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Most of you should know the most popular show on Netflix, Squid Game. It's literally all over the internet and social media. You are missing out on an exciting show if you haven't yet!
Let's recap what the show is about to those who didn't watch it yet (if you didn't, you should). Squid Game is about people with financial issues due to poor choices. The characters were invited to play deadly children's games and win a grand prize (a piggy bank worth 45.6 billion won). If you watched it, you should know you don't want to be like the people in the show, so let's choose how to take control of our money.
If you choose wisely, there are opportunities to save and invest. Instead of finding a shortcut to pay off debts faster, you should make a solid plan instead of finding a “rich scheme” to do so. By watching Squid Game, you will learn money lessons that can apply to your daily life.
Here are some money lessons I learned when I watched the show.
Gambling is not a Shortcut to Financial Stability
Gi-hun, the main character of Squid Game, was still gambling and living with his old mother when he was still in debt. The first episode was his daughter's birthday, and his mother reminded him to get a gift and spend time with her. He stole money from his mother's card to withdraw cash, so he could bet on horses. He ended up winning, but it could've been a horrible situation if he had lost.
But instead of paying off the debt, he ran away from the loan sharks who came looking for him. He bumped into a young lady, Kang Sae-byeok, and she stole all his money. So now he has none. His poor mom's money, though.
So gambling should NEVER be the answer to your financial issue. You can lose or win, but it can become addicting, so DON'T DO IT! We all have financial issues, but avoiding your financial obligations is not smart. Don't be like Gi-hun in Squid Game.
In the US, approximately 10 million people have gambling problems. That's 2.6% of the US.
Focus on Paying off Your Biggest Debt
Again, in the first episode, Gi-hun ran away from the loan sharks when he won from betting on horses. You can tell he didn't want to pay off his debt right then and there. He should've, but he probably wanted to gamble again.
Sang-woo, Gi-hun's childhood friend, was also in debt. He had so much debt that he almost killed himself. Even though he was in debt, he didn't tell anyone about it except Gi-hun. What he should've done was seek out financial help. Remember, guys, find alternative ways to pay off your debt. If there's a will, there's a way.
You can see why the characters returned to play the game after leaving the first time. Remember to find legit ways of paying your debt instead of through a scam.
Greed is your Worst Enemy
We are greedy people because it's one of our human nature. Don't let greed take control of you. Sang-woo, greedy and thirsty for the prize, was very desperate to the point that he chose money over his friends/companions.
Sang-woo didn't tell his companions when they were playing the second game. He knew what the game was about but kept quiet to get the prize for himself. He even tricked Ali by playing with his emotion and left him to his death. He also killed Sae-byeok when she was badly injured, saying she would die anyway.
Greed can make you turn into a monster where you forget what's important in life. So please try not to be greedy because it'll hurt you.
Seek Out Financial Help
Throughout the entire show, the person that stuck out to me was Sae-byeok. I felt so bad for her throughout the show. She has been through so much and tried her best to make things work.
She was a North Korean defector who was scammed out of her savings and was desperate for money. She became a pickpocket to raise herself and her younger brother. She joined Squid Game to win the prize money to raise her mom and brother.
Towards the end, she asks Gi-hun to care for her brother if she doesn't make it out alive. She never trusted anyone, but she was slowly able to open up to her companions throughout the game.
I know it's hard to seek out help when you are struggling, especially when you just got scammed. This time and day, there are so many scams, so be careful who you trust.
If you are struggling with your finances, you should always find someone knowledgeable about finance to help you and search for the company or person. Always do your due diligence!
Spend your Money Wisely
After Gi-hun lost all the money he bet on horses to Sae-byeok, he returned to the bank lady to ask for money. Instead of using that money to buy his daughter a birthday gift, he decided to use it on a claw machine. He got a surprise box that turned out to be a lighter gun. Great for kids, right?
Since he spent all on the claw machine, he took her to an inexpensive restaurant and ate tteokbokki (Korean stir-fried rice cakes).
So when you have money, think about how to spend, save, or invest it because, for some people, money is hard to earn. If you are in a pinch, you don't want to spend it on something useless. If it's a special day, that's different.
Money should NEVER be More Important than Life
Gi-hun left his mother in a terrible state when she needed him the most. She needed surgery, but they didn't have insurance, so it was extremely expensive. He decided to borrow money from his friend but was also in debt. He goes back to play the game to pay for the surgery.
One thing I wished he would've done is to talk it out with his mother or get financial help instead of going to play the game. He came back, and she passed away. He should've stuck with her until the end, even though.
Sang-woo also tries to kill himself and doesn't want to be a disappointment to his mother. He didn't know how to pay off his debt, so he contemplated suicide.
You can tell how desperate the players were for the money when they returned to play the game. Some people's lives were miserable when they left after the first round, so they went back to have more purpose in life. Isn't that sad?
There could've been another way if they sought help, but they decided to go back with a 50/50 chance of surviving. You can see that they were ready to die.
At the end of Squid Game, Gi-hun finds out the old man, Il-nam, is the mastermind behind the game. He was bored with his life by having too much money. He wanted to have fun and be alive again. Isn't that depressing?
Money shouldn't always be your ultimate and only goal in life. Even though most of us want it to be, life is too short. You should go out there and explore. Spend time with your loved ones because time is something you can never get back. Did you learn anything from Squid Game?
She started her blog, The Money Dreamer, when she realized the 9-5 job was not the lifestyle she wanted anymore. After designing for a while, she wanted a more meaningful life, which was freedom, so she decided to venture out. She took action so that she can live her dream life and decided to help people to live theirs by helping them how to save, budget, and invest.