Saturday, December 27, 2014

Frugal living in Singapore

Singapore is expensive and a difficult place to live frugal. On the other hand since it is expensive, it is important to live frugal in Singapore. If you live here long enough and are not on a fat expat package, you will (be forced to ) find ways to live frugal in Singapore. But for new comers, I have compiled a short list of money saving tips for new comers:

Rent the smallest possible place  - A new comer to Singapore usually rents. And thanks to his/her friendly property agent or the places he looks first (i.e. expats in Singapore web sites) they over-rent. If you are single and do not need a lot of space, you can rent a room instead of a whole house.

Rent public house not a condo - Thanks to the run down conditions of central public houses and lack of experience combined with the shyness of being in a new country, many also tend to rent a condo unit or room. Indeed, many new comers do not know that they can rent in public housing estates with a valid work pass. There are many very good HDB's in Singapore which comes with usually 60% rental price of the cheapest condo. You can basically rent a 1,000 sqft, 4 room, less than 10 years old HDB flat instead of squeezing yourself in a condominium studio (HDB 4 room flat in most cases will be cheaper).

Cook your own food - Do not follow the "eat-out" culture of Asia too long. Cooking at home is still much cheaper than eating in food courts and in most cases it is much healthier (although food courts are hygienic because of high cost of business in Singapore they tend to use the cheapest of the oil and not the best of the ingredients).

Shop online - Retail rent is expensive and brick-and-mortar shops will fully pass it to you. In the past decade you could be able to find everything online such as Amazon (free ships to Singapore), Lazada, Zalora, QOO10. This item is here because a significant number of us comes from countries where online shopping is relatively underdeveloped and unreliable. In Singapore, it is developed and usually reliable.

This is a short money savings tips list for frugal living in Singapore for new comers.
Do not smoke - Smoking kills and in Singapore it also burns your pocket. If you are smoking, this is a great place to stop it. Seriosly, I have seen many people stopped smoking in Singapore and indeed I am one of them.

Eat less meat - This is not only healthy, it is also quite cheap because the meat, especially the beef, comes from Australia and is expensive here.

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