Getting over your ex in Singapore isn’t cheap, but do what you need to do to stay sane after a breakup.
Breaking up, as the song says, is hard to do. But it’s a little better if you’re doing your crying on a flight to Bali, or with several pints of top-notch chocolate ice cream.
We estimated the cost of getting over the emotional trauma, based on the most popular breakup cures in Singapore:
1. Alcohol: S$108
We’re not a big fan of this one, and if you do need a drink to get over it, bring a friend. The last thing you want is to go on a complete bender.
Two to three glasses of wine (which should be as far as it goes) will cost around S$24 to S$36 in trendy bars along Keong Saik road. Try Wine Mansion – it’s quiet and cosy, so you can confide in a friend without having to raise your voice.
The cheap alternative is beer. If you’re willing to settle for a brand like Anchor, about S$13 will get you a six pack.
Alternately, you can use a dining credit card like the American Express Platinum Card, so you can get complimentary or 1-for-1 drinks at The Secret Mermaid, Maison Ikkoku, and eight other bars in Singapore.
We figure you’ll need three nights of this to numb the pain somewhat, so we’re pegging the cost at the level of wine (hey, treat yourself). Expect to spend approximately S$108.
2. Shopping: S$600 to Infinity
Nothing like a bit of retail therapy to take the edge off. You should also be warned: the high from shopping is short lived. Most Singaporeans get considerably less excited about their new designer bag or video game console within two weeks.
Nonetheless, in order for it to count as a shopping binge, expenses like S$50 don’t count. They need to be decadent, in order to really soothe the nerves…at least for a few hours.
So we’re going to go all out and say it must be a shopping spree of around S$600. This is sufficient to buy designer apparel, a new video game console, or that fancy espresso machine that you could never justify buying.
Now, we’re not encouraging you to spend irresponsibly. But if you must spend to fill the void in your broken heart, be sure to use a cashback credit card or an air miles credit card with bonus miles. You can use your rebates or miles to offset the other things on this list.
For instance, the Citi PremierMiles Visa Card awards 15,000 bonus miles when you spend any amount during your first three months. This will go a long way to help you save on flights, if you decide to go on…
3. Holiday: S$585 to Infinity
This is actually a terrible idea. When you get there, you might wish you were with your ex.
Contrary to what you read in Eat Pray Love, the hassle of luggage and unfamiliarity may not distract you in a good way. But to each their own, so:
A flight ticket to Phuket or Bali is cheap these days, thanks to budget flights. A typical price is around S$110 (inclusive of all taxes). The cheapest resort stays, if you hit the discount sites, are about S$45 per night.
Let’s say you need at least five days there. That’s S$335. We’ll pad that with an entertainment cost of about S$50 a day, making it $585. As for shopping, we’ll count it as part of the increased shopping budget (see point 2).
4. Chocolate: S$16 – S$41
The best indulgence would be the specialist chocolate cafe called the Chocolate Mark at Wilkie Edge. Prices vary based on where in the world you want your chocolate to come from, but we’re going to guess two S$8 cups will distract you enough.
Couple that with another S$10 for one or two chocolate-based desserts.
Alternatively, you could get a tub of high end chocolate ice-cream for S$15, via the freezers at Cold Storage, 7-11, etc.
You’ll want to do hit the chocolate twice: on the night following the break up, and at least one other “crisis night” during the month. Let’s say once at the cafe and once with ice-cream, for a total of S$41.
5. Alone Time with a Good Book: Free to S$17+
Free from the library, or around S$17 for a good novel these days. This will occupy you for the entire month, and can come under your increased shopping spend (see point 2).
This is most cost-effective and profound distraction.
6. Video Games: S$50
No, not one of the old ones in your games library. Get something new and smashing for maximum distraction value. Video games have been called “digital crack” for a reason – they’re a surefire to take your mind off the pain.
If smartphone games are more your thing, allow a little bit indulgence. Give yourself S$50 to spend on boosts, upgrades, in-app content, etc. Yes, it’s not economical, but the point of money is to make life more bearable. This is the only time you’ll hear us say you should spend on something. This should keep you occupied for a month.
Total Cost: S$1,401 Per Month
So there you have it. If you do all of the above after a breakup, you would be saddled with expenses of around S$1,401 that month. While that’s expensive, it’s probably worth paying rather than driving yourself off the edge.
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By Ryan Ong
Ryan has been writing about finance for the last 10 years. He also has his fingers in a lot of other pies, having written for publications such as Men’s Health, Her World, Esquire, and Yahoo! Finance.