6 Frugal TED Talks That Will Blow Your Mind

We are lucky enough to live in a world with so much content at our fingertips. Millennials especially should take advantage of living in a technological world and use this to help them grow and develop. Being a teacher, it goes without saying that I love learning new things!

When I can learn something new not only can it benefit my life, but in my students’ lives as well.

In college, we watched a lot of TED talks. TED talks are a great way to learn about ideas, in a short amount of time. They can cover everything from global warming to the next big tech idea to a history lesson!

The TED/TEDx talks that had the biggest impact on my life, though, are the ones you’ll see listed below. These were talks that helped me learn to save money, life frugally, and truly understand how to make money work for me. 


Learning To Live Frugally

Unconventional Ways to Save Money – Kerry Taylor

Review: Kerry Taylor moved from city life to rural life in Canada. A move of that magnitude, as far as lifestyle change goes, forced her to change her perspective on money.

The one statement that most stood out to me from this TEDx talk was, “We all build wealth one dollar at a time.” We all know that it’s so true, but it’s a real eye-opener to think about how much every single dollar affects not just your bottom line but your overall net worth as well. 

As the title suggests, these really are some unique ideas to “go against the grain” and save some money. 

Kerry starts by discussing the idea of collections and “collectable” items and how they can cost way too much money. Even if they are not a limited edition, they can still run you up in cost (think storage cost, too). 

Kerry also connects to needs vs. wants when spending money. Throughout the rest of the talk, Kerry breaks down cost saving tips such as switching out disposables, and buying clothes from second-hand stores, then wraps up comparing material things that we buy to the cost we make per hour. Is it really worth it to work 30 hours to pay for some materialistic item you’ve been eyeing? Watch to find out!

Savvy Connection: The biggest takeaway was an eye-opening viewpoint about stores tricking you with your “savings”. Kerry talks about a pair of jeans that were $100, but on sale for 60% off leaving you with only spending $40 on the pair of jeans. Just like Kerry says, “What did you save? You just spent $40.”

When Money Isn’t Real: The $10,000 Experiment – Adam Carroll

Review: Adam begins this TEDx talk discussing the unconventional way that his children play Monopoly (one of The Savvy Couple’s favorite games). Adam introduces the concept of “Financial Abstraction” which he goes on to define as “when money becomes more of an idea or more abstract, it changes the way that we interact with it on a daily basis.”

Adam decided to try an experiment on the money decisions his children were making. He changed out the fake Monopoly money to $10,000 real American cash!

Based on this, he saw how it changed two of the strategies of how his children played.

Adam wraps up the talk sharing the perspective of using digital currency and the effect it has on millennials and the generations to come. The importance of teaching the younger generations how to save and interact with real currency. Great one to watch if you have children!

Savvy Connection: We have talked about the idea of not needing to balance a checkbook anymore like our parents have. BUT what Adam says about Financial Abstraction makes a lot of sense for millennials. The concept of not interacting with currency in a tangible way leads to more spending. If you are spending more because you are using credit cards, maybe try a cash system and see how much you save. Dave Ramsey states often that when you use credit cards you tend to spend on average 18% more.

The Future of Money – Neha Narula

Review: Neha discusses many of the struggles with digital currency, like Adam Carroll in the above TEDx talk.

Most of us put our money into these banks and other financial institutions that house our money, but it may as well be just a database that changes around the zeros. The money can transfer from institution to institution without us ever touching it – how real can it feel that way?

With the advancement of systems like cryptocurrencies, the way that we use digital currency allows us to make the transactions of money without the use of these institutions.  Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are the money of the future. Tune in to Neha to learn more about where we might be headed in the future with money and currency.

Savvy Connection: The future of the money can be a scary thing. Everything in today’s world is turning digital. You can literally swipe your phone as if it’s a credit card! It’s always a good idea to stay on top of the ever-changing world of technology, especially when it comes to money.


Learn What Freedom Truly Means

How to Become a Millionaire in 3 Years – Daniel Ally

Review: A somewhat deceiving title lands this TEDx talk in the living free section. Daniel opens up about his past history and how it has led him to the success he has now.

One statement that he says that couldn’t be any truer is, “Success means different things for different people.” What one person finds successful might not be how another person views success.

Daniel focuses his talk on promoting inner motivation and not doing things for other people. He holds three key aspects to being successful: (1) reading books, (2) surrounding yourself with people who motivate you, and (3) set higher goals.

Packed with a lot of examples coming from an energetic speaker, this talk will definitely inspire you to start living your life in a new perspective.

Savvy Connection: Living a free life! We have put some of Daniel’s key ideas to be successful into action. He does a great job at making you think about being successful in your own life. One of his major talking points is on the importance of reading books. We try to read more all the time because we know how beneficial reading is. Some cost saving tips on books are to take them out of the library, garage/ book sales, audible books and downloading free books online.

If you’re interested, you try Audible for free for 30 days!

What if you could trade a paperclip for a house? – Kyle MacDonald

Review: A very cool concept that Kyle had that all started with a red paperclip. Kyle trades many different items/experiences along the way of this “experiment” to see if he can trade all the way to a house. Spoiler alert:  he does!

The lesson of this experience is about building relationships and having people from all over collaborate together. Life is about the journey.

An everyday item doesn’t have to be just that. Think outside the box, see the potential, and start living the journey.  With over 1.5 million views, this is a TEDx talk that you wouldn’t want to miss!

Savvy Connection: Here at The Savvy Couple, we strive to impact others by saving them time and money, to live frugal & free. Kyle preaches about the importance of the journey and making something out of a situation or item that does not seem like it would make an impact. Take risks and try new things! You never know what types of experiences you might someday partake in.

How To Multiply Your Time – Rory Vaden

Review: We live in a time now, especially millennials, where everything is moving faster and we have more options to be more productive than in the past. But, why are we not able to get things done in a faster manner? One of the biggest reasons, that Rory says, is because “how we choose to spend our time isn’t just logical, it’s emotional.”

Throughout the talk, Rory breaks down the history of time management and what steps we can put into place to multiply time. The most important way: “What can I do today that will make tomorrow better?” Interesting spin on time and how we can use it to our advantage.

Savvy Connection: In order to live free, you need to make time to live free. Life is not all about catching every episode of your favorite show when it airs or overwork yourself with a project at work. Be spontaneous, say yes more to experiences, take more time to be with family and friends.