- I’m comparing my family’s average monthly expenses in Constanta with our past expenses in Drobeta Turnu Severin, noting a surprising decrease in 2023 despite inflation.
- Over the years, our food costs have consistently increased, becoming our largest expense. On a brighter note, our utility costs in Constanta are actually lower than in Drobeta Turnu Severin, thanks to different heating systems.
- Besides our average expenses, significant costs like rent and my child’s private schooling add considerably to our total living expenses.
- Overall, it’s still perfectly possible to live on €1,000/month, per person
There are few better ways to estimate living expenses in a country than to look at what other people are spending.
And today I am going to share with you my family’s average monthly living expenses living Constanta, Romania. And comparing our costs here with those in our previous city by the Danube, Drobeta Turnu Severin.
I also have a more generic cost of living article for those interested, and probably the best idea would be to mix the info in both for a clearer picture.
For the past 12 months, our spending started to get into a rhythm and it’s actually a bit under what we spend the previous year (when we moved here). Despite the huge inflation that affected the country.
This shows that there’s always going to be a “honeymoon period” in which you will spend more than you normally would. But let’s see this year’s numbers!
Our monthly living expenses
We are a family of three living in Constanta (and the expenses below cover our first full year here).
I am also listing the monthly expenses we had in the previous years, to see how things have changed.
|2023 monthly average
I was really surprised to see that our monthly expenses were lower in 2023 compared to the previous year. There are a few important things to note:
1. Food costs have increased the most, and they’re growing constantly over the years.
2. Utilities, despite rising prices, were lower than what we used to pay in Drobeta Turnu Severin 4 years ago!
This is due to the latter city not having natural gas, so we were heating water using electrical boilers (very expensive), but we were also relying on the city-run heating system which is more expensive, although worse overall. Really interesting.
3. Since we’re renting, our home-related expenses were minimal. This was nice.
4. I have not included two important expenses in the calculations, to keep things fair in terms of comparisons with the previous years, when we paid no rent:
- we actually spend €800/month on rent!
- we also have our son enrolled in a private school, which costs an additional 528 Euros per month, bringing the REAL total to 2711 Euros per month. Ouch!
This is not sustainable for us, but this is not the point of the article. However, even with rent and private education, the monthly costs per person are under €1,000/month.
I won’t say if these numbers are high or low, this all depends on the lifestyle choices that you make.
Remember, though, that a LOT of people in Romania live on a lot less (check the salaries in Romania article to see how much people are earning), while many others would consider our monthly averages less than what they would need to make a decent living.
So, in the end, your way of living matters the most.
We also noticed an increase in costs related to our kid – when he was a baby, these were mostly related to his regular doctor appointments and not much else.
Now, he has a few extracurricular activities that we’re paying for, he needs new clothes regularly and our expenses are going up significantly each year. Yes, kids are expensive (but totlly worth it!)
Have in mind that rental prices, as well as the costs for purchasing an apartment or house in Romania have skyrocketed lately and they are at an all time high right now.
Finding a place to live – even in the smaller cities – that is under 300 Euros for a family of three is almost impossible nowadays. I wrote and in-depth article sharing some rental properties in Romania – make sure to check it out.
Expect to pay at least 500 Euros for a 2 bedroom apartment – generally more in the larger cities, where you can end up paying up to 1,000 Euros per month for a 2-bedroom apartment in a good area.
Our spending habits
I think it’s very important to know how people choose to spend their money to try to estimate where you stand compared to that.
Some people prefer to eat out more, go out often, but fancy clothes regularly and so on.
The truth is that Romania is an extremely cheap country and you can live on a lot less than in other Western ones, but not all things are automatically cheaper than in Western Europe, with prices growing steadily over the years and sometimes on par with the ones in the richer countries.
My personal case proves that and even though I am sure that our average monthly living expenses are way lower than those of most families in Western Europe, it’s not always dirt cheap to live here and it all depends on how you want to live your life.
So, how do we spend our money?
First of all, “we” means my wife, my son (who’s 9 right now) and myself. We have rented a place in Constanta, after owning our apartment back in Drobeta Turnu Severin.
We eat mostly at home – but we try to go for natural, healthy food as often as possible, including organic options.
We rarely go out especially because we have nobody to leave our son with (babysitting is still far from a thing here) and we can’t take him with us either as he goes to bed at around 9PM.
We are moderate spenders, usually, even though we go crazy every now and then and throw away money on things we don’t necessarily need… (this hasn’t changed over the years).
I would say that we basically live a moderate life, spending like a middle class family: nothing too fancy, but not trying to budget very hard either.
On the other side, we don’t really care about buying expensive shoes and clothes, we don’t have an expensive car and try to live as cheaply as possible.
Pin it for later. Thank you!
It’s pretty clear that my family’s monthly expenses in Constanta prove that one person can still live on 1,000 Euros per month in Romania.
Even with rent included, a family of three can live a more than decent life on a budget of €2,000/month.
What about you? Have you been living in Romania for a longer amount of time? Are your costs similar to ours or you’re spending way more (or less) than we do, on average?