Singapore is the most expensive country in the world to live in. Its education system is also one of the costliest, globally. Find out here what you can do to reduce the cost of living in Singapore.
Transport, Housing, and Food
Purchasing a vehicle in Singapore is a huge expense when there is an excellent bus and train service. If you plan on being in Singapore for a short while, these modes of transport are efficient and easily accessible. You can buy an adult monthly travel card for as little as $128 and enjoy unlimited travel. Even if you are going to be there longer, many people find that the transport services are more than adequate. If you do decide to get a car, remember to budget for petrol and parking.
Housing is the most costly item and usually accounts for a third to a quarter of one’s income. The main decision to make is whether you want to buy or rent. Monthly mortgage payments are likely to run between $1,200 to $5,000 while renting will set you back anywhere from $800 a month for a single room to $5000 for a condo. However, purchasing a property comes with various costs such as taxes and administration, while renting a place will require a two-month deposit paid in advance. The most expensive living places are in the city center so aim for something on the outskirts.
The cheapest way to eat in Singapore is to cook your own meals. However, you will be tempted to try the local cuisine so eat out at the venues used by locals rather than the pricier tourist restaurants. You may be fortunate enough to work for one of the companies that provide free meals to their workers.
If you have school-aged children, Singapore has a very expensive education system, but many international schools. You will also have to consider transportation costs and whether to live close to work or to the schools you have selected.
Refinancing Your Mortgage
If you choose to go ahead and buy a residential property, there may be an option to refinance your mortgage. This involves changing banks to get a lower interest rate. However, there are hidden costs and it is best to take advice from experts such as PropertyGuru who are in contact with all the major banks and can work out the best deal for you. They can advise whether you should change banks or wait for a better time. A refinance home loan can save you thousands.
Expect to be charged application fees and loan processing fees by the new bank. Some banks will forego these fees but push up the interest rate. You need to avoid a longer payment term which could end up costing you more in the long run.
It is not a good idea to refinance if you are planning on selling your property. Only apply if you plan to stay on for several years.
Also read: How to be Secure Financially – 7 Best Ways
Other Living Expenses
Other living expenses that need to be taken into consideration are medical costs, a data plan, clothing, exercise, utility bills, and entertainment.
Expect to pay around $100 for a medical appointment, excluding any medication. If you make use of insurance you are looking at $100 to $500 per month. You may want to save up for treatments every month to save yourself the cost of insurance by working out how many times a year you normally see a doctor and splitting these costs across the months.
You will need a data plan for your telecommunication needs. This can be obtained for as little as $70 by comparing plans from service providers, so shop around.
If you want to use the gym for your exercise needs, this is going to cost you between $100-$200 a month. You can save yourself this cost by making use of running tracks for a run or walk. Bicycle trails are also an option.
Utility bills are one area where you can save. Due to the Open Electricity Market in Singapore, you can choose a plan from the retailer that offers you the best deal. You can opt between a fixed price plan and a discount off tariff plan.
Entertainment costs are specific to the individual’s preferences. After all, you want to make the most of your time in Singapore. Be aware that this can cost you as much as $1,500 if you go all out. It all depends on your priorities but, if you are spending too much, you may want to cut down on these costs.
While living in Singapore can be expensive, it is possible to finetune your budget and save on monthly expenses by making the right choices. With a few adjustments, you can ensure that you enjoy the lifestyle you want without running short.
Also consider worth reading about ‘Top Tips to Increase Your Savings in 2021‘