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Friday, April 12, 2013

Cost of Living Comparison Between Singapore and Yangon

Credit@ Than Han

Yangon moves up expensive ranking

18 July 2012 17:20
Yangon is ranked as no.35 the world’s most expensive city for expatriates according to Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey website.
b5 16 19Yangon, the most populated and business city of Myanmar, was in the place of 159 in 2010 survey and jumped a very significant 70th position in 2011 continuously.
Mercer's Cost of Living rankings are released annually and measure the comparative cost of living for expatriates in 214 major cities. The cost of over 200 items is compared in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. New York City is used as the base city for the rankings and the US dollar as the base currency.
As of 2012 March, Yangon has passed the some world famous cities including Milan, Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, Vienna, Berlin and Dubai. It is now 10 places from London and 2 places from New York. The survey was released on June 2012. It is even getting higher rank among south Asian cities and some Chinese cities.
Tokyo is the world’s most expensive city for expatriates. Singapore is taking 8th place in 2011 to 6th in 2012. In top 50 cities list, there are only 11 Asian cities including Myanmar.
“Actually, the survey was measured the cost of living for a foreign investor to stay in Yangon,” said Deputy Director General Dr. Wah Wah Maung of Project Appraisal and Progress Reporting of the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development.
She analyzed that living expenses are higher than the food in Yangon. It is even higher than some other countries. It is the reason Yangon was obtained the higher rank each year.
In the rise of cost of living, citizens should be getting paid enough to live. In order to do that, there should be creations of considerable job opportunities across the country. Decent Pay is another fact to balance the cost of living. Everyone’s average income should be calculating base on the house whole and not individual. For example, GDP of Myanmar is considered an indicator of a country's standard of living which is often used as such an indicator, on the rationale that all citizens would benefit from their country's increased economic production. Similarly, GDP per capita is not a measure of personal income.
“A Scaffolding painter earns Ks 6,000 daily and an experience painter Ks 4,500 and Ks 3,500 for the beginner. After deduction, a painter earns average of Ks 2,500 daily. However, we wish that there is a regular job to do daily. If not, we have to wait for new jobs” said a painter.
“I am a company staff and earn salary of Ks 138,000. The living expense is at least Ks 80,000 per month even sharing a room with friends, said a company staff.
“I earn Ks 70,000, daily expense is Ks1, 400,” said a sales girl of Dagon Center.
The high cost of living effects to people who live in Yangon by paying double price on rents, transportation fees and utilities. Every citizen deserve t earn the proper wages and should have considerable job to be working practically.

Cost of Living Comparison Between Singapore and Yangon

Indexes DifferenceInfo
Not enough data to calculate difference in Consumer Prices
Not enough data to calculate difference in Consumer Prices Including Rent
Rent Prices in Yangon are 80.03% lower than in Singapore
Restaurant Prices in Yangon are 61.12% lower than in Singapore
Groceries Prices in Yangon are 30.41% lower than in Singapore
Not enough data to calculate difference in Local Purchasing Power

