly realized that there were people I was going to be able to listen to on the topic…and people who didn’t get where I was coming from. As a nontraditional worker, anyone speaking with frequent references to employer 401K’s or regular paychecks wouldn’t work. As a Black woman, anyone speaking about wealth and opportunity as though it was effortless wouldn’t work. In general, I needed to hear from people who looked like me, whose challenges looked like mine, and whose successes felt deeply personal and empowering.

Those people do exist. Their expertise changed the way I look at money. And while it was supplemented by other sources, books, and centers of expertise, I want to lift these folks and their considerable knowledge up.

If you’re setting off on a challenge like mine, I recommend bringing these women along for the journey – ideally on Swoot, because that makes my life better 🙂 You’ll be better, stronger, and smarter for what they share over speakers and through headphones.

Money HaHa
(Even App, new episodes every Tuesday)

I learned about this funny money podcast through a plug on another recent favorite, The Secret Lives of Black Women. Money HaHa’s hosts, Dara M. Wilson and Yasmine Khan manage to do something really important – make money matters light enough that you can laugh at them.

Featuring other comedians and occasional money experts as guests, they share statistics that inform the topic of the day, encourage listeners to act on the advice they hear with their “Action Item” segment, and prevent a fear of spending with their “It Was Worth It” segment – in which you share what you’re glad you spent money on that week. As someone who had apparently come to envision good money management as fanatical saving, the idea of celebrating spending was, no joke (pun recognized), revolutionary to me.

I already knew comedy was a favorite of mine…and Dara and Yasmine are going a long way to make money a favorite thing to talk about as well.

Standout Ep – (014) Gender Income Gap: Ask for Everything (w/ Tawny Newsome)

This is Uncomfortable
(Marketplace, new episodes every Thursday)

Even before I deemed myself “okay with money,” I always loved listening to Marketplace. I suspect the reason why, is that they were able to take concepts around money that I didn’t fully understand, and lay them into narratives that I could follow and be interested by. So this new podcast, about money and the very clear ways in which it can be uncomfortable, came along at just the right time.

Hosted by Reema Khrais, each episode goes into topics like managing income differences in friend groups, negotiating salary, talking about debt, and more with relatable stories and tips on how to manage the issues in your own life. I appreciate that the throughline for these stories is an acknowledgment of just how hard these conversations can be. The episodes are short, but the impact of each one has lasted for me. I recommend you checking them out too.

Standout Ep – I have class anxiety

So Money with Farnoosh Torabi
(multiple episodes each week)

I came across So Money when Farnoosh was announced as a speaker for an upcoming women’s money conference I’ll be attending (I’m telling y’all, I’m into this now). I rushed to check out her podcast, and was so delighted to hear the tone and substance of her financial advice. She mixes up the show with a blend of interviews, and a recurring “Ask Farnoosh” segment where she answers listener questions in depth.

As with the women before, I always appreciate any financial advice that acknowledges that one plan doesn’t fit all, and the rules aren’t always the same for everyone. Farnoosh’s approach allows for differing circumstances, and seeks to help people “live a richer, happier life.”

Standout Ep – 945: Ladies Get Paid Founder Claire Wasserman

Clever Girls Know
(roughly twice monthly)

I came across the Clever Girls Know podcast through the Instagram account for the parent company, Clever Girl Finance. (By the by, I could do a whole separate list like this about Instagram accounts to guide your money journey!) Founded by Bola Sokunbi, the advice is accessible and approachable, while also holding readers/users/listeners to account.

Both the podcast and the Instagram account work in support of the Clever Girl Finance platform, which offers articles, resources, and online courses to help you organize and maintain a strong and secure relationship with your money.

Standout Ep – 122: Pricing Your Products and Services + Money Mindset Tips to Succeed in Business with Tess Wicks

Brunch and Budget
(roughly twice monthly)

I learned about Brunch and Budget from host Pamela Capalad’s appearance on The Deliberate Freelancer. I was so pleased with the advice she presented on that show, I hopped over to see what she had to offer. Her approach, interspersing financial advice with music that frequently applies to the topic at hand, makes these challenging topics feel comfortable and conversational…not unlike her approach to dispensing financial advice: meeting over brunch.

Standout Ep – 211: Back to Basics – Your Money Personality

Secrets of a Money Mogul
(currently on hiatus)

I had the pleasure of meeting the host of this podcast, Jalesa Ann, at Podcast Movement back in August. She presented a wonderful session about marketing podcasts – and rolled admirably with a disruption in the form of a fire alarm – and got me intrigued about the advice she was dispensing on her podcast.

Just as she was on stage, Jalesa talks about money on the podcast in an empowering, caring, and accessible way. She mixes longer episodes with tips and strategy, in with shorter “motivational minutes” to keep you moving forward even when saving, investing, and getting by feel difficult. There are faith-based elements incorporated into the show, which can be important for those who acknowledge faith as a piece of their money journey. And on the whole, she brings a grounded and inspirational mindset to understanding and taking control of your money.

Standout Ep – 18: Financial Freedom Ain’t Free

Michelle is Money Hungry
(several episodes monthly)

Michelle Jackson co-presented alongside Jalesa Ann at Podcast Movement, so I naturally had to check out her podcast as well. As a fellow “multipotentialite,”  I knew that what she had to say would resonate with me. And true to form, she spoke quite a bit about how money works for freelancers and the self-employed. I appreciate how she speaks openly about the challenges of working in this fashion, and the industriousness with which she secured her financial security…while also making time and space to try new things.

Standout Ep – How to Get Paid What You’re Worth

What pods did I miss? Anything I should be listening to?