Tips For Living On A Budget As An Expat In Singapore

Singapore has a reputation for being a very expensive city. However, it should be good news to the ears of expats to know that it is possible to live in Singapore while on a budget. The following information will provide you with some budget friendly tips for housing, transportation and social life, while also living a very comfortable life while in Singapore.


It is not cheap to find a place to live in Singapore, and if you want to live in housing that has modern amenities, you should be prepared to pay a lot more than if you chose to live in an older house or apartment. Many properties in the area are competitively priced with similar properties around the world.

If you are an expat, it is likely that you will not be purchasing a house as soon as you get there. This means that your best option would be to choose a frugal rental option.

For those who are moving with a family will probably need to rent a large apartment or a house. With the current housing market, you should be prepared to spend SG$2000 to SG$10,000 a month. This is equivalent to around $1600USD to $7500USD a month.

You may want to apply for public housing instead of applying for private rentals, and if you are single, it will be cheaper for you to rent a studio apartment or a room instead of a full apartment.


If you really want to live frugally in Singapore, you will likely have to give up on the idea of owning a car while you are there. Owning a car in the United States and the UK is standard due to the size of the countries. Cars are also pretty inexpensive in these countries.

On the other hand, trying to own a car in Singapore will leave you broke. After buying the car, you will also need to pay additional fees related to tolls, parking, taxes and insurance. The positive side is that the public transportation infrastructure in Singapore is extremely reliable.

An added bit of information is that even if you wanted to travel from one side of Singapore to the other, it would take you a maximum of 2 hours by train. So, you can choose to live on the outskirts of the downtown area and still get to work and other places on time.

Social Life

You will quickly find it is less expensive to spend your time off being involved in activities that are either free, or do not cost a lot. Nightclubs can be expensive after paying cover charges and buying drinks. A less expensive option would be to meet friends for drinks in a pub instead. In addition, if you are staying in the suburbs, it may be less expensive to go to a pub there instead of traveling downtown.

Other cost effective options are going to the beach and going to the movies during the week instead of going on the weekends.

These are some tips for expats who want to save money while living in Singapore. You do not have to spend a lot of money to have a comfortable lifestyle.