Cost of living in the Netherlands is such a b*itch these days especially if you are a single person and have no one to split bills with. Living in the Netherlands can be an exciting adventure for anyone looking to experience new cultures and explore the beauty of the Dutch cities. However, the cost of living in the country can be quite high, especially in the major cities. Many have asked me what they should prepare for or an estimation of everything and you are in luck because I did some research. Here is an overview of the monthly cost of living for a single person in the Netherlands:
In order to consider the cost of living in the Netherlands, we first need to look at housing, which can be quite expensive, especially in Amsterdam and other major cities which is why I always advise against staying here. The average cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in Amsterdam can range from €1,500 to €2,000 per month. However, the cost of renting outside of Amsterdam or in smaller towns can be more affordable, ranging from €800 to €1,500 per month. For a single person, it’s recommended to budget around €1,000 to €1,500 per month for housing.
Bear in mind that there is currently a housing shortage and some small snags you will hit while trying to find a house and if you are a POC, factor that in too. You can search for houses or apartments to rent on platforms like Prarius, and I am Expat for more articles on the housing shortage. It is apparently better to ask for help from Relocation companies to assist with apartment hunting but that always comes with an extra cost.
The transportation system in the Netherlands is reliable, safe, and efficient, and for a South African, it is paradise. You can choose to use public transportation or own a car. Public transportation in the Netherlands can be quite expensive but it’s a convenient option for those who don’t want to own a car. The cost of a monthly transportation pass can range from €80 to €120 depending on your location. Owning a car is more expensive as it involves costs such as car insurance, gas, and parking fees. A single person can budget around €200 to €300 per month for transportation. Sometimes people opt to stay a few minutes from their workplace so they can bike.
There is no way to cover the cost of living in the Netherlands without talking about how food prices have spiked in the recent years, let alone the couple past months. The cost of food and groceries in the Netherlands can vary depending on where you shop. Buying groceries from budget supermarkets like Lidl and Aldi can help you save money. I guess I’m a material “gworl” since I prefer Picnic. A single person can budget around €200 to €300 per month for food and groceries. Eating out can be quite expensive, with the average cost of a meal in a mid-range restaurant being around €20 per person.
Since you will be new in a foreign country and trying to build a social life, oh honey, don’t forget your “other expenses” which will definitely affect some of your salary and budget. Other expenses that a single person should budget for include utilities such as electricity, water, and internet which can cost around €150 to €200 per month. Health insurance is also mandatory in the Netherlands, and it can cost around €100 to €120 per month. Additionally, socializing, entertainment, and leisure activities can cost around €200 to €300 per month.
It’s essential to research and plan your finances before relocating to the Netherlands to ensure you have a comfortable and sustainable lifestyle.
Towns to Consider staying
Hardenberg is a small town in the eastern Netherlands that is known for its beautiful scenery and outdoor activities. The cost of living in Hardenberg is relatively low, with affordable housing options and a low cost of living in general.
Hoogeveen and Meppel are towns in the province of Drenthe in the northeast of the Netherlands. They are known for their green spaces, museums, and cultural events. The cost of living in is relatively low, with affordable housing and transportation options. If you are someone who likes history and culture, you will fit right in.
Dronten is a town in the province of Flevoland in the central Netherlands. It is known for its agricultural and rural surroundings.
Schagen is a small town in the province of North Holland in the western Netherlands. It is known for its historic buildings and quaint town center.
Nijkerk is a town in the province of Gelderland in the central Netherlands. It is known for its charming historic center and cultural events.
Oss and Helond are towns in the province of North Brabant in the southern Netherlands. They are known for their historic buildings and museums.
Heerenveen is a town in the province of Friesland in the north of the Netherlands. It is known for its sports facilities and cultural events.
Sittard is a town in the province of Limburg in the south of the Netherlands. It is known for its historic buildings and festivals. Trust me when I say this, festivals in the Netherlands are something you have to experience.
Overall, these towns are considered some of the most affordable in the Netherlands due to their relatively low housing costs, transportation costs, and general cost of living. They are also known for their charm, culture, and outdoor activities, making them great places to live for those looking for a more affordable but still fulfilling lifestyle in the Netherlands. One thing to note, some of these towns are very small and some could have a low number of international people which means that English is not wildly spoken so you might have to learn a bit of Dutch to be able to find it easy to integrate.