7 Biggest Mistakes When Moving To Spain As An American

7 Biggest Mistakes When Moving To Spain As An American

7 Biggest Mistakes When Moving To Spain As An American

Overestimating the difficulty of obtaining visas, permits, and residence Insisting that you will find work upon your arrival in Spain, buying a property without having a good understanding of the region, and misjudging the impact of culture shock.

It’s incredibly simple for US citizens to relocate to Spain. All you need to do is submit the necessary documents to the appropriate Spanish authorities, regardless of whether it is for work or other reasons.

7 Biggest Mistakes When Moving To Spain

Moving abroad is one of the most challenging changes that you’ll be faced with. It is important to ensure that the transition goes smoothly and that you can adjust to your new surroundings easily. We’ve created 7 of the most costly mistakes individuals make when moving to Spain to help you avoid these mistakes!

Overestimating the complex nature of permits, visas, and residence

Spanish bureaucracy is often overwhelming, and the requirements to apply for a permit, visa, residency, or even a permit are usually more than you anticipated. The biggest blunder in making the move from the UK to Spain in 2023 was to think that the process would be quick and simple. It could take months, or often years, to complete all the documents to be filled out, especially now that Brexit has been implemented and new regulations have been implemented.

It is essential not to book flights or begin the final arrangements to move before you have submitted for a visa. If you do not have the proper documents on file, you will not be able to work or gain money from Spain and will not be allowed to extend your stay beyond the maximum period of nine days during your stay.

After arriving in Spain, You must make an application for residency via the Internet or in the immigration office. After your residency is granted, you’ll be able to obtain your TIE (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero), which is your Spanish ID card. The goal is to complete this as soon as possible after your arrival.

Inability to learn the language

It isn’t expected that you will be proficient in Spanish in the first few days after you arrive in Spain. However, it will ease the transition if you are able to grasp the fundamentals. Around 94 percent of the Spanish population is fluent in the language, and not being able to grasp the smallest Spanish phrases could be detrimental to your chances of moving into your new home.

If you’re considering moving to Spain shortly but aren’t able to speak any Spanish in the meantime, it’s worthwhile to consider taking one of these courses to ensure you don’t make this mistake if you decide to relocate.

If you can find work when you arrive in Spain

After Brexit, Brits are now subject to immigration rules that are not EU-based. That means if you’re planning to work in Spain, you’ll need to locate and get a suitable position before applying for a visa, and it can be a challenge.

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You’ll have to search for an opening that is advertised by the government in their catalog of job vacancies. Apply for a job and then provide the prospective employer with enough details to prove that you’re better qualified to be hired than locals. This will assist the employer in obtaining the work permit, and it needs to be approved before you can relocate to Spain.

Not speaking with other expats

In 2021, at the time of writing at the end of 2021, there were more than 47,000 Brits that resided in Spain. This is a massive community you can benefit from before, during, and after your relocation to Spain.

Connecting with the people you want to meet through social media and social networks, as well as at events in person, lets you benefit from the vast experience of other people who have made the transition that you are about to undertake. It is also possible that you have made wonderful friends in your new neighborhood who make you feel at home quickly.

A house purchased without having an understanding of the neighborhood

It is tempting to purchase a home before making the move to Spain so that you will have a home that is secure and ready for your move. But this could be an extremely costly mistake if you don’t have any prior experience or knowledge of the region.

To get an experience of the neighborhood, why not think about renting your first? Spend the time to find out about the people who live there as well as the neighborhood and the amenities nearby. Make sure that you’re confident about the area before leaping.

There are instances where this might not be the case, for instance when you want to apply for the Golden Visa and need to buy a home as an investment.

Unprepared financially

The costs of living and salaries in Spain are quite different from those you are familiar with here in the UK. A lot of Brits fall into the trap of thinking that the cost of living in Spain is much less expensive, but this isn’t always the case. It is also important to consider that, in general, the median salary in Spain is less than what you are used to.

It is also important to make sure that you open your Spanish bank account as quickly as possible. You’ll probably need it to pay for your utility bills and other payments in Spain. It is also likely that it will soon be expensive to use ATMs to withdraw money from your English savings account.

