Here’s how much a 20-something-year-old expat living in Singapore spends in one week

Thanks to this, we learned what an açai bowl is.

Jeanette Tan | March 25, 2016 @ 12:17 pm


On Tuesday, American-based site Refinery29 ran a piece featuring the expenditure of a Canadian-Chinese woman who lives in Singapore over the period of a week, giving us an intriguing insight into just how much the wealthy expats here spend.

For some context, we should start by saying she works in the finance industry.
– Her annual salary is S$164,990, which translates to some S$13,749.17 per month.
– According to the piece, she declared she pays S$2,492 in rent (her 50 per cent share; her husband pays the other half) and S$420 in phone and utility bills per month, too.

So that leaves her with S$10,837.17 to spend or save. And on the week they tracked, she spent S$820.58 — here’s what she bought (currencies from here on out are in Singapore dollars):


– A bottle of Fiji water while on her way to barre class (she bought a 10-class package for $301): $2.80
– 3 macarons from Laduree, and an açai bowl: $21.15
– A cup of tall iced Americano from Starbucks, where she meets a potential interior designer for her condo: $4.30
– Hotpot lunch: $110.00 (Paid for by husband)
– Organic soft-serve: $11.80 (Paid for by husband)
– Trip to a dog cafe, which involves a pork bento box for the dog, and an iced drink for her and her husband: $24.00

Total: $52.25


– Uber ride to work: $11.84
– Iced skinny mocha: $7.50
– Lunch with a friend involves a soup-and-sandwich set reimbursed by company, up to $15.
– Early dinner, because was dissatisfied with lunch, of Taiwanese meat with rice and sweet potato fries: $10.50

Total: $29.85


– Uber ride to work: $19.80
– Iced skinny mocha and chocolate croissant: $7.50 (there is a morning combo special)
– Bowl of beef noodles and two gossip magazines while waiting for flight to Hong Kong (work trip), because she doesn’t enjoy economy class food: $31.00
– A detox juice with a friend flying off to Paris from Hong Kong, on her friend.
– Reuben sandwich and fries from room service. Charged to company card.

Total: $58.30


– Bircher muesli at client breakfast, paid for by client.
– Lunch with colleague at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. Damage: $210, charged to company card.
– Shopping. Buys Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powder and Silk Cream moisturiser, and packs of sheet masks from Karuna: $449.86
– Dinner with seven girlfriends. Bill comes up to about $360, divided among them equally: $44.98

Total: $494.84


– Same breakfast, charged to company card.
– Bowl of ramen before boarding plane back to Singapore: $21.59
– More gossip magazines and some snacks because she is still hungry: $19.80

Total: $41.38


– Uber to work: $14.07
– Salad lunch: charged to company card.
– Pork and veggies for her dog, who eats a home-cooked diet: $45.00
– Chinese takeout for dinner: $25.00

Total: $84.07


– Uber to take her dog to the dog park: $10.09
– Snacks at a restaurant in the park. Dog has grilled chicken, husband and her share fries, iced lemon tea and beer: $40.00
– Chinese takeout from meeting with another potential interior designer: $9.80

Total: $59.89


How much do you spend in an average work week?


H/T: Refinery29.com


Top photo: Thinkstock.

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About Jeanette Tan

Jeanette takes pride in her ability to sing the complete lyrics to "Hakuna Matata" and a host of other Disney songs. She is also enslaved to Katherine, George and Heidi, her three cats.

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