Singapore: What a Dollar Can Buy You

Singapore budget

It’s almost needless to say, but one dollar doesn’t buy you much in Southeast Asia’s most expensive country. The transition coming from neighboring Malaysia happens fast and is a shock to the penny-pinching system. Bigger and glitzier malls, cleaner streets, fancier clothes, and – most notable to us – much higher prices. As Tony mentioned in Singapore for Budgeteers, the city is for those with bucks to burn. Often, the same products and brands offered in Malaysia are more than twice as expensive here in Singapore. Ouch, that hurts.

Clearly, in order to enjoy the city, we had to put our budget on the backburner for a while. But Singapore is not completely a lost cause. There are still some items and services that can be had for 1.25 Singapore dollars or around a buck:

  • 1.5 liters of drinking water
  • 1 yam cake
  • 3.2 km in an air-con city bus
  • 3 apples
  • 1 can of coke
  • 2 stops by metro
  • 1 Mentos
  • 1 Chinese egg tart
  • 0.5 hours of parking in Chinatown
  • 1 barbequed chicken wing

Sadly, this might just be the complete list of 1-dollar-items in all of Singapore…

Oh well, it may not be the ultimate budget destination, but neither is Paris, Tokyo, London, Rome, or a host of other sensational cities. Just remember to pack a couple of extra credit cards. 🙂 For fun ideas of what to do in this fabulous city, check out our list of the 12 best things to do in Singapore.

On a completely “separate note”, keen observers might notice Singapore doesn’t have $1 bills, so why are there $1 notes in the photo above? Those are Brunei dollars which are accepted legal tender in Singapore as well. Unfortunately, shops run by many of Singapore’s guest workers are often unaware of that fact, which can make using the notes rather difficult in places such as Little India and Chinatown.

One response to “Singapore: What a Dollar Can Buy You”

  1. avatar Amber says:

    I love the idea of this series, and was super curious about what you had listed for Singapore. I hoped for a Chinese or Portuguese egg tart, and there it was! Great idea for post!

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