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The more you wish to stay out and travel, the more the cost. So the real cost of living is of course dependent on the person. Here is my opinion on the cost of living of an average Indian.

  1. House rent can cost from €250 (for a small single bedroom with shared bathroom) to couple of thousands. The average for the employed including gas, water, electricity is about:
    • €500 for bachelors sharing accommodation with colleagues
    • €950 for a single bed-room house for a couple
    • €1150 for a double bed-room house for a couple with 1 or 2 kids
    • For people working in Amsterdam, Almeer city is considered economical to live in. Amsteleveen is popular because of the huge Indian population there.
  2. The mandatory basic health insurance costs € 100 per person per month.
  3. Travel by bus within a city with OV chipcard is about €1.50 per leg of travel.
  4. Hotel stay costs can vary by hotel type. Economical but decent enough will cost about € 65 per night.
  5. Grocery cost per person is about €85 per month
  6. A visit to Indian restaurant for a good dinner will cost about €25 per person, (drinks extra 🙂 )
  7. A visit to Mac Donald, Subway or other fast-food for a meal will cost about €7 per person
  8. A visit to a pub will cost about €2.00 per glass of drink
  9. Pizza will cost about €10 per person
  10. Clothes will cost about the same as in India for the same quality.
  11. Post-paid mobile bill will be about €30 per month…but will depend on your plan/need
  12. Mobile phones will cost almost same as in India or even costlier (except if there is Sale). Other electronic items are generally cheaper.
  13. Cable TV, telephone, high speed internet together will cost about €50 per month.
  14. Garbage tax costs about 100 per head per year but depends on the city. If you are moving to furnished house, often the house owner takes this cost.
  15. Popular cinema complex is Pathe. Ticket costs about €10 per movie. But for just €19/month, you can also enjoy unlimited movies for the month! For details, see http://www.pathe.nl
  16. Formal footwear is €50 or above
  17. Fuel costs €1.75 per liter. Average city mileage of a car is 10kms/ltr and highway is 14kms/ltr
  18. Owning a car will cost about €40/month insurance (3rd party), €40/month road tax, €200/year car service, €90/year for ‘roadside assistance’ membership and depreciation of about €1000/year (depending on the age of the car). Of course if someone/yourself vandalizes/damages your car or it breaks down, it will cost you extra. Reserve €500/year for this.
  19. Taking a car from the company on lease basis will cost about €400/month, but generally fuel expenses are fully reimbursed by the company.
  20. Schooling:
    • international school for kids upto 4yrs costs about €250/month
    • Dutch peuterplaza for kids upto 4yrs costs  €50 to €100 per month
    • For 4+, international school costs about €4000 to €6000 per year depending on the school
    • For 4+, Dutch school costs less than €30 per month (in concept, it is free)
  21. Day Care costs about:
    • 0 to 4yrs – full day – €1500/month, but you will get a refund of about €300 to €700 from the government depending on your combined annual income
    • 4+yrs – after school – €700/month, but you will get a small refund from the government depending on your combined annual income
    • To calculate the approx. govt refund: http://www.belastingdienst.nl/rekenhulpen/toeslagen/.
  22. Haircut is real haircut…costs €15 🙂
  23. A vacation within Europe costs about €500 for a bachelor and about €1000 for family
  24. Lastly…….inflation is about 1.5% per year! 🙂


Disclaimer: The is my best effort and no responsibility will be taken for any inaccuracy

42 thoughts on “Cost of Living

  1. M Azad

    Dear Madhu,

    I was searching for some info regarding buying home in NL.
    It will be nice if u provide some good info.

    Regards,
    Azad

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      Dear Azad,
      I do not have much experience on this. Hence I’m not able to comment on this. Sorry about that.
      Regards.

      Reply
  2. Vijay

    Madhu,

    I appreciate the effort you have taken to create the website. I am in the process of relocating to Netherlands from Japan. I would like to know how much we can expect to spend on groceries for a family of two. In Japan, we spend about USD 350 – 400 per month at most.

    In your blog you mentioned the groceries cost around €85 per month. Doesn’t this sound low? My estimates based on Superdirect.com and a visit to a local supermarket at the airport turned out to be atleast more than twice of what you stated. I would appreciate your valuable inputs.

    Reply
    1. admin

      Hi Vijay, Eur 85 is per person….hope you are looking at per person as well. May be factors like I’m a South Indian, vegetarian, family person makes some difference. But double is something too much variation I think. Also, airport rates will be much more too expensive – try a local store.

