Living on 1000.euros

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30 Sep 2012 14:59 by duggy Star rating. 7 posts Send private message

 Whilst reading the posts on these forums, I was interested to see a few references to " living on 1000 euros per month".

As we are considering returning to Spain come pension time, some posts on the actual living costs would be useful.  Can you live comfortably on 1000 per month?  Does it depend on where you live?.  I realise it also depends on how you live, however we would not be looking at an extravagant lifestyle, just ordinary day to day life.

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30 Sep 2012 15:30 by cazzy Star rating in Inland Andalucia. 180 posts Send private message

 It depends on if you need to pay rent. Where I live you can rent a 2 bed house for about 200 a month, so yes you could aford it. But if your rent was much more than that I doubt it! If you have a house then providing you are not extravegant you could manage easily.


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01 Oct 2012 10:22 by spain108 Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

I dont know about 1000 euros..but i have a friend living there , costa brava , very comfortably for 1500 euros a month.....

there are two of them and he reckons with a car included he can do easily for 1700 euros..


p.s....eats out twice a week

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01 Oct 2012 10:50 by competa Star rating in Scotland. 92 posts Send private message

If you don't have to pay rent, it should be easy enough to live on 1000 euros per month if you don't eat out all the time.

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01 Oct 2012 11:20 by Harry07 Star rating. 205 posts Send private message

This question is very relevant for anyone contemplating retirement in Spain.

So based on comments below, is the general consensus:

Basic Living: 1000E per month ??

Comfortable: 1500 - 2000E per month ??

The above assumes a couple owning a property with 1 car.



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01 Oct 2012 11:34 by foxbat Star rating in Granada. 1114 posts Send private message

foxbat´s avatar

quote Harry...

So based on comments below, is the general consensus:

Basic Living: 1000E per month ??

Comfortable: 1500 - 2000E per month ??

The above assumes a couple owning a property with 1 car

In a word... Yes! for planned expenditure, but you need a contingency fund as back up just in case of unforeseen problems... for example... Car breaks down needs a new  engine or gearbox (possibly costing around 2.500€) or short notice return to the UK (airfares, taxis etc etc). 

Both of these examples are from personal experience.





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01 Oct 2012 11:56 by Harry07 Star rating. 205 posts Send private message

Many thanks Foxbat.

I assume one off major expenses could possibly  be factored into the 1500 - 2000E range & that these estimates would also adequately include private health insurance for a couple ??



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01 Oct 2012 12:27 by foxbat Star rating in Granada. 1114 posts Send private message

foxbat´s avatar


I assume one off major expenses could possibly  be factored into the 1500 - 2000E range & that these estimates would also adequately include private health insurance for a couple

So far as one off expenses are concerned it obviously depends upon the frequency and nature of the unplanned expense... there are always little gotchas that occur when living here (or anywhere else for that matter) that fall outside of the routine budget for example, in the case of the unexpected and hence unplanned return to the UK the short notice airfares can be considerably higher than those that are budgeted for months in advance; say for two people at perhaps 250€ each one way ( the airlines love short notice trips, they have you by the short and curlies and milk it for all its worth...) plus taxis or train fares at both ends you could be looking at maybe 1250€ or more for the round trip... that makes a prettty big hole in the budget. Which is why I suggest a contingency fund outside of the normal budget.

As for private health insurance, I cannot comment as we dont have any; we are both pensioners and the Spanish Health service is available to us under the reciprocal arrangements with the UK's NHS. Obviously the premiums for private healt insurance vary tremendously with every case and can be quite high depending on age and pre-existing medical conditions. The answer here must be to research the issue with the major Health Insurance companys like Sanitas (actually BUPA) and others.




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01 Oct 2012 12:41 by Harry07 Star rating. 205 posts Send private message

Thanks Foxbat - all very helpful/practical data !!

