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150$ for a family of two adults and 2 kids

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Grean
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150$ for a family of two adults and 2 kids

Postby Grean » Fri, 03 Apr 2015 9:35 pm

Hello.

I wonder if you could help me.

My husband was offered a job in Singapore the salary is Sin$150k + bonus + moving costs.
I knowing is not much and it is very expensive in Singapore so I wonder if a family of two adults and two kids 1 and 3 year old can have a comfortable life on that amount of money.
I can imagan it will not be easy for us because we make more money now and things are not expensive where we are.

We don't need to be very cenrtal or in a posh area. Not too far from everywhere, just to be able to go out time to time and be near some shops, parks, markets and supermarkets is all we want. Not a big 3-bed apartment with a swiming pool would be just great.
We don't need a car, will not need help around the house and our kinds are not going to school or day care for another two years. I would like to join some activities for my older one though.

We would absolutely love to experience life in Aisa, I suppose it is the main reason we want to make a move. It's our only chance to do it now, while our kids are small.

My main fear is that we'll have no money to enjoy our selfs. We would love to be able to go out for occasional dinners and maybe have a nice holiday on one of the islands near by once or twice a year. Is it too much to ask for on the above salary? I would love to hear from anyone who has some thoughts on that one.

Thanks in advance.
Grean

This forum has offered so much help already, I've been searching for the last two days. But it would be great if somebody actually have a similar income and can tell us how they personally find it.

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ecureilx
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Re: 150$ for a family of two adults and 2 kids

Postby ecureilx » Fri, 03 Apr 2015 9:41 pm

Grean wrote:Hello.
it.


Short reply

That's more than twice an average Singaporean's annual wage

Agreed they get provident fund contributions and subsidized housing ... but if you are not looking for an expensive lifestyle you can more than make do ..

And have money to travel

Others here may chime in later ...

Grean
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Re: 150$ for a family of two adults and 2 kids

Postby Grean » Fri, 03 Apr 2015 9:59 pm

Thanks Ecureilx for getting back to me so soon.

You are right we are not after luxurious life, just a comfortable one. I don't want to live pay check to pay check watch every $. What I mean is, I guess we can servive on that salary but we want just a bit more than serviving if I make sense at all :???: Asia is so vibrant and we just have to be able to get out and about, have fun time to time, not too much fun though :D 'two kids!'

movingtospore
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Re: 150$ for a family of two adults and 2 kids

Postby movingtospore » Sun, 05 Apr 2015 3:36 pm

Grean wrote:Thanks Ecureilx for getting back to me so soon.

You are right we are not after luxurious life, just a comfortable one. I don't want to live pay check to pay check watch every $. What I mean is, I guess we can servive on that salary but we want just a bit more than serviving if I make sense at all :???: Asia is so vibrant and we just have to be able to get out and about, have fun time to time, not too much fun though :D 'two kids!'


Just be prepared for some very large bills once they hit school age for International School (25K+ per child). If you intend to send them to local school, apply for PR as soon as you reasonbly think you can get it. Thank will improve your chance of getting a spot.

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Re: 150$ for a family of two adults and 2 kids

Postby ecureilx » Sun, 05 Apr 2015 5:06 pm

movingtospore wrote:
Grean wrote:Thanks Ecureilx for getting back to me so soon.

You are right we are not after luxurious life, just a comfortable one. I don't want to live pay check to pay check watch every $. What I mean is, I guess we can servive on that salary but we want just a bit more than serviving if I make sense at all :???: Asia is so vibrant and we just have to be able to get out and about, have fun time to time, not too much fun though :D 'two kids!'


Just be prepared for some very large bills once they hit school age for International School (25K+ per child). If you intend to send them to local school, apply for PR as soon as you reasonbly think you can get it. Thank will improve your chance of getting a spot.


with one kid at 1 year and another, of 3 years of age, schooling wouldn't be a big issue, as of now !

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sundaymorningstaple
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Re: 150$ for a family of two adults and 2 kids

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 05 Apr 2015 5:19 pm

You are only 2 years away for the eldest.

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JR8
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Re: 150$ for a family of two adults and 2 kids

Postby JR8 » Sun, 05 Apr 2015 10:18 pm

I think by the average standard, that is an above average package/offer. So I’d like to re-boot your whole vibe and sense of ‘Woe is me, how will we ever cope?’, since you’ll be just fine here; way more than fine.

