Expense Tracker 2022

Last updated on 06-Sep-2023

If you follow us or have visited VivaHappy blog before, you probably know that my hubby and I relocated from Toronto, Canada to Lisbon, Portugal.

Since we started doing our research a few years ago, we have been accessing and sharing information on online forums and groups, connecting with some expats who lived or live in Portugal + others who are in the process of (or interested in) making the move. 

People often ask about the cost of living in Portugal, so we decided to share our numbers. We’ve been tracking our expenses and thought the costs may be of interest to others, as budgeting for the new life is a very important part of the planning process. Another question we get asked a lot is about how to find a property to rent, so I’ve written a post on this topic as well.
EDIT: The rental/lease market is very hot in many areas, and the process may be much more competitive and difficult in some cities.

If you want to look at the costs for a longer period, check out our Expense Trackers for 2021 and 2023.

So, here are our basic monthly expenses for 2022, by category.

Note 1: We are a coupleover 45 with no kids, so these numbers are for two adults. ALL costs in EUROS €. 

Note 2: Rental costs can vary a lot according to the location, size, condition, and amenities of the property. We prefer newer construction.

We currently live in a neighbourhood just north of Lisbon proper (Colinas do Cruzeiro), still in the metropolitan area but in another city (Odivelas). This apartment came furnished, has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, terrace + balcony, in a modern building with 2 elevators, heating and air conditioning + great access to restaurants, shops, services.

* UPDATE: We purchased a property (comparable unit size and profile) in the same neighbourhood we were living in and moved at the end of July. As of August 1, we no longer have rental expenses. Our monthly condo fee is €60.72

Note 3: As residents, we qualify for public healthcare in Portugal, and so far it has worked well. We haven’t purchased private health insurance here, although we have signed up for this FREE plan.

Note 4: We are listing only the basic expenses because other categories (e.g. clothing, cosmetics, entertainment, travel, etc.), are discretionary and subject to personal preferences, shopping habits, and the income available. In that sense, however much you spend on these items now (converted to €) can be your baseline, if you want to keep a comparable standard.

Note 5: For reference regarding transportation, a monthly pass for unlimited travel in Lisbon (city) by subway/tram/bus costs €30 per person. The pass for unlimited access to the system in Lisbon and the surrounding metropolitan area costs €40.

Note 6: Some expenses like gasoline, utilities, groceries and eating out locally may vary a lot for months when we go on trips (we track travel expenses separately).  Also, sometimes we have a couple of months of estimated utility costs until we send an actual reading and get the adjustment on the next bill.

We’ll update this page monthly so that you can see the numbers in the longer run. If you have any questions or feedback, drop them in the comments below. Thanks for visiting!

These are for general reference only. Other people may choose to spend more or less on these items.

Expenses 2022 = in euros €

Rent1150.001150.001150.001150.001150.001150.001150.00(*) see note 2
Two Cellphones + Home Internet + Cable74.7974.7975.9277.2975.0680.0374.7976.2576.4674.80142.2876.30
Electricity + Gas86.83118.32124.95103.0193.2488.8294.3191.6393.55153.38103.52100.76
Groceries (includes wine and beer)227.40300.03228.81256.59208.63267.95190.60359.48211.76130.73282.81509.64
Dining out/Take away/Food delivery355.18214.29497.77279.11560.19159.78492.45297.96324.65600.25361.49294.98
Car insurance30.7530.7530.7530.7530.7530.7530.7530.7530.7530.7536.7036.70
House cleaning (per visit)30.0030.0040.0040.0040.0040.0040.0040.0040.0040.0040.0040.00
TOTAL2077.662015.952286.062072.272296.751908.292278.661022.84887.42 1173.531139.581170.18


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14 thoughts on “Expense Tracker 2022

  1. Just found your blog and find it helpful! We are a couple of 40 yr olds, childfree as well that were raised in Toronto, lived in Vancouver and then moved to Portugal Aug 2022! Do you have blog on the property you bought or details! Super interested! Congrats 🙂

