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Cost of living on Crete 2014

Posted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:51 pm
by Brian c
Could this be the cost of living for 2014.

Ok “here we go again, happy as can be, we’re all good friends and jolly good companeee”” .. Goodness knows what the cost of living is anywhere these days as prices, taxes, expenses etc seem to change from one week to the next and rarely for the better. (and I have been effected as much as anyone else, hence why I am not on Crete at the moment)
The following are the figures finalised for the middle of 2013 and contributed to by many many people living mainly on Crete.
From my own recollection of the many people that have contacted me over the 5 or 6 years of compiling this list, it would appear that most couples do well on a figure of somewhere between 11,000 and 18,000euros , but if you want all the toys, a car and a pool, a pet, insurance, etc, etc, these things cost an additional amount so you select from the list of the items you will use and make up your own costs. I would also point out that a lot of the folks living on Crete have found the better and more economical ways of using their money .. i.e the right shops, restaurants, local tradesmen, grow their own food etc, hence they make their money go further and have a nice lifestyle more economically than the newcomer to the island would need to get by.
Also over the last 2 years a few people have contacted me and said they do very nicely on 8000 a year and others say the 30,000 is a bit light …it all depends on your own lifestyle, for example, where you live and whether you already own your home, hence no mortgage/rental.
And contributions from the folks living there would as usual be most appreciated and I will update the list as your advice comes in.
Thanks in advance for any practical comments and updates.

Cost of living 2013
1. RENT/MORTGAGE ……………...…… € 3,600 to € 7,000 VARIES FROM 2 BED FLAT TO 3 BED HOUSE
2. GROCERIES FOR A YEAR…………. € 4,500 to € 7,500 depends on your diet, do you grow food etc INC'S TOILETRIES
3. RATES & WATER…………...………... € 230 .. ?????
5. ELECTRICITY…………….…………...… € 800 .. PLUS, DEPENDANT ON USE
6. OIL/WOOD/HEATING/……………... € 800 .. 400 to 800.. 3 BED HOUSE WOULD BE NEARER 1000 EURO
7. TV LICENCE ……………………………... € 00 .. ……… informed tv licence no longer collected
9. CLOTHING…………………………………. € 560 .. ……… I WISH MY WIFE WOULD READ THIS

ENTERTAINMENT(i.e.eating out) .... € 4,200 .. EATING OUT TWICE A WEEK AT 20 EURO A HEAD
One CAR FUEL FOR A YEAR……….…. € 1,600 .. ………. DEPENDS ON MILAGE
CAR INSURANCE & road tax…….….. € 650 to € 1,150 DEPENDANT ON CAR SIZE
INSURANCE LIFE………………………..… € 700
INSURANCE HEALTH…………………….. € 2,500 … FOR 2 PEOPLE, ..or do you qualify for nat health/ika
SKY TELEVISION…………………….…….. € 700 .. from British address .... (remember setup costs for dish on Crete)
PET /FOOD & HEALTH CARE ......... € 1,000 plus
POOL MAINTENANCE?.................. € 1,000 .. €100 for the chemicals if you do it yourself
ACCOUNTANT ...............................€ 100 ... if you live here permanently you need an accountant
NEW PROPERTY/POOL DUTY......... € 400 ... if you own a home


Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:25 pm
by Dinksy
The figure you arrived at is inline with my own. The grand total is good although I find that the separate figures do differ considerably from yours as some of the situations I have are not the same.

Keep up the good work.

Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:51 pm
by thebigbluecheese
Think your way too heavy there , , Wood , car insurance as a couple of examples . probably live a comfortable winter with 500 Euros of wood as I do , Just insured my car for 6 months 114 Euro . Dont know where your getting your prices from

Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:41 pm
by ScotinCrete
Like Dinsky I think the total is a good average - which means of course that few, if anyone, will actually be on that number. We probably go over most years because there always seem to be 'unexpected' expenses but fully agree that it could be much lower depending on your lifestyle expectations.

Posted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:42 pm
by bobscott
thebigbluecheese wrote:Think your way too heavy there , , Wood , car insurance as a couple of examples . probably live a comfortable winter with 500 Euros of wood as I do , Just insured my car for 6 months 114 Euro . Dont know where your getting your prices from

Gosh. where did you get €114 insurance for your car - 6 months or not? Not in Greece, surely?

Posted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:29 pm
by Jeffstclair
Seems about right we pay just under 300 euros a year for the truck and that includes recovery ....jeff...

Posted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:49 am
by thebigbluecheese
Insurance shop in Kalives , It was 117 last time , gone down by 3 Euros !!!

Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:16 am
by Kilkis
There are some interesting figures here ... 014_537823 regarding the relative costs of everyday shopping in different countries. It also provides data on relative salary levels.

It does seem to show pretty conclusively that, for these items at least, anyone with income arising in the UK, at typical UK levels, but spending that income in Greece, at typical Greek costs, is a lot better off than living in the UK on the same salary. They are also a lot better off than a local on a typical Greek salary. The same applies for ex-pats from the other countries mentioned in the article and, I would guess, a number of others.

I've always felt this to be true and while it is easy to demonstrate relative costs for major items it is always quite difficult for everyday shopping.