Currency: Default Currency Switch to imperial measurement units
Restaurants [Edit][Edit]
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 10.00 S$4.09 S$-59.11 %
Meal for 2, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 50.00 S$17.32 S$-65.37 %
Combo Meal at McDonalds or Similar 7.00 S$5.57 S$-20.49 %
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) 6.00 S$1.18 S$-80.25 %
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 8.00 S$1.24 S$-84.54 %
Cappuccino (regular) 5.00 S$1.86 S$-62.89 %
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) 1.50 S$1.19 S$-20.43 %
Water (0.33 liter bottle) 1.00 S$0.37 S$-62.89 %
Markets [Edit][Edit]
Milk (regular), 1 liter 2.75 S$2.16 S$-21.55 %
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) 2.00 S$1.43 S$-28.39 %
Rice (1kg) 4.00 S$0.53 S$-86.70 %
Eggs (12) 2.50 S$1.70 S$-32.03 %
Local Cheese (1kg) 14.50 S$14.93 S$+2.96 %
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1kg) 9.00 S$9.29 S$+3.17 %
Apples (1kg) 4.00 S$3.14 S$-21.54 %
Oranges (1kg) 4.00 S$3.27 S$-18.22 %
Tomato (1kg) 4.00 S$2.32 S$-41.91 %
Potato (1kg) 2.60 S$0.97 S$-62.60 %
Lettuce (1 head) 2.00 S$0.57 S$-71.30 %
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 1.50 S$1.24 S$-17.54 %
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 30.00 S$20.76 S$-30.81 %
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 5.00 S$1.24 S$-75.26 %
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 6.00 S$2.83 S$-52.80 %
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) 12.00 S$2.47 S$-79.38 %
Transportation [Edit][Edit]
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 1.80 S$2.70 S$+50.20 %
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 90.00 S$?
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 3.20 S$2.56 S$-19.89 %
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) 0.60 S$2.43 S$+305.10 %
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 17.00 S$7.25 S$-57.35 %
Gasoline (1 liter) 2.10 S$1.24 S$-41.10 %
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 130,000.00 S$33,942.18 S$-73.89 %
Utilities (Monthly) [Edit][Edit]
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment 200.00 S$65.43 S$-67.29 %
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.16 S$0.19 S$+18.76 %
Internet (6 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 40.00 S$92.77 S$+131.92 %
Sports And Leisure [Edit][Edit]
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 120.00 S$104.33 S$-13.06 %
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 10.00 S$9.72 S$-2.75 %
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 10.00 S$2.61 S$-73.92 %
Clothing And Shoes [Edit][Edit]
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 120.00 S$45.08 S$-62.43 %
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 70.00 S$28.32 S$-59.54 %
1 Pair of Nike Shoes 120.00 S$135.25 S$+12.71 %
1 Pair of Men Leather Shoes 120.00 S$114.01 S$-4.99 %
Rent Per Month [Edit][Edit]
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 3,200.00 S$708.01 S$-77.87 %
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 2,000.00 S$283.21 S$-85.84 %
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 6,000.00 S$1,202.77 S$-79.95 %
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 3,500.00 S$742.14 S$-78.80 %
Buy Apartment Price [Edit][Edit]
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre 19,375.04 S$2,026.92 S$-89.54 %
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 10,763.91 S$914.52 S$-91.50 %
Salaries And Financing [Edit][Edit]
Median Monthly Disposable Salary (After Tax) 3,000.00 S$309.22 S$-89.69 %
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentanges (%), Yearly 2.6010.50+303.85 %
Last updateApril, 2013April, 2013
Contributors (past 18 months)48021
Currency: SGD

Cost of Living Calculator

You can enter your salary and built-in Cost of Living Calculator will determine how much more (or less) you need to maintain your same standard of living. It takes into consideration current prices at this website in your current city and the city you are considering to move to. If you enter how much you need for living in current city, you'll get approximate info how much you will need in another city. Then if you have a salary offer for another city, you can estimate how much you can save more (or less) by living in that other city.
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FMI residents body confronts developer!

The Myanmar Times

 More cheaper than Singapore radio 1:4

Workers perform roadworks at FMI Housing in Hlaing Tharyar township last week. Boothee / The Myanmar TimesWorkers perform roadworks at FMI Housing in Hlaing Tharyar township last week. Boothee / The Myanmar Times
A residents association at FMI City held a press conference last week to object to the developer raising maintenance fees, removing cash from a maintenance fund and redeveloping public space into new housing.
U Thein Aung, a spokesperson for the FMI City House Owners Association, said the residents wanted to know, in part, how monthly maintenance fees are spent.
“We don’t want to complain about the amount of money the developer is collecting,” said U Thein Aung. “As a house owner who pays this monthly fee, I think I deserve to know why the fee has been raised and how the money is being spent.
“The fee was doubled on July 23 to K9200 for 4800-square-foot properties. It’s a reasonable fee but we object to the fee doubling without any consultation with house owners.
“We were just informed via letter that the fee would be increased,” he added.
He added that FMI is also trying to withdraw funds from a fund that was established to repair damaged houses and maintain the development.
U Khin Maung Win, the association’s secretary, said that many home owners who moved to the development in 2001 discovered flaws with the construction of their houses that included leaking or collapsed roofs.
The sinking fund was mandated by the Department of Human Settlement and Housing Development (DHSHD) to cover future repairs.
“The developer has to inform DHSHD when a project is finished. At that time, the housing association had to take over responsibility for maintaining the project and DHSHD had instructed house owners to form an association for this purpose.
“The sinking fund was formed to support the activities of the association, which means the developer should not be allowed to withdraw money from the account with the association’s permission – it’s a part of the contract,” he added.
“Many house owners have complained about the quality of construction work, so FMI chairman U Theim Wai discussed the issue with us and raised K30 million as a fund placed in a joint-account at Yoma Bank in September 2001.
“When he got 85 percent of maintenance fees from house owners, he added another K20 million later. With the interest accrued over that time the balance is K112.3 million, although the company is trying to withdraw that money,” U Khin Maung Win said.
He said the management office announced on September 7 that the funds would be withdrawn from the joint account because the monthly maintenance fees collected from house owners were insufficient to cover the whole development.
“They [FMI] doubled the maintenance fee in July and there are 1600 families living in the development who are paying the fee. In September, FMI said it’s not sufficient for the whole development but did not explain why.
“We sent an objection that day but have not received any reply as yet,” U Khin Maung Win said.
U Sein Hlaing, the association’s president, said another complaint residents have lodged is that the developer has redeveloped common-use recreational spaces as housing plots.
“The company told buyers that FMI City would include public parks, nurseries, a fire station and markets, just like a small city. And except for the fire station, the other amenities had existed. But starting from several months ago the developer pulled down the park and dug up the nursery to develop new houses.
“Many residents are upset to see these places destroyed, especially the park,” U Khin Maung Win said.
“We complained to the Yangon Region government and the Ministry of Construction, both of which instructed FMI to rebuild the park but that has not happened yet,” he added.
Daw Lai Lai Win, an FMI director, told The Myanmar Times on September 27 that the company could not approve the comments made by the housing board.
“I would say that their statements [the housing board] do not represent the thoughts of all house owners at FMI City, just the thoughts of a small group,” she said.
“As a company we are working with the authorities to solve these problems. After we can solve this issue, everybody will know the truth,” she added.

