Before his transformation, Gregor is the Samsa family breadwinner. His parents have lost their retirement funds and depend on him for room, board, and food. Gregor's younger sister wishes to attend music school abroad, and Gregor is saving money up to send her. In addition, he is also paying down debts owed to his own employer; his parents had taken out a loan from Gregor's boss, against against future earnings.
When Gregor turns into a giant bug, the family takes a huge blow economically. His sister is forced to give up on her musical aspirations. His mother must take work as a local seamstress and his father also re-enters the workforce. Gregor's elderly parents are in poor health, so returning to work poses significant risks to their health and wellbeing. Meanwhile, Gregor's sister becomes increasingly despondent, having lost her dream of becoming a musician. Without the economic stability they had in Gregor, each family member suffers economic and emotional setbacks.