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Romania Cost of Living 2020: Prices in Bucharest, Cluj Napoca, Brasov, Sibiu etc

The cost of living in Romania is growing steadily, but fortunately not too fast. However, compared to 2013 when I first started to track our expenses and follow some prices of various products, they are obviously higher. And since my previous article about the cost of living in Romania was published in 2016, it’s time to update it with the cost of living data for 2020.

I recently wrote that prices are increasing in Romania, and that is still the case, even though prices seem to have stabilized somewhat. The main reason for the increase of prices in 2019 was the sudden and significant increase of the minimum wage in Romania, but also increased inflation.

Inflation has been a problem in Romania since 2018, when it averaged 4.6% per year (the biggest value in the European Union), but it slowed down a little in 2019 to a bit over 4%. The numbers are still high and as a result, the cost of living is increasing and you need to spend more Lei today than you had to 5 years ago for the same things.

Before checking out some of the numbers and monthly expenses estimated for living in cities like Bucharest, Cluj Napoca, Sibiu, Brasov and all other larger cities in the country (since prices are mostly the same except for real estate), I want to add a few things:

First of all, Romania remains one of the poorest countries in Europe and also one of the cheapest, despite the recent increase in the cost of living.

Second of all, if you are getting your income in a foreign currency, this won’t really have any major effect on you. I say this because the cost of the main foreign currencies (USD and EURO) keep reaching all time highs, being on par with inflation or somewhere around there.

For example, in November 2016 one dollar was worth about 4.12 lei, while in November 2019, it was 4.31.

With these in mind, we’ll check out some of the prices for various things in Romania, then talk about my family’s monthly expenses in order to have a clear picture about the cost of living in the country, no matter if you choose one of the larger cities or a smaller one.

I have detailed our monthly expenses in a previous article – but that needs updating as well (I will do it later on this month).

What’s the cost of living in Romania in 2020?

In my opinion, there are two major expenses when it comes to monthly costs: rent or mortgage and food. Then, we have things like entertainment, house-related expenses, health related expenses and miscellaneous ones.

It is difficult for another person to estimate how much you will spend in each category since everybody has a different approach to living their life (as well as different budgets to accomplish their goals), but I’ll try to do it anyway, keeping the estimated costs somewhere in the middle. But remember that in some very specific situations, these could still be way off.

But since having something to compare your expectations to (or at least to have a starting point when it comes to budgeting your next trip to Romania or your move here), these are my estimates:

Accommodation prices in Romania

Both rental prices, as well as the costs for buying property in Romania are, right now, at all time highs, similar to the prices before the recession of 2008.

While rent remains in most cases similar to that of the previous couple of years, the prices for purchasing an apartment or a house in Romania have skyrocketed and some of them are so high that I wonder if anybody will ever buy.

I personally saw studios in the center of Bucharest being on sale for prices as high as 90,000 Euros (which I consider insane). An apartment like the one that we bought in 2014 for 25,000 Euros (in a smaller city) now sells for 35,000 if you are lucky… so prices have indeed jumped up a lot lately when it comes to buying.

Romanian apartment room

When it comes to renting, the prices didn’t increase as much. You can still be able to find a decent 1 bedroom apartment in a good area in a large city in Romania for around 300 Euros per month and you can expect to pay around 500 Euros for a 2 bedroom unit.

You will also find cheaper apartments in areas that are farther away from the city center, while more expensive options are always available and the lower priced ones are not that common anymore.

Bottom line: If you want to rent in Bucharest, Cluj Napoca, Brasov, Sibiu or other large cities, budget between 300 Euros to 500 Euros per month for a 1-bedroom apartment. In a smaller city, you can pay as little as 200 Euros per month for a 1-bedroom apartment.

Some cities have seen price increases that are above the average: Cluj is, for example, one of those cities, pushed up by the number of higher paying jobs in the city. It can be considered, in 2019, the fastest growing city in the country (with prices keeping up and being on par – or even higher – than in Bucharest).

(Check Romanian website OLX.ro for tons of listings for both rental and properties for sale.)

