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150$ for a family of two adults and 2 kids

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

Post by ecureilx » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 4:19 pm

TandD wrote:the home schooling exemption thing only applies to Singaporeans, us expats are not affected :)
Oops, I missed that part ....

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

Post by Grean » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 7:35 pm

Wow, thanks for all your great replies.
You are so right- when you are in Singapore or where ever for that matter it is much more expensive for a tourist than it is for locals.
I know the tax is much lower in Singapore, I mean we earn now more after tax than we will be earning after tax in Singapore. However, I know we can have comfortable lives on much less here, and we are willing to give up some things like space and most Eropen foods, brands. Probably wine and beer will be a problem, but I'm sure cuting down on alcohol will be a good thing for us health wise. 8-[
Again, it's not a financial decision for us, we know we will be worse of financially but it's a great advanture and while our kids are still small its a great timing too. We really don't need to be in the centre or in a big apartment. We are ok to be a bit further, also we don't buy expensive cloths or do fine dining every week. As long as we can manage and being able to do simple things we will be ok.
I know it depends on people and how they can budget. We used to earn considerably more in the past( I was working too, I'm a stay home mum now) we were never able to save much at all, but since only my husband works we earn less but save more. We had to learn to budget.
Thanks again, you all have been very king to give us such great answers :D

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

Post by Grean » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 7:37 pm

JR8 wrote:
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'." onclick=";return false;
Great post, thanks a million for all the info :D

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