By Noe Noe Aung | Monday, 08 October 2012


Monday, April 8, 2013

Find a Jobs!

We make tools Your make do!

Job Sites

Singapore offers an abundance of job opportunities at all levels. Here are other job sites to explore job openings. These job sites allow you to browse through different industries and positions available. Some of these sites also let you to submit your resume online.

Popular job sites in Singapore include:

Executive Search Firms

Executive search firms are headhunters who help client companies fill specific mid-to-high-level professional positions.
These firms usually provide an end-to-end service, including management consultancy, recruitment and placement. There are over 1,100 licensed employment agencies, international search agencies and Singapore executive recruitment firms.

Popular search firms include:

Other Job Search Avenues

If you have a clear idea of which companies you wish to work for, you may check out their websites and write to them directly.
Most companies advertise job vacancies online. You may also wish to check out the recruitment sections of the local newspapers, particularly The Straits Times, Singapore’s national daily English language newspaper. Companies and search firms regularly advertise their career opportunities here.
Career fairs are also a good source of information on job openings. Go to our events section for upcoming career fairs.
Some expatriate websites also give a detailed description and invaluable advice on job hunting in Singapore

Professional Development

To live is to learn. Remaining relevant in a knowledge economy entails keeping abreast of developments in your field.
In Singapore, the opportunities for self-renewal and education are plentiful – as part of a national culture that values learning.

Career Development

The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) has launched the Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) as part of its efforts to provide comprehensive, sector-specific training. In particular, the Professional Skills Programme is targeted at professionals, managers, executives and technicians who wish to upgrade their skills in a wide spectrum of industries or in generic skills such as Leadership and People Management.
Often, companies provide career training but for many individuals, personal interests and objectives form the motivation for embarking on self-registered training stints. The private sector offers an abundance of professional development programmes, from executive training to life coaching.

Further Education

Upgrading your qualifications not only enhances proficiency and knowledge, it is still an invaluable tool in climbing the proverbial corporate ladder. Some 16 world-class private universities have set up campuses in Singapore, including the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, INSEAD, ESSEC Business School, Digipen Institute of Technology, SP Jain Center of Management, Tisch School of the Arts and University of Nevada, Las Vegas. These make excellent avenues through which to garner your Masters degree or other qualifications.
SIM University is the only local tertiary education that caters exclusively to working adults and professionals. It offers a comprehensive buffet of programmes, from Masters and PhD programmes to short courses. Its sister institution, Singapore Institute of Management (SIM), offers degree and professional programmes in conjunction with premier overseas universities, such as RMIT, University at Buffalo, University of London and University of Sydney.
Although the four local autonomous universities - National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore Management University (SMU), and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) - cater primarily to undergraduate education, you will find some high-quality post-graduate programmes here, which live up to the sterling reputation of these institutions. Research and scholarship opportunities are also available to post-graduate students.

