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Here’s how to escape debt, without joining ‘Squid

Gi-hun and the rest of the crew should have explored a few other options first.

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Being in debt can feel so overwhelming that it’s like fighting a daily battle.

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But if your financial situation is so dire Netflix’s real life Squid game: the challenge sounds like a good idea, there are much better ways to get out of debt.

While the 455 contestants won’t risk their lives for a $4.56 million prize, there are much simpler (and less exciting) approaches to improving your finances.

Here are some boring but effective steps squid game protagonist Gi-hun and the rest of the cast could have taken escape debt without issue.

Reduce your monthly expenses

Squid Game crane game
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Many Squid Game contestants, including Gi-hun, Sang-woo, and mobster Deok-su, ended up on the remote island spending more money than they had.

Instead of stealing from your family members and business associates, these strategies will help you reduce your expenses.

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Buy smarter, not harder

Planning ahead and shopping around could have saved Gi-hun money on a birthday present for her daughter and the crane game. Besides, he could have found a much better present.

When shopping online, it can be difficult to know if you’re getting a good price. Free browser add-ons can help you by automatically scouring the internet for lower prices and coupons before you checkout.

With grocery prices higher than evernow is a good time to explore options for reducing your food budget, such as planning meals, using leftovers, and cutting back on expensive ingredients.

Reduce your insurance bills

If you haven’t looked for better rates on your car insurance at some point, you could be overpaying up to $500 per year. The same method will work for your home insurance policy. Experts recommend reviewing your insurance bills at least once a year to make sure you’re still getting a good deal.

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Your insurance provider may also offer discounts for bundling policies together. Plus, having all your bills in one place will help you keep track of them.

Just do not reduce or reduce health insurance for an extended period. Gi-hun canceled his mother’s insurance policy for cash, which left him helpless when his mother fell ill. While provincial health care covers many emergencies, things like dental issues or expensive medication for an unexpected illness can be expensive.

Consider refinancing your mortgage

Mortgage rates are on the rise while Bank of Canada was forced to raise its overnight interest rate in response to skyrocketing inflation.

But if you’re buried in credit card debt — in the tens of thousands of dollars — you might consider consolidating that balance with your mortgage.

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There will likely be significant upfront costs, so be sure to plan to stay in your home long enough to make the move worthwhile.

Measure your opponent

Squid Game Cast
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Gi-hun lets instinct and emotion direct his actions. If only he would stop, think, and plan ahead. But as the season progresses, he realizes that knowing his competition is a big advantage.

Gather all your bills, debts and bank balances and review them together. This includes all debts, large and small, such as credit cards, student loans, auto loans, and your mortgage.

If it helps you visualize it, create a spreadsheet with a column for the outstanding balance, interest rate, and monthly minimum payment for each debt. The final list may seem overwhelming, but the breakdown will help you decide which debts to tackle first.

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Choose the best strategy for you

Just like there’s more than one way to cut an umbrella-shaped cookie, there’s more than one way to approach debt. The avalanche method is a popular method that saves you the most money in the long run, but some people find it a challenge.

With this method, you tackle your highest-interest debt first, even if it has the highest balance, while making minimum payments on all your other bills.

If you’re not up for it, you can try the snowball approach instead. Throw your money at the bills with the smallest balances first, eliminating them and giving you the boost of confidence you need to tackle your biggest debts.

There is another factor to consider if you are unable to manage your payments. Some debts, like mortgages and car loans, are “secured,” which means you agree to give away your home or car if you can’t pay your bills.

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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 may also decide that there are assets you cannot afford to lose.

Shoot down your targets

Squid game robot
netflix

A popular way to crush high-interest debt from credit cards and payday loans is to consolidate it. How you do it is quite simple. Take out a new loan at a lower interest rate and use it to pay off higher balances. This leaves you with just one bill to pay and you can spend more money on paying off the balance instead of interest charges.

Some Squid Game players reportedly struggled with this strategy, as you’ll need to get a new loan first. Gi-hun’s gambling addiction probably sank his credit scorethe number that tells the lender how reliable you are.

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After reviewing your own score and perhaps taking a few steps to improve it, you can consider different consolidation options:

  • Transfer your credit card balances. Take advantage of low or no interest rates for a limited time by transferring your higher rate balances to a new card. This will buy you time to pay off the debt, but some cards charge a fee to transfer your balance. Be sure to do the math and make sure it’s worth it. And be sure to pay the full amount before the end of the promotional period.
  • A Personal loan can come from banks, credit unions and online banks. Check the interest rates as you will be required to repay these unsecured loans in equal installments over a specified period of time.
  • Home equity line of credit. If you own a home and have accumulated enough equity, this will be one of your cheapest options. A word of warning, though – you’ll be using your home as collateral, so if you don’t make your payments, you could lose it.

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Increase your income

Not all Squid Game competitors have gone into debt because of their own mistakes.

North Korean defector Sae-byeok needed a huge amount of money to get her mother through safely, and factory worker Ali Abdul wasn’t earning a dime from his corrupt employer.

Although both characters have struggled to find new work, depending on their skills and immigration status, you may be able to find work in unexpected places. And we’re not talking about accepting a challenge from a stranger on the subway.

Online gig marketplaces can help you find extra work to do from home, whether your talents lie in writing, voice acting, graphic design, or something else entirely. Just be sure to do your due diligence before accepting an online job. Employment scams are becoming increasingly common, especially as remote work remains popular. Learn how to protect yourself and avoid common scams by regularly checking Government of Canada website.

This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.

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