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Cost of Living in Singapore

Understanding the the cost of living in Singapore helps a newcomer what to expect when it comes to apartment or house hunting, grocery shopping, transportation, dining out, utilities and more.
|-Cost of Living in Singapore

Apartment Rentals Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can range from $2,000 to $4,000 per month, while outside of the city center, rent can range from $1,500 to $2,500 per month.
Apartment Purchases The cost of purchasing an apartment in Singapore can range from $1,000 to $2,000 per square foot. The average cost of a two-bedroom apartment in the city center is around $1.5 million.
Transportation Public transportation in Singapore is very affordable. A single ride on the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) costs around $1.50, while a monthly pass costs around $80. Taxi fares start at $3.00 and can go up to $20.00 depending on the distance.
Groceries The cost of groceries in Singapore is relatively affordable. A loaf of bread costs around $2.00, a liter of milk costs around $2.50, and a dozen eggs costs around $3.00.
Restaurants The cost of eating out in Singapore varies depending on the type of restaurant. A meal at a fast food restaurant costs around $5.00, while a meal at a mid-range restaurant costs around $20.00.
Utilities The cost of utilities in Singapore is relatively affordable. The average cost of electricity is around $0.20 per kWh, while the average cost of water is around $0.50 per cubic meter.
Private School Tuition The cost of private school tuition in Singapore varies depending on the school. Preschool tuition can range from $500 to $2,000 per month, while elementary school tuition can range from $1,000 to $4,000 per month. Middle school tuition can range from $2,000 to $6,000 per month, and high school tuition can range from $3,000 to $10,000 per month.

Monthly Budget for Retirees in Singapore

“The cost of living in Singapore is generally high, with prices for basic necessities such as food, housing, and transportation being significantly higher than in many other countries. Singapore is known for its high quality of life, but this comes at a cost. Renting an apartment in the city can be expensive, and the cost of food and other necessities can add up quickly. Transportation is also expensive, with public transportation fares being among the highest in the world. Despite the high cost of living, Singapore remains an attractive destination for many due to its excellent infrastructure, safety, and quality of life,” said one expat living in Singapore.

Can I live in Singapore on $1,500 a month?

“I’ve been living in Singapore for a few years now, and I can tell you that living on $1,500 a month is possible, but you’ll have to make some sacrifices. First, you’ll need to find affordable housing. Most expats live in condos or serviced apartments, but those can be quite expensive, especially in popular neighborhoods like Orchard Road, Marina Bay, and Holland Village. To save on rent, you might want to consider living in an HDB flat, which is public housing. Some affordable neighborhoods with HDB flats are Woodlands, Jurong West, and Tampines. You can find a room in a shared HDB flat for around $500 to $800 a month.Next, you’ll need to be mindful of your transportation costs. Owning a car in Singapore is very expensive due to high taxes and fees, so most people rely on public transportation. The MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) and buses are quite affordable and efficient. You can get a monthly pass for unlimited travel on buses and trains for about $120. If you need to take taxis or use ride-hailing apps like Grab, try to limit your usage as they can add up quickly.Eating out in Singapore can also be expensive, especially at restaurants and cafes. However, you can save a lot of money by eating at hawker centers and food courts, where you can find delicious local dishes for around $3 to $5 per meal. Cooking at home can also help you save money, but groceries can be pricey, especially for imported products. Try shopping at local markets and supermarkets like FairPrice and Sheng Siong for more affordable options.For entertainment, there are plenty of free or low-cost activities in Singapore, like visiting parks, beaches, and museums. However, you might have to cut back on more expensive activities like going to bars, clubs, or attending concerts and events.In summary, living on $1,500 a month in Singapore is possible, but you’ll need to be mindful of your spending and make some sacrifices. By choosing affordable housing, using public transportation, eating at hawker centers, and enjoying low-cost entertainment, you can make it work,” commented an expat living in Singapore.

Can I live in Singapore on $3,500 a month?

“I’ve been living in Singapore for a few years now, and I can tell you that it’s possible to live comfortably on $3,000 a month, but you’ll have to make some sacrifices. First, you’ll need to find a more affordable neighborhood to live in. Some of the more expensive neighborhoods like Orchard, Marina Bay, and Sentosa Cove are definitely out of the question. Instead, consider areas like Woodlands, Jurong West, or Tampines, which are more budget-friendly.Next, you’ll have to be mindful of your housing options. A condo with all the modern amenities might be out of your budget, so you might have to settle for an HDB flat, which is a government-subsidized public housing option. These flats are still comfortable and well-maintained, but they might not have all the amenities you’re used to.When it comes to transportation, owning a car in Singapore is very expensive due to high taxes and fees. So, you’ll have to rely on public transportation like the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) and buses, which are actually very efficient and affordable. Alternatively, you can also use ride-hailing apps like Grab for more convenience.Eating out can be quite expensive in Singapore, especially if you’re dining at restaurants. However, you can save a lot by eating at hawker centers and food courts, which offer a wide variety of delicious and affordable local dishes. Cooking at home is also a good way to save money, but groceries can be a bit pricey, so you’ll have to be smart about where you shop and what you buy.Lastly, you’ll have to be mindful of your entertainment and leisure expenses. Going out for drinks, movies, or other activities can add up quickly. Instead, try to find free or low-cost events and attractions around the city, like visiting parks, museums, or attending local festivals.Overall, living comfortably on $3,000 a month in Singapore is doable, but you’ll have to be smart about your spending and make some sacrifices in terms of housing, transportation, and lifestyle choices,” said one expat living in Singapore.

Can I live in Singapore on $5,000 a month?

“I’ve been living in Singapore for a few years now, and I can tell you that it’s definitely possible to live comfortably on $5,000 a month, but you’ll have to make some adjustments to your lifestyle. First, you’ll need to find a more affordable neighborhood to live in. Some of the more expensive areas like Orchard Road, Marina Bay, and Sentosa Cove are probably out of your budget. Instead, consider looking for a place in neighborhoods like Tampines, Bedok, or Jurong East. These areas are more affordable and still offer good amenities and public transportation options.Next, you’ll need to be mindful of your spending on food and entertainment. Eating out at fancy restaurants and going out for drinks can add up quickly in Singapore. Instead, try to cook at home more often and explore the local hawker centers for affordable and delicious meals. There are also plenty of free or low-cost activities to do around the city, like visiting parks, museums, and cultural events.Transportation can also be a significant expense, so try to use public transportation as much as possible. The MRT and buses are efficient and affordable, and you can save even more by getting a monthly travel pass. Owning a car in Singapore is very expensive due to high taxes and fees, so it’s best to avoid that if you’re trying to stick to a budget.Lastly, be prepared to live in a smaller space than you might be used to. Rent is one of the biggest expenses in Singapore, and you’ll likely need to downsize to a smaller apartment or HDB flat to stay within your budget. This might mean sacrificing some amenities like a gym or pool, but there are plenty of public facilities available for a small fee.Overall, it’s definitely possible to live comfortably in Singapore on $5,000 a month, but you’ll need to be mindful of your spending and make some adjustments to your lifestyle. By choosing a more affordable neighborhood, being smart about your food and entertainment choices, and utilizing public transportation, you can make it work and enjoy all that this amazing city has to offer,” commented an expat living in Singapore.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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