Singapore living expense

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Cost of Food

Food is relatively cheap in Singapore. However, as elsewhere, food expenses depend on how extravagant you are. An expatriate family living in Singapore can scrimp on their food budget if they cook on their own as often as possible. On the other hand, several international cuisines are available in a range of restaurants but they may prove to be on quite harmful for you budget since restaurant prices are rather high in Singapore. Food expenses can either be a marginal factor or a significant factor when calculating your average living costs depending on the lifestyle you choose to adopt in Singapore.

Self cooking

If you cook at home, your average monthly personal food costs should come up to only about S$200 per person for basic meat and vegetables. For a couple eating in, average monthly food cost can range around S$400-S$800 depending on their eating choices.

Eating Out

One of the unique features of living in Singapore is the abundance of hawker centers and food courts that offer a wide variety of dishes, and are commonly air-conditioned. An average daily lunch at a hawker centers can be as low as S$4 whereas at a food court you can have lunch for about S$5-6. A meal at fast food places such as McDonald will cost you around S$7, while a drink at Starbucks is around S$5-6. A visit to an average restaurant can set you back by S$20-S$40 per person for basic meals. In summary, with breakfast and dinner at home, lunch outside at food courts, plus basic weekend outings, the monthly food budget in Singapore can run around S$600-S$1000 for an average budget conscious couple.

Transportation costs :

Public Transportation

Singapore has one of the best, most comprehensive, and least expensive public transport systems in the world. A one-way average bus or MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) fare is about S$1.20. If you avail of the MRT, your monthly transportation expense should be no more than S$60-S$70 a month. If you combine bus and MRT transports, it will cost you S$100 a month on the average. A couple that travels regularly within Singapore, using MRT or bus, will need to set aside a monthly combined transportation budget of roughly S$300 as part of their Singapore living costs.

Taxi service

Taxi service in Singapore is one of the most efficient worldwide. You can hail a cab on the road or call their number (S$2.50-4 extra) to book a service. Taxi drivers are willing to cover even the shortest of distances. Taxi fare starts at S$2.80 for the first mile. Twenty minutes on a cab will cost you around S$12 during non-peak hours. During peak-hours (morning 6:30am-9:30am and evening 5pm-8pm), you will end up paying extra charges of about S$3-4. Your taxi transport service budget, to and from your office, will most likely cost you around S$400-$600 a month.


Monthly gas, water and electricity bill may range from a low of S$200 to a high of S$600 a month, if you leave the air-conditioning running all day. Mobile phone subscription costs anywhere between S$50 to S$200 per month with an average plan to be around S$100. A broadband internet connection at home will cost you around S$50 per month. For cable TV connection you can estimate about S$25 for the basic channel subscription and S$50 for the expanded subscription. You have a wide choice of international channels including familiar channels such as CNN, BBC, Discovery, HBO, Disney, ESPN, and many more. Your TV should have a PAL system, and your home should have a cable-ready connection. A deposit of S$250 is required of foreigners for obtaining a cable connection. Star Hub’s (the cable company) offering for Digital TV has further improved the choices for programs. The company’s Demand TV offers a choice of 10 movies at any given time for a cost of S$4.50 per movie. You need a digital set-up box from Star Hub to use this service.
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