Cost of living in Spain: real numbers to help you budget better
We crunched the numbers on the cost of living in Spain, including average rental prices, grocery bills, and more—all to help you budget better.
4 min read
Let’s be honest—life in Spain is pretty good and it's a good place to move in. But it’s still worthwhile to do a little math and put together your monthly budget so that your life keeps running smoothly. But how much does it actually cost to live in Spain?
Well, the country is known for its great food, perfect weather, and rich culture, so it’s no surprise that expats from all over the world are drawn to the Iberian peninsula. And the fact that Spain has one of the highest life expectancies in the world (currently around 84 years) is more supporting proof that the quality of life is good. But life expectancy is one thing—the cost of living in Spain is another.
You’ll want to work out how much you need and plan your finances accordingly. To help you do that, we’ve put together this guide to the cost of living in Spain, including basic services and just-for-fun expenses.
Price of food in Spain
The most basic expense to consider is your groceries. Although prices in Spain are generally stable, every so often inflation rears up and disrupts everything a little.
The following list may be different depending on your supermarket of choice and the quality of the product (well-known brands are more expensive than supermarkets’ own labels, for example) but these are average prices to give you an idea of how much it will cost to fill your shopping cart:
Water, 1.5 liters
Milk, 1 liter
White rice, 1 kg
Bottle of olive oil
Potatoes, 1 kg
Bananas, 1 kg
Oranges, 1 kg
Cheese, 1 kg
Beef, 1 kg
Eggs, 1 dozen
1 bottle of wine
Beer, 1 liter
These are basic products that the average Spaniard puts in their shopping cart on a regular basis. Average prices can go up or down depending on the origin of the product, the shop, the city, and many other factors.
Still, it costs around €50 on average to buy food for one person for one week, which means you’d be spending about €200 a month on food.
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Price of accommodation in Spain
You’ve probably already guessed: Living in Madrid or Barcelona is not the same as living in Albacete. The price of accommodation in Spain varies significantly—meaning that your budget will partly depend on where you choose to live.
Aside from the city, there are other factors that affect rental prices. These include the neighbourhood, the size of the property, whether you have housemates or not, whether the property is furnished or not, and what services the apartment building has.
Here’s a table with some price ranges you can use as a guide.
Monthly price for a 50 m2 apartment
Monthly price for a room
€660 - 880
€660 - 880
€550 - 650
€450 - 550
€400 - 500
€600 - 700
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
€500 - 600
€500 - 600
Price of transportation in Spain
So, we’ve already seen that property prices are worlds apart across different parts of Spain—and it’s no different for transportation. Every city has its own prices, travel cards, and service frequencies.
To make your journey a bit easier, we’ve compiled a table with the prices of bus tickets in the major Spanish cities.
Bus ticket price
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
These prices can vary depending on whether you buy multi-journey packs, if you have a monthly travel card, or if you pay with the city’s public transport card.
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Other living expenses in Spain
Assuming that you want to do more than just eat and stay at home—and if you’re living in Spain, there’s plenty more to do—then there are a few more expenses to account for. These are services or activities that aren’t day-to-day basics but are still regular expenses. We recommend including them in your monthly budget so you know your real savings capacity.
Service or activity
Cell phone plan
€15 - 20
€7 - 9
€15 - 20
€30 - 40
Water, electricity, and fiber optic broadband
So, how much money do you need each month to live in Spain?
As you’ve seen, figuring out your final budget depends on various factors. Still, based on the categories we’ve looked at, the average cost of living in Spain is around €820 to €1,100 per person per month.
Also note: the minimum interprofessional wage in Spain is €1,167 gross per month.
The golden rule: 50/30/20
Now that you’ve brushed off your math skills to set your budget in Spain, we also recommend that you make a savings plan. The easiest way to save consistently is to follow a set rule. That way, you’ll be sure to save money every month and have something set aside for a rainy day.
One of the most famous strategies is the 50/30/20 rule. The concept is simple: You should spend 50% of what you earn on your needs, 30% on your wants, and save the remaining 20%.
Ready to give it a try? Use our 50/30/20 calculator to figure out what the right amounts are for you.
Manage your money from your smartphone with N26
To keep track of what you’re earning and spending, you need a bank account that puts you in control. With N26, you’ll get notifications every time money is transferred to your account (who doesn’t want to know when they receive money?). Plus, you can set daily spending limits to help you stick to the budget that you just mapped out.
With Spaces, create various sub-accounts with specific saving objectives. And to better understand where your money is going, use Insights and see your transaction history broken down by category. It’s that simple.
At N26, we’ve taken the red tape out of opening a bank account in Spain. Open an online account in minutes—all you’ll need is your smartphone, a valid address in Spain, and a valid photo ID. You’ll get an official Spanish IBAN, so you can pay and be paid like a local. Plus, there are no hidden fees and you’ll always have access to English-speaking customer service, so you can focus on settling in to your new home.
How much money do I need to move to Spain?
The money you need to move to Spain depends on your lifestyle and location. As a rough estimate, many expatriates and retirees find that €1,000 to €2,500 covers basic monthly living expenses in smaller towns and cities. That includes housing, utilities, groceries, and transportation. The cost of living can be higher in larger cities and popular tourist destinations. You may also need additional funds to cover initial relocation costs, such as visa fees, rental deposits, and utilities.
Can I live in Spain with 1000 euros a month?
"Living in Spain with a budget of €1,000 a month is possible — if you budget carefully! To keep your expenses low, you’ll need to look for lower-cost housing options, cook at home, and use public transportation. Living in smaller towns or less expensive regions can also help stretch your budget further.
The costs also vary depending on your circumstances and financial commitments, so creating a detailed budget tailored to your needs is essential. "
Is it expensive to live in Spain?
"The cost of living in Spain depends on the region. Larger cities like Barcelona and Madrid are generally more expensive than smaller towns and rural areas. On average, Spain offers a relatively affordable cost of living compared to many Western European countries.
Housing costs are usually the biggest expense. Public transportation is efficient and affordable, and other basic living expenses, such as groceries and eating out, are reasonable."
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