What are the Living Costs for an Expat in Spain?

What are the Living Costs for an Expat in Spain?

When trying to price up a move to the Costa del Sol, it’s only reasonable to consider the costs involved in your whole new lifestyle, not only the cost of buying a property in Marbella, for example.

You may be considering how far your income will stretch in Spain, given that it can be a little costly to get set up somewhere new, especially abroad.

Fortunately, Spain is still on the cheap side for expats when compared to many other places in Europe, when it comes to living expenses. The cost has actually been going down, which is no doubt good news and some areas popular with tourists and have seen prices declining in shops. Costs haven’t changed too much over the last few years, since the relatively recent economic crisis kept living costs here in Spain from rising excessively.

It is worth noting that fluctuations in currency rates between the Euro and the US dollar have significantly affected the numbers when it comes to cost of living.

Below you will find a little insight into the basic costs of living, to give you a bit of an idea about what you can expect when investing in your Costa del Sol dream home!

Utility bills

Electric bills for a couple can be around 40€ per month. Note that if you use air conditioning in the hotter months, this can raise another thirty percent on average. Gas bills for a couple are around the same at approximately 40€ per month. Note that a furnace that runs on gas could significantly bump up the gas bill in winter by another 35€ per month on average. Water bills are often included within maintenance fees if you’re renting an apartment.

Your mobile phone bill could be on average around 25€ per month and any additional call charges you make. Internet on your phone could bump this up by around 0.02€ per minute. Prepay services are popular with expats, which can make the costs difficult to estimate.

Entertainment, eating out, food shopping

For an average couple, you might find that you spend around 300 to 400€ per month, dependent on how lavish your tastes are and whether you prefer to shop organic!  

If you’re eating out at an average restaurant, your bill should come to around 12€ per person. If you like a tipple with your meal, expect to pay around 2€ for a beer or glass of wine. Lunch menus might set you back between 5 and 9€ per person.

If you wanted to catch a film, a cinema ticket should be around 6€ per person, plus all your munchies, of course!

Child care

Expats with young children may be looking for a nursery. This could cost around 100€ per month and for this money your child will be allowed to stay from around 5 hours each day.

Other costs to consider

If you want to work out regularly, there’s a good chance you’ll want to enroll in a local gym on a monthly membership. The cost of this obviously varies with the quality and location of the establishment, but you’re probably looking at between 30 and 50€ per month

If your new Costa del Sol home doesn’t have a garage and you find that you need somewhere to you’re your car, it’s possible to rent a parking space in a local garage for approximately 90€ per month.

General income requirements

This is of course a generalization, but the minimum that you would need to live in Spain’s major city centres would be around €800. If you earn in the region of €1200 you will be able to live a bit more comfortably, with a bit more freedom in your entertainment choices, shopping and trips.

To put things into perspective, in 2004 Barcelona was previously ranked at 56th most expensive city in the world but by 2005 it had dropped to 43rd. Madrid also dropped its living costs; it was once ranked at 61st most expensive city but is now back down to 52nd (at 2010).

Now that you have an idea of what things may cost when you move to Spain, why not let Europrestige show you around some of our Costa del Sol property bargains and/or luxury dream homes? Whatever your budget, we are confident that we have the perfect property for you….

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