Financial security is non-negotiable. Especially if you are a working professional who has migrated to a new city and must manage an independent life on your own. From understanding your expenses, figuring out opportunities to save, to even negotiating a higher salary in order to cover living expenses comfortably, you need to be your own financial planner. Which is why, if you are considering taking a job at any of the IT companies in Chennai or IT companies in Coimbatore, figuring out the cost of living in each city is a good place to start. Since awareness is key to preparedness, here are a few things you should factor in:
Unless you have opted for managed accommodations, monthly rent can be a heavy expense. Before you book a place, you must factor in aspects like location (and hence any commute expense that you might have to bear), type of accommodation (furnished or unfurnished, single or shared, newly built or old etc). as they will all help in negotiating for a place that comes close to expectation. Apartment rents in the city can be in the range of 10-15k depending on the earlier mentioned factors. However, note that this doesn’t include costs for managing other lifestyle needs. A PG accommodation can range from INR 5000-8000, in the city and may include some additional amenities like food, housekeeping and WiFi. But with various types of PGs in the market, quality of infrastructure and amenities can be an issue. Over the past few years, Chennai and Coimbatore have recorded the rise of professionally managed accommodation operators that offer all-inclusive packages covering a host of amenities like food, WiFi, laundry, housekeeping, maintenance and security. These typically range from 10k-15k and are a great alternative to local PGs and even apartments in terms of quality and affordability.
For an 800 sq. ft. space, take a round sum of about INR 4000-5000 and you would be near on target when it comes to the cost of basic amenities. But remember that this is only for utility costs like electricity, water, garbage, cooking gas etc. And these can get impacted depending on usage. A string of hot days means using the AC for longer and hence electricity charges going up significantly. An old building will translate into more maintenance issues to tackle. So, knowing the range of expenditures involved can help you make a budget and work towards your savings. Also, if there are common-usage expenditures that can be divided conveniently among flat mates, then you know that you can enjoy a more cost-efficient yet quality lifestyle.
Now this completely depends upon how you adapt to your daily living. Are you someone who believes in budgeting and frugal living? Or you prefer to go YOLO and spend on as many experiences as you can? While nothing can be labelled as ‘wrong’, balancing between extreme austerity and unmindful spending will leave you enough savings for your lifestyle to not feel like a compromise. It’s a good idea to list out your expenses, at least for the first few months, so you can identify what can be pruned. The lighter your list, the more wholesome will be your lifestyle and the better you will get at saving for the future.
Depending upon the mode of transportation you choose, your expenditure here is set for the month. If you are a young IT professional, then maybe depending on a great public commute system would be a better option than spending on cabs or your own vehicle. Alternately, it doesn’t bode well for one’s energy, time and expense if you get stuck in commute. So best case scenario would be to find a place that is conveniently located from office, maybe even close enough to cycle or walk down to. Similarly, groceries and other household management expenses (food, laundry, housekeeping etc) can be other significant additions to your monthly expenses. Cooking by yourself can be a great option as you can monitor your health better, don’t have to depend on food from outside and save on costs for a house help. On the flipside, it makes better sense to adopt this route if you share space with people who can chip in to split chores. Coming back to a pile of dirty laundry or the thought of getting into a kitchen at the end of a hard-working day is too hectic a task to bear.
A planned person is also a less stressed person so its wise to go in having a broad sense of living expenses before you move to the big city.