With the ongoing pandemic, people have found a source of escapism, connection and joy in online entertainment streaming. Netflix has once again churned magic with it’s latest original series ‘Squid Game’. It has become a global sensation worldwide!
Squid Game is a show that tells the story of various people who risks their lives to participate in a survival game that offers prize money of 45.6 billion won (approximately RM159,045,942). The mysterious organizer often target cash desperate individuals who are in dire need of money to escape from a major financial crisis.
This story hits close to home, as I believe that among our circle of friends or family, I guarantee we know of someone who is going through with some financial difficulties, whether it is big or small.
So, what are the financial planning lessons that we can learn and adapt from this streaming show so that we do not find ourselves trapped in the world of debt?
Lesson #1: Never Let Go of Your Medical Card
Seong Gi-Hun, the lead character in the series will receive a phone call informing his mother is warded in a hospital. He rushes only to find out that his mother’s feet are blackened by worsening diabetes necrosis and needs amputation. Gi-Hun will ask his mother to proceed with the surgery using medical card but his mother will firmly refute back saying that how is that possible when he had canceled all insurance policies and have even taken out the cash value for gambling.
In reality, when financial difficulties occur, the first thing most people will do is try to tighten their monthly budget. One of the first expenses that will be willingly cut off are insurance policies. Insurance and medical cards are precious, they are like your passports to health. The older we get, the more we are susceptible to diseases. Hence, it is essential for you to hold on to a personal medical card even when you are changing jobs or getting older.
Treat medical cards and insurance policies like your priced possession and never let it go, unless you are willing to pay mountain of hospitalization bills or if you are willing to sacrifice your comfort to be warded in a government hospital which is affordable but not exactly pleasant.
Lesson #2: Avoid Financial Rabbit Hole, Plan Ahead
Seong Gi-Hun is often seen outwitting his mom to get some money only to gamble it away. The one noticeable habit is that even though he is so badly in debt, he will not hesitate to continue borrowing from loan sharks, friends and even family. After all the borrowing, he needs to find way to repay back and he resorts to the old fashion way of betting on a horse race gambling.
When we fall into major debts, we are not only dragging ourselves but everyone especially our loved ones into the rabbit hole. The majority of bankruptcy cases are caused by vehicle purchase, house, personal and business loans.
We buy things based on emotion, feelings and sometimes due to instant gratification. We get personal loan to do a house renovation. We get personal loan to help pay off a hospitalization bill of a family member. We swipe our credit card excessively during Shopee/ Lazada sales.
On top of that, our salary does not match with the increasing living expenses. Every junction of our lives needs more money and yet most often we do not plan our finances with an aid of a professional financial planner. It is essential to get your financial health checked by a professional just like how you would get your health checked by a doctor.
Understanding the risks and getting your financial planning done in advanced will prevent you from making the biggest financial mistake of your life.
Lesson # 3: Live As If There Is No Tomorrow, Whatever You Want To Do Tomorrow, Do It Today
There are 6 deadly games that the contestants have to compete in, which are all based on popular Korean children’s games. Everyone are given equal opportunities to compete and if they fail at their tasks, they will be shot dead. The participants have no way of knowing whether they are going to survive the next day or not, and yet they take a bet on their own lives.
Just like in the Squid Game, we are uncertain whether tomorrow comes or not. Therefore, it is important to live your life as if there is no tomorrow, whatever you want to do tomorrow, do it today. Don’t postpone your works thinking there is much time or do not hesitate to call your loved ones because we are not even certain if we will be alive the next day!
Take time to revisit or review your financial plans so you will be confident all areas of your financial life is covered. Your insurance is checked. Investment is checked. Estate planning is checked. Even if you are called to participate in a Squid Game, you know your family and finances are well taken care of.
The author, Puruvahinni Supramaniam, is an Advisor at SK iWealth and writes for her personal financial blog, aiskacangforsoul.