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7 Money Podcasts You Should Be Listening to Right Now

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Whether you want to be inspired, entertained, or just learn a thing or two about money, there are so many podcasts out there that deliver. Here are seven great shows that dive deep into the topic of personal finance without putting you to sleep.

1. OPEN ACCOUNT

In each episode, MTV correspondent—and host—SuChin Pak interviews a celebrity (from writers to sports stars to comedians) and explores their relationship with money. Pak has talked about spending habits with Portland Trail Blazers center Meyers Leonard. She’s interviewed SNL writer Paula Pell about the power of negotiating. And Pak often discusses her own history and relationship with money, too. 

Reviewers have called it relatable and conversational, and it certainly is, but it’s also incredibly inspiring to hear success stories from people who have struggled with money—from not having enough of it to mismanaging it to figuring out how to earn more of it. 

2. STACKING BENJAMINS

If you’re not already a money nerd, Stacking Benjamins may just turn you into one. It has a fun, down-to-earth format that makes even the most complex personal finance topics seem accessible. Guests include financial experts and authors, and the hosts themselves (Joe Saul-Sehy and the “Other Guy” or OG) have backgrounds in finance. 

Not only will you learn a lot about everything from student debt to investing to Bitcoin, but you’ll also probably laugh a lot, too. The hour-long show has a great sense of humor, which goes a long way toward making a seemingly dull topic like personal finance seem approachable and—dare we say—fun.

3. M.O.N.E.Y

This is a newly launched show from popular bloggers J. Money of Budgets are Sexy and Paula Pant of Afford Anything. J. Money established his site chronicling his own evolving relationship with money, and Pant’s passion seems to lie in building wealth and finding ways to increase income. 

As a result, their podcast is focused on financial independence. As J. Money puts it:

So a lot of building wealth talk, investing tips, how to cut expenses, budgeting better, reaching financial freedom, entrepreneurship, and pretty much crafting a kick-ass lifestyle for yourself. The whole point of money at the end of the day, right?

In general, the show has an inspiring, motivational take on money, and both hosts like to keep things fun and lighthearted. 

4. MARKETPLACE WEEKEND

Along with her producers, host Lizzie O’Leary does an excellent job of turning complicated economic issues into easy-to-understand personal stories. The show often takes on heavy topics, like China’s economy and stock market uncertainty, and balances them with lighter subjects, like money lessons from Star Wars and interviews with celebrities about their own financial lessons. 

The show is about an hour long, often includes interviews, and describes itself as “a conversational look at where the economy collides with real life.” You’ll learn quite a bit in an hour, and each episode usually includes a few different topics.

5. PLANET MONEY

An NPR production, Planet Money is more economics than personal finance, but it explores seemingly dry topics that are actually pretty fascinating. From exploring the custom of tipping to explaining how oil prices influence the world, the hosts are excellent at keeping the show engaging and easily digestible. Typically, the show only includes two hosts at a time, which falls in line with their elevator pitch

Imagine you could call up a friend and say, ‘Meet me at the bar and tell me what's going on with the economy.’ Now imagine that's actually a fun evening. That's what we're going for at 'Planet Money'.

Each episode is only 15 to 20 minutes long and usually includes interviews, so they’re relatively quick bites of fascinating information.

6. SO MONEY

Money guru Farnoosh Torabi has an impressive roster of interviews, including Margaret Cho, Tim Ferriss, and Gretchen Rubin. Her show focuses on candid conversations about money. Guests discuss their own relationships with money as well as their financial philosophies and ideas for building wealth and increasing income. 

The show is inspiring, informative, and entertaining. At just over half an hour, it’s also perfect for your commute.

7. LISTEN MONEY MATTERS

Hosted by a self-proclaimed “money geek” and a “young guy with his own small business,” Listen Money Matters presents money topics in an actionable, easy-to-understand way. While the topics are pretty wide-ranging in subject matter—they cover everything from making money to dealing with finances in a relationship—each episode will leave you wanting to tackle one important part of your financial picture. 