Ignoring the cultural shock

Moving to a different country with a different language to master and new people to meet is sure to be a cultural shock in some way or another. Failure to accept the new lifestyle is likely to be among the most costly mistakes when you move to Spain.

The Spanish lifestyle is slower and more relaxed; it is a time of relaxation, and family time is considered sacred. This is a significant shift if you’re leaving a huge and fast-paced city in the UK that is characterized by working too much. Relax, take it easy, and take it all at your pace. You’ll soon be feeling the advantages.

Financial Considerations For Spain

Spain is a stunning country that has a rich culture and rich history, which makes it a sought-after destination for American travelers and ex-pats. However, the decision to move to a foreign country is not without concerns and financial issues. We’ll discuss some of the crucial aspects of financial planning for Americans looking to relocate to Spain.

Currency Exchange Rates

The most crucial consideration in financial planning for Americans traveling to Spain is the exchange rate of the currency. It is important to know the exchange rate. The euro is the currency used in Spain. in Spain, and it’s essential to be aware of the exchange rate between the euro and its counterpart, the US dollar. You can find the exchange rate online or use  a currency converter app to ensure that you’re getting an accurate exchange rate.

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Banking and ATMs

Another major financial concern for Americans who live in Spain is ATMs and banking. It is important to be aware that there are a few American banks available in Spain, which means that you might have to establish an account with a bank in Spain. It is possible to research banks that are located in Spain and choose one that is suitable for your needs. It is also important to be aware of where ATMs are and the fees that might be charged for using ATMs in foreign countries.


Taxes are a major aspect of financial planning for Americans who live in Spain. If you’re a US citizen who lives in Spain and you live in Spain, you might have to file tax returns with the IRS. In addition, Spain haits ownts tax law, so it’s essential to be aware of the tax requirements in both countries so you can avoid any fines or penalties.

Cost of Living

Living costs in Spain will vary based on the area and city that you reside in. It’s crucial to know the costs of living in your preferred area and prepare your budget in line with them. It is possible to research the costs of food, housing, and transportation, as well as other expenses that are essential, to get the most precise estimate of the amount you’ll have to budget.


Spain is a country with a public healthcare system. It’s essential to know how it operates and what options you have as an American traveling abroad or an ex-pat. In addition, you might require an insurance policy for your health to make sure you can access medical treatment when you need it.

Visa and Residency

If you’re planning on living in Spain for some time as an American, then you’ll need to get a visa as well as residency. The process can be complex, and it’s essential to study the requirements and application procedure before the deadline. You may also have to prove the financial stability of your household to be able to get an immigration visa.

Budgeting In Spain

Spain is a stunning country with a rich history, which makes it a sought-after location for tourists and ex-pats. It is important to plan your spending carefully to avoid overspending and financial stress. We’ll look at some of the most efficient budgeting techniques for those traveling or living in Spain.

Determine Your Expenses

The first step in budgeting for Spain is to figure out the expenses you will incur. Write down all your expenses for the month, which include food, housing, transportation, entertainment, utilities, and Budgeting software or spreadsheets help you keep track of your expenses.

Set a Budget

Once you’ve established your costs, create an amount for each of the categories. Determine how much you can pay for transportation, food, housing, entertainment, utilities, and other expenses every month, and then stick to the budget you set. Be open and flexible, and make adjustments to your budget if needed.

Find Affordable Housing

Housing is among the largest costs, particularly in ER cities such as Madrid or Barcelona. To cut costs on housing, you could consider renting a room to a couple or living outside the city’s center. It is also possible to search for short-term rentals such as Airbnb or wandeAway.

Cook at Home

Food out can be costly, and cooking at home is a fantastic option to save money on food. Make a plan for your meals for the week ahead and purchase food items in bulk to save cash. You can also search for local markets and purchase fresh food items, meat, and fish for a cheaper price.

Use Public Transportation

Public transportation, including trains and buses, could be a cost-effective option for traveling around Spain. You can consider purchasing a monthly or weekly pass to reduce transportation expenses. Also, cycling or walking is a great way to discover the city while getting exercise.

