Chennai is well known as the biggest cultural, economic, and educational center of South India. Located on the southern coast of India, Chennai attracts the maximum number of foreign tourists in India. Also ranked as the safest city in India, Chennai stands out for its hospitality and is among the top cities in the world. Not only tourists, but Chennai is also flocked by students as well as job-seekers not only due to its affordable cost of living but also for its brilliant educational infrastructure and multiple big companies based here. Chennai is also known as “The Detroit of India“, is home to more than one-third of India’s automobile industry. Having all these varied options of job opportunities makes Chennai one of the best cities to settle down in India.
Compared to other big metropolitan cities, Chennai has a comparatively affordable cost of living. Your cost of living depends on various factors that decide how to have a comfortable life for yourself. Getting a house to stay, food expenses, city transportation, utility expenditure, entertainment expenses, all these factors decide your cost of living in any city. Planning these things ahead of time helps you settle down comfortably in a new city without putting any burden on your pockets. Let’s go ahead and discuss these factors to decide your cost of living in Chennai.
Monthly Average Cost of Living in Chennai
|Accommodation||4,000 – 8,000||10,000 – 15,000||10,000 – 25,000|
|Groceries||1,500 – 2,500||3,000 – 8,000||5,000 – 15,000|
|Transport||1,000 – 1,600||1,500 – 2,500||1,800 – 4,000|
|Utilities||1,200 – 2,500||2,200 – 3,000||2,200 – 3,000|
|Entertainment||4000 – 7000||1,500 – 4,000||2,000 – 5,000|
|Shopping||4,000 – 5,000||3,000 – 5,000||3,500 – 6,500|
|Kids Schooling||Nil||Nil||3,000 – 12,000|
Finding a place to stay is an unavoidable expenditure when you plan to move to a new city. Doing thorough research on this factor will help you in deciding your budget for other things. Usually considering 1/3rd of your salary as your housing rent is a safe bet. Chennai provides you with a lot of affordable stay options.
The rent prices depend on the area you choose to stay in. If you’re looking for a PG option in Chennai, you can find decent PG accommodation in the price range of Rs. 4000-5000 in areas like OMR, etc. A 1 Bhk in similar areas will be priced around Rs.6000-7500 whereas a 2 Bhk in these areas prices might go up to Rs.15000-20000.
In posh areas like Anna Nagar, a 1 Bhk flat will cost you around Rs.12000-18000 whereas for a 2Bhk flat the cost rises to around Rs20000-25000. These prices can vary according to the areas you choose to live in. Do your research and choose a place closer to your workplace which saves you the time and expenditure of commute. Also, depending on your budget you can choose from PG’s or a rented flat as per your standard of living.
|Apartments Rental in Chennai||Price (Rs)|
|1 BHK Apartment||₹6,000 – ₹18,000|
|2 BHK Apartment||₹9,000 – ₹23,000|
|3 BHK Apartment||₹15,000 – ₹40,000|
|Paying Guest (PG)||₹5,000 – ₹20,000|
Best Areas to Live in Chennai
|Posh Areas in Chennai||Affordable Areas in Chennai||Best PG’s in Chennai|
|Boat Club||Vandalur||PG in Sholinganallur|
|Poes Garden||Tambaram||PG in Velachery|
|East-Coast Road||Periyar Nagar||PG in Thiruvanmiyur|
|Nungambakkam||Adambakkam||PG in Anna Nagar|
|Velachery||Siruseri||PG in Navalur|
|Adyar||Iyyapanthangal||PG in Thoraipakkam|
|Gopalapuram||Guduvanchery||PG in Perungudi|
|OMR||Madipakkam||PG in Nungambakkam|
|Besant Nagar||Annanur||PG in Adyar|
|Rutland Gate Road||Avadi||PG in Guindy|
Your average commute charges in Chennai would come around Rs.1000-1500 depending on the distance and the type of transport you choose.
Staying closer to your workplace is always a safer and smart idea in any city. This not only saves your commute time but also saves you a lot of money spent on travel. Chennai is a large metropolitan city but it caters to all your transportation needs. There are various modes of transport such as local trains, metro trains, cab services, auto-rickshaws, buses, etc.
|Sports & Leisure||Prices (Rs)|
|One-way Ticket (Local Transport)||₹20|
|Monthly Pass (Regular Price)||₹1,000|
|Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)||₹80|
|Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)||₹13|
|Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)||₹60|
|Petrol (1 liter)||₹79|
Chennai has one of the largest bus networks in all cities. There is a regular service for every location in Chennai. Although it gets crowded in peak hours, buses are the cheapest mode of travel in Chennai. Chennai also has an expansive local train network which is used by thousands of commuters daily for their commute. Local trains are very regular and one of the cheapest ways to travel around Chennai with excellent connectivity around the city. Metro train service started in 2015 and is currently running on 2 routes with plans of further extension.