What’s more, the hosts are funny, and they’re learning about money right along with their listeners. Most episodes include interviews with experts who help break down the complicated stuff.

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Why You Should Think Twice About Drinking From Ceramics You Made by Hand
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Ceramic ware is much safer than it used to be (Fiesta ware hasn’t coated its plates in uranium since 1973), but according to NPR, not all new ceramics are free of dangerous chemicals. If you own a mug, bowl, plate, or other ceramic kitchen item that was glazed before entering the kiln, it may contain trace amounts of harmful lead.

Earthenware is often coated with a shiny, ceramic glaze. If the clay used to sculpt the vessel is nontoxic, that doesn’t necessarily mean the glaze is. Historically, the chemical has been used in glazes to give pottery a glossy finish and brighten colors like orange, yellow, and red.

Sometimes the amount of lead in a product is minuscule, but even trace amounts can contaminate whatever you're eating or drinking. Over time, exposure to lead in small doses can lead to heightened blood pressure, lowered kidney function, and reproductive issues. Lead can cause even more serious problems in kids, including slowed physical and mental development.

As the dangers of even small amounts of lead have become more widely known, the ceramics industry has gradually eliminated the additive from its products. Most of the big-name commercial ceramic brands, like Crock-Pot and Fiesta ware, have cut it out all together. But there are still some manufacturers, especially abroad, that still use it. Luckily, the FDA keeps a list of the ceramic ware it tests that has been shown to contain lead.

Beyond that list, there’s another group of products consumers should be wary of: kiln-baked dishware that you either bought from an independent artist or made yourself. The ceramic mug you crafted at your local pottery studio isn’t subject to FDA regulations, and therefore it may be better suited to looking pretty on your shelf than to holding beverages. This is especially true when consuming something acidic, like coffee, which can cause any lead hiding in the glaze to leach out.

If you’re not ready to retire your hand-crafted ceramic plates, the FDA offers one possible solution: Purchase a home lead testing kit and analyze the items yourself. If the tests come back negative, your homemade dishware can keep its spot on your dinner table.

[h/t NPR]

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Smiling Could Improve Your Athletic Performance—But Your Grins Can't Be Fake
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Athletes obviously enjoy breaking a sweat, but it’s not often that you’ll see one break into a smile while in the throes of competition. Yet that’s exactly what many coaches instruct them to do: Grinning mid-race has been said to relax muscles and boost physical performance. Recently, a group of researchers put this theory to the test, according to The New York Times. Their findings were published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise.

Researchers from Ulster University in Northern Ireland and Swansea University in Wales instructed a group of 24 non-professional runners—both men and women—to shift between smiles and scowls while running on a treadmill. The volunteers were told that the experiment would measure how certain factors affected the amount of oxygen they used while jogging at various running speeds.

For the experiment’s first stage, runners wore face masks that measured their breathing. As they exercised until fatigue, researchers asked them to rate how they felt and report their coping strategies—for example, whether were they ignoring their pain or embracing it.

The study’s second segment required volunteers to engage in four individual runs, each lasting for six minutes. Mid-run, they were told to smile both genuinely and continuously, to scowl, to relax their torsos using a visualization technique, or to simply fall back on their usual endurance mindsets.

Smiles didn’t always improve runners’ performances. A few subjects picked up the pace while grimacing, possibly because these “game faces” made them ultra-determined to beat their personal records. But overall, runners with smiles were nearly 3 percent more efficient than normal. While seemingly insignificant, this difference is large enough to affect someone’s race performance, experts say.

Keeping in mind the study’s small size, the authors conclude that exercising while smiling might reduce muscular tension and thus amp up performance. But in order to gain this positive effect, athletes must beam genuinely. Fake smiles, like the kind you’ll see in school pictures, don’t work as many facial muscles, and therefore result in lower levels of relaxation.

Since it’s hard for anyone (let alone a focused athlete) to maintain an authentic smile during prolonged periods of strenuous activity, scientists suggest smiling near a race’s end, in 30-second intervals.

[h/t The New York Times]

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