Singapore is a city-state located in Southeast Asia.
It was once a British colony, but since it gained independence it has become one of the world’s most prosperous, tax-friendly countries.
It is also one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.
Singapore is expensive by Asian standards but somewhat affordable in comparison with some industrialized countries.
Talking about cost of living will be difficult as there are many differences between the income in different professions.
Still, as usual, how much money you spend depends on your situation, lifestyle and preferences.
When it comes to eating out while on a budget, the cheapest and most popular places to eat in Singapore are hawker centers, essentially former pushcart vendors. There are also international fast food chains like McDonald’s, Carl’s Jr., Burger King, KFC, MOS Burger, Dairy Queen, Orange Julius, Subway etc. which are common in various shopping malls. Prices range from $2 for a basic burger and $5 upwards for a set meal. Singapore also offers a variety of full-service restaurants as well where you can eat for around 35$.
Food and ingredients are mostly cheap in Singapore. Local supermarkets Cold Storage, Prime Mart, Shop ‘n’ Save and NTUC Fairprice are the norm, but if you’re in the mood for specialties, Jason’s Marketplace and Tanglin Market Place are Singapore’s best-stocked supermarkets, with a huge assortment of imported products. For a more local (and much cheaper) shopping experience, look for any neighborhood wet market, like Little India’s Tekka Market.
The public transportation system is extremely easy to use: it is always on time and extremely well-organized. Taxis use meters and are reasonably priced and honest, but there’s a shortage of taxis in Singapore, which often means that you have to wait for hours at a time in order for one to become available.
Utilities are rather cheap in Singapore, especially in comparison with other expenses. For an apartment that is around 85m2 large, all basic expenses, meaning electricity, heating, cooling, garbage services and water, costs just above 100$. Internet is mostly free everywhere around the country/city but in a private home, it costs around 30$.
SPORTS & LEISURE
Sport Singapore runs a chain of affordable sports facilities, with fantastic outdoor 50m pools, and they are really cheap with swimming pools charging around 1$ for entry and access to ClubFITT gyms for only 2.50$. There are, however, many gyms and fitness club that are, on the contrary, very expensive, costing nearly 90$.
CLOTHING & SHOES
There are various shopping belts in Singapore and this country/city is actually known for numerous and endless shopping malls. Actually, shopping is second only to eating as a national pastime in this gorgeous place. So, if you’re in the mood, prepare yourself and venture into any of the huge malls here and go shopping, since the prices aren’t too high either: quality jeans like Levi’s cost around 65$, while simple summer dresses and shirts cost 34$.
RENT PER MONTH
Accommodation in Singapore is expensive by South-East Asian standards, and renting entire apartments even more so. There is also the option most expats opt for, in the form of private housing blocks known as condos, where an average three-bedroom apartment will cost you anything starting 3,200$ per month – and that’s for an older apartment. For an apartment outside of the city center, you’ll have to pay at least 1100$.
Cost of Living Averages Table for Singapore
|Average Restaurant Prices|
|Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)||$5.89|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)||$6.63|
|Water (0.33 Liter)||$0.82|
|Average Market Prices|
|Milk (1 Liter)||$2.33|
|Loaf Bread (500g)||$1.44|
|Average Transport Prices|
|One Way Ticket||$1.23|
|Average Utilities Prices|
|Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)||$109.26|
|1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local||$0.10|
|Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||$31.74|
|Average Leisure Prices|
|Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult||$89.06|
|Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)||$7.28|
|Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release||$8.84|
|Average Clothing Prices|
|1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)||$66.06|
|1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)||$34.19|
|1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)||$87.07|
|Average Rent Prices|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center||$1848.59|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center||$1083.99|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center||$3361.77|
How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Singapore?
Rent is staggeringly expensive in Singapore, more so than anything else and in disproportion with all other prices.
That is why it’s no wonder that the biggest chunk of all monthly expenses for the people of Singapore gets spent on rent.
Food is relatively cheap here, but it’s necessary so the expense for groceries takes up around 22% of one’s monthly income.
Transportation is next: it is both expensive AND necessary, so it’s normal that it takes up 16% of one’s salary.
Clothing and shoes take up only 2% of one’s income.
Singapore: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages
Singapore does not have a minimum wage policy for fear of causing businesses to go bust and raising unemployment.
Simply put, they are afraid that if the minimum wage was set too high, it would cause business to go broke since they wouldn’t have enough money to pay these salaries. And if they were too low, the citizens wouldn’t be allowed.
Instead, they have a progressive salary system, where the workers get increased salaries as they develop their skills and knowledge.
In most cases, the workers starting out are set to earn a higher entry-level basic wage of between 1000$ and $1200$.
Usually, the jobs that would be paid with a minimum wage are done by foreign workers.
Cost of Living by City in Singapore
*Click the name of the city for more information.
|City||Cost of Living Index|