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Cost of living - why so difficult?

Cost of living - why so difficult?

Old Aug 29th 2015, 3:48 am
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Default Cost of living - why so difficult?

I was thinking of moving to France, but have changed tack and am looking toward Spain. Once again the old chestnut of cost of living is a problem to figure out. The main issue is, despite many posts asking the same question from many people, it's never really answered and responses tend to be woolly and how long's a piece of string(y).


If a Spaniard asked me of the UK, how much do I need to live for a family of 4, I think I could give a pretty succinct answer? Assuming no rent, you'd scrape by on £10k a year, but it would be hard. $16k would still be low, but you'd run a car and maybe 2 weeks camping a year. £25k (average family income), you'd be fine, with some luxuries, foreign holiday and eat out on occasion. £30k + you'd have few worries and maybe even save a few quid. Now I understand this is only an average family living in an average town plus or minus a few grand, and things would skew for London or the other end of the spectrum, but I'd not be far off the money. Can anyone give a really rough guide along similar lines?


Thanks, Martin.

Last edited by MartinAnt; Aug 29th 2015 at 4:27 am.
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Old Aug 29th 2015, 4:55 am
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Default Re: Cost of living - why so difficult?

1000€ per month to run two properties and a car. Booze, meals out, and holidays extra.

However we live in the Canaries and here most things are cheaper, the climate is better, no heating or air-conditioning. Different areas will no doubt have different prices.
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Old Aug 29th 2015, 7:19 am
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Default Re: Cost of living - why so difficult?

Originally Posted by MartinAnt
If a Spaniard asked me of the UK, how much do I need to live for a family of 4, I think I could give a pretty succinct answer? Assuming no rent, you'd scrape by on £10k a year, but it would be hard.
No .... sorry, it's not that easy at all. People can give you a rough idea for sure, but in the UK if you were living in for instance London or the Midlands then the cost of living would be quite different

Same applies to Spain, it can be dependent on the area you live in.
In the CB North with no rent we were able to live a reasonably good life on €12-1500 a month. But thats on our lifestyle. For someone who enjoys eating out more, it would be more, and also I'm guessing it would be more costly in Marbella and surrounds

I guess Bosleys estimate above makes a point .... €500 a month difference
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Old Aug 29th 2015, 8:24 am
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Default Re: Cost of living - why so difficult?

Originally Posted by MartinAnt
I was thinking of moving to France, but have changed tack and am looking toward Spain. Once again the old chestnut of cost of living is a problem to figure out. The main issue is, despite many posts asking the same question from many people, it's never really answered and responses tend to be woolly and how long's a piece of string(y).


If a Spaniard asked me of the UK, how much do I need to live for a family of 4, I think I could give a pretty succinct answer? Assuming no rent, you'd scrape by on £10k a year, but it would be hard. $16k would still be low, but you'd run a car and maybe 2 weeks camping a year. £25k (average family income), you'd be fine, with some luxuries, foreign holiday and eat out on occasion. £30k + you'd have few worries and maybe even save a few quid. Now I understand this is only an average family living in an average town plus or minus a few grand, and things would skew for London or the other end of the spectrum, but I'd not be far off the money. Can anyone give a really rough guide along similar lines?


Thanks, Martin.
The question about cost of living keeps coming up, but what do you need to live? Certain things will be cheaper in Spain, but other things will be pricier. We all have different spending habits, so you can only go by what most people do. I live in Ireland and have a holiday home in Spain, but if you ask an Irish person if Spain is cheaper, 90% will say yes. Main reason why they think it's cheaper is because booze and cigarettes are so cheap, so if you spend most of your money on these things you'll find it cheap. Eating out is also cheaper in Spain. If I look at other things, I'm paying less for electricity here compared to Spain, my water is free, most clothing is cheaper. When it comes to food, It's also pretty hard to compare unless you compare brands. In Ireland I pay less for my milk in general and would also say that it's better quality, but in Spain the tomatoes are way better and cheaper. One example is Lidl in Spain where mushrooms are on offer for 59c, but a few weeks ago I got some here for 49c. As you can see it's not always that easy.
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Old Aug 29th 2015, 10:15 am
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Default Re: Cost of living - why so difficult?