Costs of utilities in Romania

When renting, the prices for utilities are usually not included in the rent, so you will have to pay these as an extra. Fortunately, these numbers are generally extremely low during the summer and still somewhat low during the winter (when heating costs hit).

If you’re renting an apartment, most of these will be part of something called Intretinere (which translates as “maintenance”) and it usually includes garbage collection, water, a fund for minor repairs and heating. If you have gas (we don’t), that’s paid separately, as well as the electrical bill.

And even though prices have also increased a bit here, most of the services have remained competitive and there were no increases in costs (heating, for example). The price estimates below are for a 2 bedroom apartment:

Intretinere: Prices here vary a lot based on how much water you use. If heating is included, expect to pay a lot more during the winter months (this also influences prices a lot – the warmer you want your room to be, the more you will pay).

So the numbers here vary greatly from as low as 25 EUR per month during the summer (when no heating costs are needed) to 200 EUR per month during the winter (with heating).

The most we have ever paid here was close to 200 Euros (during a very cold winter month a few years ago), but we’re usually paying close to 100 each winter month.

Electricity: Again, this depends on how much you use. I saw that foreigners generally use a lot more electricity than Romanians so it’s difficult to estimate. I am making these estimations based on our own consumption and average the costs out to around 30 Euros per month.

TV & Internet: These usually go hand in hand and the prices for the combos are generally low for a decent amount of channels and high quality internet. 14 Euros per month. (You can also get a land line phone for free if you somehow think you’d use that).

Mobile: The costs can be added on the same bill with the TV and Internet. Expect to pay around 10 Euros per month for unlimited calls and text messages and around 5GB of internet per month.

Food prices in Romania

Some food prices have seen insane increases. The farmer markets, where you were usually able to buy very cheap, locally grown products from individual farmers have been slowly taken over by companies and resellers (not to mention the supermarkets).

As a result, even farmer markets are more expensive than they used to be – and sometimes more expensive than supermarkets, although the products are similar in quality.

Actually, many farmers use so much fertilizer (because nobody controls then) that it’s probably unhealthier to buy from them than from supermarkets. What a crazy world!

Anyway, food prices in Romania are still low compared to the rest of Europe and the rest of the world, even though – in supermarkets or not – they have grown a lot lately. We personally found them to be on par with those in Hungary, Spain and even Germany (although there are some products here in Romania that are way cheaper).

Many prices are influenced by seasonality as well (as it is the case everywhere), so you might be able to find them a lot cheaper or more expensive, depending on when you buy. Here are some examples in euros:

Tomatoes (1 kg): 0.88 – 2.00 (depending on the season, cheaper during summer/autumn)
Potatoes (1 kg): 0.45
Lettuce (1 head): 0.45 – 1
Apples (1 kg): 0.40 – 1.30
Oranges (1 Kg): ~1 Euro
Cheese (1 Kg): 6.5
Eggs (1 egg): 0.20
Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless (1 kg): 4.70
Fresh fish, local (1 kg): 6.50
Loaf of Bread (300 grams): 0.40
Milk (1 Liter – no name brands): 0.65
Bottle of cheap local wine: 2.20
Bottle of better local wine: 4.20
Beer (0.5 liter): 0.60 (in stores)
Beer (2 liter bottle): 2
Sparkling water (1.5 l): 0.60
Bottled water (5 l): 1
Bottle of natural juice (1 liter): 1.20

Restaurant prices in Romania

Meal for two, inexpensive restaurant, Three-course (tip included): 28 Euros
Meal for two, better restaurant, Three course (tip included): 48 Euros
Beer (0.5 l): 1.30 Euros
Coke (0.25 l): 1.30
Wine (0.75 l): 12 Euros (but can easily go way up)
Cappuccino: 1.70
Fresh lemonade: 2.70

All in all, I believe that a family of two (or even 3, with a younger child) could keep the monthly food budget to around 300 Euros if they don’t eat out a lot and cook at home from base ingredients.