      Reply
      1. Vijay

        Thanks for your quick response! In Japan we spend about $ 300 – 350 for a family of two. So that works out to $ 175 per person. We mostly cook vegetarian at home. Well, it would be great if we can manage in EUR 170 for a couple per month. Guess. I’ll find out soon enough, but wanted to have an estimate to ensure my salary is commensurate with the expenses/cost of living. Thanks again for your inputs!

        Reply
        1. admin

          Thanks! Do post your costs here after say 4 or 5 months of your settling in NL just to avoid first time costs do not add up. I will also watch my costs and see if this needs a correction.

          Reply
  3. Jatin Tailor

    Dear Madhu,

    I have received offer of 5100 Euro per month Gross & 4000 Euro per month net. I am a chemical Engineer having total 11 year experience. Do u feel this salary is ok for me ? I have a kid of 7 year old.How much approximately , I can save in a month .

    Regards,
    Jatin

    Reply
  4. chetan

    Hi,

    I have been offered a PhD position in TU/e in electrical engineering. A salary is offered starting at € 2083.-per month (gross) in the first year. Moreover, an 8% bonus share (holiday supplement) is provided annually. The university offers an attractive package of fringe benefits such as excellent technical infrastructure, child care, savings schemes, and excellent sports facilities.

    Is this income sufficient for living in eindhoven. Kindly suggest.

    Reply
    1. admin

      Hi Chetan, the salary will meet your needs on a conservative life style – especially control on house rent will be reqd. If you are looking to save as well, it will not be much. There are many Indian PhD students in TU/e. For more accurate information, try getting in touch with couple of them via facebook; search facebook groups for TU/e.

      Reply
  5. patilsharp

    Hi madhu,
    I have a offer to work with Phillips in Eindhoven. They will be offering 3500 euro net salary.

    I will be moving with my wife and 1 year old son.

    Do you think this salary would match industry standard for an IT engineer with 8 years of experience?

    Is there any law in NL about number of kids and number of bedrooms? Like in US if you have one kid, you have to take 2 bedroom flat.

    Also please let me know which area should I target to search rental apartments? Other mean, which area more Indians are located?
    Thanks for help !!

    Reply
    1. admin

      Hi, 3500 net is okay for 8yrs experience. It is okay to stay in 1 bedroom with 1yr old child….I do not know the upper age limit for moving to 2 bedroom flat…but definitely single bedroom is enough for a couple more years for you.

      Reply
      1. patilsharp

        Thanks for the inputs Madhu.

        Also please let me know which area should I target to search rental apartments in Eindhoven? Other mean, which area more Indians are located?

        Reply
        1. admin

          When you are new, centrum is ideal because of the proximity to the train station, bus, shops etc. There are lot of Indians in the centrum and also outside.

          Reply
  6. Santosh

    Hi Madhu, I am travelling to NL in mid Dec and I have been offered 52K Euro gross salary per annum from my company in India to relocate. I have around 15 years of experience in IT field. Do you think this is a decent salary in NL considering my years of experience? I am planning to shift with my wife and 2 yr old daughter.

    Reply
    1. admin

      Hi Santhosh, for 15yrs experience, 52k gross seems very low. I would say your take home should be 52K and upwards (after 30% ruling)! But ultimately what matter is what is your role. If it is manegerial/architect/consultant, you can expect what I say. If it is programming/testing, it will be lesser.

      Reply
      1. Santosh

        Many thanks Madhu for the quick response. I have one more query related to Birth certificate. I was born before 1986 and do not have a birth certificate and there is no possibility of getting my Birth Certificate (BC) from municipal office. I was told that I do not require BC for visa application and it is needed (attested) only during town hall registration at NL once I reach there. But BC is not again mandatory at Town hall as I can still get the BSN if I do not submit BC. The town hall council might send me reminders every 3 months to submit the BC. Let me know if this is correct.

        Reply
        1. admin

          I think so. Best way to confirm is to ask in a facebook group.. You will get response from who have gone thru this procedure recently.

          Reply
        2. rakesh bhat

          Hi Madhu,
          I am moving to Eindhoven Netherlands starting in January 2015. I have few queries. can you Pl help.
          1. I have received offer of 5100 Euro per month Gross & The gross monthly salary is EUR 4250. I am a automotive Engineer having total 11 year experience. Can you pl let me know what will be approx in hand salary after tax and other deduction?
          2. Also I am born before 1985 and don’t have BC for my self & my wife. Is it compulsory to have BC once we land in Netherlands.

          Regards
          Rakesh

          Reply
  7. gems

    your blog is very informative. I m very confused. my husband (have 15 years of exp.) has been offered a job in the Hauge on a annual package of euros 52500 + 600 euros/month travel allowance + 5% yearly bonus. we have a 7 year old son. do you think this is a good offer to live a decent life in netherlands considering the cost of rent, international schools and everything else.

