Moving out from your parents house, going out, drinks, dinners, and... oh yeah, studying. It all costs quite a bit. Are you curious about the average expenses because you're always in the red yourself? Or are you starting college for the first time this month and want to get off to a good start? Either way, we have listed all the costs for you.

Study and tuition fees

When you start college you will have to pay tuition. Every year the government sets tuition fees. For the year 2023-2024, this boils down to 2,314 euros (NL) for college and university studies. Students who start studying in higher education for the first time are entitled to half the tuition fee for 1 year. So they pay 1,157 in their first year, instead of 2,314. Be sure to check if you meet the conditions completely.

For some programs, you don't pay tuition, but institution fee. This is the case, for example, if you have already completed one program at the school in question and are starting a second one. Private institutions are not funded by the government and determine the amount of institutional fees themselves. This can vary by program and by student group.

You can borrow money from DUO to pay for your tuition and other study expenses. The reintroduction of the basic scholarship is scheduled for September 1, 2023.

Study Supplies

For most studies, you need several books, and those can be quite pricey. And without a decent laptop - another considerable expense - you won't get very far. According to NIBUD figures (from 2021), these kinds of study supplies cost an average of 49 euros per month.


A good, affordable dorm room is not very easy to find these days, but if the school you attend is not exactly next door, it is a must. Maybe you're also tired of mom and dad's bickering and think it's about time to spread your wings.

In that case, of course, you start looking for a student room. Rental prices vary considerably; it depends, of course, on where you study. In Amsterdam you might have a tiny room for 500 euros, while in Leeuwarden you might be able to rent a nice studio with a bathroom for the same amount.

On average, students pay 426 euros for rent (often including gas, water, electricity). Internet and TV are often not included. Check Independer for the best deals and also check the websites of different providers. Some have special student packages that make it cheaper.

You will also have to furnish your room. Fortunately, this will not add to your monthly costs, but it is quite an amount when you first move out. Look for good and trendy deals at the thrift store. Sometimes it takes some time to find your way around, but you can come across very nice and unique furniture. Sustainable too!


Of course you need to eat decently, because going to McDonalds every night or just opening a pack of instant noodles is not healthy in the long run. Want to do a little cheap shopping? Then keep an eye on the brochures of your local supermarket. Is there a product on sale that you are going to need more often? Then buy some more! It will cost you an arm and a leg at the time, but it will be cheaper in the end. The average student groceries costs 173 euros per month.

Health insurance

From the age of eighteen you are supposed to have your own health insurance. You can compare student health insurance online. This is because with student packages you are cheaper. You may also be entitled to care allowance. On average, students pay 115 euros for health insurance. While you are busy with insurances, you can also look at home contents and liability insurance. It's convenient and will only cost you a few euros.

Enjoyment, entertainment and sports

A streaming subscription, a day out, parties and the gym; social life is not cheap. On average, students spend 124 euros per month on these things. Want to save costs? Then cancel your gym subscription and start a running group with your roommates. For free! Working out together is great fun and running in a group is a great motivator.

You can also cut back on the number of parties here and there (saves you a headache and a lot of failing grades). See what you really don't want to miss and leave the rest aside. After all, you can't do everything. Want to go to the movies or need a haircut? Ask if there is a student discount.


Students pay an average of 19 euros per month for a phone subscription. When getting a subscription, look carefully at what is important to you. Do make a lot of phone calls? Then a bundle with lots or unlimited calls is handy. Do you rarely make phone calls, but do you drain your 4G in half a day? Then a large internet bundle is convenient for you.

Clothes and shoes

The average student spends 53 euros per month on clothes and shoes. Here too, there are plenty of savings opportunities. Check out your local thrift store. Sometimes you have to go through some stuffy sweaters and pants, but keep looking, because there regularly are unique gems for just a few euros.

Would you rather walk around a trendy clothing store? Then check out the second-hand boutiques or clothing libraries in your town.


With your student ov, you can travel for free or discounted public transportation between room, school and parents' home. You can choose a weekly or weekend package. Is school next door and do you want to return home during the weekend? Then a weekend package is convenient. Do you still live at home and travel to school every day? Then you're better off choosing the weekday package.

Whatever you do, to visit friends and family you soon travel at your own expense. Students spend an average of 72 euros on this.

In total

At the bottom line, this will cost you an average of 1031 euros per month (excluding study and tuition fees). The most recent figures from the NIBUD are from 2021. Due to inflation, everything has become a bit more expensive in the meantime, of course, so make sure to do your own calculations! And maybe check beforehand if there is a side job nearby. 😅