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Cost of Living


ali-cat

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[quote user="viva"]

Is Dublin better served for flights to France than Belfast? I thought Ryanair did flights from Dublin to various places.

[/quote]

It's over a two hour drive to Dublin - & last time we did that we returned to find the car windows smashed & the tyres slashed.  Quite often happens to cars from Northern Ireland.  Don't want to risk it again!!  Also, having seen a couple of programmes on Ryanair not sure I'd want to fly with them!!

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Stay where you are then,as you seem to know very little about life in France it might be a good idea.There is a 15% unemployment rate in France more if the youths are included,re riots this weekend in gay paris about the employment rights of the young .............
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[quote user="le bouffon"]Stay where you are then,as you seem to know very little about life in France it might be a good idea.There is a 15% unemployment rate in France more if the youths are included,re riots this weekend in gay paris about the employment rights of the young .............[/quote]

I may not know as much about France as I should - but I'm sure I'll learn as I go along, thanks to the help from most of the kind & helpful people on here.  Le Buffoon (sorry, Freudian slip)  1. We're not looking for jobs, so what has that got to do with any of my questions?  2.  I've lived in Belfast all my life - believe me I know about riots!!  Had I been in Paris during the riots, it would have seemed like a quiet Sunday afternoon to me!! 

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Quote  -  It's over a two hour drive to Dublin - & last time we did that we returned to find the car windows smashed & the tyres slashed.  Quite often happens to cars from Northern Ireland.  Don't want to risk it again!!  Also, having seen a couple of programmes on Ryanair not sure I'd want to fly with them

 

 

Sorry, I didn't even think about the possibility of sectarian problems re travelling from Dublin. Ryan air do seem to get a mixed report , have only used them a couple of times and it was ok and much cheaper than who we use now![8o|]

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Unfortunatley, it's not easy for us to get over to the Charente/Dordogne area, with no local direct flights.  It took us 13 hours to get from Belfast to Angouleme last week!! 

We have a place in 17 and fly Bordeaux to Manchester + then Manchester to Belfast.  It is a 35 mins to Bordeaux Airport.  I have left my home at 8am and arrived in Belfast for 1.30pm which is not bad!  BMI baby are the airline, so you may wish to check this one out.  If you use this route low - mid season fares are very good too.

Best,

Deby.

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[quote user="le bouffon"]

"Cost of living" is the title of this post,off message or what.

[/quote]

Errr...you're not looking for a moderator's hat are you?

Back on to topic though (more or less) - a consideration for many when

moving to France is the absence of many of the short-term credit

instruments that they might be used to in the UK. By this I mean credit

cards and overdraft facilities, both of which are no where near as

easily available in France. A UK bank may allow an existing customer to

contiune having these facilities for some time (years even) after a

move abroad, but they are often withdrawn quite quickly.

In practical terms this means keeping quite a generous credit balance

at your local Crédit Agricole or wherever to cover sudden expenses

(heating oil, new tires, replacement white goods, whatever). This is

effectively "dead" money and needs to be taken account in capital

planning.

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I have seen many older people run out of savings very quickly because they just can't stop going back to the UK to visit family and friends. What may start off as a once per year visit has in many cases, turned into a three or four times visit and at probably £750+ when you take into account ferry fares,petrol and shopping in the UK to bring back times the number of visits per year, thats a lot of money especially for those on a state or low work pension. One couple who came here to escape the ever-increasing cost of owning two houses and continual visits actually went back from France more than they ever came the other way round,they lost all their money as they were under 55 and living on a teaching pension froma  forced illness that had resulted in the husband not being able to work anymore. Now they live in a one-bed flat with a high rent and have lost every single thing they ever owned or worked for. In real terms I believe the cost of living to be higher in France as there are many unforseen bills which arrive after you begin to live here as a resident and as Jond has said,unless you work in France and have proof of monthly income, there is no way you can get credit or a bank loan as easily as the UK and then it is only geared upto a third of your monthly salary in repayment.
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[quote user="Val_2"]unless you work in France and have proof of monthly income, there is no way you can get credit or a bank loan as easily as the UK and then it is only geared upto a third of your monthly salary in repayment.[/quote]

Thank you for your reply, but of course, I hope this is a situation we never end up in.  When (if) we move we will be buying our house outright & I can assure you we won't be travelling back very often to Northern Ireland (very few family members left & we don't even see them very often - when we only live 20 miles away!!)

We have never needed a loan or credit in our lives - always been very careful with money, which is why we are trying to find out as much as possible.

We are at present working out how much to spend on a house & how much to keep in savings, to live off.  I was contacted, today, by two different people.  First one said that we would not survive on approx £20k a year & then the other said -  no problem!!  My heads spinning now!!  I know that no-one can tell me excactly how much we need to live on - but I wish someone would!! 

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Ali@ards said

It's over a two hour drive to Dublin - & last time we did that we returned to find the car windows smashed & the tyres slashed.  Quite often happens to cars from Northern Ireland.  Don't want to risk it again!!  Also, having seen a couple of programmes on Ryanair not sure I'd want to fly with them!!

