Cost of Living in Spain


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Cost of Living in Spain

An average restaurant per person bill is 12€. A glass of beer or wine at a bar is 1.50€. A tapa is 2€."

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). During 2020, thanks to COVID-19, prices in some areas have plummeted and may be creating an unparalleled opportunity to lock in low prices on property or rent. 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€.
This provides them with a lot more disposable income and is the likely reason why most Spanish employers can get away with paying their employees so little..."
As an estimate: in the major centres you will need a bare minimum of €800-900 to live (shared accommodations), €1300 provides a bit of comfort including drinks, coffee and local weekend excusrions. Any more than that is gravy (applicable for a single, working person living in shared accommodations and after taxes). It's stayed at about this level over the last few years as the economic crisis has kept the cost of living across Spain from increasing too much. For consideration (this may be more relevant as a cultural note), know that many Spaniards choose to live at home with their parents until their 30s (I know some in their 50s...). This provides them with a lot more disposable income and is the likely reason why most Spanish employers can get away with paying their employees so little (wages are still quite low) in comparison to the cost of living. Inflation has become an issue for locals over the past few years, and the above listed living costs have had to be increased by about 10%/year. The official inflation is somewhere around 3.5%, but in the major cities it seems to be much higher. Two relevant causes here may be the influx of European expats and that the Spanish seem to be slowly moving out on their own at an earlier age. Barcelona has gone from ranking as the 56th most expensive city in the world in 2004, to 43rd (2005), to 56th (2006) back up to 49th, averaged over 200 basic products and services and taking into account currency valuations. In the same time, Madrid has gone from 61st to the 46th and now sits at 52nd most expensive city as of 2010. Note that the currency fluctuations between the US dollar and the Euro have affected these cost of living rankings significantly. (Source) On a personal note, between discussions with friends we disagree with these rankings, particularly between Madrid and Barcelona, where the cost of living at ground zero is clearly more expensive in Barcelona.

A Real Expat Family Cost of Living Example

From [url=][/url] How much do I need to live to a good standard of living in Spain? Well one man's good is another man's great. So I thought it might be interesting to share how we budget on a monthly basis. About us: We are a family of 6 - my wife and I, and 4 kids ages 12, 11, 6, and 6. So perhaps, if you are a family of 4 it could be 30-40% less. We like to eat out, we like to play sports, and we like to ensure our kids have a few activities. We are residents, so we use public healthcare, and our kids go to the local state school (which by the way we are pleased with). We are both self-employed. So here it goes, .our monthly running costs… Fixed Costs
  • Rent/Mortgage €800/month (3 bedrooms, Torreguadiaro, Walk to beach, pool, tennis courts - we downsized from 5 Bed Townhouse at €1250/month to save rent during Covid19)
  • Car Finance €400/month (6 seater)
  • Community Fees €113/month
  • IBI €178/yr i.e. €15/month
  • Autonomo x 2 €300/month (Wife and I are self employed)
  • Assessor x 2 €120/month (Accountants)
  • Semi-Fixed
  • Water €40/month
  • Electric €75/month
  • Internet €80/month (Movistar package with 2 mobiles, Netflix, and Fixed Line)
  • Wood €60/month (we have a wood burner we love to sit by in Winters)
  • Kids Activities €200/month (Art Club & Rugby - when opened up again)
  • Variable Costs (Average)
  • Petrol €250/month (I drive a lot on viewing tours)
  • Groceries €600/month (We use Mercadona/LIDL)
  • Eating Out €400/month (Lots of cheap coffees, pizza night fridays, and a couple of get togethers with friends a month)
  • Activities/Excursions €120/month (trips to zoo or waterpark)
  • Golf €150/month (I am a member of a golf society for €95/month + 1 other round)
  • Total per month = €3,723/month