We currently spend a lot more than that per month, but we’re not making the best choices – plus, we’re trying to eat as much organic food as possible. In our case, food costs are the biggest expense each month, close to 450 Euros (eating out included – but we eat out a maximum of 4 times per month)

Other living costs in Romania

Bus ticket: 0.40 Eur (1 trip)
Monthly bus pass: ~12 Euros (unlimited trips) – not all cities have something like this!
Gas: 1.1 per liter
Pair of regular jeans: 25 Euros
T-shirt: 10 Euros
Cinema ticket: 4.30 Euros

Most of the things here – from transportation to clothing is generally cheaper (to much cheaper) when compared to other Western European countries.

Can you live in Romania for 1,000 Euros per month?

This is a nice, round number and I said a while ago that you can live in Romania for less than 1,000 per month. I think that you can still do, but it’s not as easy as it was and you have to be really thrifty to do so.

But as a couple, with 2,000 Euros per month, you’d live a good life in Romania at 1,000 Euros per person. Even in USD, you’d still have a nice amount for a decent life in most cities here.

But with rising rent prices and increasing food costs, I think that it is getting a bit more difficult to live a good life in a good area for 1,000 Euros per month as a single person. So if you’d have somebody to share these important costs with, it would be much easier!

Otherwise, you will probably have to cut prices by either living in a small city or well outside the city center and eat cheaper food, while cooking more at home. But still doable, at least short term (up to 3 months, I would say).

Still, there are many families in Romania living on way less – although not a good life! Remember that the minimum salary in the country has recently increased to around 280 Euros per month, while the average salary is around 600 Euros.

So having even 1,000 Euros per month would put you well ahead of most people in the country (almost half of the employees in the country are on the minimum wage!) Also, choosing to live in a cheaper, smaller city, would also come with lower costs.

Check out our monthly expenses in Romania

I will update the article where I detail in depth our expenses living in a smaller city in Romania, but until then, I want to share the bottom line here since you can take our expenses as a guidance for how much you’d expect to pay.

Regarding our way of living, I would say that we live a decent life – nothing to eccentric, but not tightening the belt too much either. We’re not really part of the consumerist mentality, but we won’t always choose the lowest priced item especially if a higher priced one offers better quality and value for the money.

So I would say that we live an average life here by Western standards, allowing ourselves to have a treat every so often.

We are a family of three (our son is 6) and we live in a 2 bedroom apartment, owning an old Dacia Logan. We don’t go out that often – as I already mentioned earlier – and we started to be extremely careful with what we’re eating, trying to eat organic food as much as possible and as healthy as it gets otherwise.

Therefore, our food costs are higher than a regular diet, I would say. But on the bright side, we don’t pay any rent or mortgage.

Overall, we had some unexpected or long-delayed expenses this year (new laptop, new smartphones and due to my line of work I need something new aka very expensive, new clothes… as well as unexpected expenses related to our car’s maintenance).

All in all, our average expenses living in Romania were, in 2019, close to 1,350 Euros per month (or around $1,500 per month). Not really bad, I would say, all things considered – and having in mind that it’s three of us living on this!

Hopefully all these details manage to paint a better picture of the anticipated costs for living in Romania in any of its beautiful cities: expect the larger ones to be more expensive, though, mostly due to higher rent.

Further more, if you are already living in Romania – and have been here for a while to at least have an estimate of your total monthly expenses, don’t hesitate to do so (you can even use a fake name in case you’re a regular of this blog and you don’t want me or the readers to know who you are).

But this would all help other people have a clearer image of the costs of living in Romania!

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  1. Nice! I have been updating the grocery prices in Spain so l could update as well. Your bottom line for the 3 of you is slightly less than ours. We have been going out a bit more and have added to my beauty regime much to his amusement (massage, facials😂). Like you say, if you don’t need to work in Romania, it’s a pretty good deal. Nice uptick for your investment even though you don’t plan on selling. It’s amazing how much the price has crept up. I can’t wait to compare prices with yours. Happy New Year!🎈🎆

  2. Happy New Year!

    I am glad that we don’t have to buy a house now, that’s for sure 🙂 We were lucky purchasing when we did! If we would’ve purchased in any other major city, the increase would’ve been even higher. Probably a correction is coming soon… but you never know.

