There are some really awesome money documentaries that can help you make money, if you watch and apply the lessons therein.

This article reveals 25 of the very best such money documentaries to consider watching.


Importance of Money Documentaries

There are many ways that we can gain knowledge and learn.

Some of those ways include reading textbooks or biographies or autobiographies of individuals who wish to share their experiences, or their own personal life experiences, etc.

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Another powerful and dynamic way of learning is through movie presentations.

These movies can be the actual unfolding of stories with engaging plot lines or can be documentaries.

In either case, all of these methods of learning can prove to be meaningful and helpful as we endeavor to navigate life.

When it comes to documentaries the impact is experienced and felt as these documentaries reflect real-life scenarios.

The documentaries provide insight into various social challenges and issues that we may be facing as a society.

With the rise of inflation, increasing gas prices, coming through the other side of the pandemic, and individuals utilizing their credit cards more and more, the resulting atmosphere of today’s global financial climate can be fairly dismal.

Consequently, as a gift to us in order to learn and put our learning into action, various documentaries have been produced that focus on money issues and the various challenges that not only we as Americans face but all around the world

Let us sit down in our favorite comfortable chair, grab a snack, and view some of these documentaries that will not only be revealing but may resonate with us personally as the financial challenges of credit card debt, payday loans, retirement issues, etc. all part of the topics that a variety of money documentaries address.


Personal Story

I was experiencing a financial crunch which included my abuse of credit cards, paying the minimum on credit card balances, and utilizing cards to access easy cash.

I was ignorant about my finances and definitely in financial difficulty.

Fortunately, two powerful books appeared in my life with one addressing my attitude and thinking as it related to money that was learned from my experience with my family.

The other book was practical in nature and was an “in your face” book that was published just for me and also addressed my attitude about finances but provided practical steps and exercises that I could take as it relates to getting my credit card debt under control and my head above water.


25 Best Money Documentaries to Watch


1. Broke, Busted, and Disgusted

Broke, Busted, Disgusted is a documentary that delves into the depth of what a college education actually costs.

The premise is that we are in a student loan crisis and the documentary pursues the various reasons that contribute to this indebtedness that many students and families are facing.

It also offers actionable items that this generation can take to educate the following generation without the significant consequences of indebtedness carried by students.


2. Broken Eggs The Looming Retirement Crisis in America

Broken Eggs refer to retirement individuals or couples who have worked towards building up a nest egg for their retirement.

The documentary underscores the grim reality that our nation is having its lifespan extended creating a financial challenge that the nest eggs of today will not outpace the number of years that Americans are anticipated to live.

Through this documentary, there are comical animations with portraits of average Americans facing their inability to retire.


3. ESPN Broke

The focus of the documentary is the reality that with more money comes the creation of more problems.

Specifically, with the ESPN title, the documentary explores the psychology of men who have a competitive nature that makes them successful on the sports field yet monetarily ruins them when they’re off the field.


4. Explained Stock Market

The grim reality is that even though the stock market may be soaring this does not equate to a strong economy.

This is the premise of this documentary in that it dispels the notion that what may be good for corporations isn’t always the best outcome for the workers of these companies and consumers of the company’s goods.

With only half of Americans owning stock, this means that a considerable number of Americans are left out of this investment opportunity

This stock market explained documentary indicates in reality what the stock market is actually an indicator of.

Also See: Best Money Movies to Watch on Netflix.


5. Freakonomics

This documentary film is a reflection of the best-selling book by the same name.

In this documentary, an examination of the behavior of human beings is revealed in often a hilarious manner.

Examples of what is portrayed include the study of a real estate agent, and a question posed about a ninth grader being arrived to succeed which follows the question of whether should decide based on their passion or their earnings.


6. Inside Job

Inside job is an exposé on the revealing dynamics behind the crisis that happened economically in 2008.

This is the first film that addresses that economic collapse.


7. Jiro Dreams of Sushi

The documentary unveils the story of one of the world’s greatest sushi chefs.

