Can a Singapore Family Survive with $2000 Salary?

There are Singaporeans who wants to earns as much as they can and there are others who are contented with just earning $1,400 a month.

Firstly, it must be understood that the man is earning $1,400 per month, but the entire household (including his wife) could be drawing $2,000. So, taking $2,000, let’s see whether one family of 6 (Grandparents + parents + two kids) can survive in Singapore. Remember this: this man is contented. In other words, he’s fine with spending less without data plan, as long as he has the time to spend with his family.

Do note that for a $2,000 gross salary, the take-home pay is $1,600 after CPF deductions.


Let’s say the entire family all have their three meals at home—if one needs to work or study, they can pack the food to work. Ingredients for a family of six that can be around $25 per day—we’re referring to basic ones like chicken and vegetables, and not abalone or organic vegetables.

Monthly expenses: $775



Most likely they are living in the HDB flat that was purchased by the grandparents, which could be already paid in full. In other words, there’s no need to fork out cash. The utilities will be less than $150 if they do not have any air-conditioner. There’s an additional $50 for the toiletries needed in the house.

Monthly expenses: $200



An Internet connection at home is about $50, and with a router, everyone can share the connection. For handphones, they can opt not for postpaid plans but pre-paid ones, and choose not to have data connection—with that, the most one need to pay is $10 per person. Trust me, one can survive without a data plan—if people want to WhatsApp you, just tell them to SMS you instead.

Monthly: $110



Poor man can’t complain: they just need to have MediaShield that will cover any unforeseen hospitalization expenses. MediaShield can be bought with CPF, so cash upfront is nil.

Monthly: $0



Presuming that each one of the travel often, one person’s expenses without taking any taxi is about $100 or less for those working and $50 for the kids and grandparents.

Monthly: $400


Total: $1485


Before you go apeshit and wonder whether anyone can survive with this kind of lifestyle, our question to you is this: How do you define “survive” and “lifestyle”?

You see, it has almost become a norm to have a smartphone, a data plan, meals in restaurants, air-conditioning and even taxi rides that we’ve completely redefined the meaning of survival.

The question here shouldn’t be whether one can survive with such an income: the question should be this: can you accept it? What is your definition of “contented”? If this lifestyle brings you happiness, would you want it?

This article was original by