The cost of living in Spain in 2021

What is the cost of living in Spain?
What is the cost of living in Spain? / Unsplash
28 June 2021, Emma Donaldson

How much do you need to live comfortably in Spain? Is living in Spain expensive? These are just some of the questions we aim to answer in this guide to the cost of living in Spain in 2021. Whether you want to know the living cost in Spain for an international student or the cost of living in Spain for a couple, we've got you covered. Let's find out is Spain cheap to live in and more about the cost of living in Spain in 2021

Average cost of living in Spain per month

People often ask, is the cost of living high in Spain? The good news is that in general, Spain is not an expensive country to live in and when it comes to food prices, shopping in the supermarket, eating out and buying a beer, amongst other things, average prices in Spain are among the cheapest in Europe. But how much do things cost in Spain? According to Numbeo, the world's largest cost of living database, you can expect to pay the following prices for these items or services in Spain (figures updated in June 2021):

ItemAverage cost in Spain (euros)Average cost in Spain (pounds)
Milk (1 litre)0.79€£0.68
Loaf of bread0.99€£0.85
Bottle of water (1.5 litres)0.62€£0.53
Bottle of mid-range wine5.00€£4.30
Meal for 2 people in a mid-range restaurant40.00€£34.39
Pint of beer2.50€£2.15
Regular cappuccino1.65€£1.42
One way train or bus ticket1.40€£1.20
20 pack of cigarettes5.00€£4.30

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Spain?

In general, Spain has one of the lowest costs of living in Western Europe. It's always possible to live in Spain for less depending on your lifestyle choices, and while things like eating out and buying food may be cheap, as seen above, a large part of your monthly salary will be spent on rent. According to the OECD Better Life Index, in Spain the average household will spend "22% of their gross adjusted disposable income on keeping a roof over their heads, above the OECD average of 20%".

Therefore, as a student, it's possible to live in Spain with 1,000 euros per month, as the estimated monthly costs are 611.84€ without rent, according to Numbeo. From the same source, the average monthly cost for a family for 4 in Spain is just over 2,000€ without rent, while most sources state that an annual amount of 20,000 euros is a decent amount needed to retire comfortably in Spain. Remember that this will vary depending on which part of Spain you choose to live in, with the cost of living on the Costa del Sol much lower than in Madrid, for example. 

Property prices in Spain

The cost of buying or renting a house in Spain depends on which part of the country you choose. The cost of living in Madrid and Barcelona will be more expensive, including higher house prices. However, even when comparing major Spanish cities to others in Europe such as London, the cost of living is still much cheaper.

Even in Spain's capital city, Madrid, you can find a good room for rent in the city centre for as little as 400 euros per month, while it may also be a good moment to buy property in Spain due to a changing market and falling prices in some cases. Click here to find out more about property prices in Spain in 2021

The cost of living in Spain vs UK

The cost of living in Spain compared to the UK is also cheaper. According to Numbeo, on average, prices including rent in the UK are 28.79% higher than in Spain. Keep in mind that while the average living cost in Spain is cheaper than the UK, salaries in Spain are also much lower: the average monthly net salary in Spain (after tax) is 1,327,98€ (£1,136.29) compared to 2,279.66€ (£1,950.59) in the United Kingdom. 

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