The garden city.
The silicon valley of India.
A pensioner’s paradise.
Bangalore, or more recently Bengaluru, has so many endearing names.
The tech capital of India is a dream destination for many people. The never-ending shopping malls, a pleasant climate, a happening nightlife, exploding startup scene, and well-paying jobs.
What’s not to like about Bangalore?
But just like every major city, Bangalore has its problem. Bangaloreans face water scarcity, garbage disposal problems, traffic congestion, severely polluted lakes that catch fire, and a high cost of living.
In this research piece, I try to answer the question – “What will be my cost of living in Bangalore?”
Cost of living in Bangalore for bachelors
If you are on a budget, expect to spend Rs 2.06 lakhs in the first year. You need to earn at least Rs 2.8 lakhs after tax.
If you want to live comfortably, expect to spend Rs 3.16 lakhs in the first year. You need to earn at least Rs 4.29 lakhs after tax.
If you want to live an affluent A.K.A wealthy lifestyle (with a roommate), expect to spend Rs 6.40 lakhs in the first year. You need to earn at least Rs 7.07 lakhs after tax.
If you want to live an affluent A.K.A wealthy lifestyle (without a roommate/Solo), expect to spend Rs 9.25 lakhs in the first year. You need to earn at least Rs 9.31 lakhs after tax.
Tips for Bachelors
#1: Rent a bigger house and live with roommates
It’s often cheaper to rent a 2BHK and share one room with someone else, than renting a 1 BHK to live alone. You have a lot more choices, and bigger apartments usually have better facilities.
A 4 BHK where 4 people stay would usually work out to be cheaper per-person than 2 people in a 2 BHK.
If you are moving to a new location, seek out people looking for a roommate. This way, you can move in quickly, pay less, and avoid the hassle of furnishing the house.
#2: Plan to spend weeks looking for an accommodation
Most gated communities will not rent to Bachelors. The ones that do, have never-ending rules. It can take a while to get an affordable accommodation that is to your liking.
Staying in a PG is economical. If you could adjust in a college hostel, a PG should be fine.
Based on my personal experience, I recommend using No Broker if you are looking for apartments. The fee is reasonable if you compare the amount of time and brokerage fee you’ll save.
#3: Cook at home
Usually, your biggest monthly expense will be rent. The second biggest expense will likely be food.
With delivery apps like Swiggy, Uber Eats, and Zomato, it’s a breeze to order food. However, eating out regularly is unhealthy. Not to mention the cost.
Rent a place where you can cook.
It’s healthy, saves you money, and your future spouse will appreciate your survival skills. Bonus points if you find a roommate who shares an interest in cooking.
#4: Keep a track on your pub visits
When you are in Bangalore, it’s easy to spend upwards of Rs 10,000 per person in a single night. Go with your friends to an upscale pub on a Friday/Saturday night. You’ll see what I mean.
If you are big on partying, keep a tab on your spends. While you should enjoy life, it’s also not about getting wasted every weekend.
#5: Parking can be tricky
If you are on a budget and choose a PG or a low-end apartment, chances are, you will not have parking.
At best, you can expect an uncovered bike parking. If you are really lucky, you might get a covered bike parking.
Covered car parking is available mostly in expensive apartment complexes.
#6: Pick a location closer to your office
Many times, when bachelors pick a place to live, they choose to move in with friends.
While it’s good to move in with people you know, if you are living far from the office, commuting can be a pain.
I have been stuck in traffic for more than 30 minutes to cover 600 meters. And it’s not uncommon for a commute of 10 KM to take an hour or more.
Unless you like spending several hours of your time traveling on your bike or a cab, pick a location closer to the office.
As they say:
In Bangalore, distance is measured by how many hours it takes. Not kilometers.
Cost of living in Bangalore for families
If you are on a budget, expect to spend Rs 6.72 Lakhs (no kids) and Rs 10.12 lakhs (with kids), in the first year. Your combined family income should be around Rs 6.45 lakhs (no kids) and Rs 10.49 lakhs (with kids), after tax.