    I hope your advice can help us in taking a decision. looking forward to hear from u soon.
    thanks a lot!!

    Reply
    1. admin

      Hi Gems, if it is 52k take home (after taxes), then it is good offer. Else, paywise it is enough to manage but the offer does not seem to be a good one….of course ultimately it depends on the industry and the role/designation. You can optionally use it as a way to get to NL and then search for a better paying job!

      Reply
  8. Bantu

    Thank you Madhu for the information you have provided. I am planning to travel to NL on LTWP (Long term Work Permit) and my company is just giving me the Expat allowance of 2250 euros /month and they will also provide the Indian SALARY which will continue to be deposited in India. Expat allowance is Taxfree. I have not accepted the offer yet and i am thinking its way too low for an IT professional with 8 years of exp.

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. admin

      Hi Bantu, assuming you get at least 1000 euros as India salary equivalent – I agree it is on the lower side, but not too low!

      Reply
      1. Bantu

        Thanks Madhu,unfortunately my Indian salary is around 700 euros, I am negotiating on this.
        Can you please throw some light on the medical facilities for expectant mother’s in NL ?
        Also is the above salary sufficient for the family of 3 ?

        Thanks again for your time.

        Regards
        Bantu

        Reply
        1. admin

          Expectant mothers will be allocated a midwife who will do frequent checks during pregnancy and can be called any time when the pain starts. Normally Dutch people prefer home delivery unless there is complication expected. If you prefer hospital delivery, you either need additional insurance (costs about 10 euros extra per month) or be willing to pay about 400 euros as hospital charges. Facilities are world class and most often the experience is really good.
          Salary is enough though saving potential may be less.

          Reply
  9. Priyanka

    Hi, Thanks for the detailed blog. It has been very helpful. I have a query, my husband is going to Netherlands on deputation for long term (> 90 days, minimum 1 year). I would like to know if it is possible to switch the employer, and change jobs on this visa once the current assignment is complete? Also, I am from IT sector, work as a developer and have 7 yrs of experience in India. How easy/difficult is it going to be for me to find a similar job in Netherlands as a dependent?

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      If he is on Knowledge migrant visa, it is possible to switch jobs.
      Job market depends on your skillset. If there are many people in the market already, chances are less since you need to compete with Dutch speakers. You can check in indeed.nl or monsterboard.nl for jobs

      Reply
  10. Syed Bahaudeen

    Hi Madhu,

    Thanks for helping us by providing your experience on Netherlands to all Indians.

    I am visiting Netherlands this week on Nov 7th.I work for an IT company & my client is a banking based one out of Utrecht.I am hearing from my colleagues who are already out there that finding an accommodation is very expensive in Utrecht.They are saying it costs almost 1200 per single bedroom & 900 Euros per studio apartment.

    I will be working there for 10 months & I would like to save some part of my salary too.Do you advise me to stay in any city near Utrecht?or do you have any idea s how I can get a budget accommodation in Utrecht?

    I would really appreciate your valuable inputs.

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      Sharing a house with a colleague will bring down the cost (a double bedroom will cost marginally higher). If you are a family and need single bedroom/studio apt, then the rent quoted is reasonable.

      Reply
  11. Anish Goyal

    Hey thanks for the blog it gave me most of my answers but i still had a specific doubt

    I am getting a job opportunity in Ede-Wageningen. I will have 6 months training in Haarlem before that. I wanted to know a decent salary on which i can survive in Amsterdam along with frequent vacations. I am a MBA Graduate and a fresher, my role will be of Brand Positioning Executive. And another question i had was is it difficult for vegetarians to survive there?

    Reply
    1. Madhu

      Salary – no comments
      Vegetarian – Indian veg is problem unless you cook. Else is no problem.

      Reply
  12. Himanshu

    Hi Madhu. Your blog is an invaluable source on COL. Though it seems strange but I do not see people moving with bigger kids. Actually I am shifting on long term visa to Eindhoven from April and my kids will be going to Grade 11 & Grade 6. Looking at school expenses for international school it comes to around 1200 per month for both. Then I will need a 2 bedroom house , that’s another 1200 per month down. So in this scenario getting Euro 4.5K net per month is ok or do I need to negotiate further. What are your thoughts about it?

    Reply
  13. Anil T

    Dear Madhuji,
    Is there something in NL with regards to PR-Perm Residency or later citizenship like we have in Canada, NZ, Ireland.

    Reply

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