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BLOG How Much Money Do I Need To Live Comfortably In Turkey?

16 September 2021 / Lifestyle

Living Comfortably In Turkey

The question of how much money you need to live comfortably in Turkey will largely depend on where you choose to live, your current circumstances like whether you own property in the country or have a family to support, and your definition of a comfortable lifestyle. For example, Istanbul is Turkey’s most expensive place to live. Ideally, you need at least 10,000 lira a month if you own property and do not have to pay rent. However, head to many other places in Turkey where the cost of living is cheaper, and you need on average 7,000 lira a month. When deciding on your budget and considering whether you can afford to move, certain factors matter, and we look at them in this article.

Living Comfortably In Turkey

1: Current Exchange Rate

If you receive an income or a pension in a foreign currency other than the Turkish lira, factor in a buffer zone because the current exchange rate is unusually high. The Turkish government is actively working to lower it, and experts say that will not happen for a few years. Regardless, the Turkish lira exchange rate is up and down like a yo-yo weekly, so be generous with your budget and factor in a buffer zone for that eventuality that it will drop permanently.

2: Owning Property Versus Rent

Many pensioners living in Turkey own property. This takes away a substantial headache which is current rent rates. These vary from town to town but increase yearly. Prices range anywhere from 2000 to 6000 lira a month in built-up prominent cities and districts. Local research is critical if you plan to rent and not buy property.

3: High-Interest Savings Accounts

Another thing many foreigners do while living in Turkey is deposit large amounts of money into high-interest savings accounts averaging between 10 to 19%. They then withdraw the funds monthly after paying tax, allowing them to top up their income source. If you choose to do this, remember that the Turkish government actively wants lower interest rates. So, factor this into your budget as well.

4: Tips for Saving Money

Rates and Fees: If you receive an income in a foreign currency, use a specialist company like Wise to exchange your money into Turkish lira and transfer it to your Turkish bank account. They provide better rates and fees than banks.

Ditch the Car: If a car is not essential to your lifestyle and you can get about your chosen place to live using public transports, you can save much money. Car ownership in Turkey and the cost of petrol is high. If you have a strict budget to stick to, it takes a substantial amount out of it.

Local Markets: Most expats and locals always shop at the weekly farmer’s markets for fresh fruit and vegetables regardless of their budget. This saves a substantial amount of money, especially for families, and you also get better quality goods.

Eating and Drinking Out: Remember that beachfront tourist restaurants in Turkey charge higher prices than local traditional restaurants or those away from the central coastline. If you plan on dining out regularly for a comfortable lifestyle, the choice between the two saves hundreds of lira.

5: Cost of Living

So, now we get down to the nitty-gritty and look at prices in Turkey. Remember to factor in yearly increases, and that living costs vary from city to town to village. We have already discussed rent, but other monthly expenses include electricity that averages 400 lira a month, but less if you do not use air conditioning units. Water costs roughly 20 lira a month, but more for a large family. Mobile phone bills average 100 lira a month depending on usage. Turkish mobile providers always promote good deals, so shop around when your contract is up. House Internet, Telephone and Satellite; once again, there are many good deals but factor in roughly 150 to 200 lira a month. There are other aspects to consider, including healthcare and residence permits, and we discuss them in our article about the costs of living in Turkey here.


To stay up to date with current prices, check Numbeo, a data-crunching website that collects prices from all around the world. They say the cost of living in Turkey is, on average, 52.58% lower than in the United States, and 59% cheaper than in the UK. So, as you can see, maintaining a comfortable lifestyle in Turkey is easily done, and that is why millions of foreign expats make the country their home. If you still want to move to Turkey, check our article with hints and tips on making it a success.

About Us: We are Turkey Homes, a property and investment agent with offices all around the country, including Fethiye, Bodrum, Antalya and Istanbul. If you want to buy property in Turkey, get in touch with us today to discuss the market, your budget, and destinations to live in. Otherwise, browse our blog section for more articles about living comfortably as an expat in Turkey.


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