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Is there room for a freelance artist in Singapore?

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sakichan
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Is there room for a freelance artist in Singapore?

Post by sakichan » Thu, 17 Apr 2008 10:11 pm

Hi. I had a bit of a weird question. :)

I've been wanting to move to Singapore from the United States ever since I was 18 (24 now), but I've felt discouraged by how it is mostly people 30-50 years old with high incomes who seem to move there. I make around $1,200 USD per month, about $750 USD goes into my rent and the rest is for bills, food, and savings. I run a web design business from my home. My income is enough for me to live in the United States very comfortably, but I am worried it would not be enough elsewhere.

I am interested in moving to Singapore because I have always been fascinated with the country and society and respect the vision of the government. I have friends there too, so part of the reason I would be moving would be to be near a lot of the people I care about.


I had some questions that don't seem to be answered anywhere online, at least not that I've ever been able to find.

1. How much money is generally needed for plane travel, apartment deposits, and so on? I would be packing light, so a moving service would be unnecessary.

2. What sort of income do you need to comfortably live in a studio apartment?

3. Are there any low-income expats that I could get advice from?

4. I know that the first thing to do is visit Singapore and make sure that I truly like it. What sort of things should I pay attention to while I'm visiting, and is there anyone here who would be willing to meet up?

5. Is there any way I can get a visa to run my business in Singapore, or do I need a salary job in order to attain residency status?

6. What's the best way to look for a house once you've gotten your plans finalized? I don't think my friends would have room for me to stay with them while I searched.


I know that this is all going to take time - years, probably. I know that I'm probably going to need a much higher income job, and I'm willing to work towards that. I'm in this for the long haul, and I'm willing to do what's necessary; I just need some advice on how to get started. I spent years thinking that I probably wouldn't be able to do this until middle-age, but I realized that it's probably very possible with enough effort.

Thank you for your time. :)

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ksl
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Post by ksl » Fri, 18 Apr 2008 4:52 pm

If you can earn the same here, you will survive...many local families are only on one income 1200 to 1400$ a month...although they may have cheaper accomodation, although if you can make 1.5K a month you should be fine living and eating like the locals, although not much of a lifestyle..I must admit proably talking about rock bottom, and something to strive for!

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jpatokal
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Re: Is there room for a freelance artist in Singapore?

Post by jpatokal » Fri, 18 Apr 2008 7:48 pm

sakichan wrote:5. Is there any way I can get a visa to run my business in Singapore, or do I need a salary job in order to attain residency status?
Search for "EntrePass" in the Business forum.

The answers to the rest of your questions can be found on the forum. For one thing, there are very few affordable studio apartments in Sing -- the thing to do here is rent a room and/or share with friends. (Or, if you're local, live with your parents until you get married.)
Vaguely heretical thoughts on travel technology at Gyrovague

sakichan
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Post by sakichan » Fri, 18 Apr 2008 8:40 pm

Thank you for the advice. I'll do some more forum-searching later. Mostly, it's overwhelming having to try to pull all of that information from various places. ^^; Most of what I've seen covers a topic or two that I needed to know, but not all of it, so I decided that asking a human being my question directly would get my answer better. (The fact that I'm getting such useful and constructive advice is a very good sign to me!)

My income is somewhat flexible - generally if I need more income a certain month I just take on more clients that month. So, part of my plans are indeed to expand my business a little. :) When you say 1.5K, ksl, are you speaking in USD? Also, what would *you* consider to be comfortable for living in Sing?

jpatokal, from what I understand most of the cheaper places (such as on Craigslist) are rooms in places that other people own? I also noticed that the HDB is only for citizens, even though most of their stuff is in the range I'm looking for. I'm guessing that the prescribed route would probably to bug friends/family a bit more, and then rent somewhere if it comes down to it. I know I'm just regurgitating what you said, but I wanted to make sure that I understood. :)

More comments and opinions sl stuff would definitely be welcome, though I'm going to go ahead and scan through the forums when I have a free moment. If I have any other specific questions, I'll be sure to ask!

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ksl
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Post by ksl » Sat, 19 Apr 2008 2:50 am

Well when I first arrived with my wife and daughter, we decided to rough it...and we are kind of wrapped up in kick starting a business....been here since Jan 2005 on local income, the rest goes into expanding the business, though my wife didn't have much time for anything other than work...6 days a week, 14 hrs a day the first 2 years so didn't need money anyway...

Things are easier today, and she only works a 5 day week, it's surprising, what planning and self discipline can do, my wife pays herself a local wage much lower than her qualifications of a MBA can bring in Taiwan, and is focussed on successfully expanding.

We eat out almost every day, with the locals, unless the wife prefers western food, then i do the cooking. Although I spend very little on myself, ..I can easy get by on 400$ a month, because I don't smoke, or drink I never go in western cafes, I live like a !local basically, as cheap as possible....my money is spent mostly on travel, and holidays, I try my best to work as little as possible, because money doesn't motivate me, been there and done it, and I've never really been tied down with my life since, I left the forces, that was my liberation day, since then I have always been a free spirit, blowing with the wind....until i married in 2000...By then I was ready for retirement and like you I make money if i need too.

I have truly been working on reducing my needs over a number of years now, kind of good for my spiritual side...although i am not a saint by a long way, occassionally I my have a couple of days on a bender, (to go out drinking) and then repent, especially if i have visitors from abroad!

I'm sure you can manage on 1500 sing$, renting a room in HDB, in fact i do know some Chinese female nationals, that rent rooms for 400 a month in HDB units, while their kids study here in Singapore...I quite often meet up with them in the park, when i take my daughter..they live on a very tight budget too.

Some expats I know, are paying over 1200$ a month sharing, they are doing business, and are on very tight budgets too, although I think they prefer to live with expats, for there own reasons..also socialising with expats...I don't normally mix with expats, if i live in a country, the only way to integrate is with locals...so it automatically becomes cheaper, with rich cultural experiences, that we respect and are proud of.

I would read through SE thread on business plans, if your going for the entrepass!

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