I don't really want to raise the whole more/less expensive debate but I thought it was useful to highlight some independent figures for this aspect of living costs. Obviously it still depends on what you buy.


PS I just got my car insurance renewal. €379.52 for twelve months third party on a seven year old Honda Civic 1.8. I've been insuring in Greece for nearly seventeen years and never had a claim. The company is ATE.

Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:16 pm
by Topdriller
Interestingly, I also just received an insurance renewal for my wife's seven year old 1.6 Mini. It is also third party and the cost this year is €256 via a respected broken in Heraklion. My original insurer was InterAmerican and I asked them to also give me a quote for the same car and insurance type. They came back to me with €345 for the year i.e. €90 higher for basically covering a third party.


Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:36 pm
by Topdriller

I just read the article you posted and the only figures given are the average salaries in Greece, France, Spain and the UK. It states Greece is cheaper to buy a basket of goods but then conveniently doesn't list what that basket consists of. You of all people know how statistics can be skewed depending on what the interested party wants them to show.

Are they measuring fresh produce, locally grown produce or imported produce?

For example, buy a plastic litre bottle of white wine here and it can be as little as €2.50. However, name the white wine e.g. a well known Australian brand and is it 40.37% more expense in a Birmingham Tesco than a Chania In.ka?

Likewise, I wonder if a bottle of Head and Shoulders shampoo really is almost half the cost here when compared with the same product in a Midlands Tesco.

Some things may well be cheaper in Greece but it would be nice to see the apples they're comparing...!


Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:07 pm
by Kilkis
The article actually quotes both minimum and average salaries for the countries concerned, not just average. One of the interesting facts in the article is that the average salary in Greece is only 20 % higher than the minimum salary while in the UK the average is slightly over double the minimum. In France the factor is a bit less than double and in Spain over 2.5 x. Quite a difference.

I don't disagree that it depends on what is in the basket. As I put in my post:

Kilkis wrote:...Obviously it still depends on what you buy...

They simply described it as "commonly purchased supermarket goods". As far as I can tell they were not trying to prove that Greece was cheap. If anything they seemed to be erring on the side of making it appear expensive, once you took salary differentials into account. I can't see, therefore, why they would deliberately pick items that were low cost in Greece and high cost in the other countries. Can you?

As I also said I am not trying to reignite a cheaper/more expensive debate as has occurred on here many times before. A major factor in that debate usually involves quoting specific items that are more or less expensive in one country or the other. The article at least provides an independent measure which includes a range of items from the everyday category which, in my opinion is the most difficult to quantify. Make of it what you will.


Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:37 pm
by filippos
Topdriller wrote:I wonder if a bottle of Head and Shoulders shampoo really is almost half the cost here when compared with the same product in a Midlands Tesco.
I'd say that's correct having bought the product in both places about three months apart. It gets even better if you buy the bogof offers from IN.KA.

H&S is probably cheaper than in Greece in some markets as most international brands are priced differently according to the markets in which they're sold. "What will the market bear?" is a question fairly high on the marketing director's list.

Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 2:24 pm
by Topdriller
UK heating oil is currently £0.55 a litre compared with €1.30 a litre in the Chania area.

A litre of petrol / diesel today in Aberdeen is £1.267 and £1.337 respectively. The same petrol and diesel on the Souda Hill, one of the cheapest stations in Chania, are around €1.699 and €1.399 respectively.

My particular 1998 cc car costs £130 to road tax in the UK but €680 to tax here in Greece. It's also a lot more expensive to buy and insure here.

I could go on but if the average UK wage is 3x the average Greek wage then you do have to wonder how the average Greek affords to heat their house, drive and tax their car, buy supermarket food etc.


Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:25 pm
by Kilkis
But your post illustrates the problem perfectly, Jon. If you want to prove the UK is cheaper than Greece simply search out every item that is cheaper in the UK and quote the two prices for each item. If you want to show that Greece is cheaper than the UK simply search out every item that is cheaper in Greece and quote the two prices of those items.

In every discussion on the relative costs that is exactly what people do. It is meaningless. What it costs you overall in the two places is what matters.

Even if you want to break it down it's no good just comparing the price per litre of heating oil. What would your total energy bill for a year be in the UK and in Greece? Typically in Greece that would be electricity, heating oil and wood while in the UK, for most people it would be electricity and gas. When I did that comparison my total costs were slightly less than a friend who has a similar sized house in the UK and who is very careful with heating.

Even in your own example the diesel is cheaper in Greece. I could go on to borrow a phrase.


Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:41 pm
by Topdriller
I'd suggest the need to keep warm during the winter months as well as the need to get from A to B are pretty fundamental whether you live here or in the UK. I'd guess the same could be said about eating.

Diesel costs (tax) will rise here, just like they did in the UK, if or when the Greeks move away from petrol driven cars.

I seem to remember you mentioned in some other post that your heating oil costs were now around the €1500 mark. I don't know about you but we have the heating on for two, perhaps three months of the year. However, live in a village in the White Mountains or in the north of Greece and your heating needs would be for longer and perhaps far more important in the colder climate. When we left Aberdeen seven years ago our combined electric / gas costs for the year were around the £1200 mark. Our utility costs here are far higher i.e. electricity, logs, oil etc.