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Cost of Living

Spain - Cost of Living

Spain does offer a reasonably good cost of living and this is one of the reasons that many expats choose to make their homes there. Basics such as eating out and grocery shopping are very good value when compared with other countries. It should be remembered that prices will vary a great deal across the country. Areas such as the Costa del Sol that attract large numbers of people with great wealth are home to more expensive shops and restaurants and property prices are naturally higher there. There are other areas of the coast and some inland areas which do not attract as many people and which are much cheaper areas in which to live.

A meal for one at an inexpensive restaurant will cost on average €10, while a three course meal for 2 in an average restaurant will be in the region of €40. A meal in a fast food restaurant costs on average €6.40. The cost of a drink in a restaurant in Spain is much lower than similar in other countries, with a half litre of draught beer in the region of €2. A 0.33 litre bottle of imported beer costs on average €2.60. A soft drink such as Coke will cost around €1.60 for a 0.33 litre bottle.

Shopping at a supermarket offers very good value for money. A litre of fresh milk costs on average €0.78, which is much lower than costs in the UK and the US. A 500g loaf of fresh bread is also reasonably priced at €0.80. A dozen eggs are priced much lower than in the UK, at an average of €1.48. Prices for fruit such as apples are on a par with other countries with a kilo costing around €1.50. Purchasing a kilo of fresh cheese costs much less than it does in neighbouring France at an average of €7.

The cost of transportation is also very reasonable. A single ticket for a standard bus journey has an average price of €1.13 while a monthly pass for public transport is an average of €35, which is far lower than countries such as the US and the UK. Due to fuel costs the price of a taxi ride is on a par with other countries with a 5km journey costing in the region of €7.50. The current cost (July 2011) of fuel is very similar to that in the UK. Those who want to purchase a family car will find that costs are also on a par with those in the UK.

Household expenses such as utilities are also very reasonable. The monthly cost of gas, electricity, water and waste disposal combined reach an average of €80, although in some instances it could be as high as €120. Monthly internet costs are in the region of €32 although prices for this do vary a great deal. The cost of renting a home is fairly low when compared to cities in other countries. A small apartment in a city centre will be in the region of €500 per month while a larger apartment is likely to cost an average of €900. A small apartment in a suburb is likely to cost around €365 per month and a larger apartment in the same area will be an average of €650 per month.

The cost of buying an apartment in a city centre is based on the price for the property per square metre. The average cost (July 2011) is €3680 and property outside a city centre will be an average cost of €2212. Prices for houses will vary according to the area but the average price is also based on a cost per square metre.

The cost of leisure is lower than in many countries. A monthly gym membership is an average of €43, and there is not much variation on this cost. Renting a tennis court for an hour is around €12 and if you want to visit the cinema the average cost of a ticket is €7. Shopping for clothes varies. As with all countries branded goods and designer labels can be more expensive than others. The average pair of men’s leather shoes will cost €86 and a lady’s summer dress will be in the region of €31.

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Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

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