News

HANDOUTS HELP ME SAVE MONEY

Madam Ong Siew Poh, 75, had been working as a cleaner until a car accident left her unable to continue working eight years ago.

Two of her five children, who are aged between 49 and 53, are warded at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) and the remaining three struggle to make ends meet.

Her children do not live with her.

The widow lives off her savings and does not receive long-term financial help.

She declined to say how much she has saved. Instead, she said she spends about $3 a day on meals.

"I hope to return to the workforce and perhaps work as a cleaner if there is a chance," she told The New Paper, speaking in Hokkien from her three-room flat in Bedok Reservoir Road.

Out of habit, she sleeps in her living room. She also hopes that this sleeping arrangement will allow her to maximise the rental income of her two bedrooms.

She has one tenant, who pays $250 in rent. Her monthly expenses are $500, she said.

Medical bills make up a large portion of the expenses, as she suffers from chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

For the past nine to 10 months, she has been trying to find another tenant to supplement her income, but to no avail. Madam Ong said the food hampers will be important in helping her save on her expenses.

"The food hamper really helps as I eat pretty much everything that is given. I am thankful that it helps me to save."