    Regarding our expenses, the main difference would be that we live in a small city in Romania, while you do in beautiful Valencia 🙂 I always have the feeling that we’re spending more than we should – but at the same time when I look at the things that we spend the money on, I don’t see many options where it would make sense to cut down the costs… so as long as we don’t start spending money on useless things (my wife started to constantly browse a Chinese deals app called Wish and always gets pretty much useless cheap nothings), we’re fine 😀

  3. My father died recently and I am in the process of emptying out his apartment. It is amazing how many things people can accumulate in a lifetime. I have encountered many presents that I had given him and my mother over the years. Obviously you can’t take anything with you when you “go.” Furniture which he generously left to my sisters and me has to be donated to charities because there is no room in our houses. One of my sisters is dissolving her household because she and her husband are retiring to Portugal. Everyone is downsizing. Maybe it is a generational thing. My parents belonged to a post-war generation which built up an American economy based on over-consumption. Most all of these purchases are headed for the dumpster. It makes me want to never buy anything except for life’s necessities ever again.

    1. I am really sorry to hear about your father, Stuart. I remember reading about him in some of your previous comments and I feel like he was part of the blog as well. My condolences!

      But regarding the material things… you are indeed right! We do tend to fall in love with bits of furniture and stuff like that that our children won’t appreciate as much as we do. Regarding furniture… I always prefer the most modern looking things out there and, no matter how valuable and well made they are, furniture pieces that are a couple of decades old (or older) simply look… old and unappealing to me. And all the furniture in my mother’s house falls in that category, although she definitely loves it.

      We do have to try and find what really matters at the end of the day and focus on that alone.

    2. For sure. I have gotten to the point where I have anxiety when given any stuff. What I value is high quality healthy food and a healthy lifestyle so that I can parlay that into awesome experiences because the one thing I will never become tired of is traveling.

  4. Hello Calin,
    A pretty comprehensive overview of costs in Romania. (BTW: That winter intretinere could hurt.;-() I know during the hot summers, this boy needs a/c, so the summer intretinere would be a high, too–or at least the electrical bill would.)
    Noticed medical and dental care, not covered. For those non-EU people expats over 65, I reckon one better have a good health plan. I know I visit the doc. once a year, and a dentist every 6 mos. I’ve got 3 prescriptions I need to refill every 90 days. Fingers crossed it stays that way.;-)
    Since you brought it up… what do you do in your very expensive, fashionable, new clothing? Oh, is K through 12 free in Romania, or do you have to pay for your son’s schooling?
    Hope 2019 will be great for you and yours!

    1. Hello Teil,

      I did think about health care indeed, but the truth is that prices could vary here a lot. The cheapest option would be to go with state insurance, which is about 20 Euros per month, but there are also other private options as well… up to a few hundred Euros per month. However, a visit to the doctor would be at most 40 Euros at a private clinic, and a visit to the dentist would be as low as 12 Euros.

      School here is free until the 12th grade, but there are private options as well. I have a very poor opinion about the whole school system in Romania, which could use a modern upgrade and complete revamp.

      Regarding the clothes… they are definitely not very expensive and probably not very fashionable either 🙂 I lost a lot of weight over the past several years and kept delaying getting new clothes, but I was starting to look funny in some of them. Plus, I’ve been a huge hip hop fan since forever, but decided that I should dress up my age a bit more often, which also required some new purchases. But we usually wear our clothes until they start getting holes in them – and even when that happens, most are downgraded to “clothes to wear inside only” :)))

  5. Hello Calin, interesting article. It’s a bit disappointing the local market squares are getting smaller by the month, in fact we really noticed it at the Meva Piata in your town. It’s now tiny to how it was even as recently as five years ago, ten years go it was heaving with every table full pretty much throughout the year. But it has to be said this is a consequence of multiple supermarkets opening up everywhere all selling fresh(ish) produce, we all know its not the same quality, normally a bit more expensive, but its convenient and we compromise most of the time.

