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Do you find the general cost of living cheaper in Spain than in the UK?

Do you find the general cost of living cheaper in Spain than in the UK?

Old Aug 8th 2011, 2:45 pm
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Default Do you find the general cost of living cheaper in Spain than in the UK?

My Husband and I really want to move to Spain, we have been to Spain a few times a year for 5 years and therefore know where we want to live, how much it costs to rent houses in that area and cost of day to day supermarket shopping etc but we aren't sure about the cost of household bills compared to the UK and we want to make a true financial workout of what it will cost us to live on a monthly basis.
I know that rent is lower than in the UK by about a quarter and you don't have to give a massive wadge of cash to an estate agent as you do here. I also know that supermarket shopping is about a third cheaper for the things we would buy like fresh fish, salad, wine and petrol a little cheaper etc but what do you pay on average for say a 2 bed house for electricity, phoneline, internet, air-con, and what local taxes do you pay if any? We are looking at moving to the Nerja area and we wouldn't be getting jobs in Spain my Husband will be working remotely for the UK company he currently works for and so our income will remain the same. I'd be interested to know these things so have can have a truer reflection of what it is going to cost us. Thanks!
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Old Aug 8th 2011, 2:50 pm
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Default Re: Do you find the general cost of living cheaper in Spain than in the UK?

Originally Posted by emjharts View Post
My Husband and I really want to move to Spain, we have been to Spain a few times a year for 5 years and therefore know where we want to live, how much it costs to rent houses in that area and cost of day to day supermarket shopping etc but we aren't sure about the cost of household bills compared to the UK and we want to make a true financial workout of what it will cost us to live on a monthly basis.
I know that rent is lower than in the UK by about a quarter and you don't have to give a massive wadge of cash to an estate agent as you do here. I also know that supermarket shopping is about a third cheaper for the things we would buy like fresh fish, salad, wine and petrol a little cheaper etc but what do you pay on average for say a 2 bed house for electricity, phoneline, internet, air-con, and what local taxes do you pay if any? We are looking at moving to the Nerja area and we wouldn't be getting jobs in Spain my Husband will be working remotely for the UK company he currently works for and so our income will remain the same. I'd be interested to know these things so have can have a truer reflection of what it is going to cost us. Thanks!
This will almost certainly trigger the usual arguements as to which is cheaper, UK or Spain.

Some bits are,, some bits aren't, but it all depends on which part of the UK you compare to which part of Spain.

I personally think it's a bit cheaper living in Spain for day to day stuff. Some things like cars and white goods are more. Heating is less, but aircon for the hottest months is going to probably be an additional cost.

If you live in the campo, the council tax will be negligable, no TV licence fee, no little nazis standing over the bin wanting you to inventory every scrap of rubbish.

Costs in Spain are rising, but they aren't exactly going down in the UK, are they?
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Old Aug 8th 2011, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: Do you find the general cost of living cheaper in Spain than in the UK?

Originally Posted by bil View Post
This will almost certainly trigger the usual arguements as to which is cheaper, UK or Spain.

Some bits are,, some bits aren't, but it all depends on which part of the UK you compare to which part of Spain.

I personally think it's a bit cheaper living in Spain for day to day stuff. Some things like cars and white goods are more. Heating is less, but aircon for the hottest months is going to probably be an additional cost.

If you live in the campo, the council tax will be negligable, no TV licence fee, no little nazis standing over the bin wanting you to inventory every scrap of rubbish.

Costs in Spain are rising, but they aren't exactly going down in the UK, are they?
yes - wait for the sparks to fly!!!

you certainly get more for your money rental wise

gas & electricity costs per unit I understand aren't so far off the UK now - water is cheaper

internet costs are WAY more expensive - & WAY less reliable/accessible

decent clothes I think are more expensive

white goods/most electical items a little more expensive
- though there are bargains to be had

petrol much cheaper

if you shop exclusively in Spanish supermarkets & markets food is, on the whole, cheaper - & IMO better quality
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Old Aug 8th 2011, 3:32 pm
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Default Re: Do you find the general cost of living cheaper in Spain than in the UK?

how much would you pay for internet per month?

FYI we live in the Cotswold's in the UK and we want to move to the Nerja area of spain so we come from quite an expensive part of the UK! Indeed prices go up here every week, my favourite wine for example went up my 10p in 2 weeks, I particularly enjoy my trips to Mercadona over there and buying a litre of wine for 80 cents!, basics like bread and milk are always increasing in the UK too and fish particularly is very expensive and as for petrol well, that's just stupid. I guess we just need to take into consideration the air-con and internet then? It probably won't be much less living in Spain but I know our quality of life will increase dramatically, particularly as I suffer badly from SAD for half the year over here!
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Old Aug 8th 2011, 3:37 pm
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Default Re: Do you find the general cost of living cheaper in Spain than in the UK?

