Living on Your Own: A Complete Guide

The day that you leave the parental home will soon arrive and you will finally live on your own! It is of course important that you have enough income so that you can stand on your own two feet.

Life has become very expensive in recent years. Even for a single household. And not the forgotten ones moving costs for the move itself. In this article we would like to inform you about the additional costs for renting a home so that you know exactly what to expect.

An independent social rental home

A social rental home is a lot cheaper than a private rental home, but unfortunately you can forget about a social rental home these days.

Unless you have been registered for years, of course, but the chance that you will get social housing these days is very small. If you have no chance of a social rental home, you will have to deal with unexpected expenses. These can be one-off costs, but also recurring costs, for example.

Your rent and other living expenses

When you live on your own, it is of course not just about paying one month's rent. You have to pay rent every month and this is also your biggest monthly expense. The rental price naturally depends on the type of home, in which municipality or city you will live and possibly different insurance policies.
If you can find a student room through a housing association, you will pay approximately between €350 and €550 euros in rent per month.

However, you must first register with the foundation and depending on where you live, you may have to deal with a long waiting period. You must of course also be registered as a student, otherwise you will not be eligible for a student room.

In the private sector, not only housing, but also rooms are more expensive. In this case, you pay between €400 and €1000 rent per month for a room. Of course, the price for your room depends very much on where you want to live.

The prices for a social rental home are much lower than homes in the private sector. Social rent is approximately between €500 and €800 per month. However, you must have been registered with the housing association for a longer period of time. You can get rent allowance for such a house, which is of course a nice bonus in these times.

The rental price for a home in the private sector often starts around €700. The maximum prices run up to unimaginably high amounts.

Gas water and light

When students rent a room, the costs for gas, water and light are often included in the rent. This is also known as the all-in price. If you are going to rent an independent house, these costs are not included in the price and you must arrange this yourself.

For gas and light (electricity) you can go to one supplier. You are probably already aware of the fact that the prices for these have risen sharply. The costs for this will be around €130 per month in 2023. When you used to live on your own, these costs were a lot lower.

Take a good look around the internet and compare prices on comparison websites. You only have to fill in a few required fields so that the comparison can be started.

Of course you also have to take water into account. You pay the water bill to your local water company. The average cost for water for a student is around €15 per month.

Other costs living on your own

Of course, living on your own also means that you will incur other costs. Think of service costs, taxes and, for example, insurance. We are happy to explain the most important additional costs to you.

Your health insurance

Of course you already have health insurance and this is not something you only get when you live on your own. Of course, these are monthly costs and so we write them down anyway. Perhaps your parents helped you with your health insurance and this has now stopped because you live on your own.

The monthly costs for your health insurance

The costs for your health insurance are nowadays between € 100 and € 200. However, this of course depends on the package you have. You can apply for a healthcare allowance to pay for your health insurance, but we will explain this to you later in this article.

Municipal taxes

When you think of taxes, you probably think of your income and income tax, but there are of course other taxes as well. Consider, for example, municipal taxes. Now that you live on your own, this is a very important burden that you should not forget.


The municipality collects this tax from its residents to pay for facilities. You will have to deal with waste levy, sewage levy and water board tax. If you live on your own, you will receive an invoice for these taxes at the beginning of each year. These amounts also differ per municipality, but we have tried to find out the average costs for this.

  • waste charges
    For a person, the costs for waste collection are on average around €245 per year.
  • Water board tax
    For a person, the costs for water board tax are on average around €120 per year.
  • Sewage charges
    For a person, the costs for sewage charges average around €110 per year.

Of course, the aforementioned municipal taxes only apply when you rent an independent accommodation. Do you rent a room? Then you usually do not have to pay these costs separately. The landlord often pays this and then calculates it in your monthly rent. This is then stated in your contract.

Contents insurance

When you finally live on your own, it's nice when your new furniture is properly insured, isn't it? You can take out a separate contents insurance policy for this. This way, all your belongings are properly insured and will be reimbursed in the event of damage. Home contents insurance usually costs between €5 and €10 per month.

Liability insurance is useful to have because it covers the damage you accidentally cause to someone else. This does not necessarily mean injury, but also, for example, damage to someone else's belongings.

Rent allowance

In the Netherlands you can apply for rent allowance. This is a helping hand for the lower incomes. The amount of your rent allowance depends on your income, rent and living situation. Do you not want to apply for this right away and do you first want to know what you are entitled to? Then you can go to the website of the tax authorities make a test calculation first.

Rental allowance conditions

  • are 18 years and older
  • Lives in an independent home.
  • Lives in social housing.
  • Registered with the municipality
  • Have a rental contract and pay it yourself.
  • Your maximum rental price is €808 or when you are 23 years and younger.
  • You earn a maximum of € 30,000 annually.

Healthcare allowance

In the Netherlands, you can receive a healthcare allowance if you are 18 or older. Whether you are entitled to this has nothing to do with your living situation, so you may already receive this.


Students spend an average of around €188 per month on groceries.


Various subscription costs added together (think of your telephone, Netflix, gym, etc.) the average costs per month are approximately € 120.

Leisure and clothing

This is of course very personal because everyone has different hobbies and requirements for clothing. If we really look at the average cost of this, this is about € 97 per month.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the costs if you start living on your own?

In the Netherlands you will spend an average of at least €1302 per month when you start living on your own. Fortunately, as a student or when you have a low income, you are often entitled to benefits.

How much money do you need to live alone?

If you live on your own, you need at least € 1302 per month. In this case you can cover all fixed costs.

How many fixed costs per month for 1 person?

A 1-person household with an average income of €2,252 will now spend more than 55% in fixed costs in the Netherlands. With an income at social assistance level of €1125, this is more than 50%.

What are fixed costs if you start living on your own?

As fixed costs, you also have to pay municipal taxes in addition to your rent. By the way, don't forget about other contracts and subscriptions.

How many euros do you need per month to live?

You will really need at least around € 1200 per month to be able to live completely on your own. If you are going to live in rooms, this amount is of course different.