If you want to live comfortably, expect to spend Rs 9.99 Lakhs (no kids) and Rs 17.45 lakhs (with kids), in the first year. Your combined family income should around Rs 9.98 lakhs (no kids) and Rs 19 lakhs (with kids), after tax.
If you want to live like an affluent A.K.A wealthy family, expect to spend Rs 14.57 Lakhs (no kids) and Rs 25.52 lakhs (with kids), in the first year. Your combined family income should be around Rs 14.20 lakhs (no kids) and Rs 27.02 lakhs (with kids), after tax.
Tips for families in Bangalore
#1: Spend some time researching your home base
Consider proximity to your child’s school, your’s and your spouse’s office location, and availability of a trustworthy nanny/daycare.
Look for supermarkets that deliver to your home, OLA/Uber cab availability, closeness to bus stand/railway station etc.
#2: Rent before you buy
Once you zero in on a location, do not rush and buy a house – even if you get a good deal.
Ideally, you should stay in the area for a year or more before you can decide if it’s a good place to stay. This will help you understand the various issues you might face in different seasons:
- Is there water shortage during summer? Some places get water only a few hours in a day – irrespective of the season.
- Does it flood during the rainy season?
- Is it a peaceful environment to raise your kids?
- Is the location dusty/near a wasteland which results in infectious diseases during the rainy season?
#3: Schools, daycare, and extracurricular activities can be very expensive
There are schools that charge more than a few lakhs a year just for tuition. There are classes for almost any activity you can imagine – Dance, music, painting, yoga, martial arts, tennis etc. They can be equally expensive as well.
It’s not uncommon to hear about parents spending more than Rs 20,000 per month just for their child’s extracurricular activities.
If both parents are working, it’s likely that you’d need a daycare to help you look after your child. Daycare can cost a few thousand rupees per hour.
#4: Be prepared for a cultural shock
If you are thinking of moving to Bangalore from a non-metro/village location, be prepared for a cultural shock.
If you are offering a drink to a guest at your house, it will be rude to offer just men. In Bangalore, many women drink. They might smoke as well. Women making more money than their husband isn’t a big deal.
In a way, the gender stereotypes breakdown in Bangalore.
There are a lot of western cultural aspects that Bangaloreans have adopted.
Gift wine when you visit someone, return gifts for people coming to your party (especially the kids), and children speaking only in English are some of the things you’ll observe early on.
#5: Don’t be surprised if the rent listed here seem very conservative
Based on my research, I have assumed a maximum rent of 35K for my calculations. However, if you are renting in locations like Indiranagar, don’t be surprised to hear rents upwards of 50K. There are 1500 sq ft apartments in Indiranagar that cost more than 75K per month.
As the rent goes up, so does the deposit. In Bangalore, landlords typically charge 10-times-rent as the deposit. So a jump from 25K to 35K monthly rent translates to Rs 1 lakh extra deposit.
Is Bangalore a good city to live in?
Considering the number of job opportunities available, and the quality of life you can lead in Bangalore, it’s a great location to be in – even if you are not a software engineer!
If you throw a stone randomly in Bengaluru, chances are, it will hit either a dog or a software engineer.”
Contrary to popular belief, Bengaluru is home to a diverse set of people from various cultures and job backgrounds. It’s not all software engineers.
Do I really need this much amount of money in Bangalore?
No. You don’t.
The maid who comes to clean my house earns less than Rs 10,000 a month. She supports herself and 3 children.
My maid can do it because her lifestyle choices allow her to live on a meager Rs 10K income. She almost never eats out, her children go to government schools, and the only extracurricular activity they get is gully cricket.
It all comes down to the choices you make.
You can make Rs 1 lakh a month and still feel poor. Or you can make Rs 25K per month and feel rich.
The choice is yours.
Average rent collected based on house price listings on NoBroker, Magicbricks, Makaan, and other online portals.
Cost of education, pub visits, movies, travel and other items based on a combination of:
- personal experience
- price listing on Zomato, BookMyShow, MakeMyTrip and other online portals, and
- speaking with families with kids who live in Bangalore
Your expected annual income after tax calculation assumes that you save 30% of your take-home salary. Surely, you’d not want to spend 100% of your income, right?