Cost of living in the Netherlands – single, family & student

Money know-how
07 Mar 2024
11 mins read
Written by Riona lye

The Netherlands tops the charts as one of the most popular countries among expats. Known for its higher standard of living and stunning landscapes, this EU country has been showing remarkable growth in its tech and finance sectors.

If you are all set to relocate to the Netherlands and wondering how much is the cost of living in the Netherlands, this blog has everything you need to know.

Overview of Cost of living in the Netherlands

  • The cost of living in the Netherlands for a single person = ~ €1,782 per month and ~ €21,384 per year.
  • Average cost of living in the Netherlands for a student = ~ €1,250 per month and ~ €15,000 per year.
  • Cost of living in the Netherlands for a family = ~ € 4,102 per month and ~ €49,224 per year.

Do you know? 

  • With a GDP of USD 1,167 billion, the Netherlands is among the top 20 economies in the world in 2024, according to Forbes.
  • 25 out of the total 2,671 top universities in the world are in the Netherlands, according to the Times Higher Education.
  • The Netherlands is the fifth happiest country in the world, as per the World Population Review.

A glance at the average cost of living in the Netherlands

average cost of living in the Netherlands


Source: Numbeo

Average cost of living in the Netherlands: Single vs Student vs Family

Type of expense

Avg. cost per month for student

Avg. cost per month for singles

Avg. cost per month for family

Housing & rent

€400 – €1000




€150 – €170




€40 – €80



Utility (electricity, water, heating, etc. )

€30 – €50




€150 – €200


€200 – €400


Source:, Upgrad

An overview of monthly rents in the Netherlands 

Expense Category 


Avg. cost per month 


1-bedroom apartment (in the city centre)


1-bedroom apartment (outside the city centre)


3-bedroom apartment (in the city centre)


3-bedroom apartment (outside the city centre)


Average Cost of living in the Netherlands citywise 

Type of expense



The Hague


Avg. Monthly Salary (after taxes)





Cost of living (single)





Cost of living (family)





Rent & utilities (single)





Rent & utilities (family)





Food (single)





Food (family)





Transport (single)





Transport (family)





The overall quality of life







Netherlands cost of living – Tax scenario

In the Netherlands, overall income is divided into three taxable categories. Each income category is taxed concerning its own schedule, known as a “box”. It is important to note that each “box” has a different tax rate.


Box 1: Taxable income from home ownership and work. It can include the following:


  • Salary
  • Ownership of home
  • Overseas income
  • Income earned as a freelancer, athlete, or professional artist.
  • Benefits related to your income
  • Periodic payments


The following table shows the tax rates for income levels in the Netherlands under box 1:


Taxable income 

Tax on (column I)

Tax on excess (in %)

Column I

Up to













Source: PWC, Government of the Netherlands

Box 2: It refers to the taxable income coming from a substantial interest, where the ownership is at least 5% of shares, profit-sharing certificates or options of a company. It is taxed at a flat rate of 25%.

Box 3: It refers to the taxable income from investments and savings. It is taxed at a rate of 30%.

What salary do you need to live in the Netherlands? 

As per the findings of SalaryExplorer, the average salary in the Netherlands is €4,900 per month and €58,800 per year.


But is it enough to sustain a comfortable lifestyle in the Netherlands?


The answer to this question is highly subjective. A single person will need a minimum of €2,000 to cover his monthly expenses whereas a family would need at least €5,000 per month for managing their living expenses in the Netherlands.


Note that it is just an approximate value. The actual amount will change depending on your location, facilities you are using, spending habits, specific expenses, lifestyle, and so on.

What should be your monthly budget to live in the Netherlands?






€500 – €800

€800 – €1,500

€2000 – €3,000


€50 – €100

€100 – €150

€150 – €300


€100 – €200

€150 – €300

€300 – €500


€30 – €70

€50 – €100

€100 – €200

Health insurance 

€80 – €120

€80 – €120

€200 – €400

Other (entertainment, shopping, personal care)

€50 – €100

€100 – €200

€200 – €400


€800 – €1500

€1,300 – €2,500

€3,000 – €5,000


##It is an approximate value based on the consumer prices and average living expenses of an individual. It is advisable to consider income level, spending habits, location, and specific monthly expenses to calculate an accurate budget.

Do’s and don’ts to manage the cost of living in the Netherlands 

  • Cook at home: Eating out at restaurants every day can be very expensive in the Netherlands. It can drain a significant portion of your monthly budget. Therefore, cook your food at home as much as possible.
  • Shop around: When it comes to buying monthly groceries, it is always recommended to shop around and compare multiple stores instead of sticking to a single store or outlet.
  • Note that different stores have different profit margins. It means you can get the same product at different prices. A good idea is to explore multiple stores and compare the prices to shop within a budget.
  • Buy in bulk: Instead of buying loose items, consider buying in bulk. Similar to any other country, single pieces are more expensive than the bulk packs in the Netherlands. So, consider buying “family packs” for most things.
  • Utilise student discounts: You can save a lot of money in the Netherlands by using your student discounts. These are available for transportation, groceries, eating out, and even for entry into the clubs.
  • Maintain a budget: Budgeting is very important to manage your finances in the Netherlands or any other country you live in as an expat. Not only will it help you avoid certain unnecessary expenses, but it will also help you maximise your savings. So, create a budget at the start of every month and stick to it. At the end of the month, don’t forget to review your expenses and their impact on your budget.
  • Go for automatic subscriptions: Automatic subscriptions, especially for entertainment options such as Netflix, can be very heavy on your budget. So, always consider manual subscriptions.Moreover, before opting for a subscription, assess your needs and identify whether or not you can afford it.
  • Live away from work or university: Living very far from your work or school will result in hefty transportation costs.So, always try to find accommodation that is near your workplace or school/college. It will help you save a lot on your transportation. However, consider the rental aspect before making your decision.
  • Neglect savings: Whether you are a working professional or an international student, your main objective to move abroad is to become financially stable. For this, start saving from your first earnings in the Netherlands. No matter how little you earn, dedicate at least some portion towards savings.
  • Ignore exchange rates: For example, If you are moving to the Netherlands from India, then keep a watch on the EUR to INR currency exchange rates. This is especially true when you want to send money to the Netherlands from India or vice-versa. A good idea is to use a reliable but affordable fund transfer provider like Instarem, which offers hassle-free money transfer services at competitive rates.