Networking Platforms

Learning often extends beyond the classroom, especially from networking with industry experts. The most targeted networking platforms tend to be those offered by professional associations, as they offer opportunities to meet leaders and peers in specific professions or industries.
These associations cater to a wide variety of interests and needs:

By Nationality

Singapore International Foundation (SIF)www.sif.org.sg
American Association, Singaporewww.aasingapore.com
American Women’s Association of Singapore www.awasingapore.org
Australian and New Zealand Association (ANZA) www.anza.org.sg
Belgian & Luxembourg Association of Singapore www.blas.org.sg
British Association of Singapore www.britishassociation.org.sg
Circulo Latino (Latin Circle) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/latincircle/
French Association of Singapore www.afsingapour.com
German Club-Deutsches Haus www.germanclub.org.sg
Hua Yuan Association www.myhuayuan.org
Indian Women’s Association www.iwasingapore.org
Japanese Association www.jas.org.sg
Korean Association of Singapore www.koreansingapore.org
Kowloon Club www.kowloonclub.org.sg
Netherlands Charity Organisation -
Scandinavian Women’s Association www.swasingapore.com.sg
Singapore American Community Action Council www.sacac.com
Swedish Women Education Association (SWEA) www.swea.org
Singapore St Andrew’s Society (Scotland) www.standrewssociety.org.sg
Spanish Speaking Women’s Association www.sswasingapur.com
St David’s Society of Singapore (Welsh) www.stdavidsociety.org
St Patrick’s Society of Singapore (Irish) www.stpatssingapore.com

Key Chambers of Commerce and Other Business Networks

American Chamber of Commerce www.amcham.org.sg
Australian Chamber of Commerce www.austcham.org.sg
Belgium and Luxembourg Business Group www.blas.org.sg
British Chamber of Commerce www.britcham.org.sg
Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CanCham) www.cancham.org.sg
Danish Business Association (DABS) www.dabs-singapore.com
European Chamber of Commerce Singapore www.eurocham.org.sg
French Chamber of Commerce Singapore www.fccsingapore.com
Association of Dutch Businessmen in Singapore www.adb.org.sg
Dutch Chamber of Commercewww.dutchcham.sg
Irish Business Association (IBA) www.irishbusinessassociation.com
Italian Chamber of Commerce Singapore (ICSS) www.italchamber.org.sg
Swedish Business Association Singapore (SBAS) www.sbas.org.sg
Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Singapore www.jcci.org.sg
Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce www.sicci.com
Primetime Business and Professional Women Association www.primetime.org.sg
Singapore Business & Professional Women's Association www.sbpwa.org.sg
Swiss Business Hub ASEANwww.eda.admin.ch

Career Resources

Career Resource Centre For Expatriates (CRCE) www.aasingapore.com

Professional Associations

Accounting and Audit

Association of International Accountants, Singapore Branch www.asiaworld.com
ACCA Singapore ACCA Young Professionals Network http://singapore.accaglobal.com/
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) www1.cimaglobal.com
CPA Australia, Singapore Chapter www.cpaaustralia.com.au
CPA Singapore www.saacademy.org.sg


Association of Aerospace Industries Singapore (AAIS) www.aais.org.sg
Singapore Institute of Aerospace Engineers (SIAE) www.siae.org.sg
Board of Architects (BOA) www.boa.gov.sg
Singapore Institute of Architects www.sia.org.sg
Singapore Institute of Planners www.sip.org.sg

Banking, Financial and Insurance Services

ASEAN Bankers Associationwww.aseanbankers.org
Financial Planning Association of Singapore (FPAS) www.fpas.org.sg
Institute of Banking and Finance www.ibf.org.sg
Insurance and Financial Practitioners Association of Singapore (IFPAS) www.ifpas.org.sg
Risk and Insurance Management Association of Singapore www.rimas.org.sg
Society of Financial Service Professionals ( Singapore) www.sfsp.org.sg


Singapore Precision Engineering and Tooling Association (SPETA ) www.speta.org
Biomedical Engineering Society www.bes.org.sg

Healthcare/Medical Services

Singapore Medical Council (SMC) www.smc.gov.sg
Singapore Medical Association www.sma.org.sg
Singapore Nurses Association www.sna.org.sg
Singapore Institute of Occupational Therapist (SIOT) www.saot.org.sg
Singapore Psychological Society www.singaporepsychologicalsociety.org
Singapore Society of Oncology Society (SSO) www.singaporeoncology.org.sg
Singapore Society of Radiographers www.ssr.org.sg
The Chiropractic Association ( Singapore) www.chiropractic.org.sg


Information Technology Management Association ( Singapore) www.itma.org.sg
Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) www.isaca.org.sg
Institute of System Science (ISS) www.iss.nus.edu.sg/iss/index.jsp
Singapore Animators Connection www.sac.4mg.com
Singapore Computer Society www.scs.org.sg
Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation www.sitf.org.sg
Society for Technical Communication, Singapore Chapter www.stc.org


Law Society www.lawsociety.org.sg
Singapore Academy of Law www.sal.org.sg
In addition, the Singapore Professional Centre also maintains a list of professional associations in Singapore.

