Sometimes debt can be so stifling it feels like you’re really struggling to survive.
Is it really that far-fetched to imagine hundreds of people risking their lives to get financial freedom?
That’s the concept behind the hit Netflix Squid game. 456 participants in dire need of money compete against each other in the dark twists of traditional children’s games. The winners walk away with millions; the losers die.
There aren’t any in real life Squid game – but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s what protagonist Gi-hun and the rest of the cast should have done Escape debt with their bodies intact.
Assess your opponent
One of Gi-hun’s biggest mistakes is his inability to pause, think ahead, and plan ahead. He’s always acting on instinct and feeling, but as he learns during the show, knowing what you’re dealing with can be a huge benefit.
Start by gathering all of your bills and balances and examining them as a group. This includes all of your credit cards, student loans, auto loans, mortgages, and all other sources of debt.
It helps to create a table with a column for the outstanding balance, interest rate, and minimum monthly payment of each debt. The final list may look impressive, but the breakdown will help you decide which debts to address first.
Choose your strategy
Just as there is more than one way to stick out an umbrella-shaped biscuit, there is more than one way to approach debt.
The âavalancheâ method saves you the most money, but some people find it more difficult. Attack your highest interest debts first, even if they have the largest balance, while settling all of your other bills with minimal payments.
If this is too demoralizing for you, you can try the “snowball” approach instead. Throw your money on the bills with the smallest balances first, put them out of the way, and give the confidence boost you need to address your bigger problems.
There is one more factor to consider if you are unable to make all of your minimum payments. Some debts, like mortgages and car loans, are “secured” – you agree to return your home or car if you cannot pay your bills.
Part of what made failed investor Cho Sang-woo so desperate is that he (somehow) used his mother’s house and business as collateral. You can also decide that there are some assets that you cannot afford to lose.
Reduce your goals
A common strategy for eliminating high-yield debt – such as those available from credit cards, payday loan companies, and bloodthirsty loan sharks – is through consolidation.
The concept is simple: you take a new loan with a significantly lower interest rate and use it to balance your other balances. That way, you only have one bill to deal with and you can use more money to pay the balance instead of interest charges.
Some Squid game Players would have had a hard time using this strategy because they had to convince someone to give them new credit. Gambling addict Gi-hun likely destroyed his credit-worthiness – that three-digit number that tells lenders how reliable you are – while North Korean defector Sae-byeok may not have had a chance Build their score.
After looking at your own score and taking some steps to improve it, there are a few different options you can consider to consolidate:
Credit card with credit transfer. These cards charge low or no interest for a limited time, giving you a short window of time to pay off debts without being charged. However, some cards charge a heavy fee to transfer your balance, and once the promotional period ends, the regular interest rate can be painful.
Home Line of Credit. If you own a home and have built up enough equity, this is one of your most affordable options. But be careful: you are using your house as security. So if you don’t make your payments, you can lose it.
Lower your monthly expenses
Many squid game participants, including Gi-hun, Sang-woo and the gangster Deok-su, ended up on the remote island by spending more money than they had.
Before attempting to steal from family members and business associates, there are a few strategies you should check out to reduce your monthly expenses.
Cut your insurance bills
And don’t think about going without health insurance for long periods of time. When Gi-hun’s mother fell ill, they were helpless because he had canceled his mother’s policy for cash.
Instead, check out Medicaid if your income is low enough to qualify or take advantage of the benefits generous grants possible now with marketplace plans. According to the US bailout plan earlier this year, about half of new signups at HealthCare.gov grabbed a monthly premium of $ 10 or less.
Refinance your mortgage
Homeowners can potentially save hundreds of dollars a month by doing it refinance their mortgage at one of today’s ultra-low rates.
If you are buried in credit card debt – tens of thousands of dollars – you might even consider consolidating that balance with your mortgage into a “cash-out” refi.
There is a sizable upfront fee so make sure you stay in the house long enough for the move to be worth it.
Automatically find lower prices
If Gi-hun had planned and shopped ahead of time, he could have found a much better gift for his daughter than a new lighter – and for a lot less money than he wasted on this crane game.
With thousands of stores online, it can be difficult to be sure that you are getting a good price. Try downloading a free browser add-on that is Automatically search the internet for lower prices and coupons before you checkout.
Increase Your Income
Not everyone Squid game Candidate has buried himself in debt through his own mistakes.
North Korean defector Sae-byeok needed a huge sum of cash to get her mother to safety, and factory worker Ali Abdul didn’t make a penny from his corrupt employer.
While both characters may struggle to find new jobs, depending on your skills and immigration status, you can find opportunities in unexpected places. And we’re not talking about taking a challenge from a stranger on the subway.
Some advanced job boards use artificial intelligence to Adapt your skills to the jobs you would never have known it existed.
Online gig marketplaces can help you Get extra work from home, whether your talents are in writing, dubbing, graphic design or something else.
And even if you don’t have a lot of cash to spare, you can take advantage of the fast paced stock market by using an app to Invest your “change” out of everyday purchases and turns pennies into a diversified portfolio.
This article is for information only and is not intended as advice. It is provided without any guarantee.