I presume you want examples and not just rhetoric? We live in a small village high in the mountains and our bills are (approx):

Electricity - 45euro a month (no air conditioning needed due to thickness of walls!)
Water - Nil (free, we are nearly at the source!)
Iberbanda, about 60euro a month for internet and telephone
Gas - (bottles for hob cooking and hot water) about 14euro a month

Wood (logs for the log burner in the Winter (Dec-Mar) about 250euro

Car Tax - Small car - 34euro a year
IBI Property tax - 32euro a year
Basura (Rubbish, sewage, etc) - 51.70euro a year

Fuel for car - about 50euro a month (includes a couple of trips to the coast each month)
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Old Aug 8th 2011, 3:44 pm
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Default Re: Do you find the general cost of living cheaper in Spain than in the UK?

I would say that the overall costs on a like for like basis are much the same, but if you suffer from SAD, just get on a plane.
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Old Aug 8th 2011, 3:45 pm
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Default Re: Do you find the general cost of living cheaper in Spain than in the UK?

We are with Movistar and pay 65 euros per month for telephone and internet. Very expensive and not the best service.

Graham
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Old Aug 8th 2011, 3:45 pm
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Default Re: Do you find the general cost of living cheaper in Spain than in the UK?

I don't think there is a lot in it

Electric, Internet, mobile and landline phones, electrical goods, clothes, toys(anything to do with children), cars are more expensive.

Eating out, general shopping(you don't get the deals like in the UK), water, gas are about the same.

Petrol, diesel, fags, alcohol, '"community charge""(although rubbish is charged extra), house rentals are slightly cheaper.

Being a non smoker and not really a drinker I think Spain is more expensive than the UK.
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Old Aug 8th 2011, 3:52 pm
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Default Re: Do you find the general cost of living cheaper in Spain than in the UK?

Originally Posted by bil View Post
This will almost certainly trigger the usual arguements as to which is cheaper, UK or Spain.

Some bits are,, some bits aren't, but it all depends on which part of the UK you compare to which part of Spain.

I personally think it's a bit cheaper living in Spain for day to day stuff. Some things like cars and white goods are more. Heating is less, but aircon for the hottest months is going to probably be an additional cost.

If you live in the campo, the council tax will be negligable, no TV licence fee, no little nazis standing over the bin wanting you to inventory every scrap of rubbish.

Costs in Spain are rising, but they aren't exactly going down in the UK, are they?

It's all relative. We live in the campo (can't get fast ADSL, no services etc...) and our IBI bill is 960 euros per year! Yes it's still a lot cheaper than where we moved from in UK (cotswolds), but I( would not consider it negligable).

We have to pay IBI and basura but also pay tax on the land (only 20 euros last year) - any one else pay all three?
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Old Aug 8th 2011, 3:56 pm
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Default Re: Do you find the general cost of living cheaper in Spain than in the UK?

Originally Posted by cymruambyth View Post
I presume you want examples and not just rhetoric? We live in a small village high in the mountains and our bills are (approx):

Electricity - 45euro a month (no air conditioning needed due to thickness of walls!)
Water - Nil (free, we are nearly at the source!)
Iberbanda, about 60euro a month for internet and telephone
Gas - (bottles for hob cooking and hot water) about 14euro a month

Wood (logs for the log burner in the Winter (Dec-Mar) about 250euro

Car Tax - Small car - 34euro a year
IBI Property tax - 32euro a year
Basura (Rubbish, sewage, etc) - 51.70euro a year

Fuel for car - about 50euro a month (includes a couple of trips to the coast each month)
Not really an average example is it! On the coast we paid 1200 IBI (council tax) & basura. 75 euro pm phone and internet. Water bill varied between 25 to 50+ euro according to season. Electric 80 to 120 euro pm. These figures are for just over a year ago. Then we had giant gas bottles for CH. Small bottles for one bathroom and gas hob...lost count of how many

Our car tax was 120 euro. Suppose it does have it's advantages lving "high on a hill somewhere"...until you fall ill, or the car breaks down
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Old Aug 8th 2011, 4:16 pm
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Default Re: Do you find the general cost of living cheaper in Spain than in the UK?

