How to Adjust to the Rising Cost of Living in Singapore

 

For some years, part of the attraction of moving to South East Asia in general, and Singapore specifically, has been the easier cost of living. For those whose jobs had forced them to relocate from the west, it was often a relief to find that their international business salaries went much farther in their new country than even the same money had at home.

However, economics is a shifting landscape, and recent years have seen the cost of living in Singapore rise steadily to approach that of many other developed nations, putting the squeeze on those who live and work there. With a Singapore presence still a necessity for many companies, here is Allied Pickfords’ breakdown of the current financial situation in the country.

 

Living within your means

While many articles will try to put an exact number on the “monthly price of living” or similar, the reality is that each individual has a large say in how much it costs them to stay in Singapore. Obviously living within a tighter budget is more trying than not, requiring tough decisions about how to spend your money, but it is definitely still possible to live in Singapore even on a meagre amount of money.

Considering the most fundamental of expenses, shelter, the rental housing market remains favourable in Singapore. Thanks to the hugely successful public housing scheme, so-called HDB Flats are available in abundance and are generally well situated relative to local infrastructure. While they might lack the amenities of more expensive condominiums (which run from S$3.5K to S$15K depending on their luxury and proximity to the CBD), HDB Flats make an acceptable base, especially for short-term relocations. Renting one in the heart of the city will set you back roughly S$3K a month.

 

Food and services

As the cost of goods and services rises, everyday expenses can start to quickly unbalance the budget. Cut down on food costs by taking advantage of the abundant hawker centres and food courts. Local street lunches can be bought here for S$4 without missing out too much on quality. While the local restaurant eating is good, high prices mean it should be only an occasional luxury.

Another chance to save money is to forego the cleaning staff traditionally employed by expats in Singapore. One of the most obvious signs of affluence in the past, the minimum costs for live-in workers are harder to stomach after the economic changes. Instead, try hiring the help on a per-hour fee, generally a much more palatable S$10-15/hour.

 

To find out more about Allied Pickfords’ moving services, or to book a consultation, visit www.alliedpickfords.com.sg or call +65 6862 4700.

 

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How to Enjoy Chinese New Year as an Expat in Singapore

 

 

For many native Singaporean residents, the rapidly approaching Lunar New Year represents the single most important date of the year. Also known as Chinese New Year, the spring festival holiday is associated with traditions thousands of years old and is celebrated by communities the world over. Singapore marks the auspicious date with a public extravaganza of light and dance, getting fully into the festival spirit with food, fashion, and public events.
If you’re an expat currently living in Singapore, the advent of such a raucous and colourful holiday might be the perfect cultural experience, but it also could be a bewildering drain on your energy if you aren’t prepared. With that in mind, here’s a short guide to the key facets of Chinese New Year in Singapore.

Paint the town red
One of the most visible cultural foundations of the Spring Festival is the veneration of the colour red, which is simply everywhere in Singapore at this time. Seen to signify luck and prosperity, you will see people buying new clothes, cooking food, and daubing their homes in the colour. 
If you plan on celebrating or at least blending in during the festival, it’s a good idea to plan your best “red” look. Buying new clothes – especially ones which are red themselves – is considered good luck at this time of year, so don’t be afraid to splash out a bit in order to look the part.

It’s all about family
Togetherness and family unity are a huge cultural theme of the holiday. One of the central moments of the holiday season is Reunion Dinner, when scattered family members move hell and high water to get home for dinner on the eve of the Lunar New Year. If you’re a lonesome single expat far from home on a night like this, it can be very easy to feel cut off from the celebration and sink into a melancholy homesickness.
Take the opportunity to match like with like; Allied Pickfords recommends looking into local expat bars and social media groups to see if anyone else is partying against the grain on reunion night.

It’s not just about the New Year
In Singapore, the Lunar New Year is traditionally marked by a 2-day public holiday, sometimes 3-day, and the revellers will make those days count. But if the holiday itself is too intense or just not your style, the festive season persists for a good month around this crimson crescendo. Featuring a range of mouth-watering seasonal food prepared only around the New Year, colourful public decorations and a cheerful, relaxed atmosphere, this could be the perfect antidote to frantic New Year’s Eve celebrations. Make sure to witness the legendary Chingay Parade, held 8 days after the Lunar New Year and one of Singapore’s most cherished public traditions.

 

To find out more about Allied Pickfords’ moving services, or to book a consultation, visit www.alliedpickfords.com.sg or call +65 6862 4700.

 

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