Is it expensive to live in Spain? The cost of living in Spain revealed! So many people are planning the move, but don’t know the cost of living in Spain. We thought it was time for an up-to-date post, reviewing costs of things so you may plan for 2019! We will share detailed information about the cost of living in Spain. This includes groceries, utilities, rent, dental expenses (braces), phones, internet and rental cars in Spain.
So how much does it cost to live in Spain?
You know the answer to that already, don’t you? “It depends”
As with everything, you probably couldn’t answer that question for the country or even the town where you currently live. It all depends on your lifestyle choices, where you live, how often you eat out, habits, groceries, housing choices and so on.
What we will provide you with are data points and prices for the costs of living in Costa Tropical. We will also share some cost of living tools and general knowledge, which should help you estimate your cost of living in Spain based on your lifestyle.
How much does it cost to rent an apartment or a house in Spain?
It is best to search the various housing sites to see what current prices are. The prices vary depending on location, amenities and size. I will just go with what I know and that would be a standard 3 bedroom 2 bath apartment, about 1000 square feet. The price for something like this in Costa Tropical can range from about €400 – €1200 euros per month for a year lease. Yes that is a wide range, but it really depends on many factors. I would say the norm is about €600.
If you want a private villa, it will likely be on the outskirts of a town. The prices would range in our area from €700 – €2200 and higher, depending on amenities.
Many times you can find deals for the school year (September through June) as well. This is so people can rent their places out during the high summer season for weekly prices.
What is our cost of living in Spain?
For us we still spend about $3000 per month. It will vary slightly depending on the exchange rate and how much additional travel we do.
How much do you pay on average for public transportation (bus, subway, train, tram, taxi)?
It is €1 to ride the city bus around town, for one ride to the center point of town.
The bus to Granada or Malaga city center is about €8 each way
(1 1/2 -2 hours depending on route).
The cost to take the bus to Malaga Airport is about €8 each way. (1 1/2 -2 hours depending on route and time of day). A taxi would be about €85 each way and a shuttle is approximately €35 each way and a 1-hour drive. We have shared more transportation options from Malaga to Almuñécar.
Taking the bus to Motril is about €2 each way and it’s about a 30-minute ride.
The train to access other parts of Spain departs from Malaga and prices vary depending on location and dates. The Ave is a high-speed train and can transport you from Malaga to Madrid in 2 1/2 hours and can cost from €60 – €150 round trip.
How much do you pay for basic food items such as rice, bread, and pasta?
Here is our detailed post on the cost of groceries in Spain. The prices are pretty much the same as they were at the time of writing.
What is your monthly budget for groceries?
We spend about €500 – €600 euros per month or €120 – €150 a week at the grocery store and food. This amount includes our food, toiletries, cleaning supplies and eating out. This is just an average. Many times we spend much less depending on the meals we decide to make.
How much does it cost to see a doctor or health specialist in Spain?
Out of pocket without insurance can range from €50 – €80 for a general visit to a private doctor. If you have private health insurance, it will likely be a €10 – €15 copay, depending on your policy.
How much do you pay for health insurance per month?
The price of private health insurance in Spain varies depending on your age, family size, payment cycles, and options for coverage. The link above is a detailed review of the options we have made over the years as well as feedback from others we know. We chose to pay by the quarter and as of 2019 pay €375/quarter for our family of 4. This includes optical and dental as well. Read all of the details about our medical insurance in Spain.
What is your child’s schooling budget per month?
For Spanish public school, there isn’t really any monthly cost. There is the initial cost of some school supplies (pens, paper, folders, backpack and so on), which may cost about €50 per child. School books are usually provided by the school, with the exception of a workbook or two. Workbooks can be about €30 each. Through the year there may be some fundraisers or field trips as well, which would be an additional cost.
The private international school in our area can range from €6,500 to €10,000 per year depending on age of student and number of siblings. You will also have the cost of school uniforms, books, supplies and sometimes transportation.
What is the cost of a tutor per month?
The price for a tutor for your child in a group class can range from €35 – €55 per month. This would be to assist with school subjects including Spanish. This is for a student attending 3-4 times per week. Private tutoring would be more expensive.
What is the cost of Spanish lessons per month?
There are a variety of options for Spanish lessons. If you opt for a daily intensive course it will likely be €135 – €200 per week. Many times resident courses are also offered two times per week for 1-2 hours. This may cost €45 -€75 per month. Read more about Spanish lessons in Almuñécar.
How much does it cost to fill up your car’s fuel tank?
February 2019 Gas or Diesel fuel about €1.23 per liter (remember 3.8 liters are in a gallon — OUCH!) It is about €65 to fill up our car, which is a Peugeot Partner.
How much do you pay for electricity/gas/water etc., per month?
Gas – We use butane bottles for our on-demand hot water heater, BBQ and estufa (heater). The amount used varies depending on the season. I would say in the winter we get 1-2 bottles of butane per month and they are about €18 each. We use much less in the summer months.