Alumni Associations

Universities, too, provide first-rate networking opportunities, usually via alumni events – staying involved with your alma mater or the university that you’re furthering your education with may be the best avenue for networking.
DUAL Alumni of Singapore www.dual.org.sg
The Alumni International Singapore (AIS) www.ais.org.sg
Alumni of Taiwan Universities and Colleges (ATUC) www.ntuaa.ntu.edu.tw/
Australian Alumni Singapore (AAS) www.aas.org.sg
British Alumni ( Singapore) www.britishalumni.org.sg
Canadian Alumni Singapore (CAS) www.canadian-alumni-sg.org
The French Alumni Singapore (FA) www.afsingapour.com
HongKong University Alumni Association (HKUAA) www.hkuaasing.homestead.com/home.html
Irish Graduates Association of Singapore (IGAS) www.igas.org.sg/
Japanese University Graduates Association of Singapore (JUGAS) www.jugas.org.sg
Oxford and Cambridge Society of Singapore http://oxbridge.org.sg/main/
Monash University Alumni Association of Singapore www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=24392775144
Columbia University Club ( Singapore) www.columbia.org.sg
MBA Alumni NUS www.nusmbaalumni.org
INSEAD Club of Singapore http://iaa.insead.edu/iaa/pages/default.aspx
Cornell Universitywww.cornell.edu
MIT Club of Singapore http://alumweb.mit.edu/clubs/singapore
Princeton Alumni Association of Singapore http://www.princetonsingapore.com
Stanford Club of Singapore www.stanfordalumni.org.sg
The University of Chicago Alumni Club www.uchicago.edu/alumni/
University of Michigan Alumni of Singapore www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=11537165596
Yale Club of Singapore http://alumninet.yale.edu/clubs/fbfq/
Murdoch University Alumni www.ace.murdoch.edu.au/chapterswindow.html
Harvard Club of Singapore http://clubs.harvard.edu/university/hcsingapore
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Alumni Association www.uiaa.org
NYU Stern School of Businesshttp://nyusternalumnisea.memberlodge.org/

Web Resources

InterNations Singapore Expats Community

Living cost in Singapore!

Cost of living in Singapore>>> http://www.contactsingapore.sg/why_singapore/about_singapore/cost_of_living_calculator/

Singapore Cost of Living Guide

This report provides guidance on cost of living in Singapore for 2011 – 2012. In general, prices for basic necessities such as food, clothing, public transport, basic education and utilities in Singapore are quite moderate. Public transport and taxis are very affordable as well. On the other hand, housing, private schooling and maintaining an automobile can be costly. If you are an expatriate whose compensation package includes benefits such as transportation or car allowances, housing, childcare, payment of school fees, entertainment allowances and other work-related benefits, these costs would be less of a concern to you and you will find that life in Singapore can be quite comfortable. Even if you do not have an extensive package, you can always find something that fits your budget; for every category, Singapore offers a wide range of available choices and prices.


The cost of housing in Singapore depends on factors such as the property’s proximity to the city, relative age of the property, availability of recreational facilities (such as pool, gym, etc.) and the quality of furnishings that come with the accommodation. You should take your time to decide where you want to live in Singapore and make a decision only after careful consideration of the average rental cost as well as your personal preferences.


Most expats in Singapore live in private condominiums for due to the availability of recreational facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, playgrounds for children, secured access; opportunity to socialize with other expats; and affordability as compared to renting landed property.
The rental prices for private condos can vary greatly depending on the location and age of the building. The rental cost of a 3-bedroom condo in prime areas close to the city-center including areas such as Orchard, Bukit Timah, Tanglin, and River Valley starts at around S$7,000 per month and can go up-to S$15,000 depending upon how luxurious the apartment is and its proximity to the CBD. The rents for high-end luxury apartments such as waterfront housing at Sentosa and Keppel Bay can range anywhere between S$8,300-S$13,000 per month. 3-bedroom condos located in the city fringe areas start from around S$4,500 and can go upto S$7000. Condos that are located outside the city-center in neighborhoods such as Bedok, Changi, Pasir Ris, Tampines, Ang Mo Kio, Woodlands, Yishun, Clementi, Jurong, and Punggol are less expensive with a monthly rental of around S$3,300-S$5,000.

