Y Viva España

Liam loves a spreadsheet and a bit of research. He’s at his most content when fiddling with his formulas and colour coding his columns. I set him a challenge. I wanted to know the price differential for living our kind of life in Blighty, Spain and Turkey. Having worked out our major expenses – food, booze, travel to Blighty, rent, bills, healthcare etc, Liam set about the task with gusto and usual thoroughness. The analysis is remarkably detailed and the results are not at all what we expected.

Based on our spend in Turkey

  • We would spend a third more living in the UK than in Turkey (in the southeast of England, outside London). This is mostly due to higher rent levels.
  • Our average weekly grocery shop would be cheaper in the UK than in Turkey
  • Our average grocery shop would be cheaper still in Spain
  • Overall, we would spend a fifth less if we lived in Spain

These are headlines only and many factors are variable. Nevertheless, it makes an interesting read. What makes the most difference to our fiscal health is our income. As we don’t work we depend on our investments. British and Eurozone interest rates are negligible so we would have to supplement our income somehow, leading to an obvious and unpalatable conclusion. However, rates won’t remain low forever.

Of course, we don’t live in Turkey on cost grounds alone and we don’t intend to move on any time soon. We’ll keep an eye on it though. We don’t know where our doddering dotage will take us.

6 thoughts on “Y Viva España

  1. Liam and I are twins parted at birth and we reach similar conclusions. We will have a long chat soon about euros and the benefits of Turkish bank accounts. K xxxx


  2. Hi guys,
    I think I would have agreed with your conclusions a year ago, and maybe even six months past. However, here in Spain we are suffering some horrendous inflationary jumps in prices of essentials this year which may skew things (unless, of course, all three of the comparative countries are experiencing the same). All fuel costs have soared in 2011 with two major heists – we are paying 1,30€ per litre at the moment; butane gas has gone up 15% twice in the last three months; I can’t even mention our electricity supplier’s price rises without biting my tongue for blood and berserking!

    However, like you, cost was not out prime mover.
    Re: doddering dotage – if you care to try Spain I have a very comfortable static caravan here (a.k.a. the sardine tin) which I inhabited for 18 months, and which would be at your disposal whenever you so require, with my greatest pleasure!!


  3. We’d be very interested in the contents of your grocery basket as this differs from our initial calculations.

    Admittedly we won’t be taking up residence in Turkey till August at the soonest. Here in London we do tend to make use of Waitrose and Abel and Cole – when we move we intend to rely heavily on the weekly market.

    We can’t claim to be over-interested in prices in Spain. Though they do speak the language in Central America.


    1. Hi Hilary

      It was the cost of wine that made the most difference. Taxes on alcohol have risen sharply in recent years and are set to continue to go up. We do tend to imbibe more than is good for us! Also meat prices are high, particularly red meat. Apart from that our shopping basket is standard everyday fare. Liam used Tesco online for the UK and Migros online for Turkey. So, if you’re a teetotal veggie then you’ll be fine!



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