I spoke a to man with connections at a high level in Ryanair about this and he was adamant that your car could not have been  parked in the secure parking area at Dublin Airport..  He told me that as far as he was aware, there have been no reported incidents for a long time of cars being vandalised in the official car park.  If you left it elsewhere in the vicinity of the airport for a long time then you got the same treatment any other "abandoned" car gets from the tinkers.  If it was officially parked let me have dates etc and who reported to, he is quite concerned about this apparent breach of security.

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[quote user="Ron Avery"]

Ali@ards said

It's over a two hour drive to Dublin - & last time we did that we returned to find the car windows smashed & the tyres slashed.  Quite often happens to cars from Northern Ireland.  Don't want to risk it again!!  Also, having seen a couple of programmes on Ryanair not sure I'd want to fly with them!!

I spoke a to man with connections at a high level in Ryanair about this and he was adamant that your car could not have been  parked in the secure parking area at Dublin Airport..  He told me that as far as he was aware, there have been no reported incidents for a long time of cars being vandalised in the official car park.  If you left it elsewhere in the vicinity of the airport for a long time then you got the same treatment any other "abandoned" car gets from the tinkers.  If it was officially parked let me have dates etc and who reported to, he is quite concerned about this apparent breach of security.

[/quote]

Hi Ron,

We did park in the official car park - as did two of my cousins & a friend who all returned to smashed windows. All these flights were in the last two years, or so, but I don't know excactly when.  Also wanted to say (& no offence to your friend) Ryanair are know to give priorty to Irish Passport holders if flights are overbooked (Belfast Telegraph report) so that also dosen't encourage us to fly from Dublin.

Managed to get flights now (summer time flights) to either Birmingham or Southampton, which will connect with flights to either Bordeaux or Bergerac, so our travel times should be much better now that we don't have to use the TGV as well!  At least we will be in France for lunch now - rather than dinner!!

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We are at present working out how much to spend on a house & how much to keep in savings, to live off.  I was contacted, today, by two different people.  First one said that we would not survive on approx £20k a year & then the other said -  no problem!!  My heads spinning now!!  I know that no-one can tell me excactly how much we need to live on - but I wish someone would!

My husband and I have been self-employed for close to 30 years.  Because we are writers and are in very little control of our actual income, we have always had to be very careful with our money.  We've found that we spend far less here in France than we did in Los Angeles.  Because we're in a small village, there is very little temptation to buy and we've found that if we use cash for our purchases, we spend far less than when we used plastic.  We don't come anywhere near to earning the amount you're talking about and we find we live quite comfortably, if not luxuriously.

PG

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Hi Ali

What I've discovered since living here is the true value of money and just how wasteful I was in the UK - I never thought I was particularly well off but I did ALL of my food shopping at M&S or Waitrose, so actually find my food bill (unlike just about EVERYONE on this site) is considerably cheaper in France!  I also bought magazines likes Hello, Country Living, Living France, Homes and Gardens etc and half the time never got round to reading them (that's a good £30/£40 a month)  At least £7 a day on coffee and lunch whilst working in London, endless lipsticks, nail varnishes that I never used.   I probably WASTED as much in a month as I now spend on food!!!!  Frightening really.

I reckon that we are living off about 16,000 euros a year at the moment. 

We don't eat out as often as we used to (it really is just birthdays and special occasions now) and we haven't had a proper holiday since we moved here 3 years ago (just a couple of trips back to see relatives in the UK) and that 16,000 doesn't include clothes.  However, living in the country we don't need anywhere near the clothes we did in the UK.  We're going to a "bit of a do" at the village hall on Saturday night and I shall be wearing the same thing I have worn on the last couple of occasions.  The thing is, I've noticed that most of the other women have their "going out" outfit too and in fact I might look a bit as though I were showing off  if I wore something different every time. We only have one car now and have big discussions before we spend any money on anything other than food and bills.

HOWEVER, birthdays and Christmas have returned to being as exciting as they were when we were younger - we get things we really, really want now instead of having yet another bottle of expensive perfume to put in the cupboard "just in case" I run low.

So in summary, we are much more hard up than we were in the UK.  We are much more hard up than we THOUGHT we would be coming to live here - we thought that we would be able to survive on about a thousand euros a month, thus the extra 4K that we currently have would cover things like clothes and holidays.  BUT I certainly think that you will be able to survive on your £12K plus some of your savings if you are careful and don't expect to be swanning off around the rest of the country once you are here, or eating out every week.

I also think Lori's breakdown is an excellent one and takes into account a lot of the hidden extras that people tend to forget about.

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I can identify well with the previous thread. Things I always took for granted, even running water is now thought about and "saved" where possible and because being on french income means a lot less money you really do appreciate things more. In the case of replacing household items like a fridge or washer,this is where you really realise that by paying for them on the spot and not on plastic or HP their true value. We also only eat out for special occasions and enjoy it far more and xmas now is restricted to a minimum amount for each of us which makes it more fun in trying to find stuff. My kids were always spoilt in as much as they wanted something like a games console or a new video when they were younger have also changed and having their own money has made them pennywise too - not a bad thing to be for the future. If there is only the two of you living here, you certainly don't need two cars and in fact, get a bicycle and enjoy some exercise whilst going for your daily baguette instead of starting that engine.
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I thought St Armour post was spot on, and Val's2.

