Cost of Living

The leggy “lady” on the left has a rather deep voice…(photo from Madrid)

No, the picture above has nothing to do with this post but we had to throw it in somewhere.

So how much does it cost to live in Madrid or Malta?  I thought I would highlight some of the costs comparisons between United States/Tacoma and what we are experiencing in Malta and Madrid.  Overall day-to-day costs are definitely lower here.  To balance the picture though, I have no idea what folks in Spain or Malta pay in income taxes or health care costs, nor do I know what there average pay level is.

1) Our Malta ferry from Malta main island to Gozo was $5.50 round trip.   A comparable ferry  from Mukilteo to Clinton (Whidbey Island) costs $4.80 one way.  Bus tickets for all day are $1.75 where as an all day bus pass in Tacoma is $5.00.

2) Can of tomatoes here 45 cents, nice ground beef $3.50/lb, large crusty bakery bread 98 cents/loaf, premium pastries (tart or cheesecake) $1.60 from a bakery,  dinner bills with two drinks and two entries about $25 (would have been about $35 in the states).  Groceries seem to get about a 10% tax however other things don’t seem to get taxed or the taxes are included in the price.

3 )Our furnished Madrid apartment would  rent for about $1100/month and an equivalent apartment in Seattle would be about $2,200/month.  Our furnished apartment in Malta rents for about $600/month and would be equivalent to a place like Tacoma where rents would be about  $1,200/month.  Note the prices for Madrid and Malta are all inclusive (costs of the apartment itself, electricity, trash, internet, etc.) where as the cost in Tacoma and Seattle are apartment only.  As  such you could add another $200 to the stateside costs to get a good comparison.

4) Museums are probably about the same.  We pay about $5 for small museums and about $15 for large museums (like the Prado in Madrid).

5) The only cost that seems to be higher here is gasoline.  It would run about $6.45/gallon here in Malta and I’m guessing about $2.00 in Tacoma at the moment.

Note:  All numbers have been converted from euros to dollars. -Dave



2 thoughts on “Cost of Living”

  1. Glad the comparisons are favorable. Hopefully it is making it easy for you guys to make your expense goal! At this rate, maybe you can stay an extra week or two. 🙂

    1. We could actually stay indefinitely since our overall cost abroad are about the same as home. Of course if we mooch off our kids when we get back we will save some real money:)

Leave a Reply