What is the cost of living in the Netherlands?

If you are coming to the Netherlands to live and work, bear in mind that you will have to comply with financial laws and regulations that may differ from those in your home country. The price of a home and your daily groceries is also likely to be different from what you are used to in your home country. Want to find out what living expenses to expect when moving to the Netherlands to live and work? And how much you are likely to spend on these expenses on a monthly basis? This article will give you a comprehensive rundown of the average living expenses in the Netherlands.


Fixed expenses

According to the Dutch National Institute for Family Finance Information, also known as Nibud, Dutch households spend an average of 50% of the family income on fixed expenses such as their mortgage or rent, energy bills and health insurance. Take a look at the average monthly energy expenses for the average household in the Netherlands. Home expenses are by far the biggest outgoing, regardless of whether people rent or own. According to Statistics Netherlands, rents in the Netherlands were around €600 a month and mortgage payments around €700 a month in 2018. Can’t decide whether to buy or rent? Most Dutch people and expats who want to buy a home in the Netherlands take out a mortgage. Find out what to bear in mind. Another expense to consider is your health insurance premium.

Daily living expenses

A large chunk of Dutch people’s household budget is spent on daily living expenses, and then mainly on groceries, such as food, cleaning products, detergent, personal care products, and other household products. Needless to say, how much you spend on these kinds of things depends on your family situation and your personal preferences. To give you a rough idea: the Netherlands Nutrition Centre has compiled a list of foods for a healthy and balanced diet, specifying the quantities of the various products that someone needs on average on a daily basis. Based on this list of foods, Nibud has calculated the average food spending for a 2-person household. Obviously, you also spend money on clothes, holidays, gifts, restaurants, subscriptions and other things. How much you spend on those things depends entirely on your personal preferences. The average Dutch family furthermore spends roughly €500 a month on running a small mid-range car. The average secondary school pupil gets about €50 in pocket money every month. To keep track of your income and expenses, use ABN AMRO’s handy Grip app.


Do you have children? Even though you, as a parent, will not have to pay any school fees for a child in primary or secondary school in the Netherlands, the school may ask for a voluntary parental contribution for extracurricular activities such as an excursion, or for extra teaching resources such as calculators or material for physical education classes. If your child goes to out-of-school care or has lunch at school, you will also be charged an additional contribution. If your child is starting university, he or she may be eligible for a student loan, a supplementary grant, and a student public transport card.


When moving to the Netherlands, you may be liable to pay tax in the Netherlands. For details, check the website of the Dutch tax authorities . You may be eligible for exceptions or exemptions. To file your tax returns in the Netherlands, you will need a digital proof of ID called DigiD. If you are due money back on your taxes, you will need a Dutch bank account that the tax authorities can pay your tax refund into. To file your tax return, use the tax return program for resident taxpayers. When doing your taxes, you can get on certain things, such as home ownership costs and your pension savings.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

The information on this page is a brief explanation. You can not derive any rights from this.

Well prepared for moving to the Netherlands

If you're moving to the Netherlands, you might have a lot of questions. Like: "Where will I live?", "How will I do my finances?", and "Where will my children go to school?". Make a personal checklist, and be sure not to forget anything while settling in.

Mortgage calculator

Do you want to calculate your maximum mortgage? Enter your details and get instant information on your maximum mortgage or monthly payment. Even if you are self-employed or want to calculate your maximum mortgage with the National Mortgage Guarantee (NHG).

Open a Dutch bank account

  • Apply in our Mobile Banking app
  • Digital identification
  • Get your account number within 4 hours