    Regarding the Intretinere, for comparison at our house in Romania we pay around 60 euro per annum, this covers the water, rubbish collection and local tax. But obviously we don’t have communal heating costs as we are not in a block and are situated in a small village not a large or even small town.

    Dental treatment for me at least being from the UK is just a small fraction of the cost at present in Romania. Here’s an example: In November I paid £40 for a dental x-ray in London and £3 (15ron) for one in Romania (Cicero, DTS actually Calin), UK Dentist quoted £800 – £1,000 for root canal work and I paid 70 euro for the same work in Romania. This being said though, I fully appreciate the impact of a 70 euro dental bill could have on most Romanians.

    Nice article and always looking for the next.

    1. Hello Shane,

      My apartment is some 5 minutes away from the Meva Market (near the Stomatologie, since you mentioned dentists). So whenever you’re around and you’d like to meet, just let me know 🙂

      Prices in villages are indeed very low. We also pay, in our village, a fraction of our monthly costs – but per year 🙂 But for most people coming from Western countries, I think it would be very, very difficult to adjust to living in a village in Romania full time.

      Regarding the overall prices – they are indeed cheap if you’re not looking at them from the point of view of somebody earning their living in Romania. Things change otherwise 🙂

  6. Hey Calin,
    Yes for sure, I apreciate that prices are cheap if you make comparisons to income levels from other countries. The example was really just for reference, you covered this part well in your previous article regarding health tourism.

    My personal feeling about Westerners adapting to village life is that it all depends on the individuals and what they are looking for, not forgetting of course the actual village chosen. We were exceptionally lucky and the one we chose has really worked for us, we did a lot of research first and I already had some local knowledge and experience of living in Romania. But you are right, most westerners would perhaps struggle to adjust. We have seen this when family and friends have visited.

    Yes for sure we must meet, we are there next in mid Feb (shool half term week here in the UK) and for sure will need to come to Dedeman so will keep in touch.

  7. $2,000 euro a month for two is a lot. We can live in the United States on $1500-2000 dollars family of four if you take out housing. I am surprised costs have gone up as much as they have. This is my favorite post as i enjoy crunching financial numbers. I think your estimate is high side for sure. I run numbeo and they estimate almost half your number but numbeo could be behind and catching up with your inflation. I will surely keep a closer eye on things as if they are going up a lot we will need to find more resources before we move to Romania. I had always mentally set $1,000-$1500 for our family of three with no house payment as I expected costs in Romania to be significantly less.

    1. Hello Otto,

      I always hated reading those articles that said you can live somewhere for $300 a month, then got there and found out that was the price of a meal :)) I am exaggerating a bit, of course, but it’s good to be safe.

      For a family of 3, your budget seems totally doable. For somebody who spends at least a few months here in Romania and learns how prices work, what should be bought and when, and who is also thrifty and doesn’t spend on useless stuff, $1,000 could be doable.

      It all depends on the extras: in my estimates, I thought of a rent around 500 Euros just to make sure (while you can still find something for as low as 150). There are also some “hidden” expenses that most people don’t really take into account, but they add up. The biggest expense is health insurance: it’s between 22 to 44 Euros per month, per person – and we’re talking about the mandatory state insurance here.

      As I was saying in the article, there are many people who manage to live of less than $1,000 per month (even families larger than 3), but it’s not easy. It would be without eating out, without entertainment, without some comfort items. But in the end, it all depends on how a person wants to live and what money they have on hand.

      I found Numbeo’s numbers to be very different from the reality in some cases, and mine might be a bit on the safe side as well. Maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle 🙂

  8. Hi Calin,

    first off…i love to read your blog about RO. Very informative and highly appreciated:-) I myself am Dutch (living aswell in the Netherlands) and I am thinking about moving there OR to Bulgaria. Right now i am still undecided. First off I lived in Romania back in 1996/1997 (my first ex wife was RO) so I know a bit of the country. I still can understand Romanian pretty well…but i lost over the years the aibility to speak it. I also was in Bulgria…but that also was a long time ago in 2001 on the Black Sea coast for a 2 week holiday (Varna area)…so that was not realy a long period to get an idea whats it is like to live there.

