Thinking Aloud

Does a family of 4 really need $6,426 a month for a basic standard of living? It depends

It is about what people feel they need to be socially accepted, not just what they can afford

How much do families in Singapore really need for a basic standard of living? PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
New: Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

For a few years, money at home was tight. I did not go on overseas field trips or to the cinema, and made excuses to skip class gatherings at restaurants. Each missed activity meant one less shared experience and common talking point - and one step closer to feeling as if I did not belong.

This is where the minimum income standard (MIS) approach, which relies on public consensus and not just expert opinion, comes in.

Already a subscriber? 

Read the full story and more at $9.90/month

Get exclusive reports and insights with more than 500 subscriber-only articles every month

Unlock these benefits

  • All subscriber-only content on ST app and straitstimes.com

  • Easy access any time via ST app on 1 mobile device

  • E-paper with 2-week archive so you won't miss out on content that matters to you

Get the ST Smart Parenting newsletter for expert advice. Visit the microsite for more.