TED Talk: The emotions behind your money habits

10 min Source: TED Global Idea Search 2021
PME All levels


Our financial behaviour can teach us a lot about ourselves, our relationships and our emotions.


In this TED Talkchocolate obsessionsrelationship issues and shopping addictions are used to illustrate what we can learn from examining our financial behaviour. The presenter, Robert A. Belle, believes we can learn surprising things about ourselves through tracking and charting our expenses. Here's some of his advice:

  • Take a look at your bank statement and categorize the expenses by type for a more holistic view, e.g. your spending on shopping versus transport.
  • When an expensive pattern emerges, see what that pattern says about you. Ask yourself what may have led you to make that choice in a given moment.
  • Observe any line items that you are shocked by in terms of value or volume and see what patterns emerge. 

Taking a good, hard look at our financial behaviour can help us re-evaluate our careers, relationships, and priorities—a transcript of the video is available here.