Cost of Living in Chennai

The capital of Tamil Nadu, Chennai is among the affordable metro cities in the country. It is located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal and is one of the most populated cities in India.

It is also one of the largest cultural, educational, and economic centers of South India. Moreover, Chennai is known as the health capital of India. Some of the major office parks in the city are located in Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR), East Coast Road (ECR), DLF IT Park, and Tidel Park.

Factors Influencing the cost of living in Chennai

If you are planning to move to Chennai, knowing about the cost of living before making the decision will be helpful. Some factors that influence the cost of living in Chennai are as follows:


If you are going to be working in one of the major parks mentioned above, it is recommended you rent a house nearby those areas. The rent depends on the location and the cost of building a house in Chennai.

If you live in the heart of the city, the rent can range between INR 13400 (1BHK) and INR 34000 (3BHK). The rentals for houses located away from the city center range between INR 7700 (1BHK) and INR 19000 (3BHK).

Moreover, the rent for a 2BHK can be between INR 9000 and INR 23000 and again depends on the location.

If you choose to live as a paying guest (PG), the accommodation cost can be between INR 8900 and INR 13000.

Further, an independent Chennai flat’s price in a prime location can be between INR 1 lakh and INR 2 lakhs per month.

If you have lived in the city for a few years and now plan to buy a home, the property rates in Chennai vary from one location to another.

The average per square meter price in the city center can be INR 1.50 lakhs while outside the city it is around INR 50000.


The weather in Chennai is hot and humid, and winters are short. Although the sea breeze may give some relief, you will be spending a significant amount on electricity.

The average monthly electricity cost can be between INR 1500 and INR 2500 depending on the size of your home.


A broadband connection with an average speed of 60 MBPS can cost you between INR 800 and INR 1000 per month.


Depending on your eating habits, the monthly grocery bill may range from INR 3000 to INR 6000. If you do not plan to cook and have a maid to help with the cooking, the cost can be approximately INR 4000 per month.


If you want to avoid getting into the hassle of buying groceries and hiring a maid, Chennai offers lunch tiffin services as well. The average tiffin cost is about INR 250 and if you opt for this service for an entire month, you may spend around INR 15000.


Another living cost in Chennai is the transportation expense to commute between locations.

The city has both the local and metro railway systems, but people prefer the former to move around. Typically, the one-way fare on local transport is INR 20 and a monthly pass can cost you about INR 1000.


Weekend dinner with friends, hanging out in a café to unwind, watching movies, and other leisure and entertainment activities also influence the expenses of living in Chennai.

A meal for two in an average restaurant can cost around INR 1000. Movies are one of the most popular entertainment activities, and generally, the ticket price ranges between INR 120 and INR 200.

Kids’ education and childcare costs

You may want to provide the best for your children, but it comes at a cost. A good nanny service can set you back by INR 12000 per month.

Moreover, the monthly fee in one of the best preschools can be INR 4600 while primary school fees in a good institution can cost you over INR 1 lakh per year.


The average monthly gym membership can be INR 1500. If you like to play tennis on the weekend, it can cost you around INR 500 to reserve a court for one hour.

10. Shopping

Depending on the type of products and brands, the average shopping expenses may range from INR 2000 to INR 5000.

Average monthly cost of living

The average living costs also vary depending on the number of people in the household, which can be seen as below:

Cost of Living in Chennai Bachelors

Bachelors can opt for PG or co-living accommodation to reduce the rent expense and transportation cost. Most of these places include meals and other facilities like housekeeping, Wi-Fi, and much more.

The total expense can range between INR 5000 and INR 8000 based on the location. If you opt for co-living, the rent may increase along with other expenses, which can be about INR 2000 extra.

Lifestyle expenses will depend on your eating and shopping habits and can be between INR 700 and INR 1000 for each outing.

Cost of Living in Chennai Couples

The flat rate in Chennai for renting a 1BHK is between INR 8000 and INR 12000 depending on the locality and facilities.

A bigger apartment can cost you between INR 11000 and INR 14000 per month as rent. Transportation costs can be significantly reduced if you rent a house close to your workplace.

If you commute to the office in your vehicle, the fuel cost can be INR 5000 to INR 6000 per month.

A monthly local train pass costs INR 1000. Lifestyle costs include groceries, utilities, and others that can be around INR 8000 to INR 10000 every month.

Other expenses will vary based on your personal choices like shopping and dining out.

Cost of Living in Chennai Families

Depending on the location, the rent for a 2BHK can be between INR 12000 and INR 15000 per month.

If you build your home, the construction cost in Chennai varies from one location to another. Your monthly expense may be higher if you avail of a home loan due to the monthly installment.

Living costs for families are higher since they have children’s education fees, maid’s salary, groceries, childcare, and much more, which may be up to INR 20000 per month.

Moreover, transportation costs and lifestyle expenses depend on personal preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Chennai expensive?

Chennai is one of the affordable cities in the country and you can easily find everything in different price ranges that fit your budget.

How much salary is sufficient to live comfortably in Chennai?

The living costs vary depending on the location, personal habits, family size, and other parameters. However, if you earn between INR 30000 and INR 50000 per month, you can live comfortably in Chennai.

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FinForAll By Jupiter, Financial Planning

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