The cost of living in Galicia is generally somewhat lower than in the UK but can be massively cheaper if you work at it. Split into broad categories (and ignoring income and other non-property based taxes) with rough costs it looks something like this:
Council tax (IBI)
Galician houses range from about 150€ for even quite a large house in the countryside to around 1000€ for a town centre or luxury modern property per year for council tax and garbage collection.
Heating, hot water and electricity costs
Average winter temperatures in Galicia don’t fall much below 10C and therefore the heating required for comfortable living temperatures is less, although obviously this assumes a property with equal thermal efficiency (normally Galician properties score badly on this criterion).
Electricity, gas and heating oil are generally a little cheaper than the UK.
Using bottled or town gas for water heating, electricity for domestic appliances and bought logs burnt on a good stove for the main source of house heating costs can be as low as 500€ per year, although a large house using electric heating can easily cost 2000€ per year.
Heating costs can be lowered by using modern renewable energy technology, much of which is extremely well suited to the Galician climate. More details about this topic can be found in our eco building section.
Telephone and internet costs
The major telephone operators such as Movistar provide a tariff which is well suited to people moving to Galicia as it offers fixed line telephone and broadband without download limits along with a mobile with a modest calls and data pacakage. With the addition of an international calls option (as described in our links to home section) this costs around 50€ per month.
Food and drink
If you are happy to eat predominantly seasonal foods and don’t buy many expensive imported products you can live very well on 2000€ per person per year.
It’s possible to live on a lot less than this, especially if you grow your own vegetables, but equally possible to get overexcited in the wine and foreign foods sections and have a more costly diet.
Clothes and other goods
Similar to the UK. As with food, things that normal Galicians use are cheap and anything else is expensive. There are big sale (rebajas) seasons in Jan/Feb and in August where 50-70% discounts are common.
Petrol is similarly priced to the UK and diesel a bit cheaper.
Road tax is around 120€ per year depending on where you are and the type of car you drive.
Yearly ITV (MOT equivalent) checks cost 45€.
Insurance varies depending on your car and where you live but is similar to cheaper parts of the UK costing approx. 300-400€ per year for a mature driver in an average car.
In total, allowing for some maintenance and assuming you do around 8000km per year, it costs around 2500€ per year to run an average car.
public heath cover is free if you are covered by the state but otherwise 500€ per person is a reasonable average for private annual health cover.
Galicia has lots of stuff to do for free or for very little money. Eating out is generally considerably cheaper as are most sports and clubs. Flights, holidays and travel are otherwise somewhat cheaper or comparable.
Total cost of living & social security
In total a couple living in Galicia with their own house (without mortgage), internet, running one car and with Spanish state healthcare access can live on as little as 8000€ per year. This obviously rises with family or with increased spending in any area.
The one major cost not detailed above is if making social security contributions in Spain is required (normally in order to obtain pension rights and heathcare).
If you do not have employment in Spain one member of the family will need to register as self employed (autonomo) and make the minimum social security contribution of around 3000€ per year. This gets state healthcare for the whole family and also pension entitlement after 15 years of contributions, but of course it significantly increases the cost of living.