One of the strongest attractions of Bulgaria for foreign nationals - apart from its stunning natural beauty of course - is the fact that the costs of both living and property in Bulgaria are so affordable.
For those coming from the UK or mainland Western Europe the prices for the majority of goods, services, commodities and property in Bulgaria are markedly lower than those that they are used to. This fact alone has resulted in Bulgaria becoming popular with those looking for an affordable second home, a cheap holiday destination or even a country in which to live where savings or pension income will go so much further.
The average annual salary in Bulgaria is between GBP 1,000 and GBP 1,500 with many people having to survive on far less than that – naturally enough this means that the cost of living in Bulgaria and the cost of main items and foodstuffs that are essential for day to day life have to be priced correspondingly lower.
All locally grown and produced food stuffs are at least a third of the price of similar items in the UK for example, and it is only imported items that carry any significant cost. Those who come from a Western economy to live in Bulgaria and then shop carefully and buy fresh produce from stalls or markets will find that their weekly food bill is dramatically lower than what it used to be.
Anyone who likes to eat out will find that other than the really touristy restaurants in the main resorts a decent three course meal in a local restaurant can cost as little as GBP 5 – 8 a head. Wine is available from GBP 3 a bottle – and the wine is good at that price rather than like vinegar! And beer monsters will be happy to learn that in most bars their favourite tipple is for sale from as little as GBP 0.40 a pint.
The only things that can work out more expensive in Bulgaria are electrical items and gadgets; although depending on the country you herald from mobile phone bills can be higher in Bulgaria as well because there is no major competition among providers which results in them being able to charge high prices for calls etc.
When pricing up the average cost of living in Bulgaria services and utilities such as gas and electricity as well as rent are likely to be the highest bills that anyone will face. Naturally enough fuel bills soar in the winter and it can be wise to pre-plan for this and budget so that you never run out of money to pay for heating!
All in all Bulgaria is an incredibly affordable place to live, those who want to make their retirement income go further or who would like to downsize will find that their savings and income can go far further in Bulgaria – but if it is a cheap cost of living that you’re after avoid living or buying property in Bulgaria’s main ski and summer resorts.