Cost of living in Chennai

Exploring the Cost of Living in Chennai: Transport, Accommodation, and Daily Expenses 

Here’s some good news for Chennai residents! According to a survey, Chennai is on the list of the cheapest and most affordable cities in the world in terms of cost of living. The favorable and affordable living conditions in Chennai make it one of the best cities to work and live. 

Chennai is an attractive city that is identified with tourism.  It is one of the top cities for information technology. The city is well known for its culture, majestic temples, hospitals, educational institutions, musical season, swanky malls to get a respite from the heat, shopping for the latest gadgets and clothing trends, or watching a movie. On the other side, you have a wholesale market to buy commodities at a cheaper rate, sandy beaches, great infrastructure, and less traffic congestion compared to other metro cities.

Chennai is the fourth-largest city in India by population size. Described as ‘Gateway to the South’, Chennai has a quite distinctive culture compared with the northern part of India.” In recent years, Chennai has been named as the 9th-best cosmopolitan city in the world.

The blog answers all your questions on the cost of living in Chennai: 

When living in Chennai, various factors must be considered as far as the cost of living is concerned. The various kinds of expenses are summed up in the table below by types and subtypes: 

Cost of Living in Chennai (Approximately) 

  1. Accommodation (For Rentals) 
  • 1 BHK Apartment: INR 8,000 – 15,000 
  • 2 BHK Apartment: INR 12,000 – 25,000 
  • 3 BHK Apartment: INR 15,000 – 40,000 

2. Food

  • Home-Cooked Meal: INR 30 – 50 per meal 
  • Cost of Hiring a Cook: INR 2,000 – 3,000 per month 
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: INR 100 – 150 per person 
  • Meal at a decent restaurant for two:  INR 500 – 1,200
  • Coffee/tea per serve: INR 20 – 50   

3. Commute

  • A one-way ticket on a bus per person: INR 20 
  • Coffee/tea per serve: INR 20 – 50 
  • Monthly pass of the bus per person: INR 1,000 
  • Taxi charges per km: INR 13 – 15 
  • Petrol per liter: INR 103 
  • Service charges for two-wheelers every three months: INR 800 – 1,000 
  • Service charges for four-wheelers every three months: INR 2,500 – 4,000 

4. Utilities Per Month

  • Electricity, Water, Maintenance: INR 1,500 – 3,000 
  • Mobile charges: INR 500 – 700 
  • Broadband internet charges & TV: INR 900 – 1,500 
  • Cooking gas: INR 1,068 

5. Clothing Per Month 

  • Shopping for clothes at popular marketplaces like Pantheon Street, T Nagar, Sowcarpet, George Town: INR 2,000 – 5,000. 

6. Schooling per month 

  • Preschools & kindergartens: INR 4,000 – 6,000 
  • Primary schools: INR 3,000 – 10,000 
  • International schools: INR 12,000 – 15,000 

7. Fitness and Entertainment per month 

Cost of activities like visiting the zoo, movies, amusement parks, fitness clubs, etc.: INR 2,000 – 5,000.

Cost of Living in Chennai for a Bachelor:

PG might charge more for the same services; it will yet enable its customers to make savings in terms of money spent, & time wasted on other services apart from catering & personnel assistance. Chennai is also known for its pocket-friendly local dishes such as Chennai meals that unmarried people enjoy most. 

Since bachelors do not have their families with them to look after, they are in a better situation when they come to Chennai looking for jobs or to study. The cost of living approximately can be: 

Item name Cost of living in Chennai for a bachelor (Approximately) 
Accommodation INR 6,000 – 12,000 
Food INR 5,000 – 6,000 
Groceries INR 2,000 – 3,000 
Commute INR 1,000 – 3,000 
Utilities INR 2,000 – 3,000 
Clothing INR 1,000 – 2,000 
Schooling NIL 
Entertainment INR 2,000 – 3,000 
Average cost of living in Chennai per month INR 19,000 – 32,000 
cost of living for Bachelors

Cost of living in Chennai for Singles: 

Chennai is affordable, especially if someone is living without their family, a single person could easily afford to have few monthly expenditures in Chennai. With this respect, a Paying Guest (PG) or a one-bedroom-hall kitchen (1BHK) apartment would suffice. It can substantially bring down the amount of rent being paid each month, thus making life more manageable.

Other costs like utilities, food, groceries, entertainment, clothing, etc., are pocket-friendly for a single person. Here is the list of monthly expenses a single person requires to survive in Chennai. 

Item name Cost of living in Chennai for single person (Approximately 
Accommodation INR 8,000 – 15,000 
Food INR 5,000 – 8,000  
Groceries INR 2,000 – 4,000 
Commute INR 1,000 – 3,000 
Utilities INR 2,000 – 3,000 
Clothing INR 1,000 – 2,000 
Schooling NIL 
Entertainment INR 2,000 – 3,000 
Average cost of living in Chennai per month INR 21,000 – 38,000 
cost of living for singles

Cost of living in Chennai for Couples:

Chennai is known for its recreational beaches and couples’ tourist destinations where they can not only spend quality time together but also live a life incurring less cost. A couple’s major concerns upon moving here include the cost of living; rent, utilities, food & groceries as well as entertainment.  

Couples have a variety of options when it comes to where they can live, with rented flats being one of them, or buying property which means owning where they live forever. The ideal housing unit is either a 2 or 1-bedroom apartment. 

Item name Cost of living in Chennai for a couple (Approximately) 
Accommodation INR 12,000 – 25,000 
Food INR 10,000 – 12,000 
Groceries INR 3,000 – 5,000 
Commute INR 2,000 – 5,000 
Utilities INR 2,000 – 4,000 
Clothing INR 2,000 – 4,000 
Schooling NIL 
Entertainment INR 3,000 – 5,000 
Average cost of living in Chennai per month INR 34,000 – 55,000 
cost of living for couples

Cost of living for a family with four members:

In a Chennai-based household of four members in a family, which has parents and their two kids, the cost of upbringing which includes educational expenses for their schooling along with other expenses like electricity, water (including cooking gas), food items & provisions are higher than single-person budgets which is why most times they prefer owning houses rather than renting them out. Let us now look at how much it costs for someone to buy a flat in this city. 

Type of House Cost (Approximately) 
1 BHK INR 20 Lakhs – 30 Lakhs 
2 BHK INR 25 Lakhs – 40 Lakhs 
3 BHK INR 45 Lakhs – 90 Lakhs 
Price range of flats

For those families that decide to stay in rented places, below is the list of monthly expenses that you need tentatively to live in Chennai.:

Item name Cost of living in Chennai for a family (4 people approximately) 
Accommodation INR 15,000 – 40,000 
Food INR 25,000 – 40,000 
Groceries INR 6,000 – 10,000 
Commute INR 4,000 – 8,000 
Utilities INR 3,000 – 5,000 
Clothing INR 3,000 – 6,000 
Schooling INR 4,000 to 10,000 
Entertainment INR 3,000 – 6,000 
Average cost of living in Chennai per month INR 63,000 – 1,25,000 
cost of living for a family of 4

To conclude on the cost of living in Chennai 

Chennai offers the best budget-friendly lifestyles with its variety and affordable options to live here. One can live a reasonably good life being an individual or a family. If you are a student, a bachelor, a couple, or a family, Chennai gives you a decent good living without getting strapped for cash.  Chennai certainly holds an edge over other cities concerning the cost of living. One can fondly call the city, “Namma Chennai”




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