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Portugal’s Minimum Wage Covers 67% of Expenses — If You Have Free Housing

Can you live earning a Portuguese minimum salary here? Surely, many do? Surely?!

Portugal has the ninth-highest minimum salary in Europe, according to a new report from Canadian-based HelloSafe, a platform for comparing insurance and other financial products that’s available for Portugal.

Monthly expenses in Portugal would eat up 67% of the minimum wage, which isn’t as great when compared, say, to Germany (42%) or Belgium (43%) or a slew of other European nations, according to HelloSafe.

On the surface of it, however, 67%, ninth place — pretty good news?

Not really. For starters, the rating only takes into account countries that have a minimum wage defined by law — so it excludes Norway, Sweden, Austria, and others.

“Whatever,” you might say, “Portugal has the digital nomad visa, or maybe I can still get in with a Golden Visa.” Before you pack your bags, there’s a larger issue — the monthly expenses don’t include housing costs.

“When we say that 66% of the minimum wage in Portugal is committed to a person’s daily expenses, we are basing ourselves on an average of 14 wages per year. When divided, we have the equivalent of 886.10 euros per month. The problem is that this value is not the monthly amount received. For those who can organize themselves and share this profit throughout the year, they can guarantee this monthly income, otherwise, the amount received is 760 euros. That is, there is even less left over for rent and housing expenses, around 168 euros,” HelloSafe warns.

And how’s the rent these days? Well, HelloSafe then “considered expenses in general, not just the expenses of those earning the minimum wage. Currently, the biggest expense is for housing, which uses around 30.6% of the Portuguese salary.”