    I have been reading the story about your German friend…well in the Netherlands a 1000 euro nett a month also would NOT be a good salary. I earn almost double here and even I have problems to manage live. Problem in Western-Europe is that fixed costs are very high. And mind you I live alone..!

    My experiences with Romanians are indeed that they are friendly and open….but if you do not know the language they try to cheat you in various ways…I dont know if this is still the case? They all think people from the west are very rich..LOL. I am sure you know what i mean.

    I met to understand that RO internet is quite fast and reasonably cheap…is this correct?

    I lived there in Sibiu…so that is hardly comparable with Bucharest. Picking up the language is quite easy (for me it was..)…as its a latin language and has much similarity with Italian and Spanish imho. Offcourse everything goesd faster if you have a partner from there,-) Back then it was that Romanians hardly spoke English. Some of them spoke German (in Sibiu area…being populated by German immigrants back in the 16th centruy). Hence the german name of Sibiu is „Hermannstadt“…Aparently more romanians speak english now…well thats a good thing to know.

    Bulgarian is another ballgame in that aspect. As for the women…well what can I say?? Personaly i tend to think that RO ladies are way prettier then Bulgarian..but thats just me. Is it?? hahahaha.

    On the HDI List on wikipedia i noticed both countries are almost equal. Also costs of living would be fairly the same,allthough living at the sea side is somehow more costlier even on par with the capital i would say. So making a choice will be difficult. In Romania i would like to explore Constanta a bit more…as I love to live nearby the sea. In Bulgaria I would definitaly head for Varna area.

    Keep up the good work!!
    best regards,


    1. Hello Johan,

      Thank you for your message. Romania has, fortunately, changed a lot since ’96 – back then, it was just several years after the revolution, hence the people not speaking English. In the larger cities, you wouldn’t have a problem with that these days.

      You are correct to assume that most Romanians consider all foreigners as rich and, no matter if you speak the language or not, they will try to sell you things at higher prices or something similar. Fortunately, though, with all the markets and price tags around, the risks of having to overpay or get tricked are minimal.

      But yes, you might still meet some people trying to cheat in a way or another 🙂

      Regarding the internet, it is indeed very cheap and very fast. For example, you only pay ~8.5 Euros per month for a plan with 940 / 450 Mbps transfer speeds (download / upload) with unlimited traffic.

      If you enjoy being by the sea, it would definitely be a great idea to try out both countries during the same month to get a feel on how life is over there. Apart from Constanta, which is the largest city, you could also look at Mangalia and even Eforie Nord (if you’re interested in smaller towns by the sea). I hope making the choice will be easier than you consider now 🙂

  9. Hey Calin,

    The prices you listed in the article are quite accurate. I’m currently living in Bucharest with my parents and we spend about 10-12k lei per month. That being said, we live in a house that is 240 square metres and live comfortably. We built the house five years ago for 200k euros, excluding the price of land. In Toronto, an average house costs over 1 million euros, so I’d say houses are more much affordable in Romania, overall.

    We moved from Canada to Romania five years ago and our living expenses are 2.5 times lower in Romania compared to Canada. However, our income has remained the same. Romania offers really good value for money, in my opinion.

    Your articles are pretty cool. Keep it up!


    1. Hello Peter,

      Thanks for sharing your first-hand insights. Happy to hear that everything is going well and expenses are lower than in Canada. Building your own house from scratch has become a bit more expensive recently (buying one also), but I still think that getting such a large one as yours could still be done for around 200,000 euros.

