Singapore Expats

costs of living

Discuss about life in Singapore. Ask about cost of living, housing, travel, etiquette & lifestyle. Share experience & advice with Singaporeans & expat staying in Singapore.
Post Reply
robodude
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun, 08 May 2022 10:38 pm

costs of living

Post by robodude » Mon, 09 May 2022 3:14 am

Hi,
I am trying to estimate budget for comfortable living for family of 3 (2 adults + 1 3yo). I assume: kindergarten: ~1500SGD/mo - English classes are prio, learning Chinese is a plus 2-3 bedroom apartment not too far from queenstown (30-40min commute): 3500SGD/mo

My avg monthly income after tax would be around 12300 SGD / mo. This means in theory I have 7300 SGD left for eating, savings, whatever other costs. We like asian food, cook ourselves, don't really need a car, rather renting and traveling.
After some time, hopefully my wife finds job as well.

Does it make sense? Appreciate any feedback!

Thanks

User avatar
PNGMK
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9088
Joined: Thu, 21 Mar 2013 9:06 pm
Answers: 10
Location: Sinkapore

Re: costs of living

Post by PNGMK » Mon, 09 May 2022 9:31 am

Schooling costs jump dramatically for International Schools .... you're estimate is well under. I'd budget at 30k a year for schooling.

Also rents are definitely going up. I don't think 3500 is enough. Probably 4k will be enough.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

nelyanne
Regular
Regular
Posts: 138
Joined: Thu, 06 Aug 2020 1:18 pm

Re: costs of living

Post by nelyanne » Mon, 09 May 2022 9:41 am

Whether your wife will find a job or not, it depends on her education, skills, experience... Some industries/roles are totally closed for foreigners
For the general costs of living, you can check numbers on Numbeo.com. I find them quite accurate for Singapore. Add maybe +5% for the inflation.
If you want to cook at home, you can check the prices of groceries on Lazada Redmart - online supermarket.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 40423
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 21
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Re: costs of living

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 09 May 2022 1:26 pm

robodude wrote:
Mon, 09 May 2022 3:14 am
Hi,
I am trying to estimate budget for comfortable living for family of 3 (2 adults + 1 3yo). I assume: kindergarten: ~1500SGD/mo - English classes are prio, learning Chinese is a plus 2-3 bedroom apartment not too far from queenstown (30-40min commute): 3500SGD/mo

My avg monthly income after tax would be around 12300 SGD / mo. This means in theory I have 7300 SGD left for eating, savings, whatever other costs. We like asian food, cook ourselves, don't really need a car, rather renting and traveling.
After some time, hopefully my wife finds job as well.

Does it make sense? Appreciate any feedback!

Thanks
viewtopic.php?p=851706#p851706
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

BBCDoc
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue, 05 Oct 2010 11:21 pm
Location: Singapore

Re: costs of living

Post by BBCDoc » Mon, 09 May 2022 2:02 pm

Do you have health insurance? Is your company providing any? Make sure you cover that angle too.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
There's always room for one more

User avatar
malcontent
Manager
Manager
Posts: 2652
Joined: Sat, 22 Dec 2007 11:52 am
Answers: 8
Location: Pulau Ujong

Re: costs of living

Post by malcontent » Mon, 09 May 2022 11:12 pm

It’s surprising how expenses can accumulate. All of the seemingly little things add up, and before you know it, it’s a 5 figure sum.

Going without a car helps. Going without air conditioning helps. Going without diary products helps. Going without alcohol helps. Going without beef helps. Going without imported Western foods of most kinds helps.

One other point on schools, don’t assume you can get your child a place in any school here. The popular schools have waiting lists, including popular local kindergartens. Both of my kids went to Barker Road Kindergarten, it’s a decent local school that foreigners can access, if there is a spot available - price is also reasonable. But that is only an option until age 7. No easy or cheap options after that.
Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it - Niels Bohr

User avatar
abbby
Manager
Manager
Posts: 2004
Joined: Thu, 21 Jul 2005 3:00 am
Answers: 2
Location: Tiny Island

Re: costs of living

Post by abbby » Sat, 14 May 2022 12:54 pm

I think $3.5k to $5k if you're looking in the queenstown area, maybe older condos give better value and space. Just avoid a west facing house to avoid high bills from the high air-conditioning.

