Our Monthly Budget

Friends often ask us, “How much does it cost to live in Portugal and Spain?” while other folks already living here are curious about how much they spend compares with what others are spending each month.

After some initial major, one-time outlays that aren’t recurring, we have been able to determine our monthly living expenses and budget what it costs us to live in Iberia.

Hopefully this will prove helpful to some of you.

When evaluating and comparing our expenses to yours, please consider that: (1) We live in relatively lower-cost areas of Portugal (a small village in the Castelo Branco and Elvas metropoles … not Lisbon, Porto, the Algarve, etc.) and Spain (Olvera, a “pueblo blanco” in Andalucí); (2) Without a mortgage or car payments, we are relatively debt-free; (3) We don’t live on a quinta or off the land. In fact, we have no land at all … just a good-size property with nine good-sized rooms in Castelo Branco, and “halfway” house between our properties in Portugal and Spain, and — of course — our get-away house in Olvera; and (4) the budget below reflects our monthly expenses for maintaining all three properties. (From the proceeds of the sale of our Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, house — about $150,000 — we were able to purchase, fix up, upgrade, and furnish the three houses.)

Here are our monthly budget expenditures:

€250 Electricity
€75 Water
€100 Petrol/Gasoline for the Vehicle
€125 High-Speed Internet/TV/Telephones at all three properties
€30 Property Taxes
€10 Vehicle Taxes
€150 Comprehensive Health Insurance for Two (aged 71 and 57)
€50 Insurance: Car (€25)/Properties (€25)
€500 Food: Groceries & Restaurants
€110 Miscellaneous/Contingencies (Unbudgeted)

Less than €1,400 Monthly Budgeted Expenses

That’s just about US $1,650 per month (based on the current exchange rate).

Shared here are personal observations, experiences, and happenstance that actually occurred to us as we moved from the USA to begin a new life in Portugal and Spain. Collected and compiled in EXPAT: Leaving the USA for Good, the book is available in hardcover, paperback, and eBook editions from Amazon and most online booksellers.

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