Cost of Living in Singapore, Is it Expensive for OFWs?

Are you curious about living and working in Singapore? Would you like to work there someday? Some people have the impression that Singapore is expensive and that you can’t save when you work in the country.

Also Read: Cost of Living in Malaysia | Monthly Salary Needed as an OFW

This article highlights the information shared by two OFWs working in Singapore. They breakdown their typical expenses so that we will at least have an idea regarding what to expect when we choose to work there someday.

Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on the personal experiences shared by the OFWs in the video below. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the OFWs by commenting on their videos on their accounts.

singapore cost of living

Is Living in Singapore Expensive? Two OFWs Share Their SG Life

Francis Alex, an OFW in Singapore shares some details about living and working in Singapore through the following YouTube video:

Francis Alex said that the cost of living in Singapore really depends on the kind of job you have and your lifestyle.

Different jobs have different monthly salaries, and different lifestyles mean varying expenses.

The following list applies to majority of OFWs in Singapore, according to Francis Alex:

  • Rent – 300 SGD per month (10,780 PhP in the current exchange rate). This is for one room. There are 250 SGD rooms but those are located far from the city.
  • PUB – 30 SGD per month (1,078 PhP). PUB is short for Public Utilities Board, and these are your utility bills; water electricity and gas.
  • Food – 780 SGD per month (28,021 PhP). Monthly expenses for food really depend on whether you eat a lot or are on a diet. This estimate is based on 7 SGD per meal x 3 meals x 30 days, including 5 SGD on snacks per day.
  • Transportation – 90 SGD per month (3,230 PhP). Transportation is highly affordable in Singapore. A bus or train ride is just 80 or 90 cents on average.

The grand total for expenses is 1,190 SGD or 42,750 PhP.

Why not cook? Francis Alex mentioned that he decided not to cook because he feels he can save more when he’s just buying for himself.


According to Francis Alex, the minimum salary for expats in Singapore is 2,300 SGD per month.

Based on this minimum salary, you can save 1,100 SGD per month, or 39,510 PhP in the current exchange rate.

Basically, Francis Alex proves that you can save while working in Singapore, unlike what some Filipinos believe. You have enough to send back home and save some for yourself.

This next video features another OFW in Singapore named Dianne Karol. The full details can be seen in this YouTube video:


Dianne Karol said that for accommodation, the most usual house is an HDB. HDB stands for Housing and Development Board.

Rates for rooms in an HDB depends on the location of the HDB. Those within or near the city or business center are more expensive than those farther away.

There are several types of rooms inside an HDB. These and their average rates are:

  • Master’s bedroom – 800 to 1000 SGD (28,730 PhP – 35,920 PhP). The biggest room with their own CR and air-conditioning.
  • Common room – 600 to 700 SGD (21,548 PhP – 25,140 PhP). Usually no aircon but with windows.
  • Room sharing is also a thing in these HDBs. The average rate is 300 – 400 SGD where you share a room with one other person.

Dianne Karol mentioned two other rooms: Utility room and study room.

Utility Bills

The Utility bill is divided among residents in an HDB. Sometimes, the bill is divided equally but it depends on the arrangement.

For example, Dianne Karol mentioned that their PUB in a certain month is 280 SGD, and they divided that into 5 (the total number of persons living in the HDB).


Here are some common expenses for food according to Dianne Karol.

  • Hawker Centers – 5 – 7 SGD. These are popular food parks in Singapore.
  • Fast Food Chains – 4 – 10 SGD. These rates are applicable to popular fast food chains like McDonalds and Singapore.
  • Ramen – 13 – 25 SGD
  • Unlimited Korean buffet – 25 – 30 SGD

Common Grocery Items:

  • Rice – 5 – 10 SGD for 5 kilos
  • Egg (15 pcs) – 3 to 4 SGD
  • Bread – 3 t0 4 SGD
  • Coffee – 5 to 7 SGD
  • Meat – Pork Belly 17.90 SGD per kilo
  • Vegetables – cents per piece its cheap

Other Expenses

Here are some other expenses mentioned by Dianne Karol. Most of them are optional, but useful nonetheless.

  • WiFi + TFC – 117 SGD (4,202 PhP). This was divided among HDB residents as well.
  • Mobile plan – 60 SGD per month (2,155 PhP)

Living in Singapore definitely has its perks. Expenses are quite high for some items or services, but actually quite cheap for others. Contrary to popular belief, you can save while working in Singapore.

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