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I think it was known that Gergor's salary would be needed in the long run. The family had also saved a good deal of Gregor's salary that had been put aside. Gregor knows that he could have used the money to pay off the debt to his chief and leave his job earlier, but he agrees that his father's planning was best since it now left the family with some money. It was not enough to live on for more than two years at most, and should be reserved for an emergency. Every time money is mentioned, Gregor feels extremely ashamed. I don't think the financial situation was a secret.