Metro trains are a faster way to travel around Chennai with nominal fares. Pre-paid taxis and hired taxis like Ola and Uber are also very common in Chennai with its vast connectivity in the city as well as the suburbs. For short commutes, autorickshaws also work well for you although keep in mind that traveling in Autos is comparatively expensive.
Chennai has a lot of options for all kinds of cuisines. With many options for restaurants and street-side food, Chennai is easy on your pockets. South Indian cuisine is very common all over the city and you can have a pretty decent meal at nominal prices all over the city. On the other hand, North Indian cuisine is slightly expensive. Eating outside regularly can take a toll on your health as well as on pockets.
|Food Items||Prices (Rs)|
|Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant||₹70 – ₹120|
|Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course||₹300 – ₹1000|
|Meal at McDonald’s||₹250 – ₹500|
|Domestic Beer (0.5-liter draught)||₹100 – ₹160|
|Imported Beer (0.33-liter bottle)||₹230 – ₹300|
|Tea / Coffee (regular)||₹7 – ₹20|
|Spirit/Thumbsup||₹20 – ₹50|
|Water 1 Liter||₹15 – ₹20|
An easier option is cooking your meals at home. Or you can also hire a cook which will cost you around Rs. 1000-1500 per person. Overall. The option of cooking or hiring a cook comes cheaper than having outside food regularly. The average monthly charges can come up to Rs. 2500-3000 if you cook or hire a cook. On the other hand, food expenses if ordering from outside can go up to Rs. 6000-7500 depending on the type of cuisine you prefer.
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Groceries/ Household Stuff
Chennai being a metropolitan has every luxury and amenity that you can think of and can provide you with a high standard of living. There are a lot of options for grocery and household shopping with many supermarkets and local shops in every locality. Many home delivery startups like Bigbasket, Grofers cater to your household needs and deliver it to your doorstep. The average monthly expenditure on groceries and household things should not exceed Rs. 5000-6000.
|Groceries||Prices (Rs) INR|
|Milk (regular), (1 liter)||₹40 – ₹50|
|Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)||₹20 – ₹35|
|Rice (white), (1kg)||₹45 – ₹70|
|Eggs (regular) (12)||₹60|
|Local Cheese (1kg)||₹350 – ₹400|
|Chicken 1 kg (Boneless)||₹220 – ₹280|
|Apples (1kg)||₹150 – ₹200|
|Banana (1kg)||₹50 – ₹70|
|Oranges (1kg)||₹65 – ₹75|
|Tomato (1kg)||₹15 – ₹30|
|Potato (1kg)||₹18 – ₹30|
|Onion (1kg)||₹15 – ₹30|
|Lettuce (1 head)||₹32.71|
|Water (1 liter bottle)||₹15 – ₹20|
|Bottle of Wine||₹500 – ₹600|
|Domestic Beer||₹100 – ₹130|
|Imported Beer||₹190 – ₹220|
|Cigarettes 20 Pack||₹250 – ₹270|
A major part of your budget goes into monthly utility bills also. This contains your electricity bill, water bill, telephone, TV, Gas, Internet, etc. Due to the water scarcity in Chennai, these prices can differ from place to place. The average monthly expenditure on utilities would come around Rs. 2500-4000 depending on your location as well as usage which plays a major role in deciding your overall cost of living in Chennai.
|Monthly Utilities||Prices (Rs) INR|
|Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water) For House||₹1500 – ₹3000|
|Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local||₹200 – ₹500|
|Internet for (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||₹700 – ₹1500|
Chennai has several big malls to cater to your shopping needs. A trip to any mall with shopping can set up back by Rs.2000-5000 depending on your shopping. Chennai also has lots of local markets where you can bargain and get some good stuff at good prices. Places like T Nagar, George Town, Pondy Bazaar, are a must-visit if you believe in budget shopping. Although remember to brush up your bargaining skills before you visit these places.
|Clothing and Footwears||Price (Rs)INR|
|1 Pair of Jeans (Levis Or Similar)||₹1,300 – ₹2,100|
|1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M)||₹1,800 – ₹2,300|
|1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range)||₹1,700 – ₹3,500|
|1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes||₹2,200 – ₹5,000|
Chennai being a coastal city offers you with some amazing places to spend your evenings at. Marina beach which runs for 6 Kms is the longest urban natural beach in the country and a perfect place to watch the sun go down. Elliot beach is another popular destination for locals to spend their time eating the variety of food on offer. There is also Birla Planetarium for people inclined towards science.