To add on, your child might need tuition or enrichment classes which will add on to your schooling expenses. Don't drink and smoke, that'll save you quite a bit.

Grab cab is common, but car might come in handy if you have a kid to move around. Buy second hand cars if you're looking to buy a car or a COE car.

I think schools, rents and cars are the highest costs you need to consider.
The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made. - Groucho Marx (1890-1977)

User avatar
malcontent
Manager
Manager
Posts: 2652
Joined: Sat, 22 Dec 2007 11:52 am
Answers: 8
Location: Pulau Ujong

Re: costs of living

Post by malcontent » Sat, 14 May 2022 2:56 pm

Schooling: $2,500-4,000/mo per child
Housing: $4,000-5,000/mo (3br, outskirts)

Remember, housing is not just rent alone, and schooling is not just tuition alone.

These two expenses can easily push a family of 4 into 5 digits monthly. This is why expats get packages, and locals get government subsidies for education, housing and healthcare. So if you have school aged children and you’re not getting a package or subsidies, you really need an exit plan.

If you are single, a couple or a young family, it’s important to recognize how your expenses will change as your family situation changes.
Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it - Niels Bohr

robodude
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun, 08 May 2022 10:38 pm

Re: costs of living

Post by robodude » Tue, 17 May 2022 7:33 pm

nelyanne wrote:
Mon, 09 May 2022 9:41 am
Whether your wife will find a job or not, it depends on her education, skills, experience... Some industries/roles are totally closed for foreigners
For the general costs of living, you can check numbers on Numbeo.com. I find them quite accurate for Singapore. Add maybe +5% for the inflation.
If you want to cook at home, you can check the prices of groceries on Lazada Redmart - online supermarket.
Thanks! good advice on Numbeo :)

Lisafuller
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6228
Joined: Sat, 07 Nov 2020 11:45 pm
Answers: 3

Re: costs of living

Post by Lisafuller » Mon, 23 May 2022 3:13 am

robodude wrote:
Mon, 09 May 2022 3:14 am
Hi,
I am trying to estimate budget for comfortable living for family of 3 (2 adults + 1 3yo). I assume: kindergarten: ~1500SGD/mo - English classes are prio, learning Chinese is a plus 2-3 bedroom apartment not too far from queenstown (30-40min commute): 3500SGD/mo

My avg monthly income after tax would be around 12300 SGD / mo. This means in theory I have 7300 SGD left for eating, savings, whatever other costs. We like asian food, cook ourselves, don't really need a car, rather renting and traveling.
After some time, hopefully my wife finds job as well.

Does it make sense? Appreciate any feedback!

Thanks
Would be smart to budget higher for rent and schooling, kindergarten should be fine but once the child enters grade school (assuming you’re still living here), costs will rise exponentially. If you find that you will need to make frequent commutes, especially to ferry your child to and from school, it may be a good idea to look at getting a secondhand car. This is a great option because if you get one that’s around 10 years old, it’s already depreciated significantly but still in great condition. Plus, you can get one with remaining COE that matches the length of time you plan to stay in the country so you won’t have to pay for the full 10 years.
Last edited by Lisafuller on Mon, 23 May 2022 3:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

Lisafuller
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6228
Joined: Sat, 07 Nov 2020 11:45 pm
Answers: 3

Re: costs of living

Post by Lisafuller » Mon, 23 May 2022 3:15 am

nelyanne wrote:
Mon, 09 May 2022 9:41 am
Whether your wife will find a job or not, it depends on her education, skills, experience... Some industries/roles are totally closed for foreigners
For the general costs of living, you can check numbers on Numbeo.com. I find them quite accurate for Singapore. Add maybe +5% for the inflation.
If you want to cook at home, you can check the prices of groceries on Lazada Redmart - online supermarket.
Numbeo is a great tip, not many people know about it and the problem is some sites offer completely inaccurate figures so it can be hard to know who to believe.

Lisafuller
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6228
Joined: Sat, 07 Nov 2020 11:45 pm
Answers: 3

Re: costs of living

Post by Lisafuller » Mon, 23 May 2022 3:16 am

malcontent wrote:
Mon, 09 May 2022 11:12 pm
It’s surprising how expenses can accumulate. All of the seemingly little things add up, and before you know it, it’s a 5 figure sum.

