Podcasts are a great source for free learning. There are thousands of podcasts available on almost any topic you could want from business to popular culture, sports, arts and literature, technology, religion, pretty much you name it. There are many excellent financial podcasts as well. The best part is they are almost always free.
What is a podcast?
Podcasting is basically a type of audio (and sometimes video) broadcasting across the internet. You can think of it as like a radio program delivered via your computer or your MP3 player. The name was derived from a combination of the Apple popular iPod and the word broadcast.
How do I listen to a podcast?
There are many ways. One the easiest is to download Apple’s free iTunes software. Once installed you can go to the iTunes store and look under podcasts. When you find a podcast that interests you, simply click on it and subscribe. From that point on as new episodes are published they will be automatically downloaded to your computer. You can listen to them straight from your computer if you desire. If you have an iPod or an iPhone, then you very easily sync from iTunes to your device or even have the podcasts downloaded directly to your device.
Another easy way to listen to podcasts if you don’t want to use iTunes but have a smart phone is an app called Stitcher. Stitcher is available for most smartphone platforms and will allow you to download a wide variety of podcasts directly to your phone. Just be careful if you have limits on your data plan for your phone that you stay within those limits.
There are many other ways to download podcasts as well from special software programs called podcatchers to rss readers, but that’s really a topic for a different blog.
So what is available?
Here are some podcasts that I listen to each week.
Dave Ramsey has a daily 3 hour call in show where he discusses matters of personal finance. One hour of that show is offered as a podcast each day. One thing I find especially inspiring on Dave’s program is debt-free Fridays. Each Friday he invites people who have recently paid off their last debt to call in, tell their story and then they get the chance to scream “I’M DEBT FREE.” When I was in the process of trying to work my own way out of debt, I found these weekly calls so encouraging. I knew if they could do it, I could do it too.
Brian Preston is a financial planner from Atlanta, Georgia. He publishes a bi-weekly podcast where he discusses a variety of common sense financial matters. Sometimes he talks about investing, but he talks about a variety of other topics as well. The best part of the show is Brian’s very simple, down to earth, common sense approach to financial matters.
This is a quick little weekly money tip hosted by Laura Adams. Most episodes are less than 10 minutes. She touches on a wide variety of financial issues and provides a few quick tips each week.
Dan Miller is a nationally known career coach and author of 48 Days to the Work You Love and No More Dreaded Mondays. He does a weekly podcast where he discusses questions that people have sent him regarding their career aspirations. Great podcast if you are dissatisfied with your current job and looking at making a change.
This is a great business podcast, particularly if you own your own business. It’s loosely based off Dave Ramsey’s Entreleadership series and his best-selling book,EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches. The bi-weekly episodes are hosted by Chris LoCurto and focus on specific areas of running a business. They generally involve an excerpt of Dave’s teaching from his EntreLeadership classes followed by an interview with various business and leadership experts. Recent interviewees have included people like Michael Hyatt, Patrick Lencioni, Jim Collins, Tony Dungy, and Stephen M. R. Covey.
While technically, this isn’t purely a financial or a career related podcast, I simply cannot recommend it highly enough. I simply love the wisdom that Andy provides. Every episode challenges me to look at my life in a different way that will make me a better person. I listen to quite a few podcasts every week on a wide variety of topics, and I think if I had to choose only one podcast each week it would be this one. I am convinced that listening to Andy makes me a better person, better father, better dad, and better employee.
Listen and learn
Podcasts are a terrific way to learn. I have an hour commute each way every day and I love that I can use things like these podcasts to make productive use of that dead time in the car each day. And the best part is that regardless of your budget, podcasts are free. So even if you are deeply in debt and working your debt snowball, you can still make use of podcasts to find encouragement and learn to manage your finances and your career in better ways.