How the Cost of Living in Singapore Compares to the US (part 2)

housing rental mortgage cost in Singapore
Yes, housing here is expensive, but how does it really compare to other places?

Singapore versus the United States: How does the cost of housing compare? The housing scene is very different in the US. And it varies greatly depending on the location, and whether you are in a rural, suburban, or urban community. I’ve lived in both nations, as well as in various US communities. But for the purpose of this comparison, let’s just look at urban settings. Here are some thoughts from my own personal (though limited) journey.

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How the Cost of Living in Singapore Compares to the US

Singapore currency
Prices in Singapore may be higher than in the US, but there are good reasons for it.

I’m writing this series of articles partially in response to the article that ran in Straits Times on 20 May, 2014. The article was entitled “Five things in Singapore that are cheaper than other cities“. And earlier this year, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranked Singapore as the “World’s Most Expensive City“. As an American, I believe that living in Singapore, in some ways, is more challenging than living in the US. There are many basic things that are more expensive here. But despite this, I still think I made a good choice. Here are some thoughts from my own personal (though limited) journey. (more…)

Candy Crush: Crushing Your Wallet

Candy Crush Saga
“Free-to-play” games can be quite costly.

I’ve been stuck on Level 290 in Candy Crush for a while now; I even took a 2+ month hiatus because I got so frustrated with the level. I came really, really close to beating it, with just one move left. But I could not bring myself to pay money for extra moves. Many people (about one-third of players) will eventually give in and end up buying extra lives, moves, or boosters. While these purchases are rather small, usually no more than a couple of dollars, with 590 levels (so far), these small purchases can and do add up. So how much do people spend on this “free” app? (more…)

Where to Get a Cheap, Effective, Quality Massage without the Sales Pitch

Cheap effective quality massage
Fuss-free massages don’t have to be expensive.

I was a massage virgin until the ripe age of 32. Before then, I never thought I would be someone who would need regular visits to a massage therapist. But once I experienced how good it made me feel and how truly therapeutic it was, I decided to make it part of my monthly wellness budget. Many of my friends told me that in order to get a good quality massage, you would have to buy a spa package, which could cost over $1000. They also warned me that once you get up-sold a package, you will continue to get up-sold once that package ends. I don’t like hard sells. So I wanted to find a place that was cheap, effective, and didn’t come with a sales pitch at the end. (more…)

Frugality and Spirituality – How the Two are Related

buddhas birthday
Celebrate Vesak Day by being frugal.

Today, Buddhists will celebrate Vesak Day. Gratitude, mindfulness, humility, and frugality are all virtues of Buddhism. One could even argue that these virtues exist in some form in nearly all religions. On this Vesak Day, I am reminded that being frugal is not just for the sole purpose of saving money. A deeper, and somewhat more profound reason to be frugal is spiritual, ecological, and maybe even ethical. (more…)