5 things that Singaporeans are still overpaying for

There are just some things that Singaporeans are constantly overpaying for. These are things that Singaporeans are tricked into believing that actions will be taken on these firms over and over again, just to feel disappointed in the end.

Below are five things that Singaporeans are still over paying for despite the fact that something could probably have been done about it long ago.

Petrol

Singaporeans are already paying a high price for their cars. When the news of dipping oil price kicks in, we were all expecting our wallets to catch a little breather by being able to enjoy cheaper petrol.

Oil price has fallen more than 40 per cent since June in year 2014, with it falling even lower to below US$40 (S$57) in the later part of year 2015.

A quick research on Singapore petrol price history would have indicated that the price of diesel did dip close to the percentage fall in oil price. As for the rest of the fuel price, the decrease in price is nothing impressive, by close to 10 per cent. Nothing close to 40 per cent, or even 20 per cent, which is probably what entices more Singaporeans to fill their tanks across the causeway.

Public Transport

When we think of cheaper oil price, we think of public transport. SMRT's net profit for the third quarter of FY2016 has risen by 63.5 per cent from a year ago, due to the increase in profitability of its taxi and rental segments.

Fare businesses for SMRT profited from the lower diesel costs for bus operations, and SMRT profited S$11.6 million, from trains, LRTs and buses business. None of this is translated to consumers, with little improvement and Singaporeans experiencing one of worse train disruption in July 2015. Some things take time to improve, but while they work on it, we would not mind a few extra dollars in our pockets from cheaper fares.

5 things that Singaporeans are still overpaying for

  • There are just some things that Singaporeans are constantly overpaying for.
  • Singaporeans are already paying a high price for their cars. When the news of dipping oil price kicks in, we were all expecting our wallets to catch a little breather by being able to enjoy cheaper petrol.
  • Oil price has fallen more than 40 per cent since June in year 2014, but fuel prices have decreased by close to 10 per cent. Nothing close to 40 per cent.
  • When we think of cheaper oil price, we think of public transport. SMRT's net profit for the third quarter of FY2016 has risen by 63.5 per cent from a year ago, due to the increase in profitability of its taxi and rental segments.
  • Fare businesses for SMRT profited from the lower diesel costs for bus operations, and SMRT profited S$11.6 million, from trains, LRTs and buses business.
  • None of this is translated directly to consumers, with little improvement and Singaporeans experiencing one of worse train disruption in July 2015.
  • This strategy of monopolising a certain TV content, locking in enough users and then jacking up the cost is not friendly to consumers' pocket. Most football fans today are not able to watch football at the comfort of their homes simply because of the high cost that comes with it.
  • Singapore is the second most expensive city to drink in.
  • This is mainly due to the " sin tax" imposed on alcohol by the government, which also helps to raise revenue for the government.
  • Food vendors are known to factor in the cost of their ingredients and translate it to the consumers. One example will be the cost of coffee at the hawker centre being less than a dollar years ago, to the price it is at currently due to the increasing cost of sugar and coffee beans.
  • Average monthly rent has fallen to the lowest since the first quarter of year 2006, as of July-September quarter last year. Retail rents fell islandwide by 4.5 per cent year-on-year.
  • This is not the fault of the food vendors actually. It is how the economy works such that vendors will only change prices ( incurring menu cost) only when it is necessary.

Cable TV

Here's what you need to do if you wished to watch Barlcays Premier League football at the comfort of your home over the weekend? Subscribe to Singtel TV ( which you probably seldom watch), and add on SG$59.90 per month for Mio Stadium channel. The price of it was $34.90 per month 3 seasons ago, a drastic 70 per cent increase in price.

This strategy of monopolising a certain TV content, locking in enough users and then jacking up the cost of it is not friendly to consumers' pocket. Most football fans today are not able to watch football at the comfort of their homes simply because of the cost that comes with it.

We are actually more surprised by the fact that our cost to catch our favourite football team in action more often than not, goes beyond the control of regulator in Singapore.

Alcohol

Singapore is the second most expensive city to drink in. This is mainly due to the " sin tax" imposed on alcohol by the government, which also helps to raise revenue for the government.

Food

Food vendors are known to factor in the cost of their ingredients and translate it to the consumers. One example will be the cost of coffee at the hawker centre being less than a dollar years ago, to the price it is at currently due to the increasing cost of sugar and coffee beans. However, vendors tend to behave differently when cost decreases.

Average monthly rent has fallen to the lowest since the first quarter of year 2006, as of July-September quarter last year. Retail rents fell islandwide by 4.5 per cent year-on-year, and yet cost of our food remains unchanged. This is not the fault of the food vendors actually. It is how the economy works such that vendors will only change prices ( incurring menu cost) only when there is a total need to, such as it decreasing their revenue and profits.

6 items S'poreans who want to save money shouldn't buy in S'pore

  • Many people think it's too "leceh" to drive across the Causeway to buy groceries. But it's probably because they don't know exactly how much money you can save by buying your food and toiletries in Johor Bahru.
  • A few years ago, you could save about 30 per cent on your groceries by buying in JB.
  • Now that the Malaysian Ringgit is lower than ever vis a vis the Singapore dollar, you can save much more, in many cases up to 50 per cent.
  • Unless you're talking about those awful assessment books for kids at Popular Bookstore, most books in Singapore have to be imported.
  • And they're not cheap-you can usually expect to pay about $15 to $20 for a paperback novel.
  • If you are ordering a fairly large shipment and don't mind second hand items, consider buying your books from Amazon's second hand section and then shipping them back using a service like Borderlinx or vPost.
  • For some reason, vitamins and dietary supplements are super expensive in Singapore. If you've ever walked into GNC, the prices are enough to give you a stroke.
  • If you're happy go buy all your furniture from Ikea, more power to you. But if you're the house-proud type who's willing to spend thousands of dollars on a sofa, consider buying your furniture and homeware in Bali or Thailand.
  • It's not just owning a car that's expensive in Singapore. It's also darned difficult to get your car serviced without being ripped off-many mechanics here are more concerned about getting you to replace parts than actually fixing your vehicle's problems.
  • If you know where to go, car and bike servicing in Malaysia can cost almost half the price. Although there are hundreds of popular recommendations, it's best to go with a friend who's familiar with a workshop in JB to be safe.
  • If you work in the sort of place where you actually have to show up looking decent, adding a few crisp tailored shirts or a slick suit to your wardrobe can make you look a bit more presentable.
  • But tailors in Singapore are expensive-you can usually expect to pay at least $1,000 for decent tailored suit.
  • Some people prefer Hoi An in Vietnam or even Shanghai, but Bangkok is the cheapest and easiest place to fly to and the destination Singaporeans are the most familiar with.

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