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tada Apr 3rd 2015 8:12 pm

150k for a family, enough?

I wonder if you could help me.

My husband was offered a job in Singapore the salary is Sin$150k + bonus + moving costs.
I know it is not much and it is very expensive in Singapore so I wonder if a family of two adults and two kids 1 and 3 year old can have a comfortable life on that amount of money.
I can imagan it will not be easy for us because we make more money now and things are not expensive where we are.

We don't need to be very cenrtal or in a posh area. Not too far from everywhere, just to be able to go out time to time and be near some shops, parks, markets and supermarkets is all we want. Not a big 3-bed apartment with a swiming pool would be just great.
We don't need a car, will not need help around the house and our kinds are not going to school or day care for another two years. I would like to join some activities for my older one though.

We would absolutely love to experience life in Aisa, I suppose it is the main reason we want to make a move. It's our only chance to do it now, while our kids are small.

My main fear is that we'll have no money to enjoy our selfs. We would love to be able to go out for occasional dinners and maybe have a nice holiday on one of the islands near by once or twice a year. Is it too much to ask for on the above salary? I would love to hear from anyone who has some thoughts on that one.

Thanks in advance.

This forum has offered so much help already, I've been searching for the last two days. But it would be great if somebody actually have a similar income and can tell us how they personally find it.

ex reg Apr 4th 2015 6:25 am

Re: 150k for a family, enough?
Tax will be taken on the full salary and bonus. Unless the figure you've given is after tax.
Half the untaxed salary will be spent on accommodation, plus or minus depending on location and furnishings etc.

You'll be able to live on the rest and enjoy restaurants and stuff if you don't overdo things.

The bonus will define your holidays.

Not sure there'll be much left over for savings.

If you stay longer than 2 years and kids schooling is required you might find things tough financially then unless the company stump up with a schooling allowance so check that now rather than later.

Will medical costs be covered for the whole family?

tada Apr 4th 2015 8:26 am

Re: 150k for a family, enough?
Thank you Ex Reg.

A very informative answer.
I'm not sure about the medical. But to be honest the position hasn't been offered properly yet. I just wanted to investigate if it's even something to consider on that sort of money in Singapore.

The salary is before tax.
The savings- we are not even hoping to achieve any savings with this kind of salary. We would be leaving when it is time for our kids to go to school. Unless we are totally inlove with the place and on a better money by that time ;)
But thanks again, it looks like you know your stuff.

Also, would anybody be able to recommend any 2-3 bed apartment for 3-4k a month? Family friendly place with a swimming pool.


ex reg Apr 4th 2015 9:52 am

Re: 150k for a family, enough?
I'm not sure why the salary should be lower in Singapore, which is expensive, compared to where you are now which is cheapish???
This is something you should discuss with the company.

There are a few sites online where you can see what type of accommodation you'll get for your money and where in Singapore thay are located.
Don't however finalise anything online but have 4 or 5 options you like and when you are Singapore find an agent who will drive you around to view those places.
The company 'should' provide either a hotel or Service Apartment for 2 to 4 weeks when you arrive to allow you to look around for accommodation.

tada Apr 4th 2015 10:10 am

Re: 150k for a family, enough?
Thanks again.
It is a different compony, not the one my husband works for now. It's just we need to decide what to do, because they are not going to increase the salary, also it is not clear how their bonuses work. We need to do a lot of home work, but I really want to make it happen.
Anyway, we are very hopeful that it works out for us.
Thank ::

dean350 Apr 17th 2015 6:42 am

Re: 150k for a family, enough?
Its easy to find 3 bed apartments for 3-4K per month away from the city areas. Most have a pool and a kids play area. Not having a car is OK as supermarkets are very plentiful. If your condo is near an HDB estate then you can also use their wet markets which are great for cheap fish, fruit and veg. Buses and MRT's are clean, safe and cheap but you need to check out where your husband will be working as public transport times can be slow compared to car. You must be careful about schooling as getting into a local school can be tricky these days and the education system does not suit everyone. Many foreigners put their kids in international school (often at their employer's expense) as they cost about S$24,000 to S$30,000 per year per child. I would try and get fees written into the deal now just in case you stay here longer. The allowance would also help to pay kindergarten fees. Also, you must get health insurance which can be about S$6000 per year with a local insurer. You should also try and research how much other foreigners are being paid for your husband's role to make sure you are not being low balled.

Travel can be cheap here as there are low cost flights all over the region and accommodation can be had cheaply.

Singapore is very built up, very busy and quite a stressful place to live. Its also a very westernised form of Asia. I would want to think hard before giving up somewhere else to come here on less money!

jonzhong May 5th 2015 3:29 am

Re: 150k for a family, enough?
may i ask if the 150k is for the entire 2 years duration? or annually?

xizzles May 5th 2015 7:19 am

Re: 150k for a family, enough?
$150,000 per annum, I reckon. Effective tax on that will be about 10-12%, depending whether your husband has to contribute CPF (but if he is on an employment pass, there'll be no deductibles normally) and up to a max of 20%, so there'll be plenty to take home if one is prudent with the expenditure.

Rentals are going down in Singapore, because of massive over supply, so you'll have your pick of choices for the budget you've described. Don't expect someplace too close to the city, but if you're ok with something slightly older, away from the city, you'll easily get a 3 bedder with a pool, no worries.

Dean350 is correct - schooling is super expensive, and can easily set you back $30,000 a year per child. Make sure that's worked into your hubby's contract, otherwise it'll get expensive very quickly!

For what it's worth, the median pay for a local is about $3000 to $5000 per month, so your hubby will be well paid comparatively - however, don't forget you're not coming over to peg yourself at the local wage rate. If you do come over it's for a better future and understandably, for a better salary. Your hubby should do his due diligence and check the comparative pay of his peers in the same industry at the same seniority before you make a decision to head over to Singapore or otherwise.

Good luck!

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