I know, I know. You´re not moving to Spain for any other reason apart form the fact that its sunny here. 320 days of sun on the Costa Blanca make Spain the perfect place to holiday in and increasingly to move to.
In a major HSBC survey, they compared the cost of living here in Spain against that in the UK. They did similar surveys for the rest of Europe, Ireland and the US too but for now, lets stick with Spain vs UK.
It was in the area of the cost of living that for me, the most interesting differences emerged.
The median wage in the UK is far higher than here- UK ranks 20th in Europe while Spain is way behind in 33rd. Now, get this, when the question is asked about disposable income, the money people have left in their pockets after paying for petrol, education, household expenses etc., Britain moves to next but last in the survey, 33rd out of 34 countries. Remember this is HSBC, not just me saying this.
People living in the UK, regardless of their relative income end up with less money in their pockets after paying the essentials. Worse still, when you go to pay for non essentials after having the British Government pillage your pay check, these items cost more than they do in Spain too.
I often rave about the bar where my wife and I occasionally go on a Friday evening in La Zenia which offer 1 euro half beers. You don’t get too many of those spots in Glasgow, Cardiff or London and you cant see the beach from Whetherspoon´s either.
Supermarket shopping is 30% less here in Spain. For those interested, a can of San Miguel sells for 35 cent in our local Consum, right, no more alcohol talk. Bread, vegetables, fresh meat and fruit are also well below UK supermarket prices in Spain.
If you feel like dining out, its very easy to find a restaurant, a good one, that will give you and your partner a night out for thirty euro. Perhaps add ten euro for what we in Ireland would call a 30 euro bottle of wine. I´m back on the alcohol talk, again, sorry.
Quick list of essential items which are cheaper in Spain.
Heating bills. You could have guessed that, its already hot here.
Water and electricity.
Cost of running a car- (because we have dramatically less work related commutes in Spain. Nobody drives for two hours to go to work, it makes no sense!)
Child care – my little man pays 210 euro per month to go to the most fantastic nursery we could hope for. He gets fed there and could theoretically stay as much or as little as we decided between the hours of 8am and 7 pm, five days per week. Would you pay four times that amount in the UK? I guess so and your child would not be learning Spanish before he turns three.
Sports and sports clubs are largely supported by local Town halls so you can play tennis for a euro an hour, swim in the local Olympic pool for 3 euro / hr or kick football in the park for absolutely nothing. You know something that keeps our cost of living lower than it is in the UK and this was not addressed by the HSBC in their extensive survey. We don’t have any Jones´s or at least none that we have to keep up with. People are more realistic about what things are worth and having a new BMW in the driveway is way less important than sipping a cold beer (sorry) on your balcony knowing that you have paid off your mortgage and you are financially free.
If thats does not convince you to move here, it´s also sunny!!!