Your question sounds simple, but there is no easy answer.
In the UK many spend far more than £30K and many more have to make do on £65.42 / week JSA.
In Spain it is the same story, except there is 0€ JSA.
Cost of living in Spain is similar to the UK. Thus cost of living for YOU in Spain will be very similar to whatever you currently spend in UK.
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Old Aug 29th 2015, 5:42 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living - why so difficult?

Originally Posted by missile
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Cost of living in Spain is similar to the UK. Thus cost of living for YOU in Spain will be very similar to whatever you currently spend in UK.
At the current rate of exchange the cost of living in Spain is significantly lower than the UK.
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Old Aug 29th 2015, 8:08 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living - why so difficult?

Originally Posted by johnnyone
At the current rate of exchange the cost of living in Spain is significantly lower than the UK.
Very true. I guess I ought to have said whatever you spend in UK £ will give you a guide to what you will spend in Spain in €.
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Old Aug 29th 2015, 8:36 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living - why so difficult?

Originally Posted by missile
Very true. I guess I ought to have said whatever you spend in UK £ will give you a guide to what you will spend in Spain in €.
Its difficult to judge I guess, because when I moved to Spain the r/ex was around 1.50 and the cost of living was hugely less in Spain. Then the crash came and we ended up very close to parity. Even then though (at a time when we were spending a lot of time in the UK and Spain), the cost of living was still less in Spain in the area we lived in (CB North). It's also down to habits. We stopped doing our full shop in Murkydonna, and instead went to Aldi or Lidl first. It's surprising how much we saved. Menu del dia was still good value and prices even dropped, although it was noticeable that in some places the portions diminished.

So all the time we were in Spain I found the cost of living less, by varying degrees, but as I said further up the thread I do think it depends on what area you live in
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Old Aug 29th 2015, 8:42 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living - why so difficult?

Originally Posted by missile
Your question sounds simple, but there is no easy answer.
In the UK many spend far more than £30K and many more have to make do on £65.42 / week JSA.
In Spain it is the same story, except there is 0€ JSA.
Cost of living in Spain is similar to the UK. Thus cost of living for YOU in Spain will be very similar to whatever you currently spend in UK.
Thanks for the replies, and I do appreciate the time you've taken, but why is it difficult to give broad averages when I can do it for the UK?
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Old Aug 29th 2015, 9:41 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living - why so difficult?

Originally Posted by MartinAnt
Thanks for the replies, and I do appreciate the time you've taken, but why is it difficult to give broad averages when I can do it for the UK?
Your original post ref the UK sugested anywhere between £10K and £30K+ which in your own words

Originally Posted by MartinAnt
, it's never really answered and responses tend to be woolly
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Old Aug 29th 2015, 10:03 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living - why so difficult?

Originally Posted by Fredbargate
Your original post ref the UK sugested anywhere between £10K and £30K+ which in your own words
... is very woolly.

To be as concise as the OP was, take your figures, convert to Euros, it's the same in Spain.
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Old Aug 29th 2015, 10:06 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living - why so difficult?

Originally Posted by Fredbargate
Your original post ref the UK sugested anywhere between £10K and £30K+ which in your own words

Sure, but I've given an outline of what one can expect within each bracket.
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Old Aug 29th 2015, 10:44 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living - why so difficult?

Originally Posted by MartinAnt
Sure, but I've given an outline of what one can expect within each bracket.
Hi from the France forum!
Maybe you should give more info on the Spain forum about the source of your income and your child's schooling? I imagine that Spain is the same as France, in that you'd have to budget for private healthcare insurance and for all expenses involved with education, whether Spanish State or International. It's not just a question of general cost of living....
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Old Aug 29th 2015, 10:51 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living - why so difficult?

Originally Posted by MartinAnt
Sure, but I've given an outline of what one can expect within each bracket.
True, but even within the bands you stated there will be big differences as to what people can afford depending on their lifestyle, In the UK, some people will only shop at Waitrose, while others buy most of their food etc at Lidl or Aldi, so the weekly spend will be very different, those that buy cheaply might well spend their spare money on trips to the thearte etc, while those shopping at Waitrose might well not be able to afford that. It's always going to be horses for courses, and whereas people on here can say what they do, survive on, live on it will only be for them, and the person next door will have a spending system much different.
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Old Aug 29th 2015, 10:54 pm
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Default Re: Cost of living - why so difficult?

Look, like for like Budweiser. In Cobham Surrey 1 & 1/2 pints £7.60 CB Cabo Roig €5 = £3.60… £4 less nuff said. Get yourself to Spain.
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