This two-part post will be presenting several important tips on how to survive frugally while you're in Singapore, a country with a high cost-of-living. Part one will be discussing on how to get a place to crash without spending a lot and second is getting around Singapore, the cheaper way.
This article is created for you who wants to visit Singapore for a vacation or holiday but you only have a limited budget. This is also for you young professionals who want to find a job here in Singapore, but entering the city-state as a tourist. Why? Because I want to help you guys out by sharing these information.
Finding a Flat
It is advisable to get your accommodation reserved before booking your flight to Singapore. There are several websites which advertise bed spaces. You can try www.rentinsingapore.com, www.olx.com.sg or www.sg.88db.com and search for available room or bed space for rent. These websites offer different options for you. The ads also provide contact numbers, so you can check with the owner for availability and reservation. In case you can't find any available rooms online, you will have to find a room after you arrive here. Instead of relaxing or going places around the Lion City, you'll probably spend half of your day finding a room. Which is a waste of your precious time. Which is not a good thing to do since you're on a tight schedule.. and budget.
If you have a friend or cousin working here, that is your first option. Having a friend here will help you minimize your expenses, especially for those of you who are trying to find work here. Why pay for the rent if your friend or cousin can let you sleep in the living room or share the floor of the bedroom. Or share half of the pillow. You just need to find a place to rest your back in the evening, because you'll be out on daytime. That is if it's okay with your friend, to share the room for free. :-P Better contact your friend first before planning your excursion.
If you have no one to go to, bedspace is your next option. Bed space is way cheaper than the common rooms, but with little privacy, because you'll be sharing the room with others. Some bedspace charge for $10-$30 a day inclusive of PUB(stands for Public Utilities Board, this is the water,electricity and gas supply). The rate also depends on the number of people sharing the room. Location of the house may also affect the price of the rental. The rental price tends to go up if it is near a major shopping mall or district. And be aware that only up to four people are allowed to share a single room. I know some of the house owners rent a room for six people, which is of course illegal. Better safe than sorry, right? If your planning to stay here for 2 weeks or less, this is a good option.
For you fellows who got successfully hired by a company and would be staying here, a common room is the best way to go. Common rooms range from $500-$800 per month depending on the amenities and location. They also offer a maximum of two or three persons per common room. Common room tenants will be sharing a common bathroom. If you have a very good offer(READ: Salary is $6000 up) and want some privacy, a master's bedroom is good for you. You can have a nice room with aircon and own bathroom for $1000-$1200 per month. But still, the best way to live here while working is teaming up with friends and renting the whole flat. Some flats have 3 rooms, 1 master's and 2 common rooms, so this is good for a gang of 5 or 6 persons. A three-room flat will cost you about $2000-$2500 a month, depending on amenities. One advantage of this is that you will have the kitchen for yourselves, if flat have one, so you can cook your own food. This will be also be a money saver because you will be planning and buying grocery for the month and budgeting will be much easier.
Part two will be discussing on how to travel around Singapore by different modes, starting from the cheapest(or even free!).