How to live on 500 euros per month in Bulgaria
To live comfortably at 500 euros per month, it is not necessary to go to the other end of the world.
Bulgaria has a pleasant climate, low prices, favorable environmental conditions and many understand Russian. And if you have at least some small savings in your bank account, maybe the time has come to move to Eastern Europe and at least for a while to experience the local way of life?
Housing in Bulgaria
To look around and get acquainted with the country, for the first time you can rent an apartment for a short time – it costs from 15-20 euros per day – and then look for options for a long rental on the spot. When you get in touch with Bulgarian real estate agencies, you will be surprised to find that for 70-150 euros a month you can rent a decent one-bedroom apartment in a small town or village, and for 200-300 euros in a large regional center. That is, if you two, for a person you will need to pay only 100-150 euros per month. Be prepared that usually at the conclusion of the contract 2 months are paid immediately, then you will need to make advance payments at the beginning of the month.
Of course, it’s nice to live in a villa on the Black Sea coast in the summer, and in the winter move to a chalet in a ski resort. However, these options will cost you about half the price. The highest cost of apartments in the resorts of Golden Sands and Sunny Beach, in the most popular ski resort of Borovets. Cheaper to settle by the sea in Varna, in Albena, in Balchik. And the apartments in the outback, in the vicinity of Plovdiv, at some distance from Sofia, are quite inexpensive.
If you have enough savings, you can buy a one-room apartment for 60-120 thousand euros. Moreover, making a purchase of real estate in Bulgaria is easier than in Russia.
A visa is required to enter Bulgaria. For housing rent, permission to enter will be given only if the landlord officially formalizes the apartment as rented, and, like the hotel, they will be assigned a certain category.
Food in Bulgaria
Food will not become an expense item in your budget, and you won’t have to save on it. Eating in Bulgarian restaurants is inexpensive. 10 euros is enough to eat in a cafe together. Having settled in the city, you are likely to purchase products in stores and cook at home, which will cost you even less. Food prices there are lower than the average in Moscow: bread costs 0.3 euros per kilogram, potatoes – 0.5 euros per kilogram, pork – 3-4 euros. About 150 euros will be spent on food per person.
As in many countries, better and cheaper vegetables and fruits can be bought in the markets and in small shops, and for other products it is better to go to a supermarket like METRO.
Internet and telephone in Bulgaria
Of course, it is more profitable to use the services of local operators. To buy a Bulgarian SIM card, you just need to show your passport. How much you pay per month for communication depends only on you, but, considering that you will most likely communicate with relatives remaining at home, via Skype or another messenger, the local phone will cost 8-15 euros per month. Mobile Internet 3G is widespread throughout the country, therefore, especially if you are going to change housing, it is hardly worth installing a dedicated line in a rented apartment – it will be quite enough to buy a USB modem or other similar device and pay the operator about 15-25 euros per month.
When concluding an agreement with a cellular company, be sure to check the coverage area: Bulgarian operators do not differ in the quality of services, and in some areas there may be no communication.
Additional costs When concluding a rental contract, pay attention to whether utility bills are included in the rental price. Most likely, they will have to be paid separately. In winter, Bulgaria is not hot, but there is no central heating in most apartments, and where it is, it is very expensive. When renting or buying an apartment, find out how it will be heated. You may have to shell out a lot of money so as not to freeze. Do not forget about water and electricity, about the use of elevators (for those living above the second floor), about garbage disposal – all this will result in about 60 euros per month.
If you bought an apartment, you will regularly have to pay property taxes, depending on the estimated value of the property. Also get ready to donate funds to maintain the order of the entrance, to the intercom, the necessary repair of walls, roofs – everything that the local organization, an analogue of our HOA, will decide. Various services will cost about 70 euros per month (and about twice as much if the apartments are located in the resort area).
Do not forget about the costs of public transport, taxi – about 12-30 euros per month.
A spoon of tar
The possession of housing does not give the right to obtain a residence permit. Bulgaria plans to join Schengen next year, therefore, all visa issuance rules have been brought into line with the Schengen law. This means that owning an apartment and not having other special reasons.