Originally Posted by jackytoo View Post
Not really an average example is it! On the coast we paid 1200 IBI (council tax) & basura. 75 euro pm phone and internet. Water bill varied between 25 to 50+ euro according to season. Electric 80 to 120 euro pm. These figures are for just over a year ago. Then we had giant gas bottles for CH. Small bottles for one bathroom and gas hob...lost count of how many

Our car tax was 120 euro. Suppose it does have it's advantages lving "high on a hill somewhere"...until you fall ill, or the car breaks down
IMO Best trick is to live in the campo near a small town. Our internet (not phone) is 22 a month, which is proportionately a lot methinks, wood 300 - 250, electric 80 a month exceopt July/Aug when it can double, especially when we are watering every day and using the a/c a lot. Today it was 43/44 in the shade. My friend in the UK still says he would trade utility/tax bills with me sight unseen.
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Old Aug 8th 2011, 4:34 pm
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Default Re: Do you find the general cost of living cheaper in Spain than in the UK?

What about the effect the exchange rate has on any comparison?
At its current rate c.1.15 I think overall prices are about equal. As the rate changes either way so does the comparison.
If you smoke and drink a lot of cheap plonk then Spain becomes cheaper.
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Old Aug 8th 2011, 4:36 pm
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Default Re: Do you find the general cost of living cheaper in Spain than in the UK?

Originally Posted by bil View Post
This will almost certainly trigger the usual arguements as to which is cheaper, UK or Spain.

Some bits are,, some bits aren't, but it all depends on which part of the UK you compare to which part of Spain.

I personally think it's a bit cheaper living in Spain for day to day stuff. Some things like cars and white goods are more. Heating is less, but aircon for the hottest months is going to probably be an additional cost.

If you live in the campo, the council tax will be negligable, no TV licence fee, no little nazis standing over the bin wanting you to inventory every scrap of rubbish.

Costs in Spain are rising, but they aren't exactly going down in the UK, are they?
I thought this was an excellent summary. Karma given. One thing that often comes as a surprise is that printed materials - books, newspapers are often more expensive in Spain. However, with the advent of the web, e-books etc., this is perhaps not the issue it used to be.
Also the OP mentioned her husband's salary remaining the same. Well it may do so in sterling terms, but given the exhange rate can change over time it may pay to speak to a professional advisor. No-one knows for sure what will happen in the future (and the pound could well increase in value against the Euro) but it's probably best to have some kind of hedging plan in case the pound plummets again - it's gone down quite a lot over the last few years.
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Old Aug 8th 2011, 5:00 pm
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Smile Re: Do you find the general cost of living cheaper in Spain than in the UK?

Originally Posted by cymruambyth View Post
I presume you want examples and not just rhetoric? We live in a small village high in the mountains and our bills are (approx):

Electricity - 45euro a month (no air conditioning needed due to thickness of walls!)
Water - Nil (free, we are nearly at the source!)
Iberbanda, about 60euro a month for internet and telephone
Gas - (bottles for hob cooking and hot water) about 14euro a month

Wood (logs for the log burner in the Winter (Dec-Mar) about 250euro

Car Tax - Small car - 34euro a year
IBI Property tax - 32euro a year
Basura (Rubbish, sewage, etc) - 51.70euro a year

Fuel for car - about 50euro a month (includes a couple of trips to the coast each month)
We got a good deal with Iberabanda which I think is still running of €41pm for 1 meg (up and down, good for skype) landline telephone number and 300 mins to UK.
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Old Aug 8th 2011, 5:14 pm
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Default Re: Do you find the general cost of living cheaper in Spain than in the UK?

Originally Posted by cymruambyth View Post
I presume you want examples and not just rhetoric? We live in a small village high in the mountains and our bills are (approx):

Electricity - 45euro a month (no air conditioning needed due to thickness of walls!)
Water - Nil (free, we are nearly at the source!)
Iberbanda, about 60euro a month for internet and telephone
Gas - (bottles for hob cooking and hot water) about 14euro a month

Wood (logs for the log burner in the Winter (Dec-Mar) about 250euro

Car Tax - Small car - 34euro a year
IBI Property tax - 32euro a year
Basura (Rubbish, sewage, etc) - 51.70euro a year

Fuel for car - about 50euro a month (includes a couple of trips to the coast each month)
IBI - 250 a year
Basura - 23 euros a month
Car tax 125 euros a year
Gas two bottles a month
Wood about the same
Water free from well
Electricity approx 80 euros a month with NO air conditioning
Movistar 55 euros a month

Fish isn´t cheap over here any more wine and whisky are so I am happy.

When we first moved over seven years ago someone told us we could live happily on 600 euros a month - they were lying.
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