What is the Cost of Living in Chennai in 2024?

Chennai (earlier Madras), the capital city of Tamil Nadu, is one of the four megacities of India. Situated on the eastern coast of India, Chennai is well connected by all forms of transport and connected to the other metro cities in India through the Golden Quadrilateral.

Excellent connectivity, preserved traditional culture, and modern infrastructure make it one of India’s biggest tourist attractions. In addition, the low cost of living and quality educational institutions make Chennai a hub for migrated students and job seekers. Chennai has also been ranked the safest city in India.

Due to the lower cost of living in Chennai and the presence of major companies, Chennai is a great place to move to. It has ample job opportunities for freshers as well as experienced professionals. In addition, Chennai has India’s fifth-largest urban economy, with over one-third of the automobile industry. When it comes to the cost of living in Chennai, there are multiple factors that you should consider.

This blog answers all your questions about the living expenses in Chennai in detail.

Cost of living in Chennai

Various factors must be considered when we talk about the cost of living. Here’s the item-wise breakup of the cost of living in Chennai. The following table summarizes the various types and subtypes of expenses.

1. Accommodation

PG: INR 6,000 - 12,000
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

One-way ticket on a bus per person: INR 20
Coffee/tea per serve: INR 20 - 50
Monthly pass of 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, Showcarpet, 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 & 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

As a bachelor, you can easily manage your living expenses in Chennai. The most significant component of the monthly cost is the rent of accommodation. A bachelor can easily live in shared places like a paying guest accommodation. Along with housing, some PGs also provide services like home-cooked food, tiffin, utilities, housekeeping, laundry, etc. 

Of course, the PG can charge extra money for these facilities, but still, it can save them a lot of cost, effort & time. Chennai also has affordable and healthy street food options like south Indian cuisine, which bachelors can thrive on.

Since bachelors do not have their families to look after, It can be conducive for students or singles who have shifted to Chennai in search of a job. Here’s the tentative monthly cost of living for a bachelor in Chennai.

Item name Cost of living in Chennai for a bachelor
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 in Chennai for single person

Chennai is an affordable city. Especially if you are living alone in the town without your family, you can easily manage with low monthly living expenses in Chennai. A PG accommodation or a 1 BHK apartment is enough for a single person. It can considerably reduce the rent cost. 

Other costs like utilities, food, groceries, entertainment, clothing, etc., are much lesser 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
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 in Chennai for a couple

Not only does Chennai provide many recreational beaches and tourist spots for couples to spend quality time, but it also allows you to maintain an affordable living cost. The major expenses for a couple moving to Chennai are the rent, food, groceries, utilities, and entertainment.

While couples can choose to either stay in rented accommodation, they can even go to buy a home if they wish to settle in Chennai permanently. A 1 BHK or 2 BHK apartment is the ideal accommodation size for couples. Here are the monthly expenses you need as a couple in Chennai.

Item name Cost of living in Chennai for a couple
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 in Chennai for a family of four

Assuming a family of four people, i.e., the parents and two children, the cost of living in Chennai includes additional variables like the schooling cost of children, etc. The expenses like utility, food, groceries, etc., are also higher for families. So they mostly choose to buy accommodation. Here are the costs of purchasing an apartment in Chennai.

Type of House Cost
1 BHK INR 20 Lakhs – 30 Lakhs
2 BHK INR 25 Lakhs – 40 Lakhs
3 BHK INR 45 Lakhs – 90 Lakhs

In case a family chooses to stay in rented accommodation, here is the list of expenditures it requires per month to survive in Chennai.

Item name Cost of living in Chennai for a family (4 people)
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

Gated communities are walled estates that have multiple residential complexes. People moving to new places prefer gated communities as they provide greater security, luxurious facilities, privacy, a greener environment, etc. Here are some of the most popular gated communities in Chennai:

Akshaya Tango: Situated in Thoraipakkam, Akshaya Tango provides good connectivity to the city and amenities like a theatre room, open spaces, sewage treatment plant, and water softener plant.
e-Residences:  Situated in Nungambakkam, central Chennai, the e-Residences project provides good connectivity and high-quality infrastructure, including jogging tracks, a business lounge, and a banquet hall.
KG Impressions: The project is situated in Mogappair, North Chennai, and provides amenities like a terrace garden, bar & lounge, and playing area for children.
Pragnya Eden Park: With the most pleasing design and amenities like indoor games, yoga/meditation center, intercom, and power backup, Pragnya Eden Park is one of the most popular residential estates in Chennai.

If you plan to occupy a newly built apartment or home in Chennai, obtaining an occupancy certificate (OC) from your builder or the appropriate government authorities is necessary if you have constructed it. It is required for electricity, drainage, and water connections and for when you wish to sell your property. A completion certificate and a possession certificate are also mandatory for housing projects.

Whether you are a student, a job-seeker, or a family looking to shift to Chennai, you can easily cover the cost of living in Chennai with the average salary offered by your job. In addition, Chennai is one of the most happening cities in India and provides numerous options to unwind. This blog can help you quickly plan your move to move to Chennai.

What do you think?