Cost of Living in Singapore

cost of living in singapore

One of the most sought after destinations from a tourism perspective and also for living in Singapore. Arguably one of the richest nations in the world, Singapore is the financial capital of Asia, with the majority of headquarters of American and Multi-National companies located here. All this demand makes Singapore one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. So what is the cost of living in Singapore?


Let’s find out! 


Singapore Cost of Living


It’s tough to make a generic cost of living article because there are numerous types of people who live in different ways. Some people like to spend, whereas others like to save a lot. In this article, we will cover the basic expenses for each and every action and it’s up to you to figure out what is your style of living and put the expenses together to arrive at the final cost of living. 


Housing and Rental Cost in Singapore


Ask anybody in the big cities like London, New York, Mumbai or Tel Aviv and ask them what their biggest expense is and their answer will always remain the same. Rent! 


Rent is the biggest expense even in Singapore and it will set you back quite a bit. Most people new to the city, rent a home in Singapore. The costs vary of course, depending on the size of the home, amenities and facilities. 


Most single people share and this could set you back by $700 and this can go up to $2000. Singapore is not big, so if you are in the central part of town expect your rent to cost 2x to 3x the amount you will spend on rent in the outskirts of the city. 


So what do you get for $700? You can get a tiny room in an HDB with a shared bathroom. If you extend your budget a bit, then you can get a separate room with an attached bathroom that will set you back by $1500. 


If you don’t like living with others and want your own accommodation, then you will need to spend anywhere from $1500 to $4500 for a private one-bedroom unit. If you are in your early twenties, then it’s likely that this will be out of your budget. 


Travel Costs in Singapore


Singapore is super well connected with the MRT (Metros), buses and services like Grab and Uber. If you are looking to drive a car in Singapore, then you will have to think twice. Cars are super expensive in Singapore and it’s primarily due to the taxes. Buying a car in Singapore is probably 3x more than it would cost in other cities across the world. If you want to get a car, then you will need to spend at least a $1000 a month on petrol, parking and other fees. 


If you are looking to take public transport, then there are myriad options, with the best of them being the MRT. Constant use of the MRT will only add up to $120 to $200 per month if you have a pass. If you are keen on using Grab or Uber, then it would set you back $15 for a ride approximately. 10 of these rides will set you back by $150. 


Grocery Expenses in Singapore 


Food is famously cheap in Singapore, especially when you eat out. There is a consensus among a lot of Singaporeans that it is a lot more expensive to cook at home than to eat outside. For this reason, a lot of Singaporeans eat out during lunch hour. So what about groceries? 


Here is a table that will help you! 


Item Cost
1 Litre Carton of Milk $3
1 Kilogram of Tomatoes $3 
1 Dozen Eggs $4
1 Kilogram of Apples $4.57
1 Kilogram of Potatoes $4 


As you can see, Groceries don’t cost much compared to other cities and it’s almost the same as other smaller cities in the world. Groceries itself for a small family would come around $200 to $400 depending on the size of the family. 


Eating out Expenses in Singapore 


Singapore is a land of extremes. You will find a Michelin star restaurant that serves an aperitif for $30 and you will also find a Michelin starred hawker stalls serving $2 noodles. If you walk into any hawker centre in and around Singapore, you will find them queued to the brink as most Singaporeans eat outside during the lunch hour. A good meal of noodle soup and some tiger prawns will only cost you $4 to $5. If you want to visit a fancy restaurant with table service and the works, a meal can cost you anywhere from $25 to $100. One of the best parts of living in Singapore is its super affordable food options. 


Mobile Plans in Singapore 


Plans in Singapore for Mobile phone use is slightly expensive. Most people use Wifi at home and at the office. The only time you will need to use data is when you are outside the home and office. Mobile plans are a tad expensive, it will set you back $20 a month for 2 to 3GB of data. If you use your phone a lot, then you will need a data plan that will easily cost you $30 and above. This might not seem as expensive as some other countries, but this is pretty expensive compared to many other Asian countries. 


Cost of gym subscription in Singapore


A gym is of paramount importance to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but unfortunately for Singaporeans, a gym membership is a bit expensive. On average, it would set you back $100  to $150 for a monthly membership at a gym with each session costing you around $3 per entry. This is not for a person trained, but just access to the gym. More expensive gyms will easily cost around $200 and more. But this includes personal training and classes. 


Entertainment Expenses in Singapore 


Luckily for Singapore, there are numerous experiences one can partake in to relax. There are many free parks that you can visit and of course chill with friends. But if you are planning to get out and party, then it might cost you a bit. With your average drink costing you about $15, even a pint of beer will set you back by $6 to $10. It is expensive to drink outside in Singapore and it’s way cheaper to buy alcohol from a supermarket where you can get a decent bottle of gin for $15. 


If you want to catch a movie, you can get a ticket for $9, this would jump to $13 during the weekends! 


Cost of Clothing in Singapore 


Singapore being a hub has a lot of e-commerce options and also local stores that sell cheap t-shirts. You can easily buy a t-shirt for $5 or a good shirt for $10 to $15. Singaporeans love shopping and to cater to the market there are a lot of sellers who sell competitively. If you go to a big mall, or you pick up a big brand name clothing piece, then be prepared to pay anywhere from $40 to $200 for a t-shirt! 


Taxation in Singapore 


Compared to many other countries, Singapore’s taxes are pretty reasonable. There is no capital gains tax and inheritance tax. The tax slab starts from $0 for the first $20,000 and has a progressive system of tax starting at 2% and goes up to 22% for any income over and above 320,000. 


As you can see, Singapore is a pretty reasonable place to live except for the rent. If you look at most modern-day cities like New York, London and Mumbai, it costs quite a lot to live there because of the culture, opportunities, the buzz and the quality of people living there. 

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