An updated guide to the cost of living in Spain

by mfefadmin on September 6, 2008

One of the main attractions of this forum thread is the fact that you can actually trace it back to the start and see how prices, laws and trends can change in a very short space of time. This thread starts with a basic list of groceries in Spain and their cost, but the thread then takes on a life of its own!

A quick view of the thread will confirm that diesel has risen in price by over 30% between January 2008 and June 2008, with the price likely to have moved higher and then fallen between June and today. It is also interesting to monitor the rise in grocery prices as well as the cost of alcohol and cigarettes. Very soon the time line makes clear how the cost of living is changing in each and every area of the world with Spain no different.

A number of new elements are added in the second half of the thread with the cost of property in different areas of Spain high on the agenda. As many of the contributors to the thread seem to be based in Spain the information is both accurate and vital for anyone looking to invest in Spain or move permanently. Places such as Catalonia, the Costa Blanca North and the Cost Del Azahar receive a mention as it becomes clear that the cost of property and the cost of living does vary across the county.

The timeline affect of this thread is very interesting and as more time goes by we should see more useful information and price updates added to broaden the picture.


This thread demonstrates how the cost of living has increased around the world, whether you live in the UK, France, USA or Spain. The list of basic grocery prices at the start has formed a very useful point of comparison for the cost of living in Spain today – and in the future.

Fuel is the main mover in the list with the price rising by more than 30% between January 2008 and June 2008. This has obviously had an impact on food and general shopping prices, not to mention pushing the economy into a sharp downturn. Again, like many of the better threads, this one seems to be populated by people who are actually based in Spain, or have a deep understanding of the economy, property and the cost of living in the country.

While there is no substitute for doing your own homework, it can be very useful to get the views and opinions of those actually on the ground and willing to help. There are also a number of interesting straw poll type comments suggesting which areas of Spain are expensive to live in and which offer better value – no prizes for guessing that the Cities are more expensive than the rural areas!

Even though it is of little consolation to those in their home country this thread shows that other areas of the world, such as Spain, are suffering from the massive increase in the price of oil. However, guessing which countries will suffer longest and which will return to ‘normal’ the quickest very much remains to be seen.

Read the full debate on the cost of living in Spain

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Chris November 23, 2014 at 8:50 pm

I’ve been searching all the websites and forums for the perfect beach place to retire on $2,000 USD social security and all the estimates on living expenses leave out one HUGE factor. The cost and hassle of Visas to permanently live there. For example, the Philippines looked great to me but did you know you have to deposit $10,000 in their bank that you can’t touch. ( Their last bank went broke ) The requirements for Thailand are MUCH worse. I’m not an expert at this but it sure seems cost prohibitive unless you have a bankroll. I’ve read about leaving the country every few months or so and coming back but that only works in some locations and there is a lot of hassle and expenses related to this that are not included in most living expenses breakdowns. Anyone else that knows of a WHITE sand beach location that a single person can live comfortably on $2,000 USD Social Security without all the Visa hoops and costs please let me know. Thank you.


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