No matter how financially stable you are, arriving in Singapore as an expat is likely to hurt you so much, especially if you are not prepared. The last thing you expect after the hassle of moving to a foreign country is landing in financial stress during the first two or three months. The good news is that Singapore is deemed the global financial hub, and you will never run out of options when it comes to financial decisions. The bad news is that expats arriving in Singapore are likely to lose tons of cash through common mistakes if they are not keen.
For example, securing accommodation requires the first month’s rent plus two-month deposits. What about if you have kids? You will be hit with massive deposits and tuition. All these stresses are likely to push into signing up for any other loans to support your monetary needs even before one year is gone. To avoid such mistakes, here are six money-saving tips if you are planning to move to Singapore.
Don’t Assume the Tax System Is as Simple as It Looks
Singapore’s tax system appears simple, especially to locals, due to the lack of capital gains tax and inheritance tax. Any expat arriving in Singapore will also view it as a simple tax system and take it as a great business opportunity. However, the truth is that many hidden fine prints can cost you a lot of cash if you are not keen. For instance, despite Singapore lacking capital gains tax, your company’s stock options classify the stock as your income and are reliable to taxes.
Additionally, suppose you are eager to buy property in Singapore. In that case, you should know that foreigners are charged 15% more in additional stamp duties. This could mean a loss to expats who will only stay for a shorter period, below ten years. Therefore, before moving to Singapore, talk to your tax agent to understand how the tax system works to save cash.
Don’t Pick on Any Bank Because It Is Familiar
Singapore is a home of more than a hundred banks. These include big-name brands like HSBC and Citibank. The island also hosts various private financial institutions and offshore banks that can offer excellent services if you try them. Therefore, as an expat arriving in Singapore. Please don’t rush to pick any bank because of its big-name and overlook these offshore banks. For instance, local banks such as DBS and OCBC offer convenient accessibility.
They have more ATMs, making it easier to transact at any time. You have just landed in the country, and you have little time to interact with these big brands like HSBC. Alternatively, you need to register with two banks. One should be an international bank to use when sending money back home. The second one is for local transactions like withdrawals.
No Need for A Car
Another mistake that most foreigners make when moving to a new state is buying a car. But, when arriving in Singapore as an expat, you should not rush to buy a car. Why? Singapore is one of the expensive cities in the world to own a car. This is because a family car can cost around S $ 110,000. This cost does not include prohibitive road taxes, electronic road pricing, parking fees, and mandatory insurance.
Secondly, the country is highly interconnected and can only be walked across in a single day. Therefore, owning a car in Singapore as an expat is unnecessary, and public transport is the only option. If you must have private transportation, consider long-term leasing.
Work with A Forex Broker
Are you moving with a large amount of money? Or do you intend to transfer large sums of money always while in Singapore? Get in touch with a Forex broker. Forex brokers use the latest options to secure the best currency exchange rates. They assist you with the transactions at a mere fee. If you are not in a hurry to send money back home.
Forex brokers can also advise on the best time to exchange the currency and minimize a significant loss of thousands of dollars if you exchange large sums. Before you arrive in Singapore, get in touch with a reliable Forex broker to get a big picture of the currency exchange rates.
Avoid Renting in The Main City Center
Accommodation is one of the most expensive bills you will meet in Singapore. It gets higher as you approach the city centers. When hunting for housing in the country, you should know that it is expensive in the city center. It gets more and more affordable as you expand your search outside the city. Therefore, when arriving in Singapore, you should avoid towns like Orchard, Bukit Timah, Tanglin, and River Valley.
Additionally, if you cannot afford S$9,000 as monthly rent, avoid high-end and luxurious apartments like Sentosa and Keppel Bay. You can cut accommodation costs by renting an HDB flat in the heartlands near public transport or having roommates in a private apartment.
Consider Bringing Your Wardrobe
If you ask any local, they would tell you that Singapore is considered a shopping paradise. What you may not know is that shopping in this luxurious country comes with significant mark-ups. That is why even locals sometimes hop over to Hong Kong to buy designer clothes, bags, and shoes. Singaporeans also have different body sizes than most Westerners, and finding the wardrobe’s right size may be challenging.
Therefore, if you are moving to the country, consider bringing your wardrobe to avoid the stress of searching for the correct sizes. Additionally, if you must shop in Singapore, double-check the online prices before going out to shop.
Living in one of the most expensive cities in the world could come with both bright and dark sides. However, it is possible to survive in Singapore if you calculate your income and expenditure. Instead of struggling to live like other expats and striving to survive like locals, budget your money, and things will never go south. If you want to survive in Singapore, be good at saving, including installing an Instant Loan. The next blog will discuss why this is important.