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Living in Singapore on a Budget: A Guide for Expats

By October 30, 2023No Comments
Living in Singapore on a Budget A Guide for Expats

Singapore is a vibrant and diverse city with a lot to offer for both expats and locals. The cost of living can no doubt be high, but with some savvy choices, expats can still live here without breaking the bank. Here are some tips for expats on how to save by going for more budget-friendly options while living in Singapore. 

1. Rent a room instead of a whole unit 

Singapore has plenty of housing options. If you don’t have the budget to splurge on renting an entire apartment, consider renting a room in a co-living space instead. This is a more affordable accommodation option which will reduce your housing expenses and also provides a ready-made community of like-minded individuals. What an excellent way to ease into your new environment and make new friends at the same time! 

2. Use public transport instead of taking the taxi 

The public transportation system in Singapore is very well connected. It is efficient, affordable and extensive. The MRT and bus system cover almost every corner of the city, allowing for seamless travel across the island. Instead of going to your destination by taxi or a Grab ride, travel by public transport instead. This will save you a lot of money! 

3. Dine at hawker centres or food courts instead of at restaurants

Dining out at restaurants everyday can be very expensive. Instead, one of the best ways to experience Singapore’s diverse food culture is by eating at hawker centres or food courts. There are a wide range of delicious and affordable dishes. You can still easily get a meal for under $7. This is a great way to try out new culinary adventures without breaking the bank. Alternatively, you can always try cooking your own simple meals.

4. Shop second hand at Carousell 

For budget-friendly shopping, consider using the Carousell app. This is a popular platform for buying and selling second-hand items. You can find great deals without overspending. Another plus point: you’ll be playing your part by being eco-friendly, reducing wastage and contributing to the circular economy. 

5. Shop at wet markets instead of the supermarket

Shop like a local by visiting the wet markets are usually situated in the heartlands. Here, you’ll be able to buy fresh meat, fruits, vegetables and seafood at lower prices compared to supermarkets. There is a wide selection of produce and ingredients for home-cooked meals. 

6. Explore free activities instead of spending on entertainment 

Singapore has a plethora of parks, gardens, hiking trails and nature reserves to explore. Best of all, they’re free! You can head on to places such as the Botanic Gardens or MacRitchie Reservoir for a leisurely day out. Don’t want to pay for that gym membership? There are also exercise stations located in some parks where you work out for free! 


Living in Singapore on a budget as an expat is not only feasible but also an opportunity to enjoy the best of what the city has to offer. With some financial mindfulness and an open attitude, you can have a fulfilling cost-effective experience in Singapore. 

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