Living in Lisbon

I have said in the last few articles that I have been living in Europe.  The city is Lisbon, one of the cheapest capitals in Europe.  It has a great quality of life and it is pretty cheap to live here.  It is not nearly a cheap as Tainan, but it certainly blows away the high cost of living in Orange County.  Today I will give you some of the costs of living here and point you to a website I thoroughly enjoy, The Earth Awaits.

The Earth Awaits (TEA)

As you can see, living is Lisbon cost less than half of what it does in Irvine, where I was living before.  It can often be difficult to gauge the cost of living before going somewhere.  But with TEA you can input your lifestyle and get a reasonable estimate for the cost of living elsewhere.  This is great if you are thinking of working abroad, hoping to retire somewhere where you can live more comfortably, or maybe you have another idea.  I’d definitely recommend trying it out.

Lisbon details


So if you have read my articles you’ll know I love a good deal.  For meals, I eat breakfast and dinner at home and eat lunch at school.  The first few weeks I was getting a €3.50 lunch that includes an entree with fries and salad.  However, my classmates took me to an even better deal.  For €2.65 you can get a piece of bread, soup, entree, salad, dessert or fruit, and juice.  Admittedly it is not the greatest meal, but who can complain at that price.


We are renting a room in a flat with several other students for €640 a month including utilities.  I have been told it is possible to get an entire place for this price, but coming from abroad I didn’t have the resources to get such a deal.  Perhaps when the contract is up in June I will find something cheaper.


Lisbon scores a 99 Walk Score, meaning it is nearly the best place to walk.  I would agree and say that you should stay away from using cars because the roads are one or two lanes and therefore have lots of traffic during arriving and leaving work periods.  For the first month, I got a monthly metro and bus pass that cost €37.  However, I lost my wallet recently and starting walking everywhere.  And I think I’ll survive!


Living in Lisbon has been enjoyable and I get to experience something new.  The wages here are much lower and the people manage to have a pretty good quality of life.  I challenge you to try to experience other places if you are interested.  You may think it is not possible, but I managed to do so while working and now I’ve crafted another year abroad.  Finally, check out The Earth Awaits.  It is fun to see others’ cost of living.  Who knows, you might even become motivated to move.


  1. Dani says:

    Hi there!
    I’m really enjoying your articles, and it’s great to have you in Portugal!
    I live near Porto, so next time you come here just knock on my computer screen and we can meet and I’ll buy you a beer!
    Btw, I can honestly say that Portuguese people are very friendly and welcoming to foreigners, we love to know new cultures and to be good hosts! 🙂
    Keep up with the great work, I’m going to check your posts regularly.

  2. The Vagabond says:

    Hey, great article and thanks for mentioning The Earth Awaits! I totally envy you your time in Portugal… it’s one of the places my wife and I look at as a possibility for FIRE. How are you finding everyday life? Easy to make friends and fit in, how’s the food, etc.? Have you had much opportunity to explore the rest of the country or continent yet?

    • Ten Bucks a Week says:

      My wife and I went on a trip to Porto with 25 people this weekend. It was excellent and had a small town feel to it. The food is great and not expensive although you can still find costly stuff. As for the people, they are friendly, but not sure how easy it would be to make friends. Fortunately, I have lots of friends through my MBA. The younger people are really good at English.
      The rest of Europe I have seen much of and greatly prefer Spain and Portugal as places to live. A big consideration is the language and these two I can learn much more comfortably than others.

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