Average monthly budget with out rent/electricity/wireless to pay for

#1 Sep 23rd, 2008, 12:37
Join Date:
Sep 2008
San Francisco, California USA
  • Teacher G is offline
Hello my lovely friends in Chennai,

Okay, I have been reading through your past threads and while you've given info on living in Chennai on a month with housing to consider - how much would you say it costs to live there if I am just responsible for my own person, meaning: food, clothes, entertainment.

I know that is vague but I'm really a pretty simple person - not extravagant by any means. I usually live in SF on a tight budget so I can put money away to travel every summer. Does understanding that help with the answer? Hope so.

Thanks all!
Last edited by Teacher G; Sep 23rd, 2008 at 12:38.. Reason: spelling
#2 Sep 23rd, 2008, 15:08
Join Date:
Oct 2004
Chennai, India
  • Nick-H is offline
Too vague, yes...

We often calculate that we could live on 12,000 to 14,000, that's not going out much, seldom eating out (we spend little when we do; small stomachs and simple tastes!), keeping a car, not using it much, paid help around the house a couple of hours a day, occasional visits from gardener.

I doubt that we ever do though. I'm always finding something I want to buy, or some house maintenance to be done. This month's spending is up to 40,000 but 15,000 of that is Nick toys, 5,000 is house repairs, so it's not as dreadful as it looks.

Rent has doubled and tripled in Chennai in recent years, along with land and property prices. That has made a severe impact on the cost of living here.

Afterthought: we own our house, so no rent, but other expenses are there.
Life gets aadhar every day.
#3 Sep 23rd, 2008, 15:23
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Jun 2008
Montréal, Canada
  • Gabahd is offline

I relate to how you speak about your budget... simple, not extravagant. Actually I'm quite cheap, even in India! So maybe my numbers will look small for someone else who actually has a real job and less issues with spending! Some people have been living here for longer and I bet they know better.

I'd say a monthly budget of 15000Rs is realistic, but 20000Rs would leave much more margin for buying goodies once in a while.

For food, 300Rs per day (so 8750Rs per month) can easily be managed, granted you only go to restaurants occasionally and buy your own groceries.

Clothes will depend on what you want to buy and where, and in what quantity. Clothing is cheap though. Everything is cheaper!
#4 Sep 27th, 2008, 18:33
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Sep 2008
Where ever I hang my hat
  • jaham is offline


I was coming on just to post a like minded thread.

I may be moving to Chennai in a few weeks and was trying to get my head around the cost of living as I have yet to nego my wage package and am a bit on the fence about the job.

I can say that I have spend the past 5 years in China and from what I have read so far it would seem India is a bit cheaper.

My wife I like living a somewhat expat c-level lifestyle IE we eat out 3 to 4 nights a week and try to keep the house stocked with what western goods we can find regardless of price. Still I am getting a very good feeling as even if we double the numbers I am getting here we are still about 20% bellow our monthly cost in Shanghai.

So looks like I will be taking the job see you all soon.

“Sometimes you just have to pee in the sink.”
#5 Mar 23rd, 2009, 09:52
Join Date:
Mar 2009
Pune, India
  • tbs99kk is offline

including the rest

How much should one budget for:
i) 2 BHK rented in the Adyar area (near IIT)
ii) broadband internet
iii) Food: groceries, with ~3 nights out
iv) other utilities: water, gas, electricity, etc.
#6 Mar 29th, 2009, 18:58
Join Date:
Mar 2009
  • karthik2020 is offline
30K to 40K, depends on food you opt
#7 Apr 1st, 2009, 23:54
Join Date:
Jan 2008
  • KCD is offline


This is great info! We have heard that internet (cable connection) & electricity are expensive. I plan on running the a/c (I am sorry if any of you are conservationists - but I melt in the heat!) - what can we plan on budgeting for a 3 bedroom/3 bathroom electric bill?
#8 Apr 2nd, 2009, 00:38
Join Date:
Oct 2004
Chennai, India
  • Nick-H is offline
You can see the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board Tariff -->here

Check under domestic.

A small AC unit will be about 1Kw, a big one more like 3Kw. Of course, they have thermostats, so they do not necessarily run at full load all the time they are on. It depends how cold you want to be. If you want to be 18C when it is 40C outside, that will be comparatively expensive.

Also take into account that, unless you have a large family, you do not live in the whole house all day: you cool the bedroom(s) in the night, the living room in the day.

As just a 2-person family, living in a 2-bed house, our electricity bill varies from about 1300 to over 4,000. We use at least some AC most nights of the year in the bedroom, but have no AC on anywhere during the day in the winter months. In the summer months, we use AC for quite a lot of the day in our living room.

NB: you may be an electrical engineer, but, just in case, to help you convert life to Electricity-Board tarrif:

a 1Kw device costs 1 unit per hour; a 3Kw device costs 3 units.

a 100w bulb costs 1/10unit per hour

Sorry if that is not very technical, but I'm not an elctrician either !

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