Also read: Tips to make your living abroad transition easy

Looking for the best places to live in the Netherlands? Here are the top cities for students and job seekers


Amsterdam is perhaps one of the most popular cities in the world. It offers a beautiful blend of contemporary living and cultural richness.


Besides its vibrant streets and picturesque landscapes, the city has a powerful job market brimming with excellent job opportunities, especially in the Finance and IT sectors.


For these reasons, it is not only a popular city among tourists but also among foreign professionals and students.


Average cost of living per person: €2281 per month


Rotterdam is one of the most famous cities among foreign students and job seekers. It is one of the most developed cities in the Netherlands, known for its tall skyscrapers, thriving economic sector and, most importantly, friendly community.

With people from different countries working and living together harmoniously, Rotterdam is like a melting pot for different nationalities. Moreover, the average salary in Rotterdam is slightly higher as compared to other cities, making it highly attractive among young professionals.

Average cost of living per person: €1884 per month


Nestled in the centre of the Netherlands, Utrecht is a combination of vibrant city life and mediaeval Dutch history. No wonder why it is regarded as one of the best places to live in the Netherlands.

There are plenty of schools and colleges and a range of employment opportunities in both public and private sectors.

Average cost of living per person: €1883 per month

The Hague

The Hague is the political city of the Netherlands. Located very close to the North Sea, the city offers a stunning location to live in.

Further, it has multiple international institutions and a strong job sector that attracts expats from all over the globe. Those looking for a sophisticated way of living should definitely consider relocating to the Hague.

Average cost of living per person: €1731 per month


Leiden is a perfect amalgamation of history and modernity. Being home to one of the oldest universities in Europe, Leiden is often regarded as a great place to live in the Netherlands.


Despite its historical and cultural significance, there is no shortage of modern amenities and entertainment options in the city. It offers a good range of options for dining, shopping, etc. Above everything, the community here is peaceful and welcoming towards migrants.


Average cost of living per person: €2021 per month

Netherlands cost of living – Things to know before you go… 

Living in the Netherlands has its perks, be it never-ending career opportunities, high-quality education and healthcare, and a high standard way of living. For the same reasons, it has a booming community of expats who are living their best life in the country.

If you have always dreamt of working or studying in the Netherlands, it is time to take your first step towards it.

We understand that relocating to another country is a big step. It requires a lot of passion, hard work, dedication, and effective financial management. If you ever need to send money to the Netherlands from India or any other country, then make sure to work with a trusted fund transfer service with affordable exchange rates.

Instarem is a money transfer service provider that offers cross-border transaction services to more than 60 countries all across the world in a fast** and convenient manner.

With super affordable# exchange rates and top-notch security, Instarem has become one of the preferred choices for expatriates and international students.


Download the app or sign up here.

Frequently asked questions

  • Is it expensive to live in the Netherlands?

    Yes. Living in the Netherlands is slightly more expensive compared to other European countries. However, given the well-paying opportunities and comparatively higher salaries, people earning slightly above average can live comfortably in the country.

  • How much is the cost of living in the Netherlands for International students?

    The cost of living in the Netherlands for international students is approximately around €1,200 to €1,800 per month. It can vary depending on individual spending habits and location in the country.

  • What is the average room rent in the Netherlands?

    The average room rent in the Netherlands is roughly around €400 to €800. It can vary based on certain factors, including the location, amenities, type of construction, and so on.

  • How much is the cost of living in the Netherlands for a couple?

    The cost of living in the Netherlands for a couple can range from €2,000 to €3,500 based on specific expenses, spending habits, and location of residence.

  • What is the cost of living in the Netherlands for a single person?

    The cost of living in the Netherlands for a single person is around €1,500 to €2,500.

  • What is the cost of living in the Netherlands for a family?

    The cost of living in the Netherlands for a family can range between €3,000 to €5,000 per month. It can be more or less depending on the number and age of family members, city of residence, specific expenses, etc.



  • This article is intended for informational purposes only. All details are accurate at the time of publishing. Instarem has no affiliation or relationship with products or vendors mentioned.
  • Prices mentioned in this blog are subject to change.
  • ** Fast meaning 75% of our transactions are completed in 15 minutes. Depending on the funding method.
  • # When it comes to affordable exchange rates and fees, it’s worth noting that the cost will vary depending on how you choose to fund your transactions. Credit card funding and bank transfer fees can differ significantly.
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