Costs of Living in Spain Budget – Actual Spend (Months 8,9 &10)

We are now in our 11th month and it’s time to provide you an overview/summary of our costs of living in Spain and our actual spend from the last Quarter.  This post happens to cover months eight, nine and ten or Quarter 2 of 2013.

Our Budget in Spain for a family of 4 is $100/day.

Yep, that is not a typo, $100 a day for a family of 4 living in Spain!  This includes our planned travel and our daily expenses.  Yes, I have done all of the math and have some crazy spreadsheets to keep track of everything for our needs in great detail.  For you, I am providing the general buckets and how we are tracking to goal.  Sometimes when we are over budget, it is just a bit and averages out because we were under in another area.  The Summer budget will be quite different as we plan to travel for several weeks.

Other budget posts about living costs Spain

Costs of living in Spain – Summary of our Actual Spend for Quarter 2, 2013.
cost of living in SpainLiving Costs Spain

Below I will provide a bit of a summary for each broad category

During this quarter the exchange rate wasn’t always good to us.  It did fluctuate a bit higher than what we are used to, thus more $ used.

Housing costs

  • This should stay pretty steady through our time in Spain.  Our lease is good through September.  Most of our utilities are included in rent (Water, Electric, Garbage).

Food costs

  • We finally got a handle on the food purchasing and were either on budget or below.  Of course for the entire month of April, Alan’s mom rented a villa nearby and cooked incredible dinners for us.  So I have to say that really helped our food budget for that month.  Thanks Mom!
  • In June we started our Summer 2013 Road Trip, so the last 7 days of the month were on the road.  Thus eating out more and a bit more expensive.  We have a different budget for the summer and will share that in the next quarterly post.  So we are over for the standard budget, but on track for the summer budget.


  • Our cell phones and internet are pretty consistent and we meet or slightly go under budget.
  • In June, we were over our standard monthly budget because we purchased 2 SIM cards for our phones while in Italy.  While we appear over for the standard monthly budget, we did factor this in for our summer road trip budget.  We will share that separate budget in the fall after all expense are calculated and documented.


  • We have been either spot on budget with our fuel and auto expenses or a bit under each month. The only exception was in April, when we had visitors the entire month.  We did a bit more driving than our normal day-to-day, but we had loads of fun.  In the grand scheme of things it all will average out for the quarter.
  • Also in April, we had our car serviced and oil change etc..   A nice €250 dingy lingy to the budget.
  • This fund is also covering our bottles of butane for “gas” in the home.  We purchase the butane from the service station and it is just easier to lump into this budget.  While it is technically a “utility” for the home, we factor it in here.  It is about €18 for a bottle.  This is what we use to heat water in our tank less heater.  In the summer this is also used for our new gas grill.


  • Okay, this was nearly off the charts for the quarter.   We needed to purchase our son a new pair of glasses and nope, not covered by insurance.  We also splurged and the guys went to a professional Spanish Fútbol game.  We purchased an additional portable hard drive and supplies to prepare for our Summer Road Trip.  While we knew some of the expenses were inevitable, we didn’t know exactly how much it would be. Also when we use cash it goes to Miscellaneous, as I don’t like to keep all of the receipts and track our every move.

Summary on costs to live in Spain

In retrospect, I think we did GREAT!  I can’t believe we are living in Spain on this budget.  To top it all off, we have been able to explore!  During Quarter 2, we visited  Seville, RondaSpanish Fútbol, explored the nude beach, got wet at the big water fight in Lanjarón and started our Summer 2013 Road trip.

I hope I am not forgetting anything.  You need to keep us honest and let us know if you feel something has been left out.  I am not sure if you want more or less detail, so don’t be afraid to ask.  Feel free to ask questions and I can either reply via comments, update the post or email you privately about our budget for living abroad.  I just want to be sure this information is of use to you.

If you are interested in a Career Break, just ask your questions or read our post.

Thanks for reading!

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