Water – For our family of 4 it is an average of €35 per month. We don’t have a dishwasher, so this is hand washing dishes, showers, baths, laundry.
Electric – For our family of 4 it is an average of €65 per month (we have an electric stove and oven, but our heating for the home is by gas (the estufa mentioned above). The clothes dryer is a rack outside.) We basically have home electronics, lighting, stove top and oven which are electric. We don’t use an electric heater, which would be very expensive to run. We don’t have a dishwasher or clothes dryer.
Read all about our appliances in Spain too. This is just a bit of fun, as we adjusted to the lifestyle in Spain. Here is an update after a bit of time.
How much do you pay for your internet subscription?
For our internet, we currently have terrestrial satellite 30 Mbps down and 10 Mbps up. We pay about €50 per month, including taxes.
How much do you pay for your mobile phone usage?
Alan and I have a monthly contract with Orange and pay a base of €15 per month each. This allows us to call each other for free, and we’re allocated 1 GB of data. After taxes and additional toll numbers and calls to phones outside of our network, we average about €45 per month in total for the two of us.
The kids each use a pay as you go, by the month plan with Digi Mobile. Lars opts for the €5 per month plan with 150 min of calls and 1 GB of data. Anya buys the €10 per month plan with 150 min of calls and 4 GB of data. There is no billing associated with their phones, so there are no extra costs or fees. If they use all of their data or calls in a week, then it just stops. It is up to them to manage their usage for the month.
How much do you pay for a coffee?
This depends on where you are in town, but a standard cafe con leche, coffee, cappuccino is from €1.20 – €1.80
How much do you pay for a cinema ticket?
We don’t have a standard theater in our town, but in the summer there are outdoor theaters and tickets are €5. During the school year the auditorium in the cultural center shows films for €5. If you go to a bigger city at a standard movie theater it is about €8 for a ticket, but sometimes they have special offers.
How much does a gym membership cost in Spain?
There are various options and plans to choose from, but you can likely expect to pay €35 – €55 per month. For sports or classes (padel, tennis, dance, music and more) it may cost about €35 – €55 per month.
What is the cost of braces in Spain?
There are a variety of options for dental work in Spain. We can only share what we have experienced. Here are the details of our experience with braces in Spain. You can likely plan to spend about €1500 – €2500 for braces.
How much does it cost to rent a car in Spain?
Tips for renting a car in Spain are here.
Cost of living Calculators:
- My first stop is always Numbeo when planning a vacation or a move. “Numbeo is the world’s largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide.”
- I like to get an idea of prices for everyday things. I have personally contributed to this site using actual receipts to enter my data, so I think it is fairly accurate. This is obviously not inclusive of every small town, but you can get pretty close from a stick of butter to utilities. This does include housing as well, but as you will see a full search on current prices on the housing market is better.
- I often head directly to the cost comparison between 2 locations. This helps me spot-check my current location for accuracy and then I can estimate the accuracy for the “to be” location as well. There is so much to learn here. Prices by City or Country as well as Cost of Living Calculators. Go ahead and poke around and get a feel for it.
As of October 2020, we now have a Cost of Living in Spain eBook!
How to budget & estimate the cost of living in Spain! Without a doubt, this is one of the most popular topics for us and we have so much information to offer you. We’ve created an eBook covering all of the details you need to budget and estimate the cost to live in Spain. Read more about estimating the cost of living in Spain.
More about MONEY! Cost of Living in Spain
This can not possibly represent the entire country, this is just what we have experienced in our town, with our lifestyle. Your life will be different! 🙂 If you are planning to live in Spain for a month or spend a year in Spain, this should all help you with at least a data point to estimate from. Theses were our posts when we arrived and the first 16 months of expenses, so from 2012 & 2013. I wouldn’t discount them because they are old. Here we are in 2019 and we are pretty much still spending the same amount. The exchange rate between the Euro and Dollar fluctuates, but for the most part the data is pretty similar.
- Cost Of Living In Spain – All Expenses Shared
- How to estimate the cost of living in Spain
- How Much Did It Cost To Live In Spain For 1 Year?
- Comparison of USA and Spain Cost Of Living (Show me the money $)
- The Cost of Everyday Things – Spain Food Costs
- Budget in Spain & Reality for our first 4 months
- Living Abroad Budget in Spain – Actual Costs (Months 5,6 & 7)
- Cost of Living in Spain Budget – Actual Costs (Months 8,9 & 10)
- Way Over the Monthly Budget! – Actual Costs (Months 11,12 &13)
- Our Budget & Actual Costs (Months 14, 15 & 16)
Help with your Move to Spain
We hope this helps you with your move to Spain. We do offer hourly consulting to help you with your relocation and we also offer move to Spain consulting packages. Learn more about a family gap year in Spain! Try new foods, language, routines, & different way of doing things. Give the gift of experience, culture and the world to your kids.