TED Talks: How To Spend Your Money

What should you do with your paycheck? These talks offer reframes to help you save, spend and give — with intention.

1. A monkey economy as irrational as ours

LAURIE SANTOS 

Laurie Santos looks for the roots of human irrationality by watching the way our primate relatives make decisions. A clever series of experiments in "monkeynomics" shows that some of the silly choices we make, monkeys make too.

2. The battle between your present and future self 

DANIEL GOLDSTEIN 

Every day, we make decisions that have good or bad consequences for our future selves. (Can I skip flossing just this one time?) Daniel Goldstein makes tools that help us imagine ourselves over time, so that we make smart choices for Future Us.

3. Saving for tomorrow, tomorrow

SHLOMO BENARTZI

It's easy to imagine saving money next week, but how about right now? Generally, we want to spend it. Economist Shlomo Benartzi says this is one of the biggest obstacles to saving enough for retirement, and asks: How do we turn this behavioral challenge into a behavioral solution?

4. Does money make you mean? 

PAUL PIFF

It's amazing what a rigged game of Monopoly can reveal. In this entertaining but sobering talk, social psychologist Paul Piff shares his research into how people behave when they feel wealthy. (Hint: badly.) But while the problem of inequality is a complex and daunting challenge, there's good news too.

5. How to buy happiness

MICHAEL NORTON

At TEDxCambridge, Michael Norton shares fascinating research on how money can indeed buy happiness — when you don't spend it on yourself. Listen for surprising data on the many ways pro-social spending can benefit you, your work, and (of course) other people.

6. Should you donate differently?

JOY SUN

Technology allows us to give cash directly to the poorest people on the planet. Should we do it? In this thought-provoking talk, veteran aid worker Joy Sun explores two ways to help the poor.

7. How behavioral science can lower your energy bill

ALEX LASKEY

What's a proven way to lower your energy costs? Would you believe: learning what your neighbor pays. Alex Laskey shows how a quirk of human behavior can make us all better, wiser energy users, with lower bills to prove it.

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