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Finally.....SG is the real #1

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ScoobyDoes
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Finally.....SG is the real #1

Postby ScoobyDoes » Tue, 04 Mar 2014 10:42 am

As just being reported on the BBC......

Singapore has topped 131 cities globally to become the world's most expensive city to live in 2014, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

The city's strong currency combined with the high cost of running a car and soaring utility bills contributed to Singapore topping the list.

It is also the most expensive place in the world to buy clothes.

Singapore replaces Tokyo, which topped the list in 2013.


It's nothing we didn't already know but maybe instead of the government being proud it is expensive, like a status symbol of 'making it', it should focus on what it means for business. Pointing out that, still, 25% of GDP comes from manufacturing that here is quite inefficient and can be done elsewhere for less, should highlight problems for local companies to compete.
'When Lewis Hamilton wins a race he has to thank Vodafone whereas in my day I used to chase the crumpet. I know which era I'd rather race in.'

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Postby Wd40 » Tue, 04 Mar 2014 10:46 am

Interesting! I dont drive so that cost doesnt affect me. My utilities bill is only $100 a month, we dont use the aircon ever since we moved to this house as its orientation is such that there is no direct sun from anywhere so it doesnt get hot like my previous house which was top floor. And my 3 bedroom HDB rent is $2400. I send my daughter to playgroup and the fee is $175 a month and overall on an average(averaged over the last 2 years) we spend about $4200 a month for a couple and child,all inclusive(including 1 international holiday a year and 1 trip back home a year). Can I live cheaper than this in Tokyo and have the similar standard of living?

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Postby the lynx » Tue, 04 Mar 2014 10:56 am

I don't know, I still think that the food is cheap here (if you don't have the high standards). Especially when you don't have to tip to eat out. And utilities are actually quite reasonably cheap. And income tax too.

I guess the factor of car, education and property ownership really drive the quotient up high, overshadowing everything else that is low cost.

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Postby ScoobyDoes » Tue, 04 Mar 2014 11:08 am

The report isn't specifically Expat centric, like some other surveys, so it takes into account local, FW and FT.

Okay with COE I know my car is jumping from the S$88k I paid in 2007 to S$220k now and it will be wait-and-see what the price is next year when it needs replaced. Clothes, shoes and electronics are all more expensive here.

Accommodation may be at a tipping point with evidence prices are retreating. If the West continues expansion any future interest rate increases may accelerate that retreat for a while. Again, though, with so much emphasis still on manufacturing here, high cost is not of any benefit and I believe the IT boys see that too with jobs moving overseas.
'When Lewis Hamilton wins a race he has to thank Vodafone whereas in my day I used to chase the crumpet. I know which era I'd rather race in.'



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Postby Beeroclock » Tue, 04 Mar 2014 11:34 am

A dubious honour... as per wd40/lynx, I also tend to find some disconnect with my personal experience. I guess if you've been here a while and know the ins and outs and different options available, you can mitigate a lot of cost increase by adjusting your habits/patterns. However, these kind of headlines must surely cause some apprehension/aversion to potential newcomers!

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Postby x9200 » Tue, 04 Mar 2014 11:43 am

The property, cars and alcohol. These 3 only. The rest I found reasonably priced or purchased seldom enough (i.e. some electronics like AV receivers) to not be a significant factor.

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Postby Sergei82 » Tue, 04 Mar 2014 12:10 pm

This news is all over now. I guess, what criteria they use to establish expensiveness? Nominal amount of money? Maybe, yes, expensive. Buying power? I doubt, but maybe I didn't live in "better" locations yet...

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Postby singapore eagle » Tue, 04 Mar 2014 12:11 pm

You really feel the high cost of living here when you have young kids.

Prices for anything baby-related in Singapore's small, import-reliant market can easily be double the prices back in the UK. And having a car becomes more worthwhile.

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Postby Beeroclock » Tue, 04 Mar 2014 12:42 pm

singapore eagle wrote:You really feel the high cost of living here when you have young kids.

