How ‘affordable’ is living in Singapore?

In addition to Singapore’s reputation as a fine country, she now has another accolade under her belt – for being the most expensive city in the world. How true is that? To reinforce this claim, we have come up with 11 things that cost way too much in Singapore.

1. Most Expensive Paper

The cost of this paper, also known as Certificate Of Entitlement (COE), fluctuates from time to time – but don’t expect it to be cheap. Recent years have seen COE prices soaring to above $60,000, amounting to at least $6,000 per year, just for a piece of paper. With the money spent on COE, you can easily buy a car (or two) overseas.


 2. Most Expensive Subsidised Housing

Having a shelter over one’s head may be a tall order, given the steep prices of Housing Development Board (HDB) flats. Despite cooling measures, prices of flats are still sky high, with a Bishan maisonette breaking a record price of $1.05 million. Willing to settle for less? A BTO is your next best bet. Here’s a breakdown of Fernvale BTO’s pricing:

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Yup, HDB flats are expensive even if you want to live next to the dead.

3. Expensive Food

Singapore is synonymous with food. In a foodie’s paradise, does this mean food would be more affordable?


Contrarily, the same food item can be found in another country at a significantly cheaper price – sometimes a fraction of the price in Singapore. Did you know that a dozen of your favourite Krispy Kreme doughnuts cost only S$7.70 in Malaysia, but cost S$23.40 in Singapore? Also, a tin of Milo costs S$23.70 at Fairprice, but only S$13.67 in Australian supermarket, Coles.

We’re also most probably home to the most expensive vegetarian cai png (it costs $6.40!).

4. Pricey Cab fares

With exorbitant cab fares, Singapore may prove to be much bigger than a little red dot. One netizen found out the hard way when his taxi fare came up to a hefty $195 from Sentosa to Woodlands. Lesson learnt? Take the train instead. At least train breakdowns are more pocket-friendly than a taxi fare breakdown.

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5. Expensive Weddings

After all, a wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime affair, right? One couple had the exact sentiments, splurging $110,000 on their sacred matrimony. There’s no happily-ever-after for this couple though – they landed themselves in debt.

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6. Overpriced iPhones

No thanks to the infamous Jover Chew, iPhones are probably the most costly in Singapore compared to other countries. Want to get your hands on an iPhone? Not before you pay $1,000 for warranty.

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7. Marked-up N95 Masks

Singaporeans sure know how to capitalise on the haze. $75 for a box of N95 masks definitely sounds like daylight robbery.

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Can’t afford it? Fear not. To combat the rising costs of masks, netizens have come up with an alternative solution:


Quite creative what, right? Doubles up as food if your stomach starts growling.

8. Most Expensive Phone Charging

A single charge may set you back by $400 – your phone might not even be fully charged yet! That was what happened to a girl who assumed that the charging ports at the MRT station was open to public use.

A takeaway from this incident: Always lug a portable charger around, even if they have the propensity to explode in your face.

Or maybe not, since now you can actually charge your phone at 4 exclusive MRT stations islandwide. Undoubtedly useful.


9. Expensive Manicure/ Pedicure

A Jover Chew from the world of nail salons emerged later this year, charging an unsuspecting Bahrain couple a whopping $1,259 for a 1.5 hours manicure and pedicure session. Got warranty or not ah?


10. Most Expensive Cocktail in Asia

Dubbed Asia’s most expensive drink, this cocktail named “The Jewel of Pangaea” can be found at Pangaea, a club for the affluent in Singapore. For S$32,000, the cocktail is a mix of 1985 vintage Krug champagne and sugar, along with gold-flecked Hennessey brandy. Concocted by award-winning master bartender Ethan Leslie Leong, this pricey cocktail is adorned with a Triple X 1-carat diamond by Switzerland-based jeweler Mouawad.


11. 6 Figure Hello Kitty

It tickles our funny bone that a limited edition Hello Kitty called the Singing Bone resulted in friction among the public. The popularity of this mouthless British schoolgirl was underestimated when MacDonald’s did not have enough stocks to go around.

Fortunately, there’s always the Internet…


If you can pay for it, that is.

Okay, so the bid turned out to be fake, but we won’t be surprised if a fan is crazy enough to fork out this amount on a plush toy.

After all, we do have people like Peter Lim.

Featured image via Techie Lobang
With reference to BBC, Asia One, Stomp, Hungry Go Where, So Shiok, The Real Singapore, Express, Yahoo, Stomp, Infinite Legroom