Living in Spain - what it really costs
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Living in Spain - and what it really costs

As an English Mum in Spain, I will let you know from first hand experience about living in "España". Costs of living here are generally lower than the UK. For a start the heating. I use a gas bottle a week to heat the house and the water which costs a little over 11 € a bottle (April 2009 - just gone down nearly 3 €!).

The cooling - The electricity is a bit cheaper than the UK, with the advantage that from February to June and October and November, generally we use no heating or cooling.

Telephone/Adsl bills: 49 €/month with Telefonica, the main company here, plus the mobile calls you make. National Land line calls are included in the price when you have ADSL.

Days out for the family are definately cheaper here, as are taxis, buses and trains. (See area guides) There are also so many free things to do like skating on the promenade, swimming in the community pool or sunbathing on the beach. Not to talk about the lovely walks and picnics we have in the mountains!

Furniture and food are generally the same as their are so many 'European' chains like Ikea and Safeways.

Cars are probably the same. Petrol costs 0.946 € per litre and diesel 0,866 € in Malaga in April 2009. You can check the current prices here. Prices differ slightly in different petrol stations. Road tax is also cheaper than the UK

Council tax is a lot cheaper here as are insurances, nurseries and private schools. A nursery for a child starts at 100 €/month for 5 hours/day. A private school can cost anywhere above 2200 € a term. A fully inclusive private insurance for a middle aged healthy person is about 50 € a month. living in spain

The expensive thing here are the banks! They charge for everything. Maintenance commission (yes, with money in the account) is an average of 6 € monthly, whereas in the UK, a bank account in credit is free.

Flights to get back home are the same all over in spain

An average restaurant bill per person is 10€. A glass of beer or wine at a bar is 1.50€. A tapa is 2€, and a coffee is 1.10€ .

Generally touristy areas are more expensive (as in any European country) but if you stick to major shops in large towns, Spain is still cheaper.

A gym is about 40 €/month.

A cinema ticket is 6 €.

A child's haircut is 7 €, a womans cut, wash and blow 15 € and a man's cut 10 €. Highlights cost about 50€ for shoulder length hair. living in spain

Cost of general groceries (prices in Euros) as of 2009

A loaf of sliced bread € 1.25
A litre of milk € 0.89
A bag of sugar € 0.89
1 .5 litre bottle still water € 0.45
Pack of butter € 1.10
12 'class A' eggs € 1.29
Medium jar Nescafe coffee € 2. 95
.75cl Bottle red rioja wine € 3.99
.75cl Bottle white rioja wine € 2.00

Average salaries for workers range from €12,000 - €18,000/year, much lower than Northern Europe. living in spain

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