      1. The real estate market in Bucharest has become quite expensive over the past couple years. The biggest issue isn’t the cost of building a house, but rather buying a piece of land. The price per square meter for land in a decent neighborhood in Bucharest is about 600-1000 euros. I’d say 300-400 sqms is the smallest piece of land that you can build a house on. So, right off the bat you’re looking at 200-300k euros just for land. We live slightly outside of Bucharest (Ilfov) and we still paid about 100k euros for the land. I think the price was about 120 euros per square meter. Building costs from what I know usually range between 400-800 euros per sqm, depending on what type of materials you want to use. Overall, building/buying a good house in Bucharest easily costs between 350-600k euros. No wonder apartments are so common…

  10. Thanks for giving the information in detail.I want to work in Romania but i have some confusion about wages and expense . According the salary of Romania is average 1200 leu (Romania currency) and expense is nearly 2800 to 3000 leu. How is suitable to live there. I Hope you will clear my Question

    1. Hello. The average salary in Romania is close to 3,000 lei. The minimum salary (take-home) is a bit over 1,200 lei. Obviously, living on minimum wage would be very difficult for a single person, so a budget of at least 1,000 Euros per month would be recommended (especially if you have to pay for accommodation).

  11. Thanks for updating this article. Alas, Romania couldn’t be kept secret forever! We might as well add inflation to death and taxes as things in life that are certain. In personal news, my teaching contract was not renewed in April of 2019. They had told me I could only work there for five years and they weren’t kidding. The upshot is that I am retired at age 61. The months since have been spent driving my wife to her appointed rounds, playing computer chess, watching YouTubes, going for long walks, and in the summer and fall I was able to work two days a week in a friend’s vegetable garden. The vegetables were delicious. I have a few private students but I am mainly relying on my investment income to make ends meet. My wife’s art school is losing students through no fault of her own. It’s just an unavoidable side effect of the decline in Japanese children. Rather than trying to revive her school, I am trying to talk her into living for extended periods abroad, say in Europe or North or South America. It’s tough going, though. Her self-esteem seems wrapped up with being an art teacher. I feel being an artist is more important and she can do that anywhere. Well, we’ll see how things develop. But Romania still seems like a far off dream…

    1. Romania still has a lot of growing to do and it still is a secret for most people, I would say and the increase in prices won’t help too much either. Still, if you’re really thinking about living extended periods in Europe, Romania is still a good place that won’t break the bank as most other countries will.

      More free time on your side means more time for side projects if you really want them to. I’m always telling people that, even though it’s not easy, starting a blog is one of the least expensive businesses you can try out. You could also switch from watching Youtube videos to producing Youtube videos: teaching Japanese or simply making online lessons could be not just fun, but keep you busy and active and might even end up making a bit of side income. You never know when a thing or another explodes.

      Regarding your wife’s reluctance to stop what she’s doing, I’ve seen that with my father many years ago: he launched a shop soon after the revolution in Romania, which did well for a few years, but then started to lose money like it was an endless pit. Friends and neighbors who started similar businesses closed their shops and moved on, but he was a proud man and it was his personal victory to be the only one left in his circle who still has the original shop…

      But it was eating money instead of making them and for several years, as long as that shop existed, we had some really horrible years where my parents barely afforded to put food on the table. Years after he closed the shop (because he had to, eventually) he admitted that he did it too late. I am sure your wife is not in the same situation, but the moral here is that – as hard as it might be to do it – sometimes accepting that things have to change might be the best thing you can do.

  12. Hello,in Romania or Bucharest, in what i researched myself on internet, 2 bedroom apartments are more popular to rent than single home family/multifamily (duplex) houses,in America is opossite.

    Do you think or know if the owners of duplex houses in Romania/Bucharest have a hard time to rent a one side of duplex for 500€/m or the whole duplex house for 1000€/m ?

    Do you think they made a bad investment in these duplex houses?

    1. That is correct, Duplexes are not very popular in Bucharest or Romania. Due to how the cities are built, houses are usually on the outskirts, and Romanians still consider location to be the most important thing when purchasing a place to live in.

      Romanians are also used to living in flats and houses are more expensive to maintain. The prices you have given don’t really help much – it all depends on the number of rooms and what’s the location of the building, but most Romanians are indeed used to renting apartments instead of houses, since they are cheaper. These being said, I don’t think that there are any houses for rent in Bucharest for 500 euros/month.

