Living costs?

Old Mar 12th 2011, 8:21 am
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Default Re: Living costs?

Good posts from JFL and Agoreira, I agree with bealer too. Everyone seems to mention council tax comparison but it's only cheaper if living in a rural area and not an urbanisation. On the coast almost everyone has urbanisation fees even if living in a villa with a large plot of land. Typical tax for a 2/2 apartment is 500pa then community fees of at least 100 per month but can be a lot more. Also for people with a low income in the UK they wouldn't have to pay anything.
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Old Mar 12th 2011, 8:31 am
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Default Re: Living costs?

Originally Posted by chrisjolly
I agree we dont need the hundred and first! Surprising though, that if there has been so much written in previous threads why do people still say its expensive to live in Spain. Just try spending less..simples!
Spend less, yes a sensible solution.

But I often read about how some people are spending less, they cut down on the heating, and dont eat out, ask where the car boot sales are to either buy or sell secondhand stuff, when probabley they never did that in the UK.

People looking through the "contenadores" and being delighted a finding a picture frame that they can sell for 2 euros on the car boot...


I am sure those same people did not go through the weelie bins in the UK.

Talking about the price of bombonas, when they go up by 50 cents. Not going in Pacos bar for a coffee because the swine has put the price up by 10 cents,
and the pinchitos in Bar Carlos are so big that if you have 2 beers you dont have to eat lunch.

Getting your spuds from mercadona, but eggs from Alcampo because they are 5 cents cheaper the dozen.

If things are so close to the bone, can anybody really say that they are "living their dream" I could not.


As it has been pointed out, you shoud be where you are happiest, but at what cost.

Last edited by JLFS; Mar 12th 2011 at 8:34 am.
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Old Mar 12th 2011, 8:45 am
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Default Re: Living costs?

Originally Posted by JLFS
If things are so close to the bone, can anybody really say that they are "living their dream" I could not.
I've always said if you can retire to Spain with a wad of cash, don't need a job, don't need to worry about exchange fluctuations, it can be a great life, you can live the dream. But when I read of people shuffling around a freezing cold house in winter, huddled around a bombona or estufa, living on menu del dia's, drinking €1 plonk, I can't really see the fun in that. I can understand people living there for a much improved lifestyle, but many seem to be going backwards. If you're going to be poor, there are worse places to be than UK.
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Old Mar 12th 2011, 9:00 am
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Default Re: Living costs?

Originally Posted by JLFS
Spend less, yes a sensible solution.

But I often read about how some people are spending less, they cut down on the heating, and dont eat out, ask where the car boot sales are to either buy or sell secondhand stuff, when probabley they never did that in the UK.

People looking through the "contenadores" and being delighted a finding a picture frame that they can sell for 2 euros on the car boot...


I am sure those same people did not go through the weelie bins in the UK.

Talking about the price of bombonas, when they go up by 50 cents. Not going in Pacos bar for a coffee because the swine has put the price up by 10 cents,
and the pinchitos in Bar Carlos are so big that if you have 2 beers you dont have to eat lunch.

Getting your spuds from mercadona, but eggs from Alcampo because they are 5 cents cheaper the dozen.

If things are so close to the bone, can anybody really say that they are "living their dream" I could not.


As it has been pointed out, you shoud be where you are happiest, but at what cost.
All very true ,Spain is not a nice place to live if you dont have money and are state dependant, if you have money it`s great place to live
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Old Mar 12th 2011, 9:06 am
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Default Re: Living costs?

What we found was that it was expensive actually setting up in Spain. Moving all our stuff here, buying cars, bits and pieces, paying deposits, fees, getting electricals set up etc. etc.....

Living here is possibly a bit cheaper than the uk, but that hasnt made up for the cost of actually settling here!

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Old Mar 12th 2011, 10:30 am
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Default Re: Living costs?

A person would have to be very wealthy not to be affected by the exchange rate. A few years ago a £10,000 per month pension would have bought an income in euros of at least 15,000 euro per month now only 11,500 per month. That is a shortfall of 3500 each month! Something has to give, less expensive holidays, not changing the car as often etc. The higher the income the more you lose.

I have seen a lot of British who seem to live hand to mouth. A JFLS say there are an awful lot stood around the car boot sales. It isn't living the dream, the sun doesn't always shine and it can be cold. Wandering around LIDL trying to save a couple of euros is a depressing thought/way to end your life.
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Old Mar 12th 2011, 10:39 am
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Default Re: Living costs?

Originally Posted by jojojojojo
What we found was that it was expensive actually setting up in Spain. Moving all our stuff here, buying cars, bits and pieces, paying deposits, fees, getting electricals set up etc. etc.....

Living here is possibly a bit cheaper than the uk, but that hasnt made up for the cost of actually settling here!

Jo xxx
Yes, the payback time must be quite long to recover all the intial cash splashed out just to get you and your stuff out there and set up. Seeing what some people pay just to transport pets back and forwards to UK would make your hair curl! As you say, living might be marginally cheaper in Spain, but those that are working will generally be getting a better wage in UK.
At a slight tangent, some people we know have two teenage kids in UK, one in college and one banned from school. Seems they both have been tagged as ADHD and actually get disability money for it, I couldn't believe it, I'd never heard of it! The kids are a bit chopsy, like most kids, but apart from that they seem fine.
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Old Mar 12th 2011, 10:57 am
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Smile Re: Living costs?

Originally Posted by jackytoo
A person would have to be very wealthy not to be affected by the exchange rate. A few years ago a £10,000 per month pension would have bought an income in euros of at least 15,000 euro per month now only 11,500 per month. That is a shortfall of 3500 each month! Something has to give, less expensive holidays, not changing the car as often etc. The higher the income the more you lose.

