As promised, l have now compiled our cost of living in our Seville suburb, and will compare it to our cost in Malaga. As both cities are in Andalusia, you would expect the prices to be similar. It is for the most part. In Malaga, even though we were in the city, it was more of a working class neighborhood. Grocery stores were plenty, as were people, and lots and lots of apartment buildings which l found stifling to say the least. In Malta, we had that wonderful harbor view. In Malaga, we had a view of the next apartment building. Our suburb in Seville is closer to what we had in Houston. The houses are spread out, there is a lovely pool, much needed yard for the dogs, and it’s oh..so quiet. I’m getting old l guess :-).
Spain (Seville) Cost of Living:
As big as this house is, it seems to be the smallest one in the immediate area! For instance, one of the neighbors has a gardener who spends 3 hours mowing his lawn. Three hours!!! I know this because we have timed it, as it is annoying..from 6-9 pm every Tuesday. I do think it could be done in less time for sure, but l have a feeling that the people around here are well to do, so the prices the workers quote are inflated, and so to make it look good, they work really, really slowly. Our current yard is about 1/4 of the one in Houston, and the same gardener quoted us €60 to mow the lawn! I had to laugh, l don’t think we paid more than $30 in Houston, and Federico loves shaving the grass as he calls it, and had a mower.. We’ve had it mowed only once at this house, and even though it was €30, we considered it too high a price..
I watched him from the office. It was actually quite interesting. He did not use the lawn mower, as he would have been done in like 10 minutes tops. Instead, he parked the mower to the side, and started cutting the grass with the edger.. :-). He cut the whole thing with the edger, so he was able to stretch it to almost 2 hours while his son pretended to bag the grass. When it came time to pay him, he tried adding another hour to the time, and wanted €45! I so gently reminded him it was not quite 2 and paid him the €30. I always love it when people think that just because you are foreigners, you have money to burn, or are somehow stupid :-(. This happens everywhere, not just Spain. The same thing happened in Malta, in Houston, even L.A. I am sure everyone who travels experience it. It doesn’t bother me that they try, as long as it doesn’t bother them that “it ain’t gonna happen” :-).
Oops.. I forgot to add in €80 for the pool guy, so the grand total is actually €1402 ($1565) monthly. What is also missing from the report is car insurance and registration as we have not switched over to Spanish plates yet. I expect it to add maybe another €50 or less monthly. The electricity costs might also go up in the summer, with the air conditioner and fan being operated. Overall, the cost of living is a bit higher in Seville, about the same as in Malta, and definitely much lower than in the U.S!. The quality of life is also better. I love the space as we are homebodies. We spend little on gas as we tend to walk to the local tapas places, fruit market, bakery and church. My Spanish still sucks though, but people are pretty patient. :-).
The health insurance costs are much higher because we switched to a plan that has no copay. It also covers us across the board, in all E.U countries. With the former, l took out travel insurance for our flights. This works out cheaper overall for travel within the European Union. The premium is also higher because l hit the big 5-0, which bumps me..ahem..to another tier.
What is different is the quality of meat between Malaga and Seville. The meat products here suck big time :-(. We shop at the same grocery chain called Mercadona. The hamburger meat is terrible compared to the one in Malaga . I just don’t get it! I swear it seems like everything beef here is mixed with pork. Here, the meat is all prepacked, not like there where it’s fresh and the butcher cuts it for you. Perhaps they add preservatives :-(. We find ourselves eating a lot more sea food, and really good quality Jamon Iberico (completely worth the €21 plus per kilo). For sure, l am skipping hamburgers around here. Thank God the dog food is still the same though, at least l think so, they haven’t complained.
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I am quite happy with the cost of living in Seville. There are lots of stores to shop in the city, but we are so over shopping for clothes that we don’t need. We wear so little of what we have now! We prefer to spend excess money on travel, and since we are still under budget, we can indulge in that love. We intend on doing more of that. I hope this cost of living helps anyone in need of firm figures, and is thinking of moving or settling in Andalusia.
What do you think about this cost of living in Spain (Sevilla) comparison? Is it anyway close to your expenses if you live in Spain? How does it compare to your neck of the woods wherever that is?