If you are in Singapore and have a lot of Singaporean friends you will probably be reading a lot of shares on the $5 challenge. So what is it all about?
|Images credit: http://sgagainstpoverty.org/5-dollar-challenge/
“Singaporeans Against Poverty” is a campaign that aims to raise awareness about poverty in Singapore, organised by Caritas Singapore and a coalition of partners.
“According to the Department of Statistics, 105,000 families in Singapore are earning on average $1,500 per month. This means that life is a daily struggle for some 387,000 Singapore citizens and permanent residents. After paying utilities, schooling, housing rental or loan instalments and medicals, they are left with about $5 a day for food and transport per family member.”
Apparently this seems to a statistic recorded for 2012, not sure what is the latest statistic, with the constantly yearly fare hike and increasing in price of outside food, I highly suspected that even if they have $8 a day to spare, it will be very very tight. Bear in mind that we went through a fare hike in between and every food I know increase price by at least SGD $0.10, my favourite Old Cheng Kee is up by $0.10 between 2012 to 2014, and my prima deli peanut butter pancake has raised from $1.30 to $1.50 (depending on location, some places is selling it at $1.80!).
Currently I need to spent minimum SGD$3.65 per day for transport and it leaves me SGD$1.35, this is conditioned that I do not go out or run errand or my ‘distance-based’ fare will ‘expired’ and I will probably need to spent the full $5 (for your information, I will need to take two feeder bus per and a MRT trip from “one end of Singapore to the other end”.
This means that I can only afford 2x SGD$0.40 instant noodle and a cup of instant coffee (I can no longer afford my favourite SGD$0.45/strip instant coffee, probably need to find the cheapest brand available to keep it at SGD$0.25 or less/strip) per day. I can’t binge on my favourite chips as it cost $2.85 per pack!
Well, is there really NO HOPE for lower income Singaporeans?
Fear not, according to my shallow knowledge many many years ago, lower income Singaporeans will be able to get transport grant from the government, not sure from which department though (typing this makes me wonder how many % of these lower income Singapore is aware of this or know where or how to apply for the grant?).
I used to know someone who come from a lower income who always skipped her meals probably because of the financial problem, but reading tips on budget travel let me gain ideas! We can always go to supermarket to taste free sample. Unfortunately the food sample portion Singapore supermarket gave out is unbearably pathetic compare to others countries, so probable we just need to walk a few more trips?
Probably we need to participate in a lot of contest to win feebies as well. If it’s so luxury items we can sell it off as well!
Opps, too many wild ideas.
Anyway, back to the main topic. I do believe if there is a will, there is a way, although the figure provided is “SGD$5 per day on average”, since we are usually monthly paid, we can safely take an average of $5×30= $150 to spend for a month. In this approach one might be able to keep within the budget (do not go out on weekends/non-working/studying days, one loaf of bread can spread for a week, coffee power instead of instant coffee in strip packet)? But good food? Fat hope! =)
Probably I will take up the challenge if someone challenge to compete with me, keke. I need a challenge buddy.