I have seen a lot of British who seem to live hand to mouth. A JFLS say there are an awful lot stood around the car boot sales. It isn't living the dream, the sun doesn't always shine and it can be cold. Wandering around LIDL trying to save a couple of euros is a depressing thought/way to end your life.
I thought I was one of the lucky ones but a £10,000 per month pension, who are you Sir Stuart Rose! At that level all the essentials are paid for and a great chunk is discretionary spending so it is easier to cut things, change the bently every two years eat out once a day that kind of thing.
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Old Mar 12th 2011, 10:59 am
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Default Re: Living costs?

Originally Posted by jackytoo

I have seen a lot of British who seem to live hand to mouth. A JFLS say there are an awful lot stood around the car boot sales. It isn't living the dream, the sun doesn't always shine and it can be cold. Wandering around LIDL trying to save a couple of euros is a depressing thought/way to end your life.
Well there are plenty in the UK who stand around car boot sales or go to Lidl! But the OP knows their income, and isn't asking about that. They're asking about a comparison of living costs. Most of the essentials - fuel or public transport, food and drink (if they stick to local brands/produce), council tax, television license etc will be cheaper. Certain things like printed materials and clothes may be more expensive. As for house costs - this will depend on area, especially if a choice is made to live near the coast. Since they are currently in the south-east of England I imagine they'd find most areas a bit cheaper (with exceptions like Barcelona and Madrid). A different matter if they came from Bradford or Middlesbrough

As for "the sun doesn't always shine", you could also say "it doesn't always rain in the UK". But I'd imagine you get a lot more sunny hot days on the Costas than in Manchester or Basingstoke! (too hot in summer for my liking, but everyone's different)
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Old Mar 12th 2011, 11:02 am
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Default Re: Living costs?

Originally Posted by chrisjolly
Hi Adra, I really dont understand why people say that living in Spain is as expensive as living in the UK...they must spend more on shopping as the cost of local rates, water, basura, electricity, road tax, TV licence!, Fino, fruit and vegatables is much less than the UK. Maybe I should write an article on how to live cheap in Spain...it is more expensive than when the peseta was here but its still cheap.......
Totally agree with your examples. However, there are exceptions like printed materials, supply of internet etc that seem to be normally more expensive in Spain.
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Old Mar 12th 2011, 11:20 am
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Default Re: Living costs?

I suppose we all have to agree to disagree, I definitely don't think Spain is cheaper, and for the comments about buying UK products etc,well I don't we don'tlive were they sell anything British, luckily for us we don't need to work and live and spend as we wish, but I still think its probably more expensive to live in Spain,but as I said we will never all agree, I just think its important to point out the downside to newcomers, especially now with the crisis effecting so many,it makes me shudder when I still see people telling others they will find work in Spain if they only try hard enough. I agree with those who said that if you have enough money then life can be as good as it is in the UK for them,or if you like the sun it can be even better, but I feel sure others will disagree !
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Old Mar 12th 2011, 11:27 am
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Default Re: Living costs?

Originally Posted by John & Kath
I thought I was one of the lucky ones but a £10,000 per month pension, who are you Sir Stuart Rose! At that level all the essentials are paid for and a great chunk is discretionary spending so it is easier to cut things, change the bently every two years eat out once a day that kind of thing.
I didn't say I got it Only an example as some people do and it's not nice to have to cut back whatever your lifestyle. Just trying to point out that because of the poor exchange rate the more you earn (GBP) the more you are reducing your lifestyle if making the move to Spain. Even a smaller income of say£20,000 pa. gives a reduced purchasing power of 7000 euro to what it did 2 years ago....quite a lot needs cutting back out of that small income. I think in total cost of living is about the same in both countries so what I am saying if you make the move from the UK then you are losing a considerable amount of purchasing power right away.
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Old Mar 12th 2011, 11:32 am
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Default Re: Living costs?

Originally Posted by steviedeluxe
Well there are plenty in the UK who stand around car boot sales or go to Lidl!
Yes there are plenty of hard up people in the UK. What I am saying is that there are a lot of ex-pats selling at boot sales, scrapping around to make a living etc in Spain who would not have lived like that in the UK...I know a few.
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Old Mar 12th 2011, 11:34 am
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Default Re: Living costs?

Originally Posted by steviedeluxe
Well there are plenty in the UK who stand around car boot sales or go to Lidl! But the OP knows their income, and isn't asking about that. They're asking about a comparison of living costs. Most of the essentials - fuel or public transport, food and drink (if they stick to local brands/produce), council tax, television license etc will be cheaper. Certain things like printed materials and clothes may be more expensive. As for house costs - this will depend on area, especially if a choice is made to live near the coast. Since they are currently in the south-east of England I imagine they'd find most areas a bit cheaper (with exceptions like Barcelona and Madrid). A different matter if they came from Bradford or Middlesbrough

As for "the sun doesn't always shine", you could also say "it doesn't always rain in the UK". But I'd imagine you get a lot more sunny hot days on the Costas than in Manchester or Basingstoke! (too hot in summer for my liking, but everyone's different)
Exactly - thank you for coming back to my original question steviedeluxe, and thank you for your helpful post

We are moving to the Canaries, NOT mainland Spain, so heating the house will not be necessary (I hope! )
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Old Mar 12th 2011, 11:50 am
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Default Re: Living costs?

Originally Posted by Mixer
Exactly - thank you for coming back to my original question steviedeluxe, and thank you for your helpful post

We are moving to the Canaries, NOT mainland Spain, so heating the house will not be necessary (I hope! )
True, quite a big saving.
You shouldn't have any heating bills as long as you stay in a coastal area at lower level, best of all on the Southern coasts.
Up in the mountains their can be just a very occasional need for a little heating.
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