Chennai also has options for wildlife enthusiasts. Places like Vandalur Zoo, Guindy snake park, and the Crocodile bank are favorites among the locals as well as tourists too. Chennai also hosts many amusement parks if you’re looking for options to spend a whole day outside. Chennai is a movie crazy city and the tickets are surprisingly very cheap compared to other big cities. A movie in a plex in Chennai will cost you a maximum of Rs. 120 instead of the Rs.500+ you pay in other big cities.
|Sports & Leisure||Price (Rs) INR|
|Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult||₹500 – ₹1,500|
|Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend)||₹450 – ₹1,000|
|Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat||₹100 – ₹200|
Chennai is known for its reputed educational system. Many of the schools and colleges in and around Chennai are reputed all over the country. You can find schools managed by the government as well as many reputed private schools. The average fees for a kindergarten are around Rs.5000 per month depending on the reputation of the school. You can find pre-schools with fees as low as Rs.1000 a month too. The average fees for primary schools are around Rs. 10,000 per month which can go up if you are inclined towards international schools.
|Childcare & Schools||Price (Rs) INR|
|Preschool or Kindergarten, Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child||₹4,000 – ₹5,000|
|Primary Schools||₹3,000 – ₹10,000|
|International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child||₹12,000 – ₹15,000|
Frequently Question Ask About Chennai
1. Is Chennai Expensive?
A city being expensive depends on many factors like the cost of living and the standard of living. When compared to other big metropolitan cities, Chennai turns out to be more affordable in terms of accommodation expenses, entertainment expenses, and transportation expenses. Therefore we can say that Chennai is an affordable city.
2. What is the Average Salary in Chennai?
Your average salary in Chennai depends on the field of your job. If you’re working in the IT field as a software engineer then your average salary can range in between Rs. 350,000-450,000 whereas if you’re working as a project manager then your average salary in Chennai can be in between Rs. 950,000-1,400,000.
3. Which is the Best Place to Live in Chennai?
Choosing the best place to live in Chennai depends on lots of factors like location, amenities, accessibility, etc. Considering all these factors, the best places to live in Chennai are Anna Nagar, Adyar, Teynampet, Velachery, Tambaram to name a few.
4. What is the current cost of living for a single person in Chennai?
Chennai although being one of the biggest metropolitan cities is surprisingly cheaper compared to other cities. The cost of living in Chennai is most affordable if you don’t have any extra luxury planned for yourself. As a single person moving to Chennai, the rent for staying in a PG in a budget area should be somewhere around Rs. 4000-5000. If you like your privacy then a 1Bhk is such areas will come up to Rs. 6000-8000 and rent for a 2 Bhk will come up to Rs.15000-18000.
If you’re someone looking for luxury, then areas like Anna Nagar and all are right for you but that comes with a higher price with rents for a 1 Bhk will be somewhere around Rs. 12000-15000 and a 2 Bhk flat will cost you Rs. 20000-25000. Adding to this the utility expenses which can come around Rs. 4000 and the transport expenses which can be somewhere around Rs. 1500, the overall average cost of living for a single person in Chennai can be around Rs.10000-Rs12000 in budget living and Rs.15000-Rs.25000 in luxury living.
5. What is the cost of living in Chennai for a small 2 member family?
Chennai is one of the most affordable big cities in India. If we can keep aside the weather factor, Chennai is usually a very nice place to settle down. For a couple, a 1Bhk flat should be enough for comfortable living. The rents for a 1Bhk flat in budget areas are around Rs 6000-8000 and if you want to go for a bigger 2Bhk flat then rents for that can be somewhere around Rs.15000-18000. The same kind of flats in posh areas like Anna Nagar will be around Rs. 12000-15000 for a 1 Bhk and Rs. 20000-25000 for a 2 Bhk flat. Adding other expenses like utilities, food, transport, etc. the overall average cost of living for a couple comes to be around Rs. 20000-23000 in budget living and Rs. 30000-40000 in luxury living.