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Friday, December 2, 2022


dad got forced to retire because of covid, gambled away his savings before that, should I give him an allowance


Since young, I have always felt that life is unfair to me. I’m from a low income family; I’m the oldest and have a younger brother (still studying). We could never afford anything expensive like holidays, aircon or even restaurant meals. I took up part time jobs since secondary, studied hard each year to get edusave bursaries. The sad thing is, I’m not that smart (considered pretty ok in my sec sch and lower-rank JC). I did well enough to enter NUS’ not so popular course, but not smart enough to excel nor qualify for scholarship. Applied financial aid every year, took loans to cover tuition fees, could never even think of going SEP (can’t afford forget it). I worked every vacation with the aim to pay off loans sooner after graduation.. I’m now working in a job that I hate, earning less than a decent salary. Just as I was preparing to job hop, covid strikes and derailed my plans. You get the picture. 

And then there’s my dad. His monthly income was pretty low and he is addicted to gambling (toto, 4D, football betting etc.) Despite our advise to ask him to save up to retire early or to go on a short holiday as a family, he never listened. He did not disclose how much he spends on gambling but it must be a lot because he doesn’t have any savings. I accidentally saw his bank account balance the other day and he only had $2k. As someone who had to work so hard to put myself through university…I’m really angry with my dad, with his actions, with his unwise decisions. Because of this, I never gave him any allowance as he will only gamble them away. Just when I thought that the circuit breaker isn’t so bad as it forces my dad to stop gambling during this period… the bad news came, he was asked to retire. Yea, there’s a government grant that we can apply…but surely it isn’t enough. 

He did not ask me for money (yet), but I can see that he will not be able to sustain without an income. The savings I had I earned through sweat and tears over all these years… I’m really unsure if I should start giving him a monthly allowance, albeit unwillingly. This seems like a stupid question because it‘s not like I have a choice and have to do it anyway. In times like these…it always makes me want to run away. Sometimes the burden is just too heavy to bear. I guess I’m just hoping for some advice to make me feel better about all of this..

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