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Financial troubles can feel paralyzing, but even if you don’t have looming debts or expenses, money can still be hard to manage.
Over the years, a handful of TED speakers have shared their wisdom for taking control of your personal finance.
Here are some ideas to consider the next time you’re feeling stressed about money.
“How to buy happiness” by Michael Norton
Harvard professor Michael Norton shared in his 2011 talk the findings from research on giving.
While we may want the newest toys as kids, Norton’s research has shown the quickest way to boost your happiness is to give, not receive.
No matter the size of the gift, his studies have shown much larger increases in wellbeing when people spend on others instead of treating themselves.
“Could your language affect your ability to save money?” by Keith Chen
In 2012, behavioral economist Keith Chen gave a talk on the importance of thinking about the future as if it were the present.
From his research, people who speak languages that don’t have a future tense — “It rains tomorrow” instead of “It will rain tomorrow” — generally save more of their money.
For people who want to spend less, Chen’s advice is to think in similar terms. Focusing less on the future could help people feel a more immediate need to save today.
“Let’s raise kids to be entrepreneurs” by Cameron Herold
In his 2010 talk, serial entrepreneur Cameron Herold stresses the importance of helping kids learn personal finance early on so they can turn good ideas into thriving businesses.
The wisdom applies for adults, too. People can become better with money by appreciating what it took to earn it, Herold said.
One time as a child he threw a penny into the street. “My dad said, ‘Go pick it up. I work too damn hard for my money. I’m not going to see you waste a penny,'” Herold said. “I remember that lesson to this day.”
“How I learned to read — and buy stocks — in prison” by Curtis “Wall Street” Carroll
Delivered from San Quentin Prison in 2016, Carroll’s talk describes his path from convicted criminal to reformed entrepreneur. Along the way, he learned to read and discovered financial savvy he turned into his own business.
His talk reminds people that financial literacy is a lifestyle more than a rote skill. Through savings, controlling the cost of living, borrowing money effectively, and diversifying your finances, Carroll says anyone can stay in control of their money.
“Know your worth, and then ask for it” by Casey Brown
One of the key ways people can help themselves financially is by increasing their income, which allows them to increase their savings and cover expenses or debts.
In her 2015 talk, pricing consultant Casey Brown encourages people to think about their value at work as more than just tooting your own horn.
“Make it about the other party,” she said. “Focus on serving and adding value, and it won’t feel like bragging. What do you love about what you do? What excites you about the work that you do? If you connect with that, communicating your value will come naturally.”
“Why you should know how much your coworkers get paid” by David Burkus
Perhaps the simplest way to put Brown’s advice into action is by knowing how your role fits into your industry. That’s where David Burkus’ 2016 talk comes in.
Burkus, a management researcher, encourages both people and companies to share salaries with one another. His research has found people are happier and companies display less discrimination when this occurs.
It also helps people feel more secure in what they currently get paid and ambitious when they know what they could be making.
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