How much does a week in S'pore cost? It's $385 for this NUS intern

The New Paper
Aug 1, 2023

She said that an intern in Singapore can get a monthly salary of between $800 and $1,500, depending on the industry.

But Ms Zhishinn, an undergraduate at the National University of Singapore (NUS), spent $385 in a single week.

Granted, she did also say that she normally spends less as she usually works from home. She went out a number of times during that week as well.

The Malaysian, who is a content creator too, detailed her expenses for the week of July 11 on YouTube.

As it was her last chance to document her weekly expenses as an intern at PwC, an accounting firm here, she chose to film the video for her viewers.

Some instances of her expenses include breakfast at the office with two free slices of kaya toast and coffee, which costs 22 cents.

Ms Zhishinn’s lunch is from a foodcourt in Shenton House - yong tau foo for $5.70.

For teatime, she has a packet of wafer sticks at the office.

Then after work, she has Korean cuisine for dinner with friends. There are kimchi pancake, barbecued meat, Korean steamed egg and an army stew, costing $33.80 per person.

She takes the bus and MRT home at a cost of $1.68. 

She usually pays 99 cents in the morning, with an additional 73 cents for transit to Shenton Way MRT.

The next day, she works from home and has an oat milk drink for 87 cents. 

Lunch is at NUS foodcourt - a bowl of dry yong tau foo for $4.60.

A beancurd snack costs her $1.60, and for dinner, she has chilli ban mian for $6.80.

Ms Zhishinn said that she did not spend this much in a week because she regularly worked from home.

Some activities also raised her expenditure like when she went to the Hard Rock Cafe for a night of clubbing, which was $25. A two-way Grab ride cost her $9.48.

After work on Thursday, she also went to a barre studio, with seven sessions costing $135. With three of them being free, each session was $13.50. 

Barre class is a workout technique inspired by elements of ballet, yoga and pilates.

Ms Zhishinn also restocked her hair conditioner and eyebrow pencils for $12.70 and $6, respectively.

At the end of the video, she gives a summary of her expenses. 

Food and drinks cost $118.31 in total.

Entertainment activities were $41.49. Clubbing was a waste of money, she says, and she is not intending to go again unless ladies’ night is free.

Transport was $17.73, which she said could be cut down further with a concession pass for unlimited rides.

The total sum of her expenses came up to about $385, after adding in rental and other  expenses.

But she said that the amount could be reduced even more with the help of promotions and food deals.

It’s a good thing Ms Zhishinn thinks about ways to cut spending because an intern income is not going to cut it.

The New Paper

Get The New Paper for more stories.