Private Apartments

Private apartments in Singapore are similar to condos but normally lack most of the facilities that are found in condominiums such as large sized pools, BBQ pits, tennis courts etc. They also tend to be older buildings since most of the new private construction is done in the form of condominiums. Renting a 3-bedroom private apartment in the CBD area will bear a tag of S$5,000-S$7,000 while those in the outskirts can be rented around S$4,000 per month.

HDB Flats

If you are on a tight budget, living in a government housing flat (called HDB flats) is a very reasonable option; more than 80% of the local Singaporeans live in HDB units. Most HDB flats are within close proximity to basic facilities such as banks, local schools, markets, polyclinics, libraries, shopping malls and train and bus stations. However, these apartments do not come with luxury amenities like swimming pools or gyms. Rental costs for HDB units depend on the location and size of the unit. A 3-bedroom HDB apartment close to the CBD rents at S$3,000 while at other sub-urban locations it ranges from S$2,200 to S$2,700.

Landed property

Landed properties include terraced houses, semi-detached houses, detached houses, and bungalows. Due to Singapore’s relatively small land size and large population, landed property is no longer very common and is consequently quite expensive to rent. The average rent for detached bungalows in prime locations is close S$18,000 per month. A high-end luxurious bungalow (i.e.4-bedrooms, land area of 1,400 sq meters, and a large garden) can cost as high as S$35,000 per month. Terraced houses and semi-detached houses are less expensive and can be rented for approximately S$8,000-S$13,000 per month.

Paying Guest

Rent for a room in a private apartment in prime districts such as East Coast, River Valley and Chinatown costs approximately S$800 – S$1,800. Monthly room rental in an HDB flat can range anywhere between S$500 to S$800 depending upon the location and size of the room.

Serviced Apartments

Some expats prefer to rent serviced apartments as they offer personalized services and hotel-style facilities or because they intend to stay in Singapore for a short-term period and are looking for a flexible lease. Serviced apartments in Singapore are fully furnished and house a pool and gymnasium. Most serviced apartments house 1-2 bedroom units as well as larger 3-4 bedroom units. Lease terms are flexible and can be negotiated for a per-day basis, per-week basis or on a per-month basis. A large number of serviced apartments are located in the Orchard area while some are located in the River Valley, East Coast and West Coast areas. The monthly rental of a one-bedroom unit can range from  S$7,000-S$14,000 depending upon the location and how luxurious the apartment is.


Food is relatively cheap in Singapore. However, as elsewhere, food expenses depend on how extravagant you are. 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.
An expatriate family living in Singapore can save on their food budget if they cook on their own as often as possible or eat out in food courts. Although several international cuisines are available in a range of restaurants to suit varied budgets, dining out on an everyday basis is definitely a more expensive option in the long-term.

Eating In

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 out, average monthly food cost can range around S$1,000 – S$1,200 depending on their eating choices.

Eating Out

One of the unique features of living in Singapore is the abundance of hawker centres and food courts that offer a wide variety of dishes. 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 – S$6. A meal at fast food joints such as McDonalds will cost you around S$7, while a drink at Starbucks is around S$6 – S$7. A visit to 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$1,000 for an average budget-conscious couple.


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$1.60. If you combine bus and MRT transports, it will cost you S$150 a month on the average considering a daily to and fro office commute costing S$3.50 and average weekend cost of about S$10. 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. Taxi drivers are willing to cover even the shortest of distances. Unlike most western countries, traveling by taxi in Singapore isn’t very expensive.
Taxi fare starts at S$3.00 – S$3.40 for the first mile and you pay S$0.22 for every 400m traveled up-to 10km, and S$0.22 per 350m thereafter. Some taxis like a Mercedes or a London cab start at a higher rate of about S$3.90. You can hail a cab on the road or call their number (S$2.30 – $3.30 extra) to book a service. During peak hours (weekday mornings 6:00am – 9:30am and evenings through Sundays 6pm – 12 midnight), you will incur extra charges of about 25% of the fare while the late night surcharge (from midnight until 6:00am) is 50% of the metered fare. There are location-based surcharges that apply in the CBD area (S$3 from Monday to Saturday, 5pm until midnight) airport (S$3-S$5), etc. You may also have to pay any ERP (Electronic Road Pricing) charges on selected expressways during certain peak hours.

