Cost of living in India – monthly expenses after R2I 2010-2011

Rent + $2100 per month

Cost of living 3

August, 2011

  • Domestic travel – Meenal and I took a vacation in Ladakh. May be one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever seen.
  • Clothes – we didn’t take enough warm clothes to Ladakh thinking that it’ll be warm. Surprisingly we found good American and European brands for outer wear at very good prices.
  • Groceries – My mother-in-law started giving us lots of fruit every time we visited and she refuses to get paid for it. So it won’t be happening any longer.
  • Utils – I started using a smaller room for hanging out and the air conditioning bill went down. Also, we made fewer international calls since we were traveling for 10 days.

July, 2011

  • Domestic travel – We vacationed in Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh. Getting there was cheap since we took the train but accommodation was relatively expensive.
  • Clothes – Meenal needed more Salvar Kameez for work

June, 2011

  • Domestic travel – We visited a close friend in Kolkata

Cost of living 2

May, 2011

  • Eating out higher – We’ve found some good restaurants and people

April, 2011

  • Air/Rail/Bus higher – Visited our friend in Kolkata to see him and his new born, Attended a graduation of a close friend in Hyderabad

March, 2011

  • Same notes about fees and charges from February
  • Our cheap car has started showing its stripes racking up over $200 worth of repairs
  • Unsure why grocery expenses went up so much

Cost of living 1

February, 2011

  • We were traveling internationally for 10 days. Expenses NOT included here.
  • Due to the international travel, I stocked up on Duty Free alcohol ($233)
  • We were confused about how the credit card company’s website worked so we ended up paying seriously high fees and charges
  • We fired our old driver and got a new one 10 days later. The staff salaries went down temporarily as a result.
  • Meenal will soon write about her experience getting medical treatment in Delhi ($120)

January, 2011

  • Eating out in Delhi – expenses are back up after my father in law figured out that I was fleecing him. And we know of more restaurants now.
  • Maintenance of car – our apartment complex’s sloppiness caused our car to fall into a drain inside the parking lot. We are waiting for the complex to pay us back for it. Moving to India is not fun all the time.

December, 2010

  • Eating out expenses down – I started inviting my father in law to all the expensive dinners. By Indian custom, he’s on the hook to pay (being the eldest). I think he’s catching on to my sneakiness. Aah, the joys of relocating to India.
  • Groceries went down – November was high since it was our first month in our apartment after moving to India (r2i).
  • Staff salaries went down – My driver took off on unpaid leave for 10 days

These expenses do NOT include:


12 local comments so far.
  1. Thanks for the article it helps a lot to understand delhi

  2. Very nice, I am really read article. Thanks for share.

  3. Kash,

    Most informative R2i post I have seen. Thank you Prashant.

    $ 598 seems a lot but if you dont enjoy the things you R2i for there is no point in doing it.

    Wish you luck & welcome back.

  4. mobi,

    Dude, if you spend $2000 per month in India without rent, you have serious spending problem. No wonder your R2I venture didn’t work out.

  5. Nidhi,

    Hi Prashant and Meenal,
    Your posts are really informative and answers almost all the questions that people have about returning to India. You guys have given the most has useful information about moving to Gurgaon. Just wanted to say, Great work.

    • Prashant,

      Nidhi – you made my day with your kind comment. Thanks a lot! We’ll probably write the last few closing posts in the next 3-4 weeks. At that point, we’ll hit our 1 year mark and will cease adding new posts. The site will remain up and comments will still work. Hope it remains useful to other confused souls like ourselves.

  6. ketul,

    Guys I dont see any post on cost of living after May 2011 , we are in August now…can you please fill in the blanks for rest of May, June and July???? with more points….

    • Prashant,

      Ketul – Please send me your credit card number. After we charge you for reading Delhi Ledger, we’ll be in a better frame of mind to serve you.

  7. Ram,

    Dining and drinks for $ 598??? I never heard of Indians spending that much even in US. What car did you guys drive in US? Did you guys ever live in India? You guys sound more like ABCDs or IBCDs (Indian Born Confused Desi).

  8. Anirudh,

    You can thank me for $345 of the $346 for drinking & dining

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