Jiro Ono owns the Sukiyakibashi Jiro which is an exclusive 10-seat restaurant located in a Tokyo subway station.

In essence, this documentary is a revelation on how he succeeded in being so renowned.


8. Maxed Out

This documentary is a disturbing book about debt in America.

The premise is that everything is fine as long as the minimum monthly payments are made.

The documentary takes into consideration small American towns and leads the viewer all the way to the White House.

The in-depth documentary pictures with the viewer the definition of a preferred customer and reveals why the poor are getting even poor and on the opposite end of the spectrum the rich getting richer.


9. Minimalism A Documentary About the Important Things

This movie takes the viewer on a journey of exploring the attitude of minimalism.

The cameras go inside the lives of minimalists that represent a variety of individuals from all walks of life.

Those individuals include families, architects, entrepreneurs, journalists, artists, etc.

Each of these individuals that are highlighted is endeavoring to live an abundant life with less.


10. Playing with FIRE

FIRE is an acronym that stands for Financial Independence Retire Early.

This documentary explores that acronym and a growing movement in which individuals are trying to achieve financial independence and therefore retire early.


11. Spent Looking for Change

This documentary explores the financial options that Americans are turning to today.

Based on the need for cash in between paydays, many Americans are turning to the services of pawnshops, payday lenders, check-cashing services, etc.

This 40-minute documentary tells the story of five individuals and is representative of nearly 70 million others.

These individuals fall outside the parameters of traditional banking and use these payday lenders to fulfill a need that is typically fulfilled with a bank account.

In one particular instance, it talks about a couple taking a small loan out for $450 and ending up paying $1700 in fees and interest.


12. The Ascent of Money

The Ascent of money is based on a book of the same name.

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This author predicted the current economic crisis that we are experiencing and the book was released to the general public within weeks of the subprime loans experiencing their significant meltdown.

Also See: Best Stock Market Movies to Help You Make Money.


13. The Banker

This intriguing story is a film about two African-American entrepreneurs that decided upon a scheme in the 1960s.

The scheme involved the hiring of a working-class Caucasian man to pretend to be the head of their business empire.

They in turn posed as the chauffeur and generator.

The story unfolds from that basic plot line.


14. The Card Game

The card game refers to the credit card companies that are expertise experiencing mounting criticisms and new regulations from Washington.

The documentary suggests that a posted potential perfect storm is brewing in which the massive consumer loan industry and its impact as it meets with the fragile national economy will be a disaster.


15. The Company Men

The Company Man is the story of Bobby Walker played by Ben Affleck.

Bobby Walker is living the American dream.

That American dream is being blessed with a great family, a shiny Porsche in the garage, and a great job.

The story unfolds when disaster hits and corporate downsizing leaves him and his fellow coworkers without a job.

The story unfolds as the men try to redefine their lives in all of the roles that they endeavor to fulfill.

The possibility of the three men fighting something more to life than chasing money and all of the trappings that having money affords.

Other Interesting Money and Business Articles To Consider:


16. The Most Important Class You Never Had

This documentary crosses back and forth across America and highlights and shares true life and inspiring stories of high school educators and their students.

These eight teachers and their students reflected the growing focus of educators trying to instruct their students about the importance of personal financial education, especially during these times of financial challenges.


17. The Retirement Gamble

The stark reality of the premise of this documentary is the possibility of your individual retirement account or your 401(k) possibly dissipating and its availability for your retirement years is predicated on a gamble.

Insights from Money magazine and Wall Street along with Frontline raise questions about how the financial institutions of today may or may not be protecting our retirement accounts.

In addition, it is an aspect of the documentary that informs the viewer about what personal financial teachers are instructing or suggesting that students do as it relates to this potential issue as well as taking into consideration any investment fees that the investor is realizing.


18. Thinking Money The Psychology Behind Our Best and Worst Financial Decisions

This documentary explores the subject of behavioral economics.

It shares with the viewer the various attitudes and dynamics that we have with money and how and why we spend the way that we do.

