Monday, June 02, 2008

cost of living India

One fascinating aspect of living in India is how economically diverse the population is and how the different classes coexist relatively harmoniously. When I first came to India I was on the full back packer path spending $4 / day for a nice room with attached bath on Sutter St. in Calcutta.

Then I moved to Pondichery and worked 6 hours a day for free food and lodging on the Solitude Farm inside Auroville.

In Delhi I spent $50 / night for a hotel, and in Bombay I paid about $1000 month for
an apartment in Bandra.

When I moved to Pune, initially rent was just $75 / month for a room in a gorgeous old bungalow on Lane 4. Since then I got one 2 bedroom place with Soum that was $200 / month, and later moved into a large 2BHK that overlooks the park that is cheap at $450.

Now, if I sold my 2 bedroom apartment on the water in San Mateo, I couldn't get something I liked as much in Koregoan Park for the same price.

A friend is running an NGO out of a 2bhk on Nagar Rd. ~5 km from Koregoan Park where rent is 6-8k rps ($150 - $200). Nagar Rd. is interesting because its a very wide road connecting it to Koregoan Park, and there is a huge amount of new construction there. The society my friend is in has about 9 buildings of about 15 stories each, and it is just one of several societies in the area.


Decent, reportedly 512k (really, Im lucky if I get 300k), unlimited broadband internet from Tata is $50 / mo.


Food at all the Thali places around KP is around $1 / meal for a full Thali. Breakfast of Idli, or paratha, or poha is generally less than 50 cents. A Salad, Pizza and a Beer at Il Fungo Magico is about $10. Cocktails at Mauve, Kiva, North Main, Unaki are $5k - $8 each.


I think electricity is about $20 / mo. unless you run an AC.


Rickshaw transportation is one of the biggest wins on the price parity index. In Pune its around 6 rps (10cents) / km. Tho the equation is much more complicated (# of kilometers * 6 + * of km tenths / 2 + 2)


Computer equipment tends to be about the same price as in the states, tho service is between 5 and 10 times cheaper.


Im not a heavy mobile user, my total costs are less than $12 /mo


Estimated Monthly expenses
at a variety of lifestyles

Koregoan Park
$450 rent
$200 food
$70 entertainment
$70 transportation (not counting air travel)
$100 travel
$100 misc.
$1000 / mo

Nagar Rd.
$200 rent
$80 food
$50 entertainment
$70 transportation
$60 travel
$40 misc.
$500 / mo

$100 rent
$50 food
$30 entertainment
$40 transportation
$30 travel
$50 misc.


* These numbers are high as they assume single occupancy which is almost never the case. Having groups of 4 or more friends sharing a 2bhk is common. This reduces rent and some of the other costs as well. Another data point is that many call centers pay about $300 / mo.

1 comment:

Rohit said...

That's nice calculation freeman :)