Notable exceptions

Since we live in Southern Spain, we do not save for holidays like we used to living in Denmark, nor do we have a clothing budget. Reason is the weather - so far the holidays have been local and clothes are t-shirts/shorts and hand me downs. Xmas and Birthdays are when we might splash out. When we make "extra money" e.g. the wife has a good summer season at her takeaway or I make a few sales - that's when we splurge. Healthcare is also something not taken into consideration. A recent quote via an insurance partner for customers (a 50-60 year old couple) was around €200/month, however that also included home insurance. Spain has a Non Lucrative Visa which allows for residency if you can support yourself living here without employment in Spain. They ask for €2,130/month and a further €530/month for each additional person. Our €3,723/month would be 1 Adult and 3 additional people so for a family of 6 we are under that and living pretty well. Obviously we have to watch our money, work hard, and can´t do all the things our friends want to do when they come over to visit. But as my wife says... “I'd rather be "poor" in Spain, than rich in Denmark", the weather just has so much value, and we get 300 days of sunshine here. To be outdoors a lot taking walks and swimming in the sea is free and we can do that pretty much whenever we want, and ultimately...Health is Wealth!

Last updated 11 02 2021

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brennie said:

Good info. May I ask ?

In the ''cost of living in Spain'' section you say that it costs ?350 a month on food for 2 people. This works out at ?11.51 a day. I think that ?4 a day would be more than enough to have a quality dinner for two and ?2 would get breakfast, lunch and supper for two.

Would you break down what you spend ?11.51 on each day.

Thank you kindly, Brendan

sally2 said:

Brenden, yes you could get by on 6 euro a day most days. But what about the one day you go out to eat and spend 40 euros? That throws off the average. It's best not to plan for the bare minimum as you know there will be days that you deviate from that.

compvend said:

It is really a great information for people planning to go to live in Barcelona (Spain). I am thinking to move for some years, but with the crisis and so on not sure if it is the good moment to do it. I also found a blog on about Barcelona written by a local guy giving local information and tips. It may interest people who plan to go there for living, like me.

Juan Carlos Gedler said:

Can anyone help me to figure out this?

I live in Miami I am planning to spend 3 months in Barcelona using my full monthly salary to pay my expenses of $5000 per month. That's not enough for me living in Miami, I was wondering if that will be enough to have a not such a extravagance single life in Barcelona. I'm looking to rent a 1bd apt furnished, in central Barcelona, work from home using my computer and internet connection, at nights go out for dinner, getaway weekends (small trips around), have a bike or a scooter.

I want to do it this July to Sept. Thanks for your advice.

davehall.02 said:

Would an income of 27,000 Euros p.a. be enough for a family of four to live in or near Sevilla. I hear that taxes are greater that in the UK - what would be the monthly take home pay on this income?


kirina.boykova said:

Hello, could anyone tell me what is the average price per month for a private nursery in Spain? I would much appreciate it.

Thank you.

divyamar23 said:


I have got an opportunity to work in Spain, and they are offering around euro 28000 per annul.Is it as per standard, and what is the living cost in Spain for a couple as per today standards.

Thank you.

laslokovacs60 said:


About how much would public transportation costs be per month in either Madrid or Barcelona if lets say you are taking the metro everyday to and from work?

Thank you.

adianjlawschool said:

Hi there guys,

I am from South Africa yes i know its a 3rd world country so i have more to worry! Our money is worth next to nothing when it comes to the US dollar and the Euros, never the less I am going to study the TEFL course in Barcelona and I am single, what i would like to know will about 6000 euros be enough for me to live a simple life for +-3 months in Spain...I really don't need much to be entertained...LOL. Please can somebody put my mind abit at ease. Thank you all the way from South Africa

Thank you

stephaniemdl said:


I need help figuring how much money to save before I move to Spain it would be me and my boyfriend. I want to be knowledgeable before moving into somewhere different then California!=steff

Thank you!

buzz2011 said:


Please provide me with "cost of living" for Seville & Gallicia. Cost of rentals?


stevelawns said:


Living in Spain is worth and if you think that you are been going over your budget just try to find something because here in Spain spending is worth!

Thank you!


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