As you can see, life in Singapore is full of choices, but it all depends on your lifestyle. If you plan your finances well, the good thing is that you can enjoy every moment of your life in Singapore. Indeed, you can even enjoy more by taking a loan to fund a major purchase and pay in instalments.

For example, you can cut down the costs on recreation and transport and direct the funds to pay for a car loan in Singapore. Reach out to Lendela to easily apply for the preferred loan, from personal loans to car loans.

Which jurisdiction would you prefer to visit or relocate to? Most people will answer “Singapore” without hesitation. "It is a paradise and I will do anything to go there," some indicate. However, have you thought about the cost of living in Singapore? Whether you are a digital nomad or have found a new job that requires relocating to Singapore, it will be a great idea to check the cost of living before packing.

We must indicate, at this point, that the decision you make largely depends on your personal lifestyle. For example, a guy who stays in his parent’s apartment back home and only leaves for work might need to rethink the expenditure, especially the high cost of renting an apartment in Singapore. So, what is the cost of living in Singapore like? To help you answer this question, we compiled a rundown of the costs to anticipate in Singapore. Note this is tailored for a middle-class lifestyle because most people would fit there, and the costs are given in dollars.

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Cost of Living in Singapore: Housing Costs

When moving to Singapore from another country or relocating to another city, the biggest part of your budget is likely to go into housing. Well, you have two options when it comes to housing in Singapore – buying or renting. Which one do you prefer?

If you want to rent a standard apartment in Singapore, that will cost you at least $700 and $1,500 per month. For those planning to take a mortgage, the least amount you are likely to pay per month is $1,500 to $3,000. When you settle for a mortgage, it is important to appreciate that the money has to be paid for the entire period of the loan. So, let us look at the two main options that you can explore in Singapore:

  • Renting a House in Singapore

If you prefer renting a house, well, you are not alone. A lot of expatriates in Singapore opt to rent, but we must say it is not cheap. For example, a person who is single and only looking forward to getting a room in a shared on any of the HDB flats should expect to pay about $700-$2,000 every month. The same amount applies when targeting condos in Singapore.

What if you prefer a more private life, one without sharing? It is simple – be prepared to pay more. A studio apartment in Singapore or one-bedroom in a condo requires a monthly rent of between $1,500 and $4,500. The difference in price largely comes from the property type. Most HDB flats in Singapore are cheaper, while condos attract higher rates. The condos, in some cases, are designed with extra features, such as swimming pools and gyms. This is a big part of the cost of living in Singapore.

Another factor that determines the price is the distance to the city. Apartments close to the city are more expensive compared to those located far away. One thing you should appreciate is that the transport system in Singapore is pretty reliable, and staying some distance from the city will not make you late for work. Also, many neighbourhoods away from the city tend to rock more character and come with cheaper dining.

When renting a house in Singapore, make sure to thoroughly check the rules because there are some landlords who disallow cooking. In such a house, it implies you will always need to eat out or order food deliveries.

  • Buying a Home

If you prefer to buy as opposed to renting, there are two options; purchasing an HDB house or private property. For those who prefer buying HDB houses, one of the requirements is that you need to come with your spouse. By the time you go to collect the keys, proof of marriage might be asked.

In Singapore, HDB houses are subsidised, and grants are offered depending on the level of income. If you pick a property being offered for resale, the price can be pretty high, especially those close to the city.

In general, a resale property (3-room house) near the city attracts a price of about $300,000 in the case of HDB property to millions when dealing with private houses. Average condos cost approximately $1 million.

So, let us take a scenario where you pay a down payment of 10% and 20%, for a HDB house and a private home, respectively. In such a situation, it implies you will be paying about $1500-$4500 every month. You might also think of checking out the loans with lower interest rates through Lendela to push down the monthly payments.

Transport Costs

As you plan for the monthly rent or mortgage, it is paramount to also factor in the amount that will go into transportation. Here, the cost can vary depending on your travelling needs every day, the method of transport, and what you carry around.

For example, if you work in a workshop and live around, only a small amount will go into transportation compared to another person who lives miles away and has to commute to work every day.

If you have a good amount of disposable cash, you might want to think of buying a car, but this is not the case with many people in Singapore. Indeed, many are those who have to use car financing in Singapore to own a vehicle. Such a loan will require you to pay an extra $1,000-$2,000 every month, including additional costs for fuel and parking.

