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Budget for life in Singapore with two kids (8 + 6YO)

(9 Posts)
gtown16 Thu 07-Apr-16 22:30:03


I have been reading another very helpful post (from 2012) in relation to living in Singapore. We are entering negotiations for a potential move, and i'm trying to confirm current cost of living so we can use this as a reference.

We are a family of four (two girls - 8 and 6YO), and i've included my understanding (based upon reading other post, plus our current budget plus allowances for new costs) and understanding of cost of living over there. I've allowed a nominal allowance for savings up front.

All in all it comes out at 312K (S$), which feels very high - although i have been told this is the range you need in order to save any money. Worth noting we don't lead an excessive livestyle and are OK at saving - but also don't want to be severely compromising (i.e. we want to be on par or better than current lifestyle).

I'd appreciate any feedback anyone has, based upon current cost of living. I haven't included any costs for relocation etc. as assuming these will be covered by the company.

Expenses (Per Month & Per Annum - in S$)
Rent $8,000 $96,000
Utilities $750 $9,000
Food $1,500 $18,000
Tax $3,833 $46,000
School Fees (6 + 8YO) $5,350 $64,200
Transport $400 $4,800
Medical $150 $1,800
Mobile $80 $960
Savings $3,333 $40,000
Entertainment $600 $7,200
Internet $50 $600
Cable $50 $600
Hair cuts $80 $960
Waxing $80 $960
Clothes $400 $4,800
Christmas $150 $1,800
Holidays $450 $5,400
Gym $200 $2,400
Cleaner/Babysitter $140 $1,680
Swimming $120 $1,440
Tennis/Sport Lessons $140 $1,680
Piano Lessons $140 $1,680
Bday Presents $40 $480
Netflix $12 $144
Spotify $18 $216
Dropbox $13 $150
TOTAL PM = $26,079 PA = $312,950

Thanks in advance! :-)


Pupsiecola Fri 08-Apr-16 10:11:17

Hi there.

We lived in Singapore three years ago. I would double the food budget, and the holiday budget (so many travel opportunities!), and the medical budget. What about flights home once a year, if you want to come back to see family? Out rent was 6k but we were in a small condo in a very central location (River Valley) so 8k seems reasonable.

Have you got actual figures for the extra curricular stuff? Because they can be very expensive. But otherwise on that budget it is doable.

Also, what are you doing re schools? Most will a have a registration\application frr of a few thousand quid.

FreddoFrog Sat 09-Apr-16 14:50:51

I'd say, sadly!, that this is about right. It is an expensive city!

We probably pay about half of your anticipated utilities bill, for internet/cable and my mobile phone.

We paid our babysitter $20/hour (with four hour minimum) so maybe your cleaner/babysitter budget could be higher.

I would check the school bus costs. For information, the nursery we looked at today for DD2 was $538/quarter for their buses (two ways).

Remember you have to pay three months' rent upfront too.

Your budget is really spot on. Which is why I should be job hunting rather than being on here grin.

All the best for your move.

ohtobeanonymous Mon 11-Apr-16 02:43:16

I can't comment on the other aspects of your budget, but $140 per month for piano lessons seems low (unless this is the price advised by your children's school).
Good luck with your move - it will be a great experience for your family!

TerrorAustralis Mon 11-Apr-16 11:06:45

Where are you planning on living and what kind of home (condo? 3 bed?). You could pay half that in rent depending on where and what.

Your figure for utilities is very high, but again depends on how big your place is and how cool you keep the air con. If you are talking about a 3-storey house you might spend that much. For a condo you'd be looking at $300-400.

It's hard to know if the food bill is on the money because people eat (and drink differently). My food bill is lower than that for 3 adults and 1 child, but our grocery bill is increased if you include the wine!

Do you know which school your DC are going to? Fees are on all the school websites. Are they going to be getting the school bus? This can be VERY expensive.

Is your DH's job paying for comprehensive medical insurance?

Singaporean cable is pretty rubbish and not worth paying for. Just get a VPN and Netflix.

If you're in a condo you will have a gym onsite, so may not need to pay for membership. Obviously if you go to the gym for classes you'll still want to join one.

Swimming budget may be a bit low. Group lessons cost us $25, so $100 for one child per month. I'm not sure about music lessons, but I have heard a wide variety of prices quoted. If you do them through school they'll probably be more expensive.

I agree with Pupsiecola that you should try to increase your travel budget! (Put the money that would be going on cable in there.)

Good luck!

KateInKorea Wed 13-Apr-16 05:17:10

I think the total is about right but some of the individuals are Low e.g. Music lessons should be doubled and we pay $31 pw per child for Swimming.
Our utilities are lower, but food higher.
Holidays...... No way, it will average 5 times that.
$8k will get you a very nice apartment indeed.
No helper?

KateInKorea Wed 13-Apr-16 05:18:09

Also is the tax correct - I think ours is higher than that!

beingorange Wed 13-Apr-16 05:30:22

we just moved here a few months ago, so have done a very similar exercise.

Your rental is high. Rents for condos have come down in price, and with the opening of the Downtown line, its possible to live a bit further out for almost half your budget. Also, the international schools are all moving out of the centre.

We spend about $500 a month on food for three adults, two children excluding wine, which does cost a fortune.

transport could be much higher if your children take a school bus in, which they may well have to unless you have a car.

Cleaner and babysitter costs can vary. Most people have a live in helper which is about S$ 400-800 a month, depending on experience plus some $250 levy. We pay at the top end of that, for someone who has a lot of experience and speaks good English. We both work, and its a godsend. its harder to get one off babysitters, especially on a regular basis.

Entertainment can vary. Food stalls and beer are really cheap. Nice restaurants, or even kid friendly equivalents of Giraffe can cost a fortune. We spend quite a lot on food out and about as the children get so hot and bothered, we end up ducking into air conditioned restaurants that cost more than the food stalls.

And budget in travel, as its mad not to, and SIngapore does get haze in the summer and its good to be able to escape.

Pupsiecola Wed 13-Apr-16 15:45:01

Re food bill, it definitely does depend on what you buy of course. When we were there our food bill was high, but then we went to an excellent butcher to buy our (hormone free) meat. Plus I have really sensitive skin, especially with regards clothes/bedding washing detergent. So I used to pay about £15 for a normal sized bottle of that (equivalent to eCover type stuff). I didn't really have a choice though

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