In less than a month we leave Albania for two months in New Zealand. This is SUPER EXCITING for many many reasons… but it also means that we’re coming close to the end of our year of blissful constant holiday! We’ve been here for nine months now and when we return in mid-January it will be with the purpose of finding jobs to get the money rolling in.
But before that happens its worth considering the cost of it all… because when I started researching our move to Albania it was very difficult to find information on how much things cost which made it very difficult to figure out how much we’d need to live for a year.
It’s definitely cost more than we anticipated, but it’s worth noting that to live here for a year, buy a car and pay for a wedding will cost us not that much more than the average cost of a wedding in London. Result!
So here’s an idea of what things cost (converted to GBP at £1 = 176 lek):
- Car (2003 Mercedes in good condition): £4,600
- Car tax (for 1 year): £40
- Car MOT: £10
- Rent – 2 bed, furnished apt (per month): £113
- Utilities, service charges etc (per month): £23
- Mobile phone (per month): £6
- Petrol: £1 a litre
- Beer (at a bar): £0.85
- Coffee (macchiato): £0.70
- Nice meal out for two (with drinks): £17-£23
- Bargain meal for two (with drinks): £10
- Take away souvlaki (for after the pub!): £0.85
- Loaf of bread: £0.40
- Dry pasta (500g): £0.40
- A whole entire watermelon: £1
- Bus ride: £0.17
- Taxi ride home (20 min): £4
- Large bottle of water: £0.35
- Hotel room (double): £20-£25 off season, £35-£45 peak season
Then there have been the numerous unplanned costs: from buying new tyres for the car (£310) to paying for a bloke who could barely speak English to act as our official translator at the legalisation of our marriage (£25)! The endless bureaucracy is fueled by endless cash payments! When we took the car in for its MOT we were told by friends that leaving a few hundred lek on the dashboard was the best way to guarantee that the car passed inspection! I refused to pay the bribe and the car passed anyway. Later on we discovered that loose change we left in the middle console (used for paying for parking) had all been removed! Ahhh, Albania…