Singapore Expats

1 Year in SG living as a Grad

Moving to Singapore? Ask our regular expats in Singapore questions on relocation and their experience here. Ask about banking, employment pass, insurance, visa, work permit, citizenship or immigration issues.
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1 Year in SG living as a Grad

Post by kiwichick » Fri, 28 Dec 2012 6:34 pm

So I have been in SG exactly 1 year, and thought it would be worth sharing my experiences (financially haha!) and hopefully it can help out a few other grads taking a look! I remember posting about a year ago enquiring on the same things ppl like to ask hmmmm...

I graduated last year, and got a job offer to SG a few weeks later on a starting salary of $3500. Got put up to $3800 which is currently what I am on..

Im 24/F asian who has lived in NZ my whole life with a masters in Architecture, so I am a Architecture graduate, working with a local firm. And as the Asia job market and culture goes, the jobscope has not only pushed me into the deep end but has also taught me (what I feel) is years beyond experience I would get at home.

Anyways! Expenses! (and living on a budget whilst saving as a single female!)

$500 a month for Rent. I rent a quiet and half furnished common room with a local family (if you are worried about language barriers, I speak english to them as my asian ligual skills SUCK) in Ang Mo Kio. About 5 bus stops away from the MRT station. Every bus that passes my place will head to the MRT station. I found my place at sgpropoerties, and had trouble picking places because there are quite a few places for around $500/$600 amongst the Ang Mo Kio/Serengoon areas so it is possible to find low cost accommodation if you have a open mind, and also if you are happy to not live in a condo. Rent includes water/power expenses. And there is a plus side living with a local family - experiencing firsthand singaporean culture.

$50 a month phone bill... this is pretty cheap and is more than enough for my usage

$20-$30 a week for public transport

$50-$70 a week for groceries

$50-$70 a week for eating out incl. restaurants with friends etc. There are great deals during happy hour too if you drink, eg, Wine Connection, $25 for 5 Tapas and a free caraffe of house wine (about 6 glasses!) (BTW I dont work or am affiliated with Wine Con. haha!) On the other hand, to be sexist, being a female may also have perks, eg, Clarke Quay have brilliant deals on Ladies night. Even if you are a guy, hunt round for dinner deals, eg, 1 for 1 pizza on thursdays at Captains pizzaria by the Quay area.

Internet use - 12 gb and a excellent phone means I can use my phone as a wifi hotspot for my laptop, so no need for internet costs so there are savings in that.

As for clothes,etc. I still shop on a budget like a student would and splurge here and there. (OR the best thing is take full advantage of all holidays and SG's location and TRAVEL to amazing Veitnam, Cambodia etc... and shop till your heart drops. Weekends to KL/Johor also saves you more money than you think...) Also, sales in sg are so often..... lets lets say I spend about $200 a month on spending..

Dont forget voucher deal websites!

Currently I manage to still save for holidays/rainy days. On a good month, I save $2500, but base saving is around $2000

Im hoping this can be a rough and useful indicative guide to anyone living on a budget... I am still able to afford nice things here and there. I still have a student loan to pay (haha..) so for me it is paramount to explore & live as far as I can on a budget until I get more experience with time!
Chilled out kiwi, but still hardworking 23yoF

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Post by Wd40 » Fri, 28 Dec 2012 8:25 pm

Excellent post!

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Post by JR8 » Fri, 28 Dec 2012 10:22 pm

Yep I agree, great post!

Maybe we should have a topic for 'How to live to a budget' or 'Current deals/offers'* ? The above is filled with both.

* No no, not '10c off a curry-puff', but the tapas/wine one mentioned above is what I'd call a deal in SG.

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Post by steturner123 » Sat, 29 Dec 2012 3:24 am

Thanks for posting was a great read!

I am moving over to singapore in January and a lot of my concerns have been answered by yourself!

If you don't mind me asking what mobile tariff are you on and how long is the contract? I am looking at a contract that I can use on both my iPhone/iPad

Would be cool to meet up with people like yourself to be told the does and donts!

I am coming over to work as project engineer so a similar field... How do you find the work over in singapore?

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Post by » Thu, 03 Jan 2013 10:30 pm

That's nice. I enjoyed reading your post a lot kiwichick ;)

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Post by jamestheseg » Sat, 12 Jan 2013 9:24 am

Good post Raisin!

See you on Monday!

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Post by taxico » Sat, 12 Jan 2013 5:04 pm

steturner123 wrote:...If you don't mind me asking what mobile tariff are you on and how long is the contract? I am looking at a contract that I can use on both my iPhone/iPad...
usually 24 months. but they have shorter ones, especially if it's SIM only (3 months minimum).

you can get a subscription with data plan for your iphone and slave a $5 secondary sim card for your ipad to run off that (shared) data plan.

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Post by offshoreoildude » Sat, 12 Jan 2013 5:22 pm

+1 good post. Giver not a taker. You must not be a certain race.
Now I'm called PNGMK

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Post by ani_india_01 » Thu, 17 Jan 2013 5:06 pm

Good post by an architect with good writing talent, financial knowledge and planning skills.

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