Find Free Activities

Spain is a country with a rich cultural heritage, and there are a myriad of activities and places to explore. Explore free walks as well as festivals, museums, and other events to learn about the rich history and culture of Spain without spending a dime.

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Use Discounts and Coupons

Discounts and coupons are also good ways to save money in Spain. Check out discounts on the public transportation system, museums, and other attractions. You could also join loyalty and reward programs to earn cash or points on purchases.

Renting Vs. Buying

Spain is a stunning country that has a rich heritage and culture, which makes it a sought-after location for ex-pats and tourists. If you’re planning on living in Spain for a long time, you may be pondering whether you should buy or rent the property. We’ll discuss the benefits and disadvantages of renting or purchasing a property in Spain to assist you in making an informed choice.

Renting in Spain

The option of renting a house in Spain could be a fantastic option for those who aren’t sure about the length of time they’ll stay or if they’d like the freedom to move around. A few advantages of renting a property in Spain include:

  • Flexibility: Renting allows you the ability to relocate whenever you want This can be beneficial when you’re unsure of how long you’ll be in Spain.
  • Lower upfront cost: Renting a home typically has lower upfront costs than buying, because there is no need to make the closing cost or a down payment.  n Spain
  • Maintenance Renters: you’re not accountable for the property’s maintenance or repairs. This could save you time and money.

However, there are some drawbacks to renting in Spain:

  • Insufficiency of control: As a tenant, you are in a position of having limited control over your property and might not be able to make major changes or improvements.
  • Rent rises: The cost of renting in Spain is likely to increase over time, which makes it harder to budget your expenses for housing.
  • There is no equity: Renting won’t permit you to accumulate equity in an investment property. This means that you will not be able to profit from any increase in the value of your property.

Buying in Spain

A property purchase in Spain could be a fantastic choice if you plan to reside there for a longer period or want to invest in a long-term plan. A few advantages of investment properties in Spain include:

  • Equity: The purchase of a house will allow you to accumulate equity and gain from any appreciation in the value of your property over time.
  • Kontrolle: Being a homeowner you have greater control over your property and can modify and remodel the property when needed.
  • Stability: owning a home offers security and stability since you won’t have to be worried about an increase in rent or being evicted.

However, there are some drawbacks to purchasing in Spain:

  • Costs upfront: A property purchase in Spain has substantial upfront costs, which include closing costs.
  • Responsibilities: as a homeowner, you are responsible for maintaining your property and repairs. These could be costly and lengthy.
  • Flexibility is not there: The ownership of a home could limit your ability to relocate as needed This can be a challenge should you need to relocate due to personal or work reasons.


Is Spain an ideal country for Americans to relocate to?

Spain is among the most sought-after destinations for expats in Europe. Many ex-pats are enticed by the stunning climate, relaxed lifestyle, and breathtaking beaches. Like all countries, living in Spain is not without some disadvantages. However, the majority of ex-pats believe that the positives outweigh the negatives.

Is Spain an Appropriate Destination to Live with American Ex-pats?

Spain is a highly sought-after destination for a lot of U.S. ex-pats wanting to move abroad. Because of its Mediterranean climate, its affordable cost of living, and its rich history and culture, it’s not difficult to understand why the Spanish lifestyle is appealing to American ex-pats who want to move to another country.

How Much Will You Require From The Bank To Live In Spain?

An annual income of at least 600 EUR or a lump sum or savings amount of at least 7000 EUR in the form of a Spanish savings account. All financial documentation must have been written in Spanish and authenticated by the issuing Spanish bank. In certain instances, authorities need at least three months’ worth of bank statements.

What Issue Is Spain Confronted With?

Poverty and food insecurity continue to be problems in Spain. A decade ago, the global financial crisis dramatically aggravated both poverty and food insecurity.

Is it hard for an American to move to Spain?

All you have to do is submit the required papers to the appropriate Spanish authorities, whether it’s for business or not. Additionally, you have the option to invest in Spain through the Golden Visa programme to gain lifetime residency.

Why are Americans moving to Spain?

Spain’s cost of living is significantly higher than that of other countries. The nation appeals to expatriates since it is more cheap than many western European nations. An affordable one-bedroom flat has an average monthly rent of $1,050.