Living with roommates can be a good way for young people to save money after they move out from their family's home. While it is usually significantly cheaper than living alone, living with one or two roommates still costs hundreds of dollars. To give renters an idea of how much they'd pay in living expenses with and without roommates, we've outlined the major costs in this article.
Table of Contents
- Average Cost of Living with Roommates
Average Cost of Living with Roommates
We estimate that the average monthly cost of living with 1 roommate is about S$964, while the average cost of living with 2 roommates is significantly cheaper at approximately S$744. Both options are significantly cheaper than living alone in a 2-room HDB flat, which we estimate would cost about S$1,678 on average. In the paragraphs below, we break down the costs associated with each expense category.
Estimated Average Living Expenses With and Without Roommates
|Category||Single||1 Other Roommate||2 Other Roommates|
Average Cost of Rent with Roommates
The most significant living expense for most individuals is the cost of housing. For our purposes, we considered the average cost of renting a room in an HDB flat. While it is possible to save money by purchasing a home and making mortgage payments payments rather than paying rent, purchasing a home requires a significant down payment, which many young individuals are not prepared to make.
While rental prices in Singapore vary significantly by neighbourhood, we estimate that the average cost of renting a bedroom in a 3-room flat (with one other roommate) is about S$860 per month, while the average cost of splitting a 4-room flat with 2 other roommates is about S$695 per person. Both options are significantly cheaper than renting a flat as an individual, which costs about S$1,500 for a 2-room HDB flat and about S$2,000 for a 3-room HDB flat.
Average Cost of Utilities with Roommates
On top of rent, many renters are also required to pay their monthly utility bills. These bills, which include electricity, gas and water usage, vary significantly by home size, as displayed in the table below. However, it is possible for renters to save even more by switching to one of Singapore's most affordable electricity retailers, so long as their rental agreement allows them to do so.
Average Utility Bill in Singapaore by Home Type
|Home Type||Average SPgroup Bill|
|Source: SPgroup August 2018-July 2019|
Average Cost of Home Insurance with Roommates
Home insurance is a relatively inexpensive way to protect your belongings as a renter. In general, home insurance policies for renters cost about S$133 annually and offer coverage ranging from about X to S$250,000. With that said, the best home insurance plans can be as much as 30% cheaper than the market average. Therefore, with or without roommates, it pays to compare the best options available before signing up for a home insurance policy.
On top of other bills that can be split between roommates, cable, internet and various streaming services are all cheaper when you have roommates. It is hard to estimate exactly how much these services will cost, due to changing rates and promotions. However, we estimate that cable packages alone cost between S$25 and S$80, with internet options available in additional incremental amounts based on the preferred bandwidth. On top of this, streaming services tend to cost S$5 - S$15 and can be a cheap alternative to traditional TV services.
To estimate the average cost of living with roommates, we gathered and analysed data for what appears to be the most significant and common expenses faced by renters. We gathered housing price data from the Housing & Development Board, specifically rental prices for 2, 3 and 4 room HDB flats. We estimated the average utility bills for different HDB flat types based on SPgroup data for the last twelve months. While home insurance and cable television are not essentials, they are common for many renters, so we included average cost estimates from our previous research.