Cost Of Living In Spain For A Family Of 4 – All Expenses Shared

We lived along the beautiful southern coast of Spain for nearly two years.  It was in a small town named Almuñécar and we used this as our home base to explore more of Europe as well.  We kept track of every expenditure along the way and have shared our cost of living in Spain with you.  This page is a compilation of our expenses in Spain and how much it really cost for our family of 4 to live in Spain.

What is the cost of living in Spain for a family of 4? We've captured all of our costs for a year to share with you. Including a 6 week European road trip! Read more on WagonersAbroad.com

Keeping dates in mind.

Update: October 2017 – Keep in mind these expenses were for the full year of 2013.  At the time the exchange rate average was 1 Euro to $1.38 USD.   As of October 2017 the exchange rate average was 1 Euro to $1.20 USD.  What does that mean?  Our spend in euros remains about the same after nearly 5 years, but the exchange rate fluctuates.

In 2013 1000 Euros = $1380 USD and in 2017 1000 Euros = $1200, so just from the change in exchange rate alone  it is a $180 USD savings per 1000 Euros spent!  Bottom line = It is currently cheaper for you to Live in Spain or your $ will go a lot further than it used to.

Of course as with any budget, expense or cost of living post, it will vary depending on location, family size and lifestyle.  We do not promise you will find the same experience, but we think what we did is very possible for many.  Of course that may mean giving up a clothes dryer, dishwasher and some modern conveniences as well, but it is all possible with budgets.  Of course our budget is about $100 per day for a family of 4 (about $3000 a month).  This is our budget if we are in a home base in Spain or traveling the world.

Do you want to know how much our cost of living in Spain was?

We share our budget details with you and will publish a quarterly update with actual vs planned as well.

We hope all of this helps you in some way to plan your time in Spain.  Of course you will make different choices than we did, but this is only meant as a guide.  Just one data point from one family, whom you may have something or nothing in common with.  I wouldn’t say one more or one less person would change your costs dramatically.  If you are just a couple or family of 8, you know your spending habits.  You can compare and make adjustments as needed.

Please feel free to review our info on the cost of living in Spain posts below.  Feel free to ask us questions and make comments.

 

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19 thoughts on “Cost Of Living In Spain For A Family Of 4 – All Expenses Shared

  1. I keep seeing posts about Spain. I think it’s a sign that I need to add it to my 2016 bucket list. Rather than visiting for a week, I would consider living there for a few months. It’s always helpful to have actual costs rather than guessing. Thanks 🙂

  2. Wow, I had no idea Spain is so much cheaper overall! Last time we went there, I admit, I didn’t pay that much attention how much we’re spending on food, but it seemed expensive. Maybe cost of Spain is cheaper than Madrid, though.

    • That’s great Dana. Do keep in mind the exchange rate at the time was much worse than it is now. You can check the rates and see how much better it is now.

  3. Thank you so much for all the very detailed expense reports, this in so valuable for us especially as we plan our full-time travel life coming up in July. I have to really study your reports carefully and set a realistic budget for ourselves. Thanks again Heidi.

  4. Fascinating. I always wonder how long-term travelers manage to afford it, and this helps me better understand how do-able it is if it really is your dream. Good luck on your next adventure!

  5. Hi Heidi,
    We’ve bought a house in Navarra and will be moving there in July 2016. Looking for leads on health insurance we took your advice and contacted Sanitas.. But four emails to them have gone unanswered and when I fill out the request for quote form on their website it rejects my U.S. telephone number. Do you have any tips for moving this forward? Did you have to deal situation with this or were you already in Spain when you bought health insurance.

    • Hey Jennifer. Thanks for contacting us. We decided to use DKVSeguros this time around and it was very easy. There are a couple of local agents in our town, so I just did it all in person. We actually found it was much cheaper in person too, as our agent had a plan that was not available online. When purchasing the Spanish health insurance, you may need to already be living in Spain or have your resident card. Is there a number you can call? We are not affiliated with any of the insurance companies at all, we are just sharing our individual research with everyone. I hope that helps, but perhaps look at DKVSeguros. They offer Spanish health insurance, but are a German based company. So far we are very pleased with services, access online and prices.

      • Happy Thanksgiving from Seattle!
        Thanks for suggesting DKV Seguros for health insurance. They’ve been very helpful. We were concerned there was a difference between public and private hospitals and how private insurance differentiates between them in Spain. I spoke earlier today with DKV and they assured me both kinds of facilities are covered just the same. I wanted to ask you as an enlightened expat if you have had any difficulties with their insurance coverage being accepted anywhere? When you have used a doctor or hospital that isn’t on their list, how have you found their reimbursement process to work?
        The kinds of questions I’ve asked them as a paranoid American insurance user has them a little baffled. It’s a refreshing cultural shift to deal with a system that assumes you will get the treatment you need instead of putting up roadblocks and restrictions to minimize your use.

        • Well so far we haven’t had to use out of the network or at a hospital. We have only used dental and things that have been 100% covered. There are a few other expats in the area using it too and I have not heard any bad experiences. Yes, things are much more relaxed over here, but with good medical treatments. Very different from the USA for sure and refreshing. It is nice to know you can afford good care. When are you planning the hop over to Spain?

  6. I am about to buy the ebook “Live in Spain”. In what format will it download to my iPad?
    Also any information about best ex pat (American friendly) banks in Spain to open an account and most economical way to transfer money from USA to that Spanish acvount.
    Thanks

    • Hey Joseph, the ebook is a pdf download. As far as banks, some of that will depend on where you will be located and what is available. We have been very happy with Sabadell / Solbank. When it comes to transferring money, you will find HiFX ad on the sidebar of our blog. Just click on that and read all about it. We know many people who have been very happy with that. Do check carefully your bank wire transfer fees as well, just to see what deals they give you, but they tend not to give the best exchange rates. If we don’t need to transfer much, we actually just take cash out of the ATM from USA bank and then walk it into our Spanish bank for a deposit. So I guess there isn’t one answer, we transfer many ways depending on the amount and the purpose. We like to keep the bare minimum in our Spain bank. I hope that helps.

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