Going without a car helps. Going without air conditioning helps. Going without diary products helps. Going without alcohol helps. Going without beef helps. Going without imported Western foods of most kinds helps.

One other point on schools, don’t assume you can get your child a place in any school here. The popular schools have waiting lists, including popular local kindergartens. Both of my kids went to Barker Road Kindergarten, it’s a decent local school that foreigners can access, if there is a spot available - price is also reasonable. But that is only an option until age 7. No easy or cheap options after that.
Dairy and beef? Seems a bit extreme Mal, are you speaking from experience?

Lisafuller
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6228
Joined: Sat, 07 Nov 2020 11:45 pm
Answers: 3

Re: costs of living

Post by Lisafuller » Mon, 23 May 2022 3:18 am

abbby wrote:
Sat, 14 May 2022 12:54 pm
I think $3.5k to $5k if you're looking in the queenstown area, maybe older condos give better value and space. Just avoid a west facing house to avoid high bills from the high air-conditioning.

To add on, your child might need tuition or enrichment classes which will add on to your schooling expenses. Don't drink and smoke, that'll save you quite a bit.

Grab cab is common, but car might come in handy if you have a kid to move around. Buy second hand cars if you're looking to buy a car or a COE car.

I think schools, rents and cars are the highest costs you need to consider.
A little early to worry about tuition and enrichment since OP’s child is only 3 (although I guess one could argue it’s never too early to be kiasu).

Lisafuller
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6228
Joined: Sat, 07 Nov 2020 11:45 pm
Answers: 3

Re: costs of living

Post by Lisafuller » Mon, 23 May 2022 3:19 am

malcontent wrote:
Sat, 14 May 2022 2:56 pm
Schooling: $2,500-4,000/mo per child
Housing: $4,000-5,000/mo (3br, outskirts)

Remember, housing is not just rent alone, and schooling is not just tuition alone.

These two expenses can easily push a family of 4 into 5 digits monthly. This is why expats get packages, and locals get government subsidies for education, housing and healthcare. So if you have school aged children and you’re not getting a package or subsidies, you really need an exit plan.

If you are single, a couple or a young family, it’s important to recognize how your expenses will change as your family situation changes.
Coming to Singapore as an expat without a package is a Death wish financially.

User avatar
malcontent
Manager
Manager
Posts: 2652
Joined: Sat, 22 Dec 2007 11:52 am
Answers: 8
Location: Pulau Ujong

Re: costs of living

Post by malcontent » Mon, 23 May 2022 12:09 pm

Lisafuller wrote:
Mon, 23 May 2022 3:16 am
malcontent wrote:
Mon, 09 May 2022 11:12 pm
It’s surprising how expenses can accumulate. All of the seemingly little things add up, and before you know it, it’s a 5 figure sum.

Going without a car helps. Going without air conditioning helps. Going without diary products helps. Going without alcohol helps. Going without beef helps. Going without imported Western foods of most kinds helps.

One other point on schools, don’t assume you can get your child a place in any school here. The popular schools have waiting lists, including popular local kindergartens. Both of my kids went to Barker Road Kindergarten, it’s a decent local school that foreigners can access, if there is a spot available - price is also reasonable. But that is only an option until age 7. No easy or cheap options after that.
Dairy and beef? Seems a bit extreme Mal, are you speaking from experience?
The price of chicken here is similar to the US, but in the US the price of beef and chicken is roughly the same. Here? Beef is close to double the price of chicken, so I rarely indulge in things like steak for this reason.

As for dairy, milk costs 4x the US. And do not assume that is all because of the expense to import it from great distances, the price in Hawaii is double the mainland price, but that is still half what it costs here. Cheese is another one that is just outrageous, the cost here is just marked up the wazoo, well beyond what is explainable. Ice cream is another one, either you get the junky stuff made with coconut oil, or you pay nose bleed prices that make no sense at all — if you compare to the same
product in Hong Kong (which also has cartel pricing) it’s half price there. How can this be explained?

Certain prices here just make no sense at all, and there is no justification - it’s just a long held price disparity that nobody questions and competitors have all agreed “not to spoil the market” so they can all profiteer from it.
Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it - Niels Bohr

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Staying, Living in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 31 guests