Not everyone who comes to Spain to teach does it through a teaching program. This teacher saved money after university to come to Spain, and has been working at an academy for three years. This budget-conscious chica gives us her perspective on la capital.
City and Comunidad: Madrid, Madrid
School: I am not an auxiliar; I teach at an academy called American Language Academy.
Your living situation? I live in a 3-bedroom shared apartment. I have my own bathroom.
How did you find your flat? On idealista.com
Rent: Right now, I pay 355 euros per month, but the price has gone down in the three years that I’ve lived here. I used to pay 375 for the smallest room, and now I pay 355 for the largest one.
What did you spend on utilities? I calculate between 40-50 euros per month. It might go up to 60-70 for two months in the winter because of the heat.
You cell phone company and plan? I have a monthly plan with vodafone. I pay about 45 per month for data, 300 minutes, and 1000 SMS. I know other people pay a lot less.
What do you pay for internet? It is 45 euros a month for the apartment; we have a landline.
What did you spend on groceries? About 150 euros.
Did you have any other sources of income? I used to do translation, which was about 1500 extra euros per year. I also teach private classes, and I charge 20-25 euros per hour, depending on how many hours per week I teach.
Were you able to save any money? I have student loans that I have to pay, but I could probably save about 1000 euros per month if I didn’t have them. Realistically, I would probably work less.
Your favorite tapas bar? I don’t have a favorite tapa or pintxo bar, but I go to dinner in the Plaza de Olavide a lot. They have a tortilla and salad for 3-4 people which costs about 12 euros total and I usually order a tinto de verano or a beer or two. I also like a place called Sagaretxe, which has pintxos. You can get 2-3 pintxos and a drink for about 10 euros.
Your breakfast and coffee bars suggestions: The best coffee I’ve had in Madrid so far is at a place called Caffe d’Italia. A coffee is 1,50 euros there. There are cheaper places, of course.
Nightlife in Madrid: I don’t have a favorite bar either. A copa can be 6,50 or 10 euros, depending on where you go.
How did you get around? I usually take the Metro or walk. A one-ride Metro ticket is 1,50 and the monthly pass is about 54 euros. They recently put in a city bike system and a yearly pass is 25 euros. I don’t have a monthly pass, though.
What you loved about living in Madrid? There is so much to do, the weather is mild, you can walk everywhere, I have access to a variety of fresh and healthy food…
And your dislikes? There is no beach!
How easy was it to travel around Spain and
Europe from Madrid? Yes; There are several wonderful day trips that you can take from Madrid, and we have an airport here that has connections to anywhere in the world.
Your guilty pleasure purchases: I don’t really splurge on anything. I pay my student loans, take 1-2 months of vacation, and take “big” trips 2-3 times a year, either to the US or somewhere else.
What are the top attractions in Madrid? The “triángulo de arte” museums and the Madrid de las [familias] Austrias, where the Royal Palace and Cathedral are.
Something you wish someone had told you before moving to Spain: It is much cheaper than living in the US. I thought I would have to have a lot of money saved to come here and I didn’t have the money, so I chickened out. I ended up coming a few years later, though.
Want to share your experience living and working in Spain? Take the survey. Get all the details from hola@comoconsultingspain