For a person who will be using public transport, from catching a bus to town to taxis, here are the costs to anticipate. Notably, public transport in Singapore is affordable and reliable. In a month, you can expect to use about 100-$120. However, it would be best if you also were careful with public transport because the busses are rarely available after midnight. In such a situation, your best alternative will be a taxi.

This implies that if you want to have some good time drinking at night, say twice every week; you need to factor in about $15 for every ride. This comes to approximately $120, which should be added to the monthly transport costs in your budget.

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Cost of living in Singapore: What about the Daily Expenses?

Well, this is where the biggest difference comes into play because people’s daily expenses are not similar. So, here are the common expenses for a middle-class person in Singapore:

  • Groceries

Taking a closer look at groceries in Singapore, you will realise that associated costs can be pretty high compared to other countries. The main reason for this is that a lot of products, such as milk and non-tropical fruits, you find in Singapore groceries are imported. So, if you are the type of person who loves going for fresh veggies and fruits from America, groceries might take in excess of $200 every month.

  • Coffee

Most people love coffee, especially mid-morning or after lunch, for a special boost of energy. However, you need to be prepared to pay for it. Local hawkers in Singapore take about $1-$2 for coffee, but a western-style café will require you to dig deeper into the pocket. For example, Starbucks café sells coffee for more than $5.

  • Mobile Data

Once you are firmly settled in Singapore, the chances are that you will need to regularly reach friends, family, and colleagues using the internet. Depending on your work, the internet on your smartphone might also come in handy. Therefore, if your company is not covering your internet costs, consider budgeting for another $20 for mobile data.

  • Exercise Costs

If you prefer to jog in the morning, ride a bicycle around the home, or do squats, it might be possible to cut down on this cost. However, those who prefer the gym or other sports classes should be prepared to pay for it, and it does not come cheap. In Singapore, gym monthly membership classes will cost approximately $1000.

  • Recreation

Watching the latest movie on the big screens is fun, and many people love it. However, it comes at a cost. In Singapore, movie tickets go for $9-$13, and alcohol to go with it can be expensive. Some movie theatres sell alcohol in movie centers for as high as $15.

If you are on a money-saving mission or prefer watching movies alone in your house, consider subscribing to Netflix. Cheaper activities, such as hiking and picnics in Singapore, might also come in handy.

Nice-to-Have Things that You Might Want to Consider

The truth about Singapore is that one can make huge savings by limiting your activities, such as using public transport and cutting down drinking costs. However, the cost of living can blast through the roof when you grab a number of luxuries. So, here are some of them:

  • Dining in High-End Restaurants

Singapore is home to some of the finest restaurants, but a meal in some of them can be so high. For example, a standard meal in these restaurants can be as high as $50 and a lot more if it comes with wine.

  • Dating

If you love swiping on Tinder, it might be a good idea to slow down because the cost can be so high. Take the example of a dinner-and-drink date night combo. If you fancy such date, be ready to spend in excess of $50 for each person per night. The cost might even be higher depending on personal tastes.

  • Deluxe Gym Memberships

If you prefer the expensive fitness memberships, the costs can be equally high. Most high-end gyms charge in excess of $120 per month and a lot higher if they focus on MMA. With these gyms, members are required to subscribe for several years, which means that if the charge is $200, a total of $480 will be required for membership.

A Complete Breakdown of the Cost of Living in Singapore

To make it easier for you to calculate the cost of living in Singapore, we will now break down the costs and present them in a table.

Item Under consideration

Cheap range




Accommodation (renting a house)

$700 (when living in a shared HDB flat)

$1,200 (when living in a shared Condo

$5000 (entire apartment)



$250 If you cook or eat in hawker centers

$500 if you use mid-range hotels and hawker centers

$2000 to use nice restaurants


Mobile data

$20 when using the basic-SIM only plan

$30 and more

$60 and more for data plans and other frills



$120 when using public transport

$400 when using public transport and taxis

$1000 for using own car and taxis



$100 on Netflix, including an occasional drink

$300 for moderate drinking

$1,500 for going to the top-end clubs and travelling



Nil if you opt to work out from home, such as cycling around

$80 for standard/ cheap gyms

$150 for high-end gyms






As you can see, life in Singapore is full of choices, but it all depends on your lifestyle. If you plan your finances well, the good thing is that you can enjoy every moment of your life in Singapore. Indeed, you can even enjoy more by taking a loan to fund a major purchase and pay in instalments.

For example, you can cut down the costs on recreation and transport and direct the funds to pay for a car loan in Singapore. Reach out to Lendela to easily apply for the preferred loan, from personal loans to car loans.