Prices for anything baby-related in Singapore's small, import-reliant market can easily be double the prices back in the UK. And having a car becomes more worthwhile.
This is made worse I reckon by marketing tactics tending to extort parents.... Buy this brand of formula it will make your kid smarter, use this brand of car seat it will protect your kid better, etc etc. Quite tough for parents, everyone wants the best for their kids and it's a soft spot in the wallet that marketers know how to tap. Even the most frugal of people can be spendthrift when it comes to their children!

Weddings is another example, the cost can immediately double when you mention the word.

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Postby Sergei82 » Tue, 04 Mar 2014 12:56 pm

Other things that are NOT actually common in other places of the world I've been to:
- in many places they don't show prices (rental, watches, jewelry etc) - they ask you what's your budget (and some other questions to find out how badly you want it) and insist on you telling it - you never know whether you are in loss after that,
- locking contracts with huge penalties everywhere: house, gym, phone, internet etc,
- unexpected fees and deposits in advance (which may be the same in other countries, but for some reason it seemed excessive in Singapore for me).

Dunno, maybe it only looks like that for me and people who've been to many more countries will tell me its not that bad in SG, but negative impression is there.

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Postby rajagainstthemachine » Tue, 04 Mar 2014 12:57 pm

For me eating outside seems to be burning the biggest hole in my pocket especially if you don't like the hawker food. Theres a choice of fine dine in restaurants or bad hawker food, there are no normal places, Something as basic as a taco or a burrito or a shawarma roll is treated like Gods gift to mankind here.
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Postby x9200 » Tue, 04 Mar 2014 1:12 pm

Sergei82 wrote:- in many places they don't show prices (rental, watches, jewelry etc) - they ask you what's your budget (and some other questions to find out how badly you want it) and insist on you telling it - you never know whether you are in loss after that,

This I don't understand. I just walk away. The only places I buy where there are no prices shown are camera shops but nobody asks me there about my budget.

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Postby singapore eagle » Tue, 04 Mar 2014 1:25 pm

Beeroclock wrote: This is made worse I reckon by marketing tactics tending to extort parents.... Buy this brand of formula it will make your kid smarter, use this brand of car seat it will protect your kid better, etc etc. Quite tough for parents, everyone wants the best for their kids and it's a soft spot in the wallet that marketers know how to tap. Even the most frugal of people can be spendthrift when it comes to their children!

Weddings is another example, the cost can immediately double when you mention the word.


This is clearly true, but the basics still cost a lot here too.

It's interesting that the article mentions clothes. When we travel, the suitcase comes back full of clothes - both for reasons of choice and price.

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Postby Sergei82 » Tue, 04 Mar 2014 1:33 pm

singapore eagle wrote:When we travel, the suitcase comes back full of clothes - both for reasons of choice and price.

I don't mind a bit higher price, but I really don't understand what's going on with the CHOICE in Singapore and why???

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Postby nakatago » Tue, 04 Mar 2014 1:43 pm

x9200 wrote:
Sergei82 wrote:- in many places they don't show prices (rental, watches, jewelry etc) - they ask you what's your budget (and some other questions to find out how badly you want it) and insist on you telling it - you never know whether you are in loss after that,

This I don't understand. I just walk away. The only places I buy where there are no prices shown are camera shops but nobody asks me there about my budget.


For rental, if I get asked what my budget is during an inquiry phone call, I hang up. The ad was obviously just to bait people.

For retail (electronics, cameras, watches, big purchases), I already know how much it should cost so I tell them a low figure. I ask them how much (to verify). If they give the slightest hint of trying to upsell or cheat me (by asking what my budget is or telling me what I want is no good and they give me something else), I walk away. Otherwise, I ask more questions just to make sure they're not leaving some things out. Some things to ask: GST, bundled accessories, etc.

The only exception I've experienced is with John 3:16 (the camera store) because there, they would ask you what you want to achieve and how much your budget is and they would give you honest recommendations. They may be more expensive than most but they won't hesitate to sell you a cheaper item if it's better suited to your needs.


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