Cost Of Living In Portugal}

Submitted by: Parag Sheth

The most recent global financial crisis has severely affected Portugal in its quest towards economic development. Many of the construction developments in the country were suddenly halted because of the lack of continued financing from foreign investors and purchasers.

Because of its rapid economic growth, the cost of living in Portugal reached amongst the top ten in the European Union. Now, with its economy in the doldrums, the cost of living has remained high. Despite this trend, overall, the cost of living in Portugal remains lower compared to the United Kingdom and France.

The cost of living of an individual depends mainly on two factors, the location and the preferences of the individual. The following are some of the aspects of cost of living in Portugal that must be considered before deciding on moving to the country:


Food Costs. Depending on where you eat, a meal can cost between 6.00 until 30.00 for two people. For drinks, beer can cost between 1.60 and 2.00, while wine can set you back 3.55 for a mid range quality bottle. For basic necessities such as bread ( 1.10), one dozen eggs ( 1.55), one liter of milk ( 0.75), one kilogram of cheese ( 6.00) and skinless deboned chicken breast for a kilo ( 5.30). Do remember these are locally produced items and if the individual wants imported quality food, the cost would be much higher.

Clothing Costs. Portugal boasts of a vibrant local fashion scene that is comparable to the many brands lining catwalks in New York and Milan. These also cost much lower compared to those available in the UK or in France. Aside from these lines, the many shopping malls carry foreign branded clothing products. Also, electronic gadgets and appliances also cost lower in Portugal. Options to purchase these items are available in the big malls or even street vendors and flea markets scattered throughout the country. The problem is, though the cost may be lower, the quality may be a problem.

Housing Costs. The housing cost of living in Portugal varies across the areas in the country. Among the higher costing areas are the capital city of Lisbon or the urbanized metropolis of Cascais while because of its tourist centric accommodations, the Algarve and the Silver Coast rank amongst the most expensive. If the expat though opts to live in the inland northern area of Portugal, the cost of rentals or purchase of properties would be much lower compared to the urban and touristy areas of the country.

Financial Costs. Being apprised of the taxes and other fees that need to be paid when computing for cost of living in Portugal. These include income tax payable, value added taxes, licensing and other fees. Depending on what your financial activity would be in the country, one needs to obtain a Numero de identificacao or NIE and a tax card or cartao de contribuinte to be a valid taxpayer in the country.

As can be seen, there are many aspects of the cost of living in Portugal that needs to be considered and computed before any decision to move can be made. Having a budget would also require the expat to fully understand the cost of living in Portugal.

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