‘Squid Game’, on the other hand, surpassed that number of views on Netflix in a shorter span of time. In the series, contestants who need money desperately end up playing deadly children’s games to win cash prizes. However, apart from giving us the adrenaline rush and the thrills, this show has a lot more to teach us.
If you’re one of those who think you waste a lot of time watching Netflix shows, know that there are money lessons you can learn from this one – the first one being, avoid getting involved in games where death is the penalty!
On a serious note, there are some important money lessons to learn from this show. Here’s a list of five money lessons ‘Squid Game’ can teach you about personal finance.
Pay off debts ASAP
Paying off debt is arguably one of the most obvious money lessons in ‘Squid Game’. All the players in the show come from dire financial situations. If you find yourself in a similar financial situation, ensure that when you make some extra money, regardless of where it came from, use it to pay off debts. Most players in the show end up sending money back into the same financial situation that got them into the mess.
Take Seong Gi-hun, for example, he won ₩4,560,000 (around $3,838.64) betting on horses. Instead of paying off his debt, he decided to run away with his new-won money and he couldn’t even keep that safe.
His money is stolen by an unassuming Kang Sae-byeok. So, ensure to prioritize paying off debt. Otherwise, achieving financial security will be next to impossible.
Social distance yourself from fraud
While being trusting is often considered a good characteristic, in finance you should stay cautious of fraud. Fraud is hugely prevalent. In ‘Squid Game’, we witnessed fraud and dishonesty when Seong Gi-hun steals from his aging mother.
People will go to any lengths when they need or want money. Be cautious. Don’t share your bank or card details, passwords, PINs and SSNs with anyone.
Cover your PIN when you enter it on a machine, it will stop opportunists from noticing it and using your card. Don’t use personal information, like birthdays, as your PIN. The same goes for your passwords.
Go crazy with variety
Episode 3 of ‘Squid Game’ teaches us not to put all our eggs in one basket. Cho Sang-woo shared this lesson he learned from business school before they step into the Honeycomb Game. This lesson is something we’ve all learned growing up.
It applies to all aspects of personal finance like investing and savings. Always diversify your portfolio. Don’t put all your money in one place. Split your savings across multiple accounts. It will give you access to multiple benefits.
Seek financial advice exclusive to you
‘Squid Game’ offers us a fair warning about using loan sharks. In Episode 1, we see Seong Gi-hun’s loan shark creditors being intimidating and immoral. When it comes to financial advice, nothing is one size fits all. Avoiding loan sharks is good practice not just in the games but also in real life.
Do what will fulfill your financial needs specifically. It’s best to look for independent advice when making big financial decisions. When it comes to debt, several charities will offer you independent, impartial advice for free. So, don’t shy away from asking for help when you need it.
Kang Sae-byeok asks for help in Episode 8 by entrusting her younger brother to Seong Gi-hun after she received a fatal wound in the previous round. When it comes to financing, better late than never. You’d rather ask for help early on than dig up a deeper hole for yourself.
Reality check your financial decisions
If what you hear is too good to be true, it probably is. Ensure to do your research before you make any financial decisions. Do your checks. We learn this from Episode 1 when the ‘Squid Game’ salesman’s pitch sounded amazing. Contestant Seong Gi-hun should have realized this was too good to be true.
It’s the same in finance. If someone happens to promise you guaranteed benefits like huge returns on a particular investment opportunity that seems unreal — it is unlikely to be true. It might even turn out to be a scam.