Private Car

In contrast to inexpensive public transportation and taxi service options, owning a private car in Singapore can be a rather expensive luxury due to heavy government taxes on this mode of transportation. The government aims to reduce heavy road congestion and air pollution. Therefore, it encourages the average person living in Singapore to use public transportation instead.
You will need to take into account initial purchase costs and recurring costs while deciding to buy a car in Singapore. The biggest component of the initial purchase costs is the Certificate of Entitlement or COE. COE is a certificate that entitles you to to register and own a vehicle for 10 years. If you wish to buy a car in Singapore, you must participate in a COE bidding exercise. This is an auction of sorts where you have to bid for the certificate in order to fall within the pre-determined quota. Most often, the demand for COEs outweighs the limited quota that is released. This imbalance often results in unaffordable COE costs. As of February 2011, COEs are priced at  S$57,009 for vehicles under 1600cc and S$78,189 for those above 1600cc. Apart from the COE, you will have to pay a Goods and Services tax of 7% of the custom duty. Registration fees of S$140, an additional registration fee that is 100% of the vehicle’s Open Market Value (value of the car as assessed by the Singapore Customs), and an excise duty (20% of Open Market Value) apply. Apart from the initial purchase costs are the recurring costs of motor insurance, road tax, petrol (automobile fuel) charges, parking charges, etc.
Automobile fuel is called petrol (instead of “gas” or “gasoline”) in Singapore.  It is measured in liters. A liter of petrol can range from S$2.15 to S$2.52 depending on the grade. Parking your car in the city will cost you from S$2.00 per hour. On the average, you will spend about S$600 a month for petrol, toll charges, and parking, and about S$500 – S$1,000 yearly for maintenance. A brand new Japanese or European model can easily cost upwards of S$150,000.
In the face of such steep prices, many expatriates have opted for car rental arrangements that range from about S$1,000 to S$1,800 a month, depending on the vehicle’s model and mileage. Also, with a fairly recent regulatory amendment, rented vehicles are now permitted to drive into Malaysia on weekends.
Singapore is a very small place with excellent public transportation services (both air-conditioned); therefore, there is absolutely no necessity for owning a car unlike most other countries in the world. However, if your work requires extensive city travel during the day, you might think about buying or renting a car. Owning a private car will add significantly to your average living costs in Singapore.


The health-care system in Singapore was ranked best in Asia and sixth best in the world by the World Health Organization in 2000. The system is cost effective and offers state-of-the-art medical treatment that boasts of high success rates. The system has stringent government-mandated guidelines for transparency, excellence, safety and cleanliness. However, there is no government mandate for employers to provide health insurance to its employees. As a general practice, health insurance benefits are not provided by majority of the employers in Singapore. If your compensation package includes medical insurance, this is a non-issue for you. Even if your employer does not provide health insurance, the cost of medical services in Singapore is reasonable.
You don’t need any insurance to cover your day-to-day health-care needs and can set aside a monthly budget of S$100 – S$200 to this end. A typical consultation fee at a general practitioner is S$40 while blood-work and x-ray will cost you around S$50-S$80. Specialists at private institutions usually charge between S$75 -S$125 for a consultation. Note that you should purchase insurance that covers surgery and hospitalization. Such insurance will add up to about S$2,000 – S$3,000 per year. Hospitalization charges vary depending on the type of ward chosen. Wards in Singapore vary from open wards with no air-con in place to a private medical suite that resembles a royal suite at a 5-star hotel. Accordingly, the daily charges for a ward can vary from S$30 to S$3,000.


Monthly gas, water and electricity bill may range from a low of S$200 to a high of S$600 a month, depending on your air-conditioning usage. Mobile phone subscription costs anywhere between S$35 to S$100 per month. A broadband Internet connection at home will cost you around S$50 per month. For cable TV connection you can estimate about S$28 for the basic channel subscription and S$50 – S$80 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. A deposit of S$250 is required of foreigners for obtaining a cable connection. StarHub’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 StarHub to use this service.


