The attractions of the French lifestyle have long made France the country of choice for British expats and new figures show that the cost of living there is lower than in the UK. Yet another reason to make that move across the Channel
New research from MoneySupermarket has revealed that the UK is more expensive to live in than the top nine destinations for British expats, including France. The research looked at the average monthly cost of raising a family of four in the UK, France, Sweden, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Spain, the USA and Ireland, factoring in the cost of everything from rent and utility bills to grocery shopping and eating out. The results show that the cost of living in France is significantly cheaper than in the UK, Ireland and the US. The global average cost of a four-person family in the UK, as a percentage of two parents’ salaries, was 103%, with rent and pre-school coming in at some of the highest costs worldwide. However the global average cost of a four-person family in France, as a percentage of two parents’ salaries, came in significantly lower at 86%.
How much does it cost to raise a four-person family in the UK?
While at €2,690.72 the average monthly salary per person in the UK is around €400 higher than in France, the overall monthly cost of raising a family in the UK comes in at €5,621.26. According to MoneySupermarket, the overall costs for an average family have been steadily increasing in the UK, with total household spending rising by 8% since 2002.The average monthly cost in the UK breaks down as follows:
Property (average monthly rent) = €2,229.55
Utility bills (heating, water and electricity) = €200.24
Preschool = €2,669.35
Eating out = €178.05
Groceries = €286.10
How much does it cost to raise a four-person family in France?
The research showed that the overall monthly cost of raising a family in France is €3,947.10, and the average monthly salary per person is €2,281.89.
The average monthly cost in France is breaks down as follows:
Property (average monthly rent) = €1,618.39
Utility bills (heating, water and electricity) = €184.84
Preschool = €1,547.07
Eating out = €160.79
Groceries = €395.31
How much money do you save in France?
Renting a property = €611.16 cheaper
Preschool = €1,122.28 cheaper
Utility bills = €15.40 cheaper
Eating out = €17.26 cheaper
What does an expat mum think?
“While supermarket prices can be steep, families can overcome this by shopping more frugally, cooking from scratch and – in some cases – growing their own,” says Gillian Harvey, who lives with her husband and five young children in Limousin. “With the price of property much lower, mortgage payments are often small or non-existent, meaning there’s more in the budget each month. Child maintenance allowance is generous, and although it’s means-tested, the bar is set pretty high before you have your payment capped. There is also a payment at seven months for those expecting a baby, and a few hundred euros available for children over six before la rentrée (in September) to help with purchasing school equipment. The crèche, too, is heavily discounted and subsidised, depending on your income.
The most important thing for us is there doesn’t seem to be the same culture of constantly wanting more, of competing with other kids, of having to have the latest gadget, or trainers. No one is shamed for having the wrong bag, haircut, games console (if they even own one). Where we live, it’s very unusual for a child under 15 to have a mobile phone. The cost of raising children definitely seems better here!”
Overall, the average monthly cost of raising a family in France works out at €1,674.16 cheaper in France than in the UK. And with average French property prices as low as €118,500 in Dordogne, €109,500 in Charente and €126,200 in Aude, you can buy a lot more house for your money too. Good news – you’ll have more money left over to spend on enjoying life in France!
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