LauraThe many benefits of owning a property in Fuerteventura are obvious, but your money, and getting the best value, will always be on your mind. Thankfully, Spain and the Spanish Islands are still officially some of the most cost effective places to live – the second cheapest, in fact, according to a recent UK survey from the Post Office. But what does this all mean when you are actually living in Fuerte? Laura Richards, country specialist at SpainBuyingGuide.com, looks at how you can maximise your money and enjoy all the benefits that Fuerte has to offer.

When living on Fuerte full-time, or spending considerable amounts of time holidaying here, it’s worth remembering that actually living in another country rather than the occasional visit is going to be different. You will need to factor in all the costs associated with your new life on Fuerte, such as utility bills, taxes, property maintenance costs and the cost of your usual day-to-day living, but the costs of all these financials still tend to compare favourably with their equivalent costs in the UK.

However, a more cost effective lifestyle is not usually the main reason that people decide they want to buy a property on Fuerteventura. The climate and year-round sunshine, stunning beaches and coastline, shimmering seas and general quality of life are usually the reasons that spring to mind. Many of these appealing aspects of life in Fuerte are free, too – sunshine, blue skies, fresh air and a beach in close proximity can make all the difference to everyday health and happiness. The slower pace of life is also a big draw – long, sociable mealtimes and siestas offer a stark contrast to daily life in UK! Fuerte has a lot to offer that can be enjoyed for relatively low cost, which is why so many Britons choose to buy property on the island, or indeed choose to live here permanently.

Top five money saving tips from SpainBuyingGuide.com

When moving to Fuerte, or living here for much of the year, especially if you have been lucky enough to give up work to live your dream of your place in the sun, it’s important to always keep an eye on your finances and to make the most of the income you have to support your lifestyle.

1. Budgeting and staying on top of your finances
You need to factor in and budget for all utility bills and local taxes, noting the frequency and dates that these are due, for example, monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly. It’s a good idea to keep a note of all these costs and regular payments together in one place or in a spreadsheet, detailing what payments are due and when – this means you know what to expect, can budget accordingly, and ensure swift payments. This is especially important for things like taxes, as there are often considerable penalty fees for late or missed payments.

2. Saving on your household bills

If your property runs on a gas tank or similar, it’s well worth topping up during the summer months, when it is not likely to be needed. There can be discounts available as a result of the quieter sales period when the weather is warmer.

You may find that your electricity tariff is cheaper at certain times of the day or year – in the evening, for example, on Sundays, or Bank Holidays. One way to keep your bills down is to limit your use of electricals outside these times.

3. Currency exchange savings
If you plan to fund your lifestyle on Fuerte with income from the UK, using your pension, or income from a UK property rental, for example, a key area where you can save is on your currency exchange. You would be surprised at the savings that can be made by getting the best rate for converting your sterling to euros, avoiding the constant currency market fluctuations and not paying any bank charges. To make the most of your money when exchanging from sterling to euros, we recommend using currency exchange specialists, Smart Currency Exchange. They can offer you more favourable exchange rates than your local bank (usually up to 4% better), and, if you are regularly sending funds between the UK and Fuerteventura, you can set up a regular payments plan by standing order, making the payments automatically, so you don’t have to worry about the important payments going out each month or year.

You can make further savings and protect yourself against the risk of currency rate changes by using a specialist product called a Forward Contract, which allows you to set the exchange rate when it suits you for every transfer for up to one year – allowing you to budget for any large or regular payments and know exactly how many euros you will get for your pounds each time you make a payment.

4. Food shopping – get a good deal at your local market
Towns and larger villages host regular markets – offering better value for money than supermarkets on many items. They are great places to bag a bargain, as when you get to know the stall holders, you may have the opportunity to haggle and benefit from even more discounts, especially on items that you buy on a regular basis.

5. Make the most of your leisure time

Eating out is very cost effective on Fuerte. Restaurants are generally reasonably priced, with wine a particularly appealing indulgence at around €1.50 or €2.50 a glass. In luxury establishments, you may pay up to €3.00, which is still remarkably good value when you compare prices with the UK, where you are likely to pay at least £5 for a small glass of wine, even in some local pubs!

You may want to set a budget for your leisure spend, allocating money specifically for eating out, visits to the theatre, concerts, etc. You can also be safe in the knowledge that enjoying the beaches and natural beauty of Fuerte when you live here is, for the most part, free!

OBG-SpainWritten for Fuertenews.com by Laura Richards, country specialist at SpainBuyingGuide.com

For more information about emigrating to, buying property, or life as an expat in Spain, click here or call +44 207 898 0549.

SmartIf you want to hear more about how Smart Currency Exchange can help you get the most from your money when making transfers to Fuerteventura, you can give them a call Freephone on +44 808 163 0102 or register online at smartapplyonline.com

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