National Day Rally: All You Need To Know About Prices of Electricity, Water, Smartphones, Infant Milk Formula and Centre Food Prices

National Day Rally: All You Need To Know About Prices of Electricity, Water, Smartphones, Infant Milk Formula and Centre Food Prices

profileMing Feng

National Day Rally 2018

The National Day Rally 2018 might have ended and among many other important pointers in the Prime Minister’s speech, the rising cost of living took a good portion of the limelight.

With Singaporean’s growing concern for the higher cost of living, and a stagnant paycheque, here are some tips mentioned over the rally:

source: The Straits Times

To save money on utility

  • Be mindful of water and electricity usage
  • For lower income families, U-Save rebates are provided to help offset some of the costs

For mobile phone expenses

For infant milk formula

  • All infant formulas sold in Singapore meets the nutritional needs of the children, hence brands should not matter that much.

For cheaper food options

  • Look for economical options. Stalls in new hawker centres will offer one option priced at $3 and below.

Is the government even doing anything to help Singaporeans with these costs?

The solution proposed above may seem as though PM Lee is asking Singaporeans to lower their expectations. But here’s to looking at the numbers before we jump to any conclusion.

Cost of electricity in Singapore over the years

YearAnnual Electricity Tariffs (Low Tension Tariffs)
(cents/ kWh)

A quick look at the cost of electricity over the years, the annual electricity tariffs for the year 2017 is indeed cheaper than that in the year 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2017.

Hence, making the electricity tariff in the year 2017 the third cheapest over the 10 years.

Which means that when PM Lee told the audience: “Unfortunately, we all remember vividly when the electricity tariff goes up, but when the tariff comes down, we forget quickly, he was right!

Cost of water in Singapore over the years

Household TypesAverageMonthly Water Bill before 1 July 2017Monthly Water Bill from 1 July 2017Monthly Water Bill from 1 July 2018
HDB 1-Room8.5517.9620.4323.43
HDB 2-Room11.2523.6326.8930.83
HDB 3-Room12.7026.6730.3534.80
HDB 4-Room16.1833.9838.6744.33
HDB 5-Room17.2436.2041.2047.24
HDB Executive19.3840.7046.3253.10

Singaporeans experienced an increment in water bill in July 2017 and July 2018. This is due to an increment in the cost of producing clean water.

According to the Public Utilities Board (PUB), the water bill for Singaporeans living in HDB 1-room, 2-room and 3-room flat is actually lower after we factor in the U-Save rebates.

Hence, PM Lee on U-Save helping lower-income families is true when it comes to water bills.

Cost of phones

It is true that mobile phone is a necessity for us now.

If you are someone who uses nothing but iPhone only, here’s the price of an iPhone over the past 10 years.

Cost of iPhone over the years

The first iPhone was priced at S$684 – S$821.79 (US$499-US$599). As of today, an iPhone X costs you S$1370 – S$1,576 (US$999-US$1,149).

It is also true that a mobile plan costs more than landlines which we used in the past. Singaporeans can use this SIM-Only hack or corporate mobile plan to reduce the cost of their phone bill.

We believe that with the addition of new telcos can provide a good competition to the existing telcos with a certain degree of monopoly in the market. As of now, maybe we can look to improve the service of [email protected] maybe? (Who uses that on the moving train anyway?)

Editor’s note: If you are not a fussy user of the OS of your mobile, change over to Android! Most of the Android phones cost lesser than an iPhone. I recently did a switch. Takes getting used to at the start, but once I got a hang of it, it is all good!

Cost of infant milk formula

The average retail prices of infant milk powder have gone up by 120% according to a news back in the year 2017.

A task force was set up to looking into the high prices of formula milk, which forces the price down by 4.8 per cent since May 2017. At the moment, a 4.8% appears insignificant as compared to the crazy price hike prior to it.

For a necessity that is consumed on a daily basis, this cost is still relatively high.

Read also: The Economics of Rising Milk Powder Prices in Singapore

Cost of food in Singapore

The cost of your meal at a Kopitiam has gone up if you were to compare with years back.

Cost of food in Singapore increased 1.50% in June of 2018 over the same month in the previous year. In fact, food prices in Singapore have an average inflation rate of 1.96% from 1975 until 2017.

On top of that, eating out all the time may not be the best for one’s health.

A good point to note is the GST increment in the year 2021. It is definitely going to have an impact on our food prices as shown below.

Read also: Is Our Nasi Lemak Subjected to GST? An insight on how GST Increment Affects Cost Of Living For Poorer Singaporeans.

Out of all the costs stated above, food price is the least likely to decrease simply by having more hawker centres. Singaporeans may benefit from the convenience, but the price remains uncertain.

Looks like meal prep might be the way to go moving forward.

Read more: Singaporean Guide: Save Money With Meal Prep

If you face any difficulties do feel free to share with us (you can do so anonymously too), we have an open community for you to hear from different perspectives which allows you to get help along the way. Check out our blog if you would like to learn more tips and tricks in Singapore!

Share with us if you have any experience with these or even a better alternative by commenting below! Also, don’t forget to share it with your friends who might need this!

About Ming Feng
A stint in Bloomberg gifted me with a beer belly, which only grew larger when I moved on to become a Professional Trader. Now I turn caffeine into digestible finance-related content.
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