The documentary provides a significant number of individuals who combine the subjects of psychology with economics.


19. Til Debt Do Us Part

This documentary showcases a financial counselor who works with individuals to help them turn their financial situations around.

The process involves the basics of budgeting but she also uses tough love as it relates to each of the participants and endeavoring to make them understand how their indebtedness became an issue.

Also, she challenges individuals to plan and work that plan to get out of debt and help to heal any family challenges realized because of indebtedness.


20. Your Life Your Money

This is a film about young people that are facing difficult economic issues in their lives.

These stories are real-life scenarios that real-life people are facing and the documentary offers a variety of basic and generic financial advice in simplified form.


21. 30 Days on Minimum Wage

When this documentary was filmed the minimum wage in Columbus Ohio was $5.15 an hour.

The 54-minute documentary follows a man by the name of Morgan Spurlock and his fiancée at the time over a 30-day period.

The premise of the film is that the two endeavor to get by in this city based on their minimum wage.

Added to the mix is that they have no cash, no credit cards, or health insurance and live in an apartment in which the rent is less than what they both earn in a week.

The challenge is to abide by three rules.

Those rules are to work a minimum wage job, they must start off with only $206 and cannot utilize credit cards or other money or any savings accounts that they have.


22. Money Explained

Money explained is a documentary that focuses on money and a variety of associated financial top.

One of those interesting topics is the area of cryptocurrency.

Also, discussed is the financial topic of the effect that billionaires have on the world and the stock market.


23. Dirty Money

This film presentation is a series that talks about the corporate world and corruption and greed.

Also included is an episode, of this series, about a payday lender who exercises questionable practices.

The resulting effect of these shady practices is the impact of high-interest loans and their effect on regular individuals and an inside look at who is profiting from this from these high-interest loans.


24. Maxed Out

This documentary filmed in 2006 takes a hard and intense look at her debt.

It explores and reveals how credit card companies make massive profits by praying on low and middle-income families.

The storyline is comprised of individuals recounting their stories and how their credit card debt has impacted them on all levels of their life.

There have been a few changes in the credit card industry since this was first released but basically, the credit card impact on individuals remains the same.


25. Inside Job

Inside job explores again the great recession that occurred in the year 2008.

The documentary explores and breaks down all of the actions and occurrences that led to the recession and why the events that transpired occurred.


Top Money Documentaries FAQs


What is the Average Credit Card Debt Per Person in America Today?

The average person in America today carries a credit card debt in the amount of $6,194.


What is the Best Way to Get Out of Credit Card Debt?

The four basic strategies for getting out of credit card debt are to:

  • Embrace a payment strategy
  • Consider debt consolidation
  • Work with your creditors
  • Consider a debt relief program.


You Can Do It

If you find yourself mired in a financial bog or swamp the best way to get out is to grab the lifeline that is being thrown to you.

This lifeline can come in a variety of ways, one of which is through the viewing of documentaries.

It is important to remember that you do not need to be shackled by money issues and there are many resources that you can take advantage of to break those chains.



When we think of documentaries generally, we think of a narrator with a monotone voice describing the plight of a species of animals or warning about climate change or some other important topic but doesn’t often get our attention.

However, an important topic for most people is money.

Therefore, a documentary highlighting real-life individuals or issues that are being faced by a significant number of people in America grabs our attention and draws us to view these videos or documentaries to see what we can do to mitigate the same challenge that we are facing in our lives.

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE

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Apart from being a seasoned Personal Finance expert who has written for top publications around the world, I bring significant personal financial experience. Long story short... through bad financial choices... I found myself $100,000 plus in debt. I was able to dissolve this indebtedness and regain financial solvency. This financial turn around was accomplished through reading, studying and implementing a financial plan. My financial plan included paying down my debt through budgeting, being cognizant of where my financial resources were being spent, changing my attitude about money and understanding the binding chains of the improper use of credit. Today, and for 10 years, I have been debt free and have invested wisely to enjoy my current retirement. This is allowing me to write to help others make, save and grow money wisely!