Is Singapore Expensive for Americans?

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
andrew22
Member
Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue, 30 Dec 2008 3:48 pm

Is Singapore Expensive for Americans?

Post by andrew22 » Sat, 03 Jan 2009 11:15 am

i know the exchange rate right now is approx S$1.46 to US$1, but i am not sure about prices there? i have gotten a decent feel for the rental market, but what about shopping (clothes, electronics, etc.) and restaurants/food? are things about on par with the exchange rate, or are they more/less expensive than said items might be in the U.S.?

for a scale of comparison, how much might a standard polo/ralph lauren or lacoste (collared) shirt cost there in SGD? theyre about US$80 here.

JimH5
Regular
Regular
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat, 20 Oct 2007 9:10 am
Location: Newton & Novena area

Post by JimH5 » Thu, 08 Jan 2009 12:12 pm

Regarding the cost of living in Singapore vs. the US. . .

I was in Takashimaya earlier today and saw Lacoste shirts on sale for S$79 vs. their usual price of S$119. They were up in the sporting goods area (level 4?). I didn't see Polo, though I'm sure they have them, as they have a Polo boutique on the first floor.

If you're used to dropping $80 for a polo shirt, then I don't think you'll have too much sticker shock here. And then there's always the option of buying online and having stuff shipped here directly, or to a VPost address.

It's my own personal opinion that things here are more expensive than in the US--but I'm also buying my polos from the Brooks Brothers factory outlet store for $35.

dawgbyte
Regular
Regular
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon, 05 Jan 2009 12:19 am
Location: Singapore

Post by dawgbyte » Thu, 08 Jan 2009 2:00 pm

I think there is no fair way to compare the expensiveness of Singapore. I assume you will come as a tourist? If you are working here, then you need to compare it with the cost of living. As for rl or polo, I suppose it should be more expensive to ship the items from western part to asia, but as Jim mention, during sale the discount is big.

As I do not buy branded goods much (normally buy cheap clothes or during sale only) and eat at hawker food (SG$3-5) and midpriced restaurants (on average SG$15-20 per meal, inclusive of 7% GST and 10% GST and 1% CESS) most of the time, I would say it is affordable enough. High-end meals (like arty-farty fine dining or many-stars hotel restaurants) will cost ($50-100)

I also buy my electronic goods from places like SIMLIM (you need to know what you are buying and how much it should be or else you can get cheated) and not from malls (i.e. BEST DENKI, COURTS) which is mostly the recommended retail price. (difference can be around 10-20%)

But if you are to work in SG as an expat with the typical package, then the cost of living will be in your favor and it will be affordable.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 39641
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 10
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 09 Jan 2009 7:15 am

dawgbyte, nice post until the last line. What is a typical Expat Package? As a local, you can be forgiven for that as how would you know what is "typical". Expat packages run from homeleave one a years to the whole nine yards. There is no typical anymore.

:wink:
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

User avatar
road.not.taken
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1293
Joined: Sat, 06 Oct 2007 9:24 am

Post by road.not.taken » Fri, 09 Jan 2009 6:52 pm

Andrew22,

The short answer is 'yes'. Singapore can be expensive for Americans. I think if you are a typical Walmart shopper, who pays $6.99 for a bath towel you'll do fine here. If you are more accustomed to going into Macy's and getting a $40 bath towel for 50% off you'll be in trouble.

The cheap stuff here is cheap, but the Ralph Lauren polos are full retail, plus 20% and a completely different size to boot. The department stores just don't discount like they do at home so the choices are very cheap or very, very expensive. You'll figure out how to take advantage of what each place has to offer. In the summer I buy all my new clothes and bring them back to Singapore. In the winter (like now) my suitcase is filled with other stuff going back to Singapore.

As said, in time you learn how to shop smart in both places. Good luck with your move. :)

hideaki_o_o
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat, 10 Jan 2009 10:28 pm

Post by hideaki_o_o » Sun, 11 Jan 2009 12:00 am

I have stayed in the states before and i honestly think that singapore might be quite an expensive place to stay. however it also makes sense to say which city you are comparing singapore with. New york and other major cities are definitely on par or even more expensive (rent for a decent apartment in nyc is like 3,750SD/mth) whereas in places like Utah u get a decent house to stay in for 150,000USD. Due to import taxes branded goodes in sg are pretty expensive but in the states there are alot of factory outlets so i find shopping to be cheaper there actually due to the choices i have and the pricing. gas is expensive in both the states and the US, tax is very high in the states but in singapore its capped at 20%.

Given a choice i'd rather stay in the US :P

mre1333
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon, 03 Nov 2008 12:27 am

Post by mre1333 » Sun, 11 Jan 2009 12:17 am

In terms of buying clothing here, real simple...catch a flight to HK or Bangkok for a weekend and get some custom made. Real simple, real inexpensive...

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 11 guests