Living in Singapore is not cheap, as many people might think; ”it is Asian country, it must be cheap.”
But Singapore is not like Thailand or Malaysia. Singapore is modern country & city, and usually in modern country you can’t live with very small budget.
Rent in Singapore is one of the highest in the whole world. For example compared to United States, rent in Singapore is over 80% higher.
When students in Finland are crying because of the high rent in student housing, which varies much, but already 400€/month is much.
Well here you are lucky, if you get room by less than 500€/month.
Some people might think ”well I go to study Singapore, and I will get cheap apartment from school.” That’s wrong, just wrong.
When I was searching apartment and asked from school, they gave me some crazy monthly rent: 1 apartment – shared with 3 people and basic furniture was approximately from one person 700€ plus all utilities (such as electricity, water etc.) And they also told me, that if there won’t be enough students, rent would be more expensive.
When I told I will try to search something else, they said it can be hard or even impossible. But for me that school apartment was too much. Maybe for someone it is good, but I took a risk and said I will search from somewhere else.
Well I made right decision to search something else.
If you are lucky enough and you are contacting with right people, you might also be lucky.
We found apartment – actually someone else found it for us -, with only 450€ per person. All utilities included, no cooking allowed, but possibility to store some food in fridge.
It is also near school, 5km, by bus approximately 15-30min – depends on traffic.
I’m sorry, but I won’t tell you who told me about that apartment, as I don’t want any troubles for that person.
So if you are really planning to study in Singapore, and you are searching apartment near Temasek Polytechnic, you can contact me personally. Then I might tell you 😉
Rent is actually the highest part of living costs, and after that almost everything is affordable and even cheap.
School food is cheap, but also food in general is cheap.
You can have a lunch or dinner, or even breakfast out by very affordable price.
Usually food is around 1-5€.
Food in ”restaurant” – more like a food courts, is cheap, but food in grocery store might be expensive.
If you want to buy much food at the same time, I would recommend to go to some huge supermarket, for example Giant.
Milk products are not cheap in Singapore, but those are cheaper in supermarkets.
But if you want to buy bottled water instead drinking tap water (which is also safe to drink, might just taste bad), then you should ahead to some smaller market.
So do some research before going to buy a food to fill up your cupboards.
You don’t need a car in Singapore if you are not having family, own company or work which starts before 5.30 am or work where you just have to have car to move around.
Public transportation works perfectly and I think it takes you actually everywhere. Also taxis are generally affordable.
Having a car is world’s most expensive in Singapore.
Car owners have to pay several taxes, ERP’s (electronic road pricing), registration fees etc.
Also buying a car is not cheap.
If you are interested to see how much actually new cars are, just click this here.
Compared to many other countries, public transportation is cheap. Usually buses are cheaper than metros, but it also takes more time to go buy bus, as with metro there is not traffic.
You can’t buy any month card for transportation if you are not permanent resident. If you are studying in Singapore just temporarily, you can’t have student month card. But even with normal EZ-Link or Nets card, traveling with smrt or bus is cheap. For example from Pasir Ris to Temasek Polytechnic (approximately 6km), it’s 70 cents in Euros.
Well I really recommend to get some local prepaid sim card, as with it calling overseas and also local calls are much cheaper than with your overseas sim.
There is different options where to choose local sim card. I am using Singtel, as they had small shop in Changi Airport. Basically it was easiest to get it from there, and I had my landlord with me, so he knew Singlish and was good translator for me if I didn’t understand 😉
Anyhow, there is also other companies where to choose, but I have heard that Singtel would be cheapest one, and all internet plans etc. would be easiest with Singtel.
I recommend to keep your own number in whatsapp, rather than changing it to Singtel number. It means that no one can call to you to your own phone number, if you are not having extra phone with you. But it also means, that you can have whatsapp calls with your own number. That is actually weird thing, but it is cheaper that way, because if you are changing your number totally to Singaporean number, then you need to make whatsapp plan separately. And it costs you more money.