Singapore often sits near the very top of cost-of-living lists, but that shouldn’t put any expat off. High salaries, some of the best restaurants in the world and stunning architecture come together to make this one of the most modern lifestyles available. Is it right for you? That may depend quite heavily on what type of salary you expect to be earning.

Many of the highest paying roles in the world can be found in the financially-orientated city, and for those working in professional roles, salaries are likely to allow a good level of living.

Let’s have a look at the cost of living in Singapore and what it’s like living in the city with the seventh highest GDP per capita in the world.

And if you’re thinking of making your move to Singapore, check out this guide covering everything you need to know.

Rent in Singapore

In any city, housing costs are often the largest proportion of your spending, and this is especially true in countries and cities with a very high population density. Singapore is a little nation, with close to six million people living there. Although conditions are luxurious in many cases, it can get quite crowded. This means that there’s a premium for good locations when you look for a flat in Singapore.

If you want to keep costs down, then rent in Singapore for a single bedroom in a shared house is likely to cost between £350 to £1,500, depending on location. If you’re not a fan of sharing and need your own space, then renting your own two-bedroom flat will be between £1,000 to £2,200.

In terms of locations, the East Coast Park area is well-known for great sporting activities and a whole host of active things to get involved in. This part of the city is a little separated and away from most of the noise and rush and isn’t too expensive. On the other spectrum there’s the Marina Bay area which hosts the most luxurious and central apartments in the city, with prices to match.

Transport Costs

The main sights and activities are quite spread out in the city, and your friends will likely live all over the place, depending on their income and likes. The Singapore MRT (rail network) is fast, efficient and costs around £55 per month, and if you add in some night taxi rides and other transport costs, it’s possible to spend around £100 a month on transport. This can depend on how far you are travelling each day and what type of train/bus you’ll use as it can affect your cost of living in Singapore a little.

Very few people buy cars in Singapore as heavy traffic, expensive fuel and difficult parking will mean you won’t save time, and you will be spending a lot of your hard-earned money. It’s important to note that the public transport options after midnight are limited, so if you like to stay out late, your transport costs might be higher with more taxi usage.

Daily Costs

Although this will depend heavily on your lifestyle, you can get a basic idea about the cost of living in Singapore. Due to its small size and lack of space, much of the food in Singapore is imported. This means that although Asia is normally a cheap place to eat, your food costs might be a bit higher than expected.

Dairy products are particularly expensive, although cooking at home remains quite cheap. For a rough estimate of grocery costs, many people spend around £120 a month on food for home cooking.

Eating out has a full range of options, from the very cheap (and excellent) food courts that will set you back around £2 a meal, to the midrange restaurant costing £16-20 and then onwards and upwards to the exclusive and renowned restaurants in the city.

There are also some basic luxuries that come with their own price too; a gym membership for a mid-range establishment should be around £60 per month and movie tickets are around £5. Alcohol is expensive in Singapore, and with a pint of beer being around £5.50-8.50, you might not be drinking in the bars too often.

How Much to Spend on Utilities?

Once you’ve arranged your Rent in Singapore, you will also need to think about utilities like gas, electricity, water, phone and internet costs. It’s quite normal to pay gas, electricity and water together in one bill, and this can range from £100-200 per month, principally depending on how much you cook and how often you use the air-conditioning.

A good mobile phone subscription should cost between £20-50 a month, with a strong data package and unlimited calling. For £30 a month you should be able to connect a fast broadband service. You should be aware that many companies will ask for a £120-150 deposit if you want to add internet/cable television to this service.

Shopping and Travel

Living in Singapore means being connected to an incredibly modern economy, and plenty of opportunities to indulge in some retail therapy. There are huge malls, high-fashion boutiques and spending opportunities everywhere. Orchard Road is known as the shopping street, with malls on both ends and street markets in between. Due to the proximity of plenty of factories and clothes production centres, clothes shopping can be done cheaply in Singapore.

While Singapore can be an expensive place to live, it more than makes up for it with its energy, multiculturalism and opportunity. If you want to make sure that when you arrive at your new home, all your belongings arrive with you, stress-free, get in touch with 1st Move International. As a professional moving business, shipping to Singapore with us is quick and simple. Get in touch now.

Avatar for Mike Harvey
As the Managing Director of 1st Move International, Mike Harvey brings more than two decades of logistics expertise and three years of specialised experience in international relocations to his role. His comprehensive knowledge spans the intricacies of overseas shipping, secondary yet crucial areas such as visa application processes and immigration requirements, and the wider topic of moving abroad including topics such as comparative analyses of cost of living, healthcare and educational systems worldwide. This expertise allows 1st Move International to equip people with the information they need to not just move overseas, but to make informed decisions about whether, and where, to relocate.