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How much will I spend?

Time:Mar 09,2012 16:28Author :xiaoya Clicks: source :未知

Mercer's cost of living survey in 2011 showed Singapore moved up three ranks to become the 8th most expensive city in the world, for expatriates. Within Asia, Singapore is ranked third, after Tokyo and Osaka, but beating Hong Kong.

Your biggest expenses are likely to be rent, transport (if you buy a car), and schooling (if you have children studying in international schools). You can minimize rent costs by sharing a flat, living in an HDB, or living further away from the city center - but wherever you go, property prices are pretty high in Singapore these days.

Xpatxperience explains the relative cost of housing, ranging from single rooms 30 minutes out of town (a few hundred dollars) to centrally-located 4-bedroom landed properties with private swimming pools (five-digit rents). These are approximations, of course - prices vary wildly depending on the location and condition of the property.

The same page gives a detailed rundown of comparative costs for different types of cars, and typical miscellaneous expenses.

Every household has different needs. If you'd like to check things out for yourself, take a look at some of these links.

FairPrice Online and Cold Storage supermarkets have online catalogs where you can check the price of your typical shopping card.
Mobile phone price plans from Singtel and Starhub.
Browse through Property Guides for a feel of housing prices.
Movie tickets
A Big Mac from McDonald's.
Use the taxi fare calculator to see how much it will cost you to get from home to work.
Housing.The Housing Development Board releases quarterly statistics on HDB flat prices, for both resale and rentals. See the Househunting section for more information on what to expect and what to look for when renting a property.

Public transport in Singapore is convenient and cheap, but buying and maintaining a car is expensive in Singapore. Check out the cost of car ownership or see the Driving in Singapore section for more information.

Do you have kids? Your decision of whether to put your kids in international schools or local schools will probably be the biggest factor in your education expenses. International schools’ tuition fees can range from S$6,000 to over S$20,000 per year.

If you’re looking to employ household help, check out this 2007 guide on how much it costs to hire a maid and look up the current rate for the maid levy.

Are you a student? Singapore Education estimates that a typical international student spends about S$750 to S$2000 a year, excluding course fees. The estimate is a bit outdated (2007) but still helpful. For scholars and other students whose room and board costs are covered, the Ministry of Education estimates that you may need S$200-S$300 a month, ranging to over S$500 at the high end.

Compare with costs back home. Costs are relative, of course, so it's important to compare with what you would normally spend back home. For example, if you are moving to Singapore from India or the Philippines, housing costs are likely to be a huge shock. Expat Forum describes typical Singapore expenses in euro terms.

Other Perspectives
Sandeep, an Indian blogger who's moved to Singapore, wrote up his analysis of the cost of living in Singapore on his blog. The biggest variable will be rent, followed by food and schooling. If you want to live in a condo downtown, you can easily end up paying two to five times the $1,600 monthly figure he quotes for an HDB flat. The rest of the expenses, such as Internet connections and cable TV, shouldn't vary too much for middle-income earners. His blog also provides tips on where to buy cheap groceries and furniture.
Sandeep's even posted a special analysis of the cost of living in Singapore if you're single.
The SIGIR 08 blog compares prices of common purchases against Singapore's Southeast Asian neighbours, and reminds visitors that tipping is not a common practice in Singapore (there is usually a service charge included in the bill).

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(Chief Editor:xiaoya)
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