As a working expat in Singapore, you have the choice of sending your child to a government or private school. Government schools are also called local public schools while private schools are also called international schools. Education standards in Singapore are very high and you can’t go wrong with either one of the two. A local school will follow a curriculum as approved by the Ministry of Education whereas an international school will follow a curriculum that’s more widely accepted internationally such as the well-known International Baccalaureate (IB) high school diploma. One of the key advantages of local school education in Singapore is that it is very affordable. In contrast, sending a child to an international school can cost anywhere between S$1,000 – S$3,000+ per month.

Local Government Schools

Primary school totals 6 years. There are 4 years of secondary school leading to the GCE O Level exams or 5 years for the GCE N Level exams. Children of expatriates residing in Singapore on employment passes can be admitted to local schools. It should be noted however that local schools are attended by children of Singaporeans and Permanent Residents. The monthly cost of sending your child to a local school in Singapore w.e.f 2012 will be S$246 – S$356 for primary education, S$341 – $486 for secondary education and S$552 – S$772 for junior college education.

International Schools

International, American, British, Canadian, Dutch, German, Japanese, and Swiss are some of the international schools present in Singapore. The estimated yearly fees range broadly from S$12,000 to S$30,000. School bus fare expenses amount to an estimated S$1,500 – S$2,000 a year.


There a number of childcare centers in Singapore that provide childcare services for babies and children up-to to the age of seven years. The fees vary from center to center and depends on the packages being offered i.e half-day childcare, full-day childcare, or extended full-day childcare. Typically, half-day childcare (7am to 1pm) costs around S$400-S$1,200 while full-day childcare (7am to 5:30pm) will cost you about  S$500-S$1,500.


You can hire a live-in domestic helper in Singapore through maid agencies. Most of the live-in domestic helpers are recruited by maid agencies from approved neighboring countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. The average monthly cost of keeping a live-in maid would come to around S$600 – S$1,000, inclusive of your helper’s salary and government levy. As the term “live-in” implies, you also have to provide accommodation and food for the maid. You can opt to hire part-time domestic workers for a modest fee of S$10-S$20 per hour.


Singapore boasts of one of the lowest income tax rates in the world. Singapore’s tax system ensures sizable tax savings and is one of the most commonly cited advantages among expats relocating to the country. Singapore follows a territorial basis of taxation which essentially means that only income earned in Singapore is taxed. Income earned overseas is not taxable, barring certain exceptions. Singapore’s personal income tax rates for residents (citizens, permanent residents and foreigners who have stayed or worked in Singapore for 183 days or more in the tax year) start at 0% and are capped at 20% while non-residents (foreigners who have stayed or worked in Singapore for less than 183 days in the tax year) are taxed at a flat rate of 15%. Singapore has also concluded as many as 69 comprehensive tax treaties to provide relief from double taxation of income. Furthermore, there is no capital gains tax, no wealth tax, no estate duty, and no dividend tax in Singapore. You can use our online tax calculator to compare how you will be taxed in Singapore vis-a-vis your country of residence.


Electronics and appliances in Singapore are relatively inexpensive. A typical PC sells around S$800 while a regular laptop at about S$800 – S$1,200. You can buy a TV for anywhere between S$600 – S$10,000 depending on your personal preferences. A movie ticket sells for around S$10.00 and a copy of local newspaper will cost you about S$1.00. Concert prices start from S$12 and go up to S$150+. The national library annual membership fee for permanent residents is free with only a one-time registration fee of S$10.50 while the annual membership fee for foreigners is S$42.80. A pack of cigarettes cost from S$11.60 onwards. The average cost of a 640ml bottle of beer is around S$5.50.


Choices are abound in Singapore. By and large, the cost of living in Singapore is kinder to those who know how to manage their financial resources, and keep a regular paying job. For a couple with one school-age child and one working adult, the following can be a useful rule of thumb guideline: If your take home salary for the family is less than S$4,000 per month, your living standard would be modest and resemble the following:
  • Rent an HDB flat
  • Use mostly public transportation and occasional taxi
  • Send your child to local school
  • Mostly home cooking and occasional eating out
With a take home of about S$6,000 -S$7,000, you should be able to upgrade yourself to renting a private condo outside the central district area and hire a maid, with rest of the choice remaining the same. If you take home around S$10,000 per month, you can add international school education for your child to the menu, and use taxi as your primary transport mode. In the S$15,000 range, you can afford a condo in the central district area, send your child to an international school, and use a taxi as your primary transport mode. If budget is not limited, you can rent a bungalow, buy a high-end car, provide an international school education for your child, hire more than one maid, eat out regularly and take frequent vacations.


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