Ben Alagnam - MeMovingToCanada

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Monday, April 4, 2011

How to Save Money in Singapore

I want to share to you my expenses here in Singapore.  This will also be my guide and my reference when my salary will increase in the future.  I will show you my computation at the bottom of this page, but I need to explain it to you one by one.

Everyday, my transportation starts with a two (2) bus stations from our HDB, then three (3) MRT stations and six (6) bus stations to my office and vice versa.  The cost of my transportation for one way is S$1.24. So my budget for a day is S$2.48.

I was cooking last few months ago, but I stopped.  I am already tired from work so cooking is not a good way for me to relax at home.  Then each time I cooked my food, there were only few recipes that I knew.  It can be ginisa, fried egg, fried chicken.  I found it unhealthy for me.

I decided to eat at the hawker station near my office.  This time, I can eat different varieties of food.  The breakfast is a noodle (bihon, canton) then I will partner it with two dishes (vegetables).  The noodles serves as my rice.  The meal cost me only S$2.00.

My lunch is a complete meal, one meat and one vegetables with rice.  Sometimes I eat only 2 vegetable dishes with rice.  It costs me S$2.30 for the combo.

My dinner is again one meat and vegetables with rice. Again the price is S$2.30.

I don't buy those groceries for cooking, I only buy those refreshments such as juices, milk, bread and snacks.
Fruits are my life, I don't go out of the groceries without a bag of fruits.  Each fruit costs an average of S$2.00 per pack.

Every 2 months, I buy my detergents, soap and other beauty products for men. haha!

My average weekly budget for this is S$15.00 and the products are S$10.00.

Luxurious Ben
I am not a fan of branded clothes.  As long as it's comfortable and a bit touch of durability, then it's fine with me.  The clothes that I wore are bought from Malaysia and sometimes in Philippines when I go home for a vacation.  My budget for my luxury in a month is just S$50.00.

Car Parking and ERP
Singapore has ERP(Electronic Road Pricing), which is located mostly in a congested areas like Orchard, Somerset and the rest of the city.  The ERP has gantries that will detect and deduct money from the cashcard, which is inserted in every Singaporean vehicles.  If you forget to insert your cashcard, then S$30.00 fine will be billed to you.

When I go to this areas, it will deduct an average of S$2.00 from my cashcard. So, I included it on my expenses.

ERP is the reason why I don't bring my car to the city.  But, even if I am far from that place, I still have to pay my HDB carpark.  They call this as season parking, which I apply and pay monthly at the HDB.  My monthly parking fee is S$90.00.

Room Rental
I have one roommate and we share a S$700 room rental in an HDB flat.  That means, each of us pays S$350 every month for a 3 x 5 meter room area .  The internet and cable TV is free, but the PUB (gas, electricity, water) is divided for 6 persons. I usually pay around S$7.00 for it because our landlord is paying the first S$200.  The flat has three rooms (masters, 2 common rooms) and a wide living room and a kitchen.

Roaming Around Singapore
Every Saturday and Sunday, me and my friends will go out to see the beautiful sites of Singapore.  My budget for this is S$20.00.  I was lucky to have those friends who are "Kuripot" (thrifty) and don't need to spend too much for other nonsense things.

So, I have explained to you each of my expenses and I will give you an idea on how I budget my money.

Salary   -   S$2,000
Savings -  (       400) (20% of my salary)
   Balance: S$1,600
Transportation:  S$2.48 x 22workdays - S$  54.56 (If I don't bring my car at home)
Food : (S$6.60) x 22workdays            - S$145.20
Groceries: S$20.00 x 4 weeks             - S$  80.00
Luxury:                                                - S$  50.00
Room Rental: S$350.00 + S$7.00       - S$357.00
Roaming Around: S$20.00 x 4 weeks  - S$  80.00
                                   Total Expenses:   S$766.76 ~ S$770 (rounded-off)

Balance           - S$1,600.00
Less Expenses - S$   770.00
   Extra Savings:  S$   830.00 (P28,220)

Total Savings: S$1,230 (P41,820)

The extra and part of my savings will be alloted to my airfare and some goes to expenses in the Philippines.

This computation that I made is for your reference.  It may differ because of our preferences in life.  It will totally depend on you on how you manage it.

I have saved this amount, and so can you!

Other Related Posts:
How Much Salary to Negotiate
How I found a Job in 4 Days?
Sending Gifts to Philippines from Singapore


  1. Hi ben! it's me again.. that's thrifty! C= by the way, after reading your "How Much Salary To Negotiate" blog I am assuming that your SGD 2000 pay is tax free. Is it?

  2. I have no tax yet because I have been working for less than a year when they started to ask for taxes. I will start next year.

    Thrifty maybe...I am just preparing for my future. hehe

  3. Is SGD 2000 the standard pay there?

  4. Nope, it depends on your position, company and Type of work. The minimum salary here is SGD1,800.

  5. You have a car in Singapore in less than a year??? Wow, you're rich ha!!

  6. This is so helpful.. I will be working in Singapore in a couple of months... This helps me a lot. Thank you...

  7. You can use an app called Juyyo ( to find promotions and discounts. I use it to save around $100 monthly.. (on food)

    Tip: Find food promotions on the site before deciding where to head out to eat!


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