    1. Hello there fellow Canucks, thank you for visiting the blog! I’m so glad you found the information useful. Hope you are enjoying your time in Lisbon so far.
      I don’t have an article on the property we purchased, but we can share some info on the process, etc. Do you have any specific questions?
      All the best on your journey in Portugal! 🙂

  2. VERY informative – OBRIGADA!! I have seen so many posts with “about” costs, that to see real, concrete costs is refreshing. It gives me something to create a realistic budget with. Question: does your electricity cost reflect air conditioning/heating? Washer/dryer? I am a single looking for the same type of apartment more near Setúbal or Cascais.

    1. Hi Kerry, our electricity and gas are on the same bill. So that amount covers heating the water for showers, faucets, etc., cooling/heating and all other electricity use. We have AC units in the living room and bedrooms that have cool and heat settings (very common here), and can be controlled separately, so we only use when/where needed. We have a washer, but no dryer. We’re able to dry clothes outside throughout the year and have used a laundromat on occasion. Thanks for visiting and all the best with your plans! 🙂

  3. Thanks so much for sharing your information. We live in Campo Pequeno and I have wondered how our expenses compare with those of fellow expats in Lisbon. This has given me a great perspective, and I’m glad to see we’re in the same ballpark (except for the additional cost of private health insurance, which I thought was mandatory for expats). Feliz ano novo!

    1. Hello Bela, Feliz Ano Novo!
      To clarify, private health insurance is only required until the person obtains their residency. After that (or in some situations, even before, as there are some exceptions), the person can register with the national public system (SNS). Individuals and families who are eligible for coverage (both expats and locals) may choose to have private health insurance depending on their needs, preferences and budget, but it’s not mandatory. Thanks for visiting the blog! 🙂

  4. Great info! I’m in the US and want to move to Portugal next year. I’m looking more in the area near Lagos. I’m retired and if I only consider my VA benefits (~$3500/mo) I think I should be fine. It’s just me so if I cut a couple expenses down to reflect that, I should be comfortable. I don’t know that I’ll get a car right away. I need to research that a bit more. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Hi Hellen! How often would you say that you drive on average and how often per week do you estimate that dine out or get take away? Can you say what an average meal costs at a midrange restaurant? Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Mandy, we don’t have to commute (YAY!) and probably drive about 3-4 times per week for leisure or something specific that’s further from us. We have grocery stores, cafés, restaurants and many other amenities within walking distance in our neighbourhood, and we try to walk as much as we can. Also, living in the Lisbon area, many points of interest are pretty close, even if you have to drive. Bear in mind that gasoline is expensive here and small/economic cars are the majority.
      As for restaurants and takeaway, I’d say 3-4 times per week for us. Probably more during the warmer months when we’re out and about enjoying the weather. We love finding local gems and small family-run eateries. Many places will have a lunch menu for €10 or less per person (main dish + beverage, alcoholic or not + coffee and/or dessert). For dinner, our bills are usually €30-40 per couple, including wine/beer. There’s something for every budget, and one can go really fancy and Michelin-star, or simple and lower cost but still delicious.
      Thanks for visiting the blog! 🙂

  6. Wow! 30 euros for car insurance that’s amazing, in relation to California car insurance rates.

    Do you find that cell phone service is reliable as well as home internet? Thank you 🙏🏼 really great post!

    1. Hi Karla, yes, the car insurance cost was a big (positive) shock. We pay per YEAR about the same we used to pay per MONTH in Toronto.
      We used to have MEO and now have Vodafone for cell phone service and home internet. Both have been good for network coverage. People say Vodafone has the best coverage, and we noticed it’s better in the area where we live now, so we switched.
      Thanks for visiting! 🙂

  7. Hi Helen, very interesting info on the monthly budget. We arrive mid March from Australia and would be looking for very similar apartment near Lisbon in
    a relatively flat area.keep up the good work

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