Singapore is a haven for backpackers, expatriates, and budget travelers from across the world. Despite all the tremendous fun this magical city has to offer, it also has a nefarious reputation of being expensive. If you’re planning on visiting the city, you may want to acquaint yourself with some handy money-saving tips to avoid a financial meltdown. It’s widely known that many expats lose cash over trifle mistakes, and end up learning the hard way.
Here are a few tips expats can use to keep their money safe and watch it grow altogether.
- Understand how property taxes work. If you have houses for rent back home, you may be wondering whether you should rent them out, sell them, or keep them. This decision varies depending on property taxes, experienced from one country to another. Some countries don’t charge you any taxes as a non-resident, allowing you the benefit of maximizing rental income. In others, the taxes may rise when you turn your apartment into a for-rent property. Make sure you solve these issues first before moving to Singapore to avoid unnecessary costs. If you wish to sell or rent your property, make sure to do so before landing your foot in Singapore. A tip: If you’re hunting for a house, studio apartments in Singapore are best known for their attractive and competitive rates.
- Don’t assume that Singapore’s tax is as simple as it looks. Many people think that Singapore’s tax system is simple to deal with because of its lack of capital gains and inheritance tax. However, you may find a lot in print that can cost you more than you bargained for. For example, if you own any stocks in your company, the stocks are substantiated part of your income, making your gains downright taxable. Similarly, many expats are eager to become property owners in Singapore, not realizing that foreigners pay 15% more in stamp duties. A tip: Talk to a tax agent first when you arrive to know whether owning a particular property is a sweet deal or not.
- Don’t buy a car. Although Singapore is heavily interconnected, it’s a rather small island that anyone can walk around in a single day. Moreover, Singapore is among the most expensive cities in the world for vehicle ownership. A simple family car can cost you around S$110,000, and this doesn’t include electronic road pricing, mandatory insurance, parking fees and so on. If you must enjoy private transport, long-term leasing might be a great option.
Don’t just pick any bank. Even though a bank might look familiar to you, that doesn’t mean it will have your best interests at heart. Local banks, like OCBC and DBS, are more convenient because they have a wide range of ATMs around, making it easier to access cash. When you land, pick at least two banks–a local bank and an international bank. At least this is much cheaper than choosing a non-bank remittance service, and you may also get a more attractive exchange rate.
- Speak to a Forex Broker. If you’re bringing a large sum of money to Singapore, get in touch with a forex broker. Many forex brokers understand the best options to secure the most attractive currency exchange rates at a very reasonable fee. And they’ll also advise you on the best time to make a monetary exchange. A tip: Before you start dealing large sum of money, at least wait for a few months to minimize the risk of losing massive cash.
With a little insider’s information, all your properties and financial dealings can go smoothly even when you finally move to Singapore. This also gives you the added benefit of not stressing much because of the fear of experiencing a financial crisis. Singapore is a financial hub, with unlimited number of resources viable to make your money grow while you enjoy your stay. Following the tips shared in this guide can make sure your money grow and you’re smiling every time you go to the bank.