Cost of Living Singapore | Singapore Expenses Guide for Expats
Relocation | Singaporeby Priyadarshini 17 February 2023
Singapore has consistently ranked first in cost-of-living polls. But how much does it truly cost to live here? If you’re a young working adult or a possible expat considering accepting a job offer in Singapore, you’re probably wondering how much money is “appropriate” for someone your age to spend each month. We give you a cost of living Singapore guide for 2022.
Cost of Living Singapore Guide 2022
Expenses Per Day
Again, this varies greatly depending on your way of living. However, you should budget for the following costs:
Due to a large number of imported products, this may be more expensive than in other countries. Milk, non-tropical fruits, and non-Asian items such as cheese are generally quite expensive. If you cook every day at home, you’ll probably spend $250 on groceries every month.
At one end of the spectrum, a dinner at a suburban hawker court can be as little as $3 to $6. (not including drinks). When it comes to dining, a dinner at a mid-range restaurant should cost between $20 and $30.
Basic SIM-only service costs $20 per month.
Gyms and other sports/exercise classes are quite expensive in Singapore, with a fair price range for a gym membership or weekly class is around $100 per month.
On weekdays, movie tickets are around $9, while on weekends, they are around $13. Alcohol is prohibitively costly, with a pint of beer in a city center bar costing between $10 and $15.
If you’re relocating here from another country, your main expense will be accommodation, whether you rent or buy. In case you’re renting, you should budget at least $700 to $3,500 per month, and $1,500 to $6,000 per month if you’re a Singaporean/PR buying a home and eligible to purchase HDB property.
Purchasing a Home
If you’re a Singaporean or PR wanting to buy a home, you’ll have two options: an HDB flat (you must apply with your fiancé(e) and be prepared to marry by the time you retrieve your keys) or private property. New HDB property is heavily subsidized, and you will be eligible for grants based on your income level. Prices for resale property in more central regions can be rather high. And, unless you have a significant salary, you’ll need to be prepared to service a large home loan if you want to buy private property.
In general, resale property prices range from around $500,000 for a 3-room HDB flat to $3,000,000 or more for private property, with the average condo unit costing $1,300,000 or more. If you put down a minimum of 15% for an HDB unit or 25% for a private home and take out a 25-year loan, you may expect to pay anything from $1,500 to $7,500 per month in loan payments for homes in that price range.
Renting a house – Cost of Living Singapore
In Singapore, the majority of foreigners rent a property. Be forewarned: it is not inexpensive. If you’re a single person looking to rent simply a room in a shared HDB flat (public housing) or a condo apartment (private) with a shared bathroom, you can expect to pay between $700 and $2,000 per month. Do you dislike sharing? It will cost you. A studio apartment or one-bedroom unit in an HDB flat or condo costs between $1,500 and $4,500 per month.
The cost of a property varies greatly depending on its type: HDB flats are less expensive but more basic, whereas condo apartments are more expensive but swankier and sometimes contain gyms/pools. Another consideration is the distance from the city center. The closer to the center, the higher the price. However, Singapore’s public transportation system is not horrible, so renting a house on the outskirts of the city can save you money. As an added bonus, neighbourhoods outside of the city center have more character and less expensive dining options.
As a tenant, you should be aware that some landlords will not allow you to cook if they live in the same apartment as you, forcing you to dine out or order food every day. If you are allergic to regulations but cannot afford to live alone, look for an apartment that is exclusively occupied by other tenants.
Your monthly transportation costs, like everything else in life, can vary greatly depending on how far you need to go each day and what method of transportation you use. If you reside close to your workplace and the city center, you’ll spend less money on transportation than someone who lives in Woodlands and needs to commute to the CBD every day. Unless you have a lot of spare cash, buying a car in Singapore is not a good idea. They’re notoriously costly here, costing an extra $2,000 to $3,000 per month (car loan installments, insurance, petrol, parking, and maintenance).
You’ll most likely employ a combination of public transportation (buses and MRT) and taxi (or Grab) rides. Public transportation is reasonably priced, with an unlimited MRT and bus concession pass typically costing around $128 per month.
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