Cost of Living in Spain
Posted by The Expatriator
Information on costs of living in Spain, including the basic necessities and a rough guide for estimating your costs.
If you’re reading this, then the cost of living in Spain is a concern for you, (ie. you’re not rich) and you’re wondering if your income is enough to get by in Spain. The quick good news is that Spain is still relatively cheap from a cost of living standpoint, especially compared to other western european nations and foreigner’s salaries. For the Spanish themselves, things aren’t looking so good. Costs are up and wages have stayed the same.
Update: the cost of living in Spain has actually come down in several major centres across the country. Apartment rents have declined about 10-20% since the financial crisis began, and some touristic areas have seen a decline in the costs of goods in stores as competition heats up for every tourist dollar (especially in the south).
Here we present to you the most accurate cost of living information - not just a “rough guide” - direct from Spain on costs, and recommend that you see the links on the right under Related Features and the Living in Spain section of the site for further details about many of the items listed here. Continue reading this article below for further notes from a cultural perspective on the cost of living in Spain.
- Rental costs: In central Madrid or Barcelona it’s about 11€ per square meter per month (can greatly depend on location and who you rent it from, see much more detail here: renting an apartment). In central Sevilla or on the coast, it’s about 6-7€ per square meter per month. Elsewhere in the country it’s, say, 4 € per month. For costs when buying a house, see Buying a Property.
- Electricity bills: for two people bills are about 40€/month, going up about 30% or more during the summer if you have air conditioning.
- Gas bills: for two people with a gas water heater and a gas stove, bills are about 40€/month. Your furnace may also run on gas, costing approximately an additional 35€/month during the winter. (Water bills are generally included in the maintenance fees of an apartment.)
- Telephone/mobile phone bills: 25€/month, plus the calls you make. If you have standard internet, add 0.02€/minute. For further discussion of costs, see mobile phones in Spain. A lot of expats choose to use pay as you go service, which makes their phone costs vary enormously.
- For private health insurance costs, see Health Care in Spain.
- Food: for two people, our food bills are 350 €/month. An average restaurant per person bill is 12€. A glass of beer or wine at a bar is 2€. A tapa is 2€. A good lunch (menu del dia) is 5-9€
- A nursery for a child is 100 €/month for 5 hours/day.
- A parking space in a garage is 90 €/month.
- A gym is 30 - 50 €/month.
- A movie theatre ticket is 6€.
- A man’s haircut is 12€.