      This doesn’t necessarily mean that these are bad investments, it just means that there are probably a lot fewer people interested in this type of properties.

  13. My salary is 5850 lei and as the sole contributor in the household it’s still more than enough for 2 people. I keep a notebook with all my expenses, from food to bus tickets and last month, in the middle of winter, I’ve spent around 2700 lei for everything. Including going out and social activities. And I live in Brasov in a 2-bedroom apartment (78 sq. Meters) with my girlfriend. And I still get to save a good chunk of my salary. It’s strange to me how you claim to need so much money when anyone in here could live comfortably with 2000 lei per month. Yes, I’m talking with no rent since 95% of Romanians are home-owners, one of the highest values in the world. Even with a child, expenses couldn’t go over 4000-4500 lei, which is a lot. Also around 1.4 million people live with the minimum wage, which is 25% actually, not half. So people, you could live alone, comfortably with around 2000 RON per month, everything extra is for you to keep ;).

    1. Thank you for your input! It’s always good to have more people sharing their data in order for those interested to be able to paint a better picture regarding the cost of living here.

      I still believe that you and your girlfriend are very frugal (congrats for that!) and most people moving here would spend more. For starters, they will surely have rent to pay – so that adds about 300 Euros on top of the 565 you spend in December. It’s still under 1,000 Euros (for 2 people) so all in all really affordable.

      Thanks again for sharing your expenses with the world, it will definitely help a lot! If you have split your expenses on categories (like food, going out, intretinere etc) I am sure people would appreciate it even more if you would be willing to share that data with us as well.

  14. When I am in Bucharest, usually few months per year (as non-EU I am limited), I am living in a nice hotel for 600EUR per month, with all expenses included (AC/Heating/electricity/Internet, soap…), plus breakfast and coffee for up to 3 of us. Sometimes I came alone and the price is the same.

  15. This is such a helpful article. My company has learned from the virus that maintaining a large office space in the middle of the city is an unnecessary expense and will be selling the building and moving to a smaller one, with many of us workers having the option to work remotely full time, including myself. Sooner or later the world will have a vaccine, and this will open for me some opportunities. I have friends in Romania and have been there many times and I am considering working from there part of the year (March-June since summers and winters there can both be extreme). Since I currently work making an average salary for my location, it’s the San Francisco area, one of the most expensive cities in the world, and my pay reflects that setting. Therefore, I can save a good portion of my pay and I think I can live in a short term rental in Bucharest in a nice neighborhood and maybe pay 175 euro per week, with internet and utilities included, and expect to spend a total of 2700 euro total per month. Since my working hours will be 4-midnight Romanian time, there won’t be many dinners out and such during the week, but I can travel and be a basic tourist on weekends and US holidays. Does this sound doable? Costa Rica is also an option, but I would prefer Bucharest as it’s more inexpensive and I speak more Romanian than Spanish.
    The big question: Do I need a residence permit for 4-5 month stays? I won’t own a car. I will travel to other countries at least every 90 days, so my passport won’t show I overstayed. Other than emergencies, medical and dental will be covered on my trips home. The only people who would know would be the landlord, and why would they care?
    I appreciate your work here.

    1. Matt,

      The amount you will have will be more than enough to enjoy a really good life here in Romania.

      However, you won’t be able to spend more than 3 months in any 6 month period. Even if you leave the country, the customs will hold an evidence of you being there for the past 3 months so I don’t think it could be done. Also, just for 1-2 months, you would have to go through too much trouble to get a residence permit. All in all, I guess the option is to just spend 3 months in Romania.

      You also have the option to move for 2-3 months more in a nearby country afterwards – Hungary is one of my favorites and I am sure you’d love it. Its cost of living is very similar to that of Bucharest (just slightly more expensive) and it’s really beautiful too. Or go to Serbia which is cheaper and also nice but has fewer English speakers and an alphabet that will cause extra trouble 🙂

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