Money is in short supply for us, but we have never been happier. We do have to watch every penny and a bit more would come in useful but I certainly would not like to go back to the days where I was able to spend money frivously.

My children had a great christmas courtesey of Ebay, I spent less and yet they had more.

I think you should be able to manage fine, it just depends what you want frm life.

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I just want to thank everyone again, for all these replies.  We've done the figures, read & digested all the replies & I now know, with a change of lifestyle in France, we would be far happier people & probably much healthier too!!  Now, all I have to do is persuade the hubby!!  Mark's not really a "the glass is half empty" person - he's more of "the glass is half empty, there's a fly in it, which probably has malaria & will give me bubonic palgue" type person!!  Bless him.
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We too are a great deal poorer here than in the UK and like St Amour we are poorer than we thought we would be.  We live on around 16000 euros too - but to be honest have subsidised from our savings to have a holiday each year.  We work very hard here and I would really miss not having a break - if I stay here there is always tendency to keep B & B open and not have a holiday.  Although we enjoy our life here I am not sure it is forever as actually - unlike previous posters - I do mind having to count the centimes all the time.  I don't find I miss having clothes etc, but would like to be able to buy new books without worrying about it and have always enjoyed travelling so would like to be able to get out more.  As an aside I wonder why people expect my wanderlust to have been 'cured' by living in France - always keen to explore where ever I am.

For the first couple of years (been here 4 years now) didn't bother me as much.  But last year we had MAJOR car problems - and you can't live in rural France without reliable transport - and I realised how much I disliked worrying about whether we could pay bills.  Knowing that any large appliance going wrong is source of serious anxiety rather than an inconvenience puts the dampers on things for me I'm afraid.  We are by no means scraping along on a shoestring, and we don't have any loans.  Perhaps I worry too much, or am just spoilt - I have never been rich but always had jobs which paid enough for the basics and a bit extra.  Back now to basics only I find I do mind - when the sun shines our nice life - can't say relaxed as we work hard - compensates for the lack of cash but this cold miserable winter we have just had, have to say I have had moments of wondering what we are doing.

What I would say is that I'm extremely glad we came.  For me nothing is forever, so if in the future we decide to move on this will have been a great experience.  I would always regret not having done it if we had simply stayed in UK.  Maybe another couple of years here I will become less anxious or maybe change direction again who knows.  Sitting around wondering 'what if?' I know I would not have liked.

Maggi

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Cheer up Maggi, you sound a bit down and that's not like you.  I'll put it down to the weather - it's been a bloody long hard winter - the sun's shining here today in Normandy though, so perhaps Spring is finally trying to break through.  Sunday night it will be lighter for an hour longer too, so you can do even more work for your money!!!!  I'm hoping my extra B&B room is going to make me a fortune this summer.  As Delboy would say,  "Maggi,  this time next year we'll be millionaires".[;)]
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I stood back in amazement at all that extravagance St A. I have never lived like that.  Apart from the few years scratting and worrying about money when the kids were young, we don't live in genteel poverty either or whatever is the going term for it these days and I would most certainly not want to.

I don't like worrying about bills and I don't like, as adults, now sans enfants, well almost, not being able to go out when we fancy it or have a decent holiday when we fancy it. And I find having a half decent social life, precisely, evening social life, hard enough in France without not having sufficient money to go out. I would feel trapped if I couldn't 'get out or go away' when I wanted.

 

We are all different ofcourse, and that is me. And I am all campagned out too. I have really had enough of living in the sticks and having to drive to every darned thing I need to do, or want to do.

 

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Hear hear, Cerise and TU!   Poverty is for the birds.  So many people on these Phrench phorums say how lovely it is to live simply and all that.   They seem to positively enjoy scraping around every day to save every sou they possibly can.

I think it's all mince, and I think they're all just playing at being poor, because they can afford to, and because it's a novelty.  There is always the option of going back to Britain, for example.  The genuinely hard-up people I know do not like it at all, and would like nothing more than to have a bit more money.

We were never huge spenders anyway, but I don't like HAVING to be a non-spender!  It's not fun, and it doesn't make me feel morally better in any way at all.

Rant over. [:)] 

 

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Hi

I would agree with other posters that the cost of living here is not particularly cheap, food is expensive and not very exciting, although I am impressed with how cheap our fuel bills are. ( my wife likes a nice 24 degrees ) so we're not skimping! And have much less direct debits than before, don't pay for cable anymore, more free TV than you can shake a stick at !! no mobile phone bills, infact only the internet.

I can agree earning a living here is difficult, and if you are coming here to get a job I think your in for a shock at the salary levels. As a small business I think the opportunity is far greater, and with the micro regime a healthy net income is more than possible, given the generous level of allowances.

Sorry, strayed a little, would other posters not agree that even taking into account, less income means less disposable income for luxuries, that infact although we might like them, we actually don't miss them that much, as the prevailing qualities of life here ( I think its called Culture, and also a better climate ) make us feel good anyway?

hope it makes some sense! 

 

 

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