What Squid Game teaches about finance: 4 key takeaways


  • One of the biggest ever Netflix hits, ‘Squid Game’ has captured the world’s imagination in a short span of time.
  • Set in Seoul, the Korean show revolves around 456 cash-strapped players, lured into playing a slew of children's survival games to win huge cash prize.
  • The fictional show reveals how lives of players revolve around protecting their finances and getting saddled with the stress caused due to economic hardships.

Everyone is suddenly talking about ‘Squid Game’, one of the biggest ever hits on Netflix. The Korean show is currently running in over 90 countries and has captured the world’s imagination in a very short span of time.

Set in Seoul, the story revolves around 456 cash-strapped players, who are lured into playing a slew of children's survival games, where either they can win huge cash prize or die a painful death. Even though a section of viewers has raised concerns over the gory scenes of bloodshed, the drama has garnered over 110 million viewers.

The fictional show also shows how the lives of a group of strangers, placed together in a series of life-or-death challenges, revolve around protecting their finances and getting caught in the stress caused due to economic hardships.

Here we discuss a few financial lessons learnt from ‘Squid Game’ that can help you avoid a real-life financial crisis.

Keep debt at bay

Almost every financial expert advises to save money. It is considered as the best financial habit. In Squid Game, most of the participants were financially broke.

In one of the episodes, protagonist Seong Gi-hun, could be seen physically attacked by loan sharks to whom he owes a large sum of money, and thus, he falls in the trap to play those survival games.

To avoid such terrifying scenarios in real life, one must avoid being saddled with uncontrollable debt. In case, your earnings are less than your expenditure, you must try to curb your unnecessary expenses than go for a loan.

Protect your savings

In a scene of Squid Game, Seong Gi-hun steals his mother’s ATM card and manages to crack the PIN by trying his daughter’s date of birth. What does this teach? It advises that one should never keep predictable passwords/PIN as it could be easily hacked. Not only saving money is important, protecting all your financial accounts is also critical. You should always keep a strong PIN to protect it from hackers.

Money management is the key

As demonstrated in the dystopian drama, two examples of bad money management leading to highly educated people ending in debt trap are worth focusing.

Seong Gi-hun’s friend Cho Sang-Woo, who had graduated from a highly prestigious university and worked as an investment banker, ended up with huge debt pile on his shoulders. It was due to his bad investment decisions, which resulted in him losing large sums of money and facing potential jail time.  Similarly, Byeong-gi, a practising doctor, was also forced to join the games after falling in the debt trap.

It doesn’t matter what is your gender, age, or education. What actually matters is how well you can manage your finances. Hence, a key takeaway from this show is that one should always take every step possible to keep one’s finances in check.

There is nothing like ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes

You should always be wary of financial frauds, multi-level marketing schemes and lottery draws that lure innocent people with a promise of making them rich overnight. You should always beware of such schemes since probability of making money through such schemes is very low. The people sucked into such schemes end up worse than ever.

Squid Game revolves around a lottery-style cash prize in a large glass bowl with lights and noises of a casino slot machine, setting up the atmosphere in one of the starting episodes.

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