Three Personal Finance Lessons to Learn From Squid Game

by Carter Toni

If you’re in debt, the Korean TV series Squid Game most likely was uncomfortable to watch. Hundreds of desperate people looking to get enough money to pay off their massive debts and risking their lives to do it might just hit a little too close to home.

But instead of worrying you could end up in a desperate situation, look at the series through a different lens. Here are a few things you can learn about managing your personal finances from a dystopian nightmare like Squid Game.

Spoilers below.

Your debt is an emergency

Players in the games were there solely for one reason: the temptation of an almost unbelievable amount of money given to the winner at the end. Most of the players were there because their debts and bad financial choices had become so severe that playing the games felt like the only available option to get their lives back on track.

Hopefully, you’re not in a life or death scenario when it comes to your financial situation, but any debt you’ve got weighing you down should be seen as an emergency that needs drastic action. Being in debt causes a ripple effect that can affect your mental and physical health while limiting your options. If you’ve ever remained at a job you hated because of the paycheck, then you know what it feels like to be trapped by your finances.

Luckily, there are ways you can create a plan that doesn’t involve a situation as dire as playing “Squid Game.” Look into the debt avalanche method to see if it works with your natural motivations or research other strategies that can help get your debt under control. No matter what method you choose, it’s only as effective as you allow it to be, so commit to becoming debt-free so you can experience more freedom.

Slow and steady wins the race

The contestants who made it to the final games were the ones who thought things through and planned methodically. When it comes to finances, the same strategy can work for you, too. Chances are that you didn’t get yourself in this situation quickly; what’s more likely is that your debt accrued slowly and over time became unmanageable. To get your finances back to a better state, you’ve got to change your spending habits in small increments and work methodically. Getting (and staying) out of debt takes time, careful planning, and a willingness to be patient, but it is always worth the extra effort.

All hope is not lost

Remember that no matter what you’re feeling now, there is still a light at the end of the tunnel and no need to make life-changing decisions. After the first round of Squid Game, some people left when given the chance and did not come back. We don’t know what happened to them, but hopefully, it was the shocking reality of what could happen during these games that made them realize their life was more valuable than their debt, and they could find a way through. You can, too!

The bottom line

If you are in debt and looking to improve your finances, follow the same advice given in Squid Game: take your debt seriously, don’t spend your money impulsively, and know when to walk away.

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