Is my living budget reasonably accurate ?

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OdinZA
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Is my living budget reasonably accurate ?

Post by OdinZA » Sun, 10 Apr 2011 2:44 am

Hi

I have been offered a job in Singapore and rather than ask a generic "Is this enough to live on type question", I have been through this and other forums and websites and attempted to create a potential baseline budget. Would someone please comment on whether this is reasonable or not and also mention anything that I may have forgotten to include.

The budget is for a couple, no kids. Non drinkers or smokers. All amounts in SGD and monthly

Rent $5000 (Looking for 2 bed condo near MRT)
Utilities $200
Internet/Mobiles/TV $110 - will be using prepaid sim cards
Transport $180 - daily travel to work for 2 people + some weekend/evening
Taxi $50 - generic use

Household food $500 ==> no alcohol, mostly chicken and fish. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables + fresh orange juice and milk

Daily lunch $200
P/T Maid $360

Gym membership $200 (2 x 100)
Haircuts $40 (Male), $60 female (not every month though)
Female colour $170 (again not monthly)

Movies/eating out $500

Medical insurance - covered by employer

Any thoughts / comments are appreciated.

Thanks in advance

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sundaymorningstaple
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Re: Is my living budget reasonably accurate ?

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 10 Apr 2011 10:16 am

OdinZA wrote:Hi

I have been offered a job in Singapore and rather than ask a generic "Is this enough to live on type question", I have been through this and other forums and websites and attempted to create a potential baseline budget. Would someone please comment on whether this is reasonable or not and also mention anything that I may have forgotten to include.

The budget is for a couple, no kids. Non drinkers or smokers. All amounts in SGD and monthly

Rent $5000 (Looking for 2 bed condo near MRT) Good & can save some if willing to go a little bit further out
Utilities $200 (Okay provided you use Aircon sparingly (e.g., night time only)
Internet/Mobiles/TV $110 - will be using prepaid sim cards (should be okay)
Transport $180 - daily travel to work for 2 people + some weekend/evening (300/mo but $150 also can if closer to work - 2 people)
Taxi $50 - generic use (I'd allow double that because if you use it once a weekend to and from and it after midnight (surcharge) and you are moving further out to save on the rental it will cost a bit more)

Household food $500 ==> no alcohol, mostly chicken and fish. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables + fresh orange juice and milk (allow for 750-1000/mo as prices are rising in view of current catastrophes and such)

Daily lunch $200 ($300-$350 would be closer for 2 working adults)
P/T Maid $360 (allow $15/hour and half as efficient as your/spouse could do the same job)

Gym membership $200 (2 x 100) (I can't help there)
Haircuts $40 (Male), $60 female (not every month though) (Again, I used Headblade™ so no help there. Not sure on the female side)
Female colour $170 (again not monthly) (can't help here either)

Movies/eating out $500 (Could be okay if only one night a week and you both are teetotalers - But this isn't allowing for regional travel which is going to be essential - you'll see!)

Medical insurance - covered by employer

Any thoughts / comments are appreciated.

Thanks in advance
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

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Re: Is my living budget reasonably accurate ?

Post by BillyB » Sun, 10 Apr 2011 11:10 am

OdinZA wrote:Hi

I have been offered a job in Singapore and rather than ask a generic "Is this enough to live on type question", I have been through this and other forums and websites and attempted to create a potential baseline budget. Would someone please comment on whether this is reasonable or not and also mention anything that I may have forgotten to include.

The budget is for a couple, no kids. Non drinkers or smokers. All amounts in SGD and monthly

Rent $5000 (Looking for 2 bed condo near MRT)
Utilities $200
Internet/Mobiles/TV $110 - will be using prepaid sim cards
Transport $180 - daily travel to work for 2 people + some weekend/evening
Taxi $50 - generic use

Household food $500 ==> no alcohol, mostly chicken and fish. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables + fresh orange juice and milk

Daily lunch $200
P/T Maid $360

Gym membership $200 (2 x 100)
Haircuts $40 (Male), $60 female (not every month though)
Female colour $170 (again not monthly)

Movies/eating out $500

Medical insurance - covered by employer

Any thoughts / comments are appreciated.

Thanks in advance
I think your costings are pretty accurate. Rental you have a bit of flexibility so there could be some gains there. $5k should get you a nice 2 bed condo in most central areas, less is needed if you move further out.

