Disclaimer: Cost estimations here are largely based on what is reported or assumed based on his lifestyle. Foreigners moving to Singapore on an EntrePass can manage their expenses by tweaking their lifestyle choices like solely taking public transport or choosing a more humble office location.
Mention the name “Nas Daily” to Singaporeans and you’ll get either of two reactions: “Oh my god!!!! *fangirls*” or “That annoying big-yellow-text-1-minute-video guy?!”
Nas Daily first made waves here after he made a video (upon video…) of Singapore, mostly painting us in an overwhelmingly positive light and covering the sights and sounds of Singapore that the average Singaporean would cringe at.
I’ll admit though – as someone who leans more on the side of patriotism, I DID feel a tinge of pride when watching his videos.
I mean, this guy made nice videos about Singapore that the world is talking about. So shouldn’t we be thanking him instead for not complaining to others about the horrible road-rages or pratically non-existent customer service here?!
Of course, the overwhelmingly positive coverage led some to question if he was sponsored in some way to endorse the city-state.
Either way, it seems that Mr Yassin (from now on affectionally referred to as Nas), 27, genuinely loves Singapore so much that he announced last week that he will be MOVING TO SINGAPORE.
TL;DR: How Much Does Nas Have To Cough Up To Settle In Singapore?
|Foreigner moving to Singapore||For What||Cost per month
|Housing Rent||Private Apartment||$5,000|
|Setting up a company (paid-up capital)||Initial downpayment (Once-off)||$50,000|
|Office Rent||Marina One||$57,600|
|Daily Expenses||Meals, condo rental, travels often, medical insurance, hobbies||$4,450|
|Transport Costs||MRT, Taxi||$300|
|EntrePass||Foreign entrepreneurs who want to start a new business in Singapore.||$220|
“There’s minimal corruption and established guidelines – if you’re good, you’ll get work.” – Nuseir Yassin
We’re not sure if Nas was and will be sponsored in any way, so let’s assume that he would at least need to drop by a kopitiam once or twice for food and pay his own rent – after the 3 months’ partnership with 99.co.
1. Housing Rent: Free for first 3 months, ave. $5000/month subsequently
Lucky for Nas, he can look forward to 3 months of rent-free lease if he finds a property with the help of 99.co. Jeff Koh, director of sales for 99.co, issued the challenge with the following conditions:
- Nuseir and girlfriend have to find their home through 99.co
- 99.co will pay for up to three months worth of housing rent
- Monthly rental would be capped at S$5K or S$15k in total
Depending on how atas Nas chooses to live, private apartments located at the fringe of Singapore hover around $4k/month while those closer or in the CBD command about $5-7K/month. When that 3 month rent-free period ends, Nas can expect to pay about $5,000 a month for rent on average.
2. Setting Up His Company: $50,000 paid-up capital
Ranked second in the ease of doing business in the world in 2016, the Singaporean government has always adopted a pro-business policy like reducing corporate tax rates as well as introducing attractive tax incentives to boost the country’s economic performance. The requirements?
- Have at least SGD$50,000 of paid-up capital
3. Office Rent: $57,600/month
According to Nas, he has set his sights on an office space in Marina One, potentially becoming neighbours with Facebook and Grab.
Based on commercial listings, Nas could expect to pay about $12.00 per square feet for a 4800 sqft office, which’ll cost him $57,600/month.
4. Monthly Expenses – $4,450
According to this article, the average cost of living a month in Singapore would be $4,450.
This is based on a high-expense individual who:
- Eats at restaurants regularly
- Drives a car or relies on taxis heavily
- Rents a condo
- Travels regularly to Japan, Australia, or Europe for holidays
- Has medical insurance for private hospitals
- Has expensive hobbies
5. Transport Costs – $300/month
We all know that buying a car in Singapore isn’t a very good idea, since it could cost you more than $1,500 a month.
Nas has also echoed this idea in his Singapore-loving video. But at the same time, I’m also not really sure if Nas would gladly squeeze on the MRT with the likes of you and me.
Let’s assume that Nas would most likely rely on a combination of public transport (buses and MRT) and taxi rides.
Taking the MRT is rather affordable, at about $100 to $120 a month. But adding a tri-weekly $15 Grab ride would add $180 a month to his transport costs. The total estimated cost for transport? $300 a month.
6. EntrePass: $220
The EntrePass is designed for foreign entrepreneurs to start a new business in Singapore. Some facts about it:
|Who is EntrePass for?||Eligible foreign entrepreneurs|
|Minimum salary||No stipulated min. salary|
|Duration||New pass or first renewal: 1 year
Subsequent renewals: 2 years
|Is it renewable?||Yes|
|Foreign worker levy or quota||No foreign worker levy or quota required.|
|Register Business||Register business as a private limited company in Singapore|
Here’s how much it costs to apply for it:
|Processing Time: Typically within 8 weeks|
|Current||After fee adjustments from 1 April 2019|
|When you submit the application:||$70||$105|
|When the pass is issued:||$150||$225|
|Upfront Total (SGD):||$220||$330|
7. Taxes: $3,350
Goods and Services Tax
GST currently stands at 7% (said to increase to 9% between 2021 – 2025, IF he stays long enough to “enjoy” it).
This is already considered in the cost of his daily expenses as listed above. And we KNOW for sure that it doesn’t seem to bother him that much…
“You know, people tell me, just you wait for the 7 per cent sales tax here. Guess what? I am looking forward to it, because right now I pay 17 per cent.” – Nas
All income earned in Singapore is taxable, and this amount depends on how much you earn and whether you are a tax resident or non-resident for income tax purposes.
He mentioned in this video that he took home $80,000 in a particular month, and with his ever-growing following and expansion plans, it’s safe to assume that his income has gone way past $80,000.
If you’ve noticed, his Facebook videos (where most of his following are at) do not come with ads. This means he probably earns from other avenues such as consulting, sponsored product videos, ad commercials (not in-video), keynotes, cinematography, and Nas merchandise.
Using the income tax calculator, Nas is expected to pay no less than $3,350 of income tax.
Of course, most people have pointed out that we can’t gloss over the fact that Nas (along with every other foreigner who assimilates into our society) will NEVER really live like a local.
In fact, some locals have presented this challenge to Nas:
- Buy a resale HDB flat with 50-year lease left
- Pay the full 37% of his salary to CPF
- Take the MRT train every weekday during morning and evening peak hours
- Visit only polyclinics and public hospitals and put himself on the waiting list for C class wards when he is sick
- Volunteer to pay the additional 2% GST early
With that being said, Nas is in a great position to kick start his business while using Singapore’s strategic location, as pretty much a hub to everything, to his advantage!
Welcome to Singapore, Nas and Co.!