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01 Oct 2012 12:52 by spain108 Star rating. 6 posts Send private message


that about seems right.......btw. in 2000 euros my friend is renting at the moment.....489 euros

insurance, food, etc is 1300 euros......300 is emergency fund inc sudden car repairs, put aside every month....

he tells me he would be hard pressed to try and spend more than 2200 euros if he has an average lifestyle.....cheers

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06 Oct 2012 07:21 by jacarander Star rating. 7 posts Send private message

Hi, well I would think that I was rich if I had 1000€pm to live on !! I am single so maybe that makes a difference but I can live comfortably on 700€. I economise by reducing water consumption in my toilets, (put a brick or bottle of water in the cistern) I never use a kettle as they use alot of electricity and I dont use an electric oven. I have a microwave and one of those toaster ovens (fan assisted) and i find that this is more than adequate... in fact the toaster oven is more efficient than a conventional oven. I am moving to Valencia soon so I will buy a years metro ticket and only use my car for heavy shopping or travelling further afield. I will have more cash once my current house sells but for the moment I am fine and even manage to eat out occasionally. If you are buying a house it is worth getting to know your local cafe and go there fairly regularly for a drink or breakfast and eventually you may get `mates rates` when you pay. The same goes for your local to them (no I am not fluent in spanish but we get there with a bit of spanish, a bit of drawing what I want and alot of humour) and they will often do small repairs for free or a small charge. Speak as much Spanish as you can and most people will be friendly and helpful, even if you cannot speak much spanish take the time to work out what you need to say and write it down...and apologise for your lack of spanish.

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06 Oct 2012 07:25 by dustyjack Star rating in Near Gandia, Valenci.... 9 posts Send private message

If you own your house outright and live on a good Public Transport route so you don't need a car you will be hard put to spend 1,000 Euros a month.

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06 Oct 2012 07:33 by spain108 Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

You are quite right or mortgage monthly is the key issue....It  should not exceed more than  25 percnt of your gross budget....


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06 Oct 2012 07:35 by Delaluzian Star rating in Portugal. 33 posts Send private message

From recent experience it is entirely possible to live on €1000 per month in Spain.

We paid €495 per month for a very comfortably furnished modern villa with superb views, a pool and jaccuzzi, ensuite dressingroom and luxury bathroom with another jacuzzi, full  entertainment package, internet  connection and a large garden. Central heating, which we never used and a log-burner which provided all necessary heating.

Being 3 kilometres from the nearest pub cut down on socializing and having only half a dozen neighbours within walking distance made for a solitary lifestyle but so relaxing.

A supermarket trip took more than half a day (50km driving) and encouraged sensible buying; the markey for vegetables, Lidl for essentials like stilton, Typhoo and wine, Mercadona for most other dry goods, beer and fish and the local Spaish butcher for meat. A shopping trip would set us back €150 - 200.

Realistically sized fridge and freezer meant a trip only only once in three weeks and the car stayed parked for most of the rest of the time. It cost around €250 to insure and petrol becasue it was a small car, cost around €40 per month.

A prepaid sim card and internet access cost  around €40 per month which leaves arounf €200 a month for discretionary spending. 

I completely agree that a sink fund is essential, as it is anywhere. 

Each to their own:


If you want to spend your time socializing with other Birts then you can double that budget. The local bar is never the meeting place, more likely a trendy cafe; health is the subject of the day, every day and that's guarateed to send you to the doctor even if only for valium so good health insurance is essential. You'll need a samrt phone to maintain your contact list and that meal out will cost an average of €25 per head without wine.

We like the quiet lifestyle and came for the weather not the socializing, others may find it more challenging as one is forced to amke one's own entertainment and spend weeks on end alone with one's partner. 

No doubt my views will be challenged, they usually are but just to dispell misconceptions we were only twenty minutes from the coast, not much further from excellent medical facilities and within driving distance of two international airports.

On the sublect of flight costs we have booked at short notice and except in high season can usually find a flight for around €100. We use a Spanish engineer who charges us Spanish prices to repair the car and parts can be fairly easily obtained via the internet  at prices well below those quoted by English speaking garages.