SMS is spot on - allocate more for food shopping and daily lunch costs. It's quite easy for those two areas to creep up. There are 22 working days a month and use an average of $10 per day each to be on the safe side for your daily food costs at work. General food shopping is quite expensive. me and my GF usually spend around $200-250 per week and you find yourself thinking when you get home and unpack it all - I haven't really got much for that.

I'd probably add a little more into your internet / tv / phone budget. If you are going on pre-paid then calls can be more expensive than on a contract plan. $200 is a better figure for two people unless of course you use calling cards and your home phone line and don't use the mobiles much.

Definitely allocate more for taxi's. If its raining or you are running late plus weekends can make you tempted to use them more.

Gym membership depending on club is about right - however it can vary from 80 to 140 per person per month. From experience, be careful with some of the bigger clubs. They are just out to make money from locking you in and getting up-front payments. If I was joining now, I'd look for a smaller gym with better service rather than a bunch of sales guys pretending to be personal trainers.

Allocate more to movies and eating out.

Haircuts and all that stuff - there are thousands of hairdressers in SG. For a male you can get a 'quick-cut' (chain store) from $10 or you could pay $50-80 if you want to visit a branded salon. Female hair, not sure.

And importantly - don't forget to apportion tax each month. I don't know which Country you are from but the tax assessment and payment system in SG is done on an annual basis so you need to be proactive to set aside your payment each month so you don't get a shock in Feb/Mar when your tax bill for the previous year is issued. Have a look at www.iras.gov.sg for an idea of the rates and calculations.

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Post by OdinZA » Sun, 10 Apr 2011 4:26 pm

Thanks for the feedback folks. It is much appreciated. Blows me away at how expensive Singapore is :shock:

Regarding taxes, I have factored that in already.

Any thoughts on the cost of weekends away from Singapore ?

Thanks

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Post by Strong Eagle » Sun, 10 Apr 2011 4:47 pm

OdinZA wrote:Any thoughts on the cost of weekends away from Singapore ?

Thanks
Depends where and how. Trip to Batam by Ferry to stay at Batam View hotel is $40 per person for ferry, $110 for a night at BV... nothing exciting but nice pool. Can get deals that cut $50 off this.

Bintan runs about $250 per night... nicer hotels... and better restaurants... although there is a great hole in the wall on a pier in Batam... some of the best seafood I have eaten.

If you look at budget airlines you can get to Bangkok and back for about $200 per person and get good accommodations for about $40 per night.

See KL... cheap, cheap... take the bus... $60 per person... one hour longer than end to end flying... out at KLCC... Corus hotel across the street is pretty cheap and clean.

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Post by Zeenit » Tue, 17 May 2011 5:59 pm

Taxes are low compare to the UK.
And we normally have about 6 holidays in Asia per year. So once you get over the shock and work out that it takes you door to door 1 hour including checking thru customs at the airport travelling is really good in Asia.
We were also shocked at Singapore prices at first but now the UK seems very expensive to us. :D
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Post by Barnsley » Wed, 18 May 2011 11:10 am

Zeenit wrote:Taxes are low compare to the UK.
And we normally have about 6 holidays in Asia per year. So once you get over the shock and work out that it takes you door to door 1 hour including checking thru customs at the airport travelling is really good in Asia.
We were also shocked at Singapore prices at first but now the UK seems very expensive to us. :D
Thats interesting as my girlfriend was shocked at how much cheaper the UK was for buying clothes and things that ladies like to buy. She was under the impression that the UK was expensive and that Singapore represented value for money.
Life is short, paddle harder!!

OdinZA
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Post by OdinZA » Wed, 18 May 2011 6:42 pm

Barnsley wrote:
Zeenit wrote:Taxes are low compare to the UK.
And we normally have about 6 holidays in Asia per year. So once you get over the shock and work out that it takes you door to door 1 hour including checking thru customs at the airport travelling is really good in Asia.
We were also shocked at Singapore prices at first but now the UK seems very expensive to us. :D
Thats interesting as my girlfriend was shocked at how much cheaper the UK was for buying clothes and things that ladies like to buy. She was under the impression that the UK was expensive and that Singapore represented value for money.
I was in singapore earlier this year. For many branded items of clothing, books and certain electronic goods, London is cheaper provided you are not shopping on the high street.

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