The costs of living for anyone in any country varies according to your lifestyle and the same can be said of living in Portugal but for a rough guide on how much it costs to live in Portugal then you need to know about general household bills and today I am focusing on your water bill.
As with everything related to living in Portugal there are the usual highs and lows when it comes to household bills but on the whole if you live carefully you can exist in Portugal without having to spend too much money each month.
One of the cheapest bills has to be the water bill. This has actually doubled in price more or less recently but it is still really not very much money and an average household of four can pay around 40 euros a month for all of their water, larger villas will cost more money as will properties that are rented for holidays.
One of the main reasons for high water bills comes from if you have a private swimming pool. In the summer months you will find that you need to top up the level of the water regularly as the heat (and crazy splashing in the case of most children) will see you lose water on a daily basis.
You may look and think that you only need to top up the pol by a couple of inches but this will add lots of euros to your bill so be aware of this when looking at properties and factor in the cost of the water into the running costs of your pool to make sure you budgeted correctly.
Of course, in the winter there is not usually the need to top up the level of the water and it is usually because of this that people tend to notice if they have a leak in their pool.
If the water level is consistently falling over the winter months then you need to call in an expert and if you want to save yourself the cost of draining and the refilling your pool then it is a good idea to look at companies that do repairs while the water is still in the pool. this also applies to replacing tiles and other small jobs that you may need to do to your pool in the winter.
If you have a garden this will also see your water bills shoot up if you choose to irrigate it. Us Brits have an obsession with having a grass lawn but in reality this is a huge expense and it never feels like the real thing anyway!! When designing your garden look to planting indigenous plants that require little water and you will keep costs right down and only have to do minimal watering during the hot summer months.
My final top tip for keeping your water bill down is to make sure that you pay the bill on time! The fines that are now slapped on to any late payment of a water bill is now huge and you don’t want to be wasting money just because it wasn’t paid on time.
Bills can be paid online or on a multibanco cash point up until the date on the bill, you then have a few days after this when you can pay the bill n the local office (usually in the administrative centre for wherever you are in the Algarve). If you miss all of these ways of paying then it is into the water department to be met with the fine or you could find yourself cut off and not only paying a fine but a reconnection fee too!