All of that said we have now abandoned Spain for sunnier climes where everyone speaks English, property prices are significantly lower than even Fire Sale Spain and no, we're not saying where as expats are still thin on the ground here and thats the way we like it.


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06 Oct 2012 07:53 by gerrryuk Star rating in Mezquitilla, near To.... 179 posts Send private message

gerrryuk´s avatar

 So looking from the UK for a single pensioner inland the costs would be roughly as below perhaps? 

 Rent                                        500  €                        

 Electric                                     50                                                          

Gas                                           10                

 Water                                       40                              

 Satellite Television                      30                                     


 Skype/Mobiles                           60                                              

 Local/Council Tax                      50                          

 Car/Tax/Ins/Fuel/Service             70             

 Food                                        200                 

 Misc                                        190      

Total                                                   1200            



This message was last edited by gerrryuk on 06/10/2012.

This message was last edited by gerrryuk on 06/10/2012.

Do unto others as you would want them to do to you. I am always willing to talk and converse to ladies or gents in a sensible way.

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06 Oct 2012 07:54 by midasgold Star rating in Mijas.. 91 posts Send private message

My cost of living is 75% of that in England.

A couple who own their own home, run a car and

" menu del dia " twice a week, can live on 1000e a month.

Health problems, if not in the Spanish system can be covered

using one of the private EMERGENCY SYSTEMS ONLY, for about

350e pa. per couple .


If lucky, there is another day.

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06 Oct 2012 07:59 by crazymo Star rating. 21 posts Send private message

I live here 7 months a year and go home to UK November to end March basically when the clocks change as I find the long evenings/nights too long.  I have £350 a month sent out from UK and find that adequate to live on.  I don't pay rent but I do run a large car (Ford Focus 1.9)  I live alone and have TV, telephone and internet at €50+/month.  I usually go home once during those 7 months but find my Euros build up once I'm in the UK but obviously have to pay community fees (nearly €100/month) electricity and water whilst I'm gone.  I usually bring €500 with me when I return just incase I have any emergencies so if I upped my monthly payment to £500 I would have more than enough so €1000 would be ample for 2 people I would think. 

PS I do not live in a cheap part of Spain but right on the coast with a beatiful sea view

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06 Oct 2012 08:08 by spain108 Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

Thing is there are many third world countries where life is much more expensive than in spain.

As a fifty

year old i have been living "pre.retirement " in Spain.

I dont have to count every penny i spend , but in most Euro countries it should be easily possible to live on 2000 a month

A friend of mine  who imigrated to AUstria  is living quite well with a family of 3 on 1900 euros


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06 Oct 2012 08:24 by alexaxander Star rating. 4 posts Send private message

Hi My husband and i own our property and we run a car and we do live on 1000 euros per month. I worked out our bills throughout the year which includes everything from car and house ins to suma, water and electric telephone broadband and tv also included,  to be 70euros per month and put this into a seperate account with the direct debits set up, so i don't have to worry about that. We eat well but not expensively, drinking out is still cheap, pint for my husband glass of wine for me 3.20 euros !!! We could not live in England for the equivalent amount thats for sure.



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06 Oct 2012 08:48 by tamaraessex Star rating in Colmenar, Malaga. 508 posts Send private message

tamaraessex´s avatar
Gerry - your rent estimate is very high if you are looking at villages, though l gather that urbanisation rents + community charges may be higher than ordinary village streets. In my village there are many houses to rent at around €250. If there's a satellite dish in place you don't need a monthly contract, just a €50 freesat box gives 600 channels inc all the UK channels.

Your council tax estimate is high, village houses less than €20 pm, and my water (supplied by the town hall) is similar. But perhaps allow a little more for electricity, especially over the winter, and for the first few months while Endesa make you pay their silly estimates of €90!

The original question is difficult to answer as surely there is a big divide between those paying rent or mortgage, and those not. And the emergency fund needs to be bigger for property owners than for tenants. People with savings don't need to budget a monthly emergency fund.

But the general sharing of monthly expenses is really useful, for newbies and old-timers alike!


 Blog about settling into a village house in the Axarquía.

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