Cost of Living in Singapore

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Singapore Merlion - Image courtesy ChinHaan Aw
The cost of living in Singapore is on the rise. The Mercer Cost of Living Survey for 2014 ranked it the fourth most expensive city in the world, just after Hong Kong but well ahead of cities like London and New York. 

The good news is that professional salaries generally match the high cost of living, and expat packages can include benefits like transport, school fees and accommodation allowances.

But amidst increased competition for jobs, expats interested in working in Singapore may need to accept a salary without too many additional benefits.

Items that drive up the cost of living in Singapore include expenses like accommodation, international schools, private medical insurance and Western products. If expats eat local food and don't seek out too many imported items, they're likely to save some money.
Public transport is efficient and cheaper to use than taxis or private vehicles, with weekly EZ-link travel cards providing good value for money.
Public housing, food and household bills are considered cheap in relation to local salaries.

If saving is a priority, expats may want to reconsider having a luxury condo or a car. The cost of living in Singapore is relatively inexpensive if expats choose to live in public housing and use public transport.  On the other hand, living as many Western expats do results in high living costs but a high quality of life. 

Singapore cost of living chart (2015)

*All prices are in Singapore dollars (SGD)
Accommodation (monthly rent from unfurnished to furnished)
Furnished two-bedroom house SGD 5,000
Unfurnished two-bedroom house SGD 4.000
Furnished two-bedroom apartment SGD 4,500
Unfurnished two-bedroom apartment SGD 2,500
Food and drink
Dozen eggs SGD 3
Milk (1 litre) SGD 3
Rice (1 kg) SGD 4
White bread  SGD 2
Pack of cigarettes (Malboro) SGD 13
Public transportation (approximate values)
City centre bus/train fare SGD 2
Taxi (rate per km) SGD 0.6
Petrol/gasoline per litre SGD 2
Eating out
Big Mac Meal SGD 7
Coca Cola (500 ml)    SGD 2
Cappucino SGD 5
Bottle of beer SGD 8
Three course meal at a mid-range restaurant SGD 25
Internet uncapped ADSL per month SGD 50 
Mobile call rate (mobile to mobile per minute) SGD 0.20
Electricity (average per month for standard household) SGD 200

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Bry's picture
Curaçao, NA
After living in Curaçao, Holland, Singapore, England and Australia, I'm now back in the tropics, lapping up life...

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