We share what we spend...
Your housekeeping expense at 88e surprised me (maybe 1 or 2x week?).
We have a hardworking local lady who we pay 60e each week (I paid $110 in U.S.). She never told us what to pay but in asking around I learned a range of 8e - 15e/hr.
We went with 15e because housekeeping is hard work and she’s in demand - so we wanted to make it attractive to hire her & keep her.
We pay her each week even if we skip the week (for whatever reason) and during time away - like our 2 months away this summer (she came to get the mail, water plants and dust/vacuum).
This gentle, sweet Portuguese woman is in her late 50’s and has known no other work.
I simply point this out for others planning to figure in housekeeping. I find generosity is preferable. This is her livelihood and for the cost of a nice meal out we get her for a full half a day (+ travel - she’s about 20 minutes away). We find that it’s not about paying as little as one can get away with - but what we can well afford. Respecting and honoring others by contributing to a living wage is one way we feel good about fitting into our newly adopted country.
I doff my hat to anyone who has a seperate line item, in the budget, for wine and liquor. We just roll that figure straight into our food costs. It would scare me to know the exact figure. :-) Until moving to Portugal, it was always my job to be in charge of budgeting and all things concerning money. It is now on Mike's plate. I am now clueless about what we spend. I do know that almost everything here is noticeably cheaper with the exception of rental property (we are in Lisbon) and electronics. Thanks for sharing your deets.
Great breakdown. After 8 months we are also finding our expenses to be around 30%-40% less than our monthly expenses in Southern California. Mostly because of inexpensive wine! 😂🍷
This provides really good insight, thanks!
Excellent piece. I appreciate the work you put into your posts.
As usual this is so well written! Thanks for taking the time to share your budgeting information. People ask me this all the time and I agree with you that it's best to pay cash for a home and car so these two major expenses are not averaged into your budget.
When people ask me "how much" the answer is "it depends on your lifestyle". It definitely costs less here to live than on the CA Coast but it doesn't mean it costs less than other locations around the USA.
It's important to remember that cost is only one element of the equation. To move to another country you need a positive "can-do" attitude and be willing to be patient and enjoy a different culture.
Portugal has lovely people, historical locations, beauty and it's easy to drive or fly around Europe/Africa/UK so this should be a reason to move here not just cost. There are low cost places around the world and Europe isn't known for this but Portugal is one of the lowest cost EU countries (depending on the city you plan to move to).
The Algarve is full of multi-million dollar homes and developments which are full of tourists so be careful where you decide to look to live or you could be disappointed.
Nancy and I live in the same town and it's "authentic" with only 3 hotels in town and real people and real schools for locals here.
Definitely make a list of why you want to move here as cost shouldn't be the only option.
That said the top 3 reasons I feel are important are 1. Lower cost of health insurance vs USA; 2. It's Europe Baby...travel; 3. The slower pace of life and enjoying a walking town and "community".
Our friends from Ireland/Scotland call our town the "15-Minute town" because you can get from the square to most locations in 15 minutes.
Cheers and we hope to see you in Portugal.
Nancy, It was refreshing to see a realistic estimate of the cost of living in Portugal. I suspect some other countries like Spain would be similar if you aren't living in a large city.
I also learned from my mother how to live well, frugally. Although she did not use envelopes (My mother had her own checking account and department store credit cards by the mid to late 60's).
Our biggest expense in the states is our yard and home maintenance. (Sick of HOA's). We also paid off our home many years ago and would use the proceeds to fund housing if we decide to live abroad.
Healthcare expenses are our biggest concern. We haven't had copays except with prescriptions (with Medicare only) as we have always opted for the larger deductibles, and I have an excellent supplement with Medicare (I've been on it a year now). My husband will turn 65 in Jan and go on Medicare as well.
I've read a number of blogs and articles regarding health cost in the private sector and the cost seem to be in the $400 range per person per month. I have also read that a number of companies will not cover applicants who are older than 65 when initially applying. (this is for private coverage).
I'm hoping to live in a community with public transport so we can avoid car ownership and just rent when needed. I want a life where we can walk to local restaurants, shops, etc. for day to day living because for the exercise as well as providing more of an opportunity to interact with locals.
Travel will be our largest expense and hoping if we purchase a home we can perhaps offset some of the expenses with short term rentals.
We aren't considering relocation to save money but to embrace a different lifestyle. However, we hope our "spending" will be less in the day to day life in order to spend more on travel and socialization.
Thank you! This is very helpful as we are building a detailed budget in preparation for our move.
Thanks for the great info. Now that we have purchased and mostly furnished our new place, and no longer pay rent, I too am keeping a running total of what it costs to live in PT. I did this back in America for a 6 month spread and am curious to see how it compares.
Thank you Nancy for this breakdown. We've recently relocated here from South Africa and whilst it's different to the USA and Dollars I find these breakdown very helpful and will apply to my budgeting, again, thank you
Thanks for sharing this kind of info. Portugal is a possibility for the day we might settle down, so this is interesting to read.
Wow! €2,100 for 12 months or $2300 a year. Better than the $12000 we pay now on average. Can't wait : )
Thank you for taking the time to post all of this very valuable information and insight Nancy!
Great piece and helpful for me and my husband when we arrive in PT in October!
Thanks so much for this! It more or less validates the budget I’ve built for my wife and me. I appreciate you sharing numbers. It provides one more data point for those of us still in the States.
Super info, thanks again for your graciousness.