It would help as reference point if you could give some idea of where you are now, and what kind of standard of living you have. For example what does your housing cost now? Is the salary the same as you have now (in a cheap place), or double? You know, Oslo or Chittagong?

I have an apartment which might be the kind of thing that would work for you. 'Zone 2', well connected for transport, 3 bed, full condo facilities. It’s about $4k/mo. I could probably take that down .5/1k by moving one further zone out from central, maybe another 5 stops up the train line. I consider what we have a decent compromise. // This is just one reference point, as an example.

Perhaps start judging your package, by estimating your baseline housing costs; i.e. the main/core cost. Also as previously noted, look ahead at the chance/risk of local school fees, just to have that in your consideration now.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: 150$ for a family of two adults and 2 kids

Postby TandD » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 12:08 am

If you're not expecting a luxurious lifestyle, designer everything and posh restaurants, that is quite enough. We have with 2 kids age 7 and 10 and my husband is on less than that with S$500 bonus for the year ha ha, and I would say we live comfortably! We have a 3 bed apartment $3800 pm with great swimming pools in the East Coast where we cycle to most local places, e.g library, food shopping, piano lesson, the beach, we even cycle to Gardens by the Bay and the Sports hub as we don't have car. Public transport is so cheap. We don't have a helper/maid either which saves approx S$1000 a month.

However, it wouldn't be enough if we sent kids to International School, but as I homeschool my children, school fees aren't a problem.

We even manage to save some money for holidays too! So I would say that if you are good at managing your money, you'll be completely fine!!

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Re: 150$ for a family of two adults and 2 kids

Postby Grean » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 4:03 am

Thank you very much for all your great answers.
It is good to know that it is not as expensive as we were told.
We are in The Netherlands now, we pay less for food and have a massive house in a rural place.
I really want to make it work, we would really love to experience Singapore. So many people told us just how insanely expensive everything is, it made us think that 150k could be less than enough for a family.
I am happy to hear from people who actually are in Singapore having comfortable lives on that sort of money.
Thank you all again

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Re: 150$ for a family of two adults and 2 kids

Postby Dert42 » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 8:42 am

We're a 2 person, 2 kid household.
We're here on a little more then that and having a great time.
Next year when the little one goes to big school though... we'll need to change something.

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Re: 150$ for a family of two adults and 2 kids

Postby JR8 » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 10:17 am

Grean wrote:It is good to know that it is not as expensive as we were told.
We are in The Netherlands now, we pay less for food and have a massive house in a rural place.
I really want to make it work, we would really love to experience Singapore. So many people told us just how insanely expensive everything is, it made us think that 150k could be less than enough for a family.


Almost all of us go through some cost-of-living-shock adjustment here. Land is scarce which feeds > rents (shops rents too), which feeds prices in general. Together with that just about everything is imported, and the cost premium that involves. Example: My breakfast this morning was a couple of Malaysian bananas, Australian milk and Australian 'Weetabix', with a spoon of honey over. Even something as basic a meal as that is 100% imported. Ha! Just checked the honey, not too$, NTUC own-brand... it's from Hungary. ...and polishing that off with a Nespresso, that's made in Switzerland (and costs maybe 3* what it would in Europe).

If you want to live downtown and shop for the same weekly shopping basket you get back home it will be expensive. But most people don't move here and try to exactly emulate their life from home. So after a little while you begin to expand your comfort zones and horizons. Eating what the locals eat outside the city-centre need not be expensive, shopping at local supermarkets isn't either (apart from tobacco/alcohol).

In our case we spend our time outside the city-centre. Journeys there tend to be when we're going to a concert, the cinema, fine-dining etc., or when we need our bi-weekly fix of 'expat groceries'. I.e. we do 90% of our grocery shopping in our local supermarket (the island-wide chain NTUC). But there are some things that back home are normal (always in the fridge) that here are a treat. So I go downtown to the $upermarket chain called Cold Storage and buy supplies, like pickled herring, pate, salami, cheese, sausages, crab, smoked salmon. This is stuff I could not or would not buy from NTUC. This is where I could also buy other groceries like back home, sliced meats, high quality fresh meat, non-local fruit and veg, and salad stuff, a better more diverse range of wine, beer etc. all at quite shocking prices.

