Can it cost that much?

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hohoho80
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Can it cost that much?

Post by hohoho80 » Mon, 25 Jun 2012 8:41 pm

I've been browsing the forums lately as I'm thinking of moving to Singapore from UK and looking at costs of living and seem to be getting mixed messages.

For example people asking if $xxx amount of salary is enough to live.

Comparing it to UK for example, I earn roughly £2000 per month after tax. This would be around SGD $4000-4500 after tax.

I'm single and share a house with 1 other person and rent is £500 per month ($1000 SGD).
After deducting all my expenditure such as bills, food, transport etc, I still have a comfortable amount to save and live comfortably.

Some people say a salary of $5000 SGD is good, and some say it's not enough. For me, comparing it to London, I would think its not bad. Singapore can't be more expensive than London to live can it?

Bearing in mind I'm talking from a single person's standpoint. Obviously salary expectations will be higher if I were the sole earner in a family with kids.

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Re: Can it cost that much?

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 25 Jun 2012 9:27 pm

hohoho80 wrote:I've been browsing the forums lately as I'm thinking of moving to Singapore from UK and looking at costs of living and seem to be getting mixed messages.

For example people asking if $xxx amount of salary is enough to live.

Comparing it to UK for example, I earn roughly £2000 per month after tax. This would be around SGD $4000-4500 after tax.

I'm single and share a house with 1 other person and rent is £500 per month ($1000 SGD).

If you share a house here it will set you back a minimum of 1400/mo (for an HDB) or 1500-3000 for a condo (50:50 share). This only for the rent. Not the utilities/internet/TV etc.

After deducting all my expenditure such as bills, food, transport etc, I still have a comfortable amount to save and live comfortably.

Some people say a salary of $5000 SGD is good, and some say it's not enough. For me, comparing it to London, I would think its not bad. Singapore can't be more expensive than London to live can it?

Depending on your personal requirement. Alcohol is expensive here. Imported western foods are expensive. Cars exorbitantly so. So, if you don't drink to much and can use public transport and aren't so demanding as to want to live next door to the downtown happening places. Then $5K is doable, if a little on the thin side.

Bearing in mind I'm talking from a single person's standpoint. Obviously salary expectations will be higher if I were the sole earner in a family with kids.

Why would salary expectations be higher if you were the sole earner in a family with kids? Most salary expectations are based on your abilities/experience on the job, not performance in the bedroom, unless you are trying to sleep your way to the top..
sms
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Re: Can it cost that much?

Post by the lynx » Mon, 25 Jun 2012 10:39 pm

hohoho80 wrote:I've been browsing the forums lately as I'm thinking of moving to Singapore from UK and looking at costs of living and seem to be getting mixed messages.

For example people asking if $xxx amount of salary is enough to live.

Comparing it to UK for example, I earn roughly £2000 per month after tax. This would be around SGD $4000-4500 after tax.

I'm single and share a house with 1 other person and rent is £500 per month ($1000 SGD).
After deducting all my expenditure such as bills, food, transport etc, I still have a comfortable amount to save and live comfortably.

Some people say a salary of $5000 SGD is good, and some say it's not enough. For me, comparing it to London, I would think its not bad. Singapore can't be more expensive than London to live can it?

Bearing in mind I'm talking from a single person's standpoint. Obviously salary expectations will be higher if I were the sole earner in a family with kids.
I'd agree with SMS regarding expectations and expenditure (expensive liquor, imported food and accommodation).

SGD5000 can mean little for a person coming from highly affluent countries while SGD5000 can mean a fortune for a person who live cheap. So that's why you get mixed messages because different people in this forum will give subjective advice.

For example, if I live cheap, I'd say SGD5000 is way more than enough for me, and half of it can even go to my savings! SGD500 for rent in a single room in a HDB at far-flung areas like, say, Woodlands or even Bukit Panjang. SGD300 for food (assuming I spend SGD10 per day on food - hawker food, simple DIY meals), SGD 200 transport (to and fro from work using MRTs and buses, and occasional taxi ride for night out). SGD300 for bills, toiletries, tax etc. SGD200 for entertainment, night-out and other incidental expenses (like clothes, charity).

There you go. It's just one example.

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Post by Mi Amigo » Mon, 25 Jun 2012 11:46 pm

One other aspect that makes a significant difference is the relatively low amount of tax you'd pay here, compared to the UK:

http://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/page04.aspx?id=1190

That would certainly help.

For sure, Singapore can be expensive (it's got more so in the 8 years I've lived here and SMS will have seen a huge change in the time he's been here). But then again, London is not exactly a cheap place either, as I well recall. As a single person, I think you'd be OK money-wise on the figure you quoted and a spell here would be a good learning experience that would probably do you no harm career-wise. If in doubt, go for it and see what happens, that's always been my theory.

The 'only' difficulties are (a) securing a job offer, and then (b) your employer securing an employment pass (work visa) for you. That has definitely got a lot more difficult over the past couple of years. But no harm in trying.
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Post by nakatago » Mon, 25 Jun 2012 11:59 pm

Here you go:

London vs Singapore
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Post by kindred » Tue, 26 Jun 2012 1:58 am

£2000/m after tax in the UK is more like S$5100/m with the difference in tax (if you were to get the same gross salary), but I found when moving jobs that they didn't really take into account my UK salary, and it was more based on what they could hire for locally (which in my case was about £8000/y less than my UK salary).

So it may be that the same job pays less than the UK job, but after the tax difference still may come out on top.

I'm actively looking at condo sharing right now and there are some really nice rooms for S$1000/m (£500/m) bills included. I'll be doing that for a few months until my flat here in the UK sells, then I'll be renting my own condo.

So far S$6000/m seems to be my budget - that's for a nice 1-2 bedroom condo (not in a central location, but still nice) and generally living 'like a local' and not spending like a high paid expat (e.g. S$15 a day on food). I know I can't live a life of luxury on that, but I don't really mind - will just be glad to be in Singapore and not the UK :)

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Post by hohoho80 » Tue, 26 Jun 2012 3:12 am

Sleeping up the ladder? Haha.
Thanks for the info all. It's been useful insight. Yes I know its all relative depending on each persons lifestyle choice and how savvy they are with money.

Personally, I thought 5k would be about right to live a relatively comfortable life with some extra to chuck into a savings account. I did hear that rent is expensive over there but not realised it was that expensive! Damn......

On a separate note, I read that landlords don't really allow cooking or allow only light cooking e.g instant noodles with a fried egg. Is that true?! [/quote]

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 26 Jun 2012 6:50 am

That is normally in a flat where the owners are still living as well and you are only renting a room opposed to a flat sharing.
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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Post by zzm9980 » Tue, 26 Jun 2012 1:03 pm

hohoho80 wrote: On a separate note, I read that landlords don't really allow cooking or allow only light cooking e.g instant noodles with a fried egg. Is that true?!
[/quote]

What SMS said. Also note it's generally cheaper to eat out in hawker centers than it is to cook yourself in your room.

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Post by nakatago » Tue, 26 Jun 2012 1:41 pm

zzm9980 wrote:What SMS said. Also note it's generally cheaper to eat out in hawker centers than it is to cook yourself in your room.
This is a mixed bag--depending on how you eat, it may still be cheaper to cook. Moreover, you get to control what you eat for health (and even just personal preferences) reasons.

Moreover, for some landlords, light cooking is just boiling water for instant noodles--forget the fried egg. On the other hand, some landlords will eventually let you cook if you've convinced or proven that you're really neat about it.
"A quokka is what would happen if there was an anime about kangaroos."

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