What is the average cost of living in Singapore?

Jeremy Wang, Knows where to have good coffee and cake
Answered October 29, 2020

There’s no denying that living in Singapore is expensive. Still, with the average salary and budget-conscious behavior, most people live well in the island nation. With the expanding economy and benefits coming with it, it’s a small wonder why expats want to live in the city-state

A retail store in Singapore

Now, we’ll examine what the average cost of living in Singapore is for you to know what to expect before moving here.

Average Monthly Costs in Singapore


Accommodation costs highly depend on the area. The more centrally located you are, the rental prices are higher. Also, renting a Housing Development Board’s property can save you a substantial amount of money. 

For example, HDB’s rentals are usually between S$700 and S$2,000 per month for shared homes. To live in a small apartment, you may need to pay up to S$4,500. 

Also, note that people living in central districts tend to have nearly three times higher housing expenses than those on the outskirts.


Food costs are pretty uniform regardless of where you live. Since the Republic of Singapore imports most goods, food prices are likely higher than in your homeland. 

Preparing meals at home should save you a lot compared to eating at restaurants. To save a little extra, buy groceries at selected shops and markets

Basic products’ prices are:

  • Milk (1 l), and a package of 12 eggs – around S$3
  • 1 kg/2.2 lb of potato – approximately S$2.6
  • Bread (500 g/1.1 lb) – S$2.3
  • 1 kg/2.2 lb of oranges – S$4.1
  • Rice and tomato (1 kg/2.2 lb) – around S$2.75
  • Beef meat (1/2 kg/1.1 lb) – S$10
  • Chicken meat (1/2 kg/1.1 lb) – S$4.5

The bottom line, you should plan at least a few hundred S$ per person per month for food.


With the monthly pass, public transport will set you back S$128 a month. For occasional use, an EZ-link card may prove to be a better option for you. Merlion City is cycle-friendly, so you may commute by bike if you prefer. 

Cost of Living in Singapore for Singles

Singles sharing expenses with roommates and prudently spending could live with S$1,500 per month. But, if you would like to occasionally dine at restaurants, go to a gym, or spare something, you would need approximately S$2,500. 

Note: To be eligible to live and work in Garden City as an expat, your monthly wages should be over S$2,500. 

Monthly Expenses in Singapore for Couples

To comfortably live in the city-state with your partner, your combined income should be around S$5,000. With this amount of money, you could:

  • Rent basic accommodation
  • Afford eating out at restaurants at times
  • Spare for a low-cost trip to a nearby destination, such as Malaysia, Indonesia, or Thailand
  • Enjoy nightlife now and then

How Much a Family Needs to Make it Through the Month?

Assuming that you are a family of four and your children go to school, better secure a well-paid job before moving to the island nation. Education could cost you up to S$30,000 per child a year. Lodging expenses for a three-room apartment tend to go up to S$7,000 per month. 

Overall, parents should aim to work for the above-average salary, with current averages (2020) being approximately S$8,500.


When searching for a place to live, contact proven real estate agencies in Lion City. Experienced, full-time agents are more likely to find a solution for you than part-time ones. Also, note that buying a car in Singapore is usually quite a pricey thing. 

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