This hybrid approach of buying most stuff locally, and accepting the cost of some home comforts from downtown works well for us I think.

And furthermore :) two other things should be considered.
- tourists here stay on average 2.5 days. They stay in downtown hotels and pay downtown prices for everything. Whereas I would be shocked to go out in my neighbourhood and be charged more than $5 for a plate of the eponymous dish 'chicken-rice', in a downtown hotel seeing it on the menu at $20 even $30 would not surprise me, (because that's what they charge, because they have a captive market, who don't realise the premium they are paying). Same as if I visited Amsterdam, stayed in Centrum ('as all tourists do' :)) and paid tourist prices for everything. My impression of cost-of-living will be very different from yours maybe just a few miles away from the centre of town.

- Beware comfort-zones (this has been discussed before). You move here and it's natural to cling to anything familiar/known, since so much is unfamiliar, at least initially. This is why, as with any major city, you get expat ghettoes. Perhaps like AMS/Oud-West? The closest local version is probably District 10, though it has less parks and so on. On this forum we see new members who have decided they must live in D10. It's usually because a colleague lives there. Or a friend lived here and D10 is 'where all the expats live [so you should look there too]'. Then these people look at rents in D10 and they're like :shock: how will our S$1mm salary allow us to have the same size place as home in D10, and the typical nice car we have here is S$250k there :shock:, how will we manage on that salary, should we move to Singapore at all!? There is a required element of 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do'.

Most countries have their favourite topics of conversation. In Europe it's probably the weather, and politics. In general terms the latter is off-limits here, the local topics are weather, shopping, eating out (preferably as cheaply as possible), and how expensive everything is. Europe has a weather-fixation and you hear it discussed at length everyday, maybe the same is true of costs here, especially from a visitor who has just had a downtown 2.5 day tourist experience.

--- Also check out the FAQ-topic 'What to bring'.
viewtopic.php?t=103156
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Re: 150$ for a family of two adults and 2 kids

Postby MikeJones » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 11:03 am

Another point to mention is tax rates. You say you earn more currently in the Netherlands but you're going to be paying 30% plus on that in income tax (probably inaccurate as its from a quick look at the wikipedia article on Netherlands taxes). While in SG you'll pay 15% if you're not tax resident (i.e. in country for less than 6 months) and something like 8.5% if you are tax resident. So yes things are more expensive here for all the reasons mentioned previously but you get more of your salary to spend on those things.

Mike

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ecureilx
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Re: 150$ for a family of two adults and 2 kids

Postby ecureilx » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 12:47 pm

MikeJones wrote:Another point to mention is tax rates. You say you earn more currently in the Netherlands but you're going to be paying 30% plus on that in income tax (probably inaccurate as its from a quick look at the wikipedia article on Netherlands taxes). While in SG you'll pay 15% if you're not tax resident (i.e. in country for less than 6 months) and something like 8.5% if you are tax resident. So yes things are more expensive here for all the reasons mentioned previously but you get more of your salary to spend on those things.

Mike


the word 'tax resident' is a bit misleading in Singapore.

Your effective tax will pan out most likely in the following format :

http://www.iras.gov.sg/irashome/taxcalculators.aspx

And if you work for a year + then you will go by the above tax calculation, something like this !

"Chargeable
Income" Rate Gross Tax Payable
$ (%) $
On the first 20,000 0 0
On the next 10,000 2.0 200
On the first 30,000 200
On the next 10,000 3.5 350
On the first 40,000 550
On the next 40,000 7.0 2,800
On the first 80,000 3,350

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ecureilx
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Re: 150$ for a family of two adults and 2 kids

Postby ecureilx » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 3:37 pm

OP, maybe you can take a look at this thread !!

viewtopic.php?t=100126

BTW, regarding home schooling, following rules apply, if you opt to home school in the future !

http://www.moe.gov.sg/initiatives/compu ... xemptions/

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Re: 150$ for a family of two adults and 2 kids

Postby TandD » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 4:02 pm

the home schooling exemption thing only applies to Singaporeans, us expats are not affected :)


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