If one is used to the living costs in Finland, Sweden and (above all) Switzerland, the prices here in Portugal are really paradise. A decent lunch for 5 €, a coffee and a pastry for 85 cents, or how about a good dinner including a glass of wine for 15 €?
The only problem is, that so far I’m spending more money here than I did in Finland! Why? The combination of affordable prices and an outdoors city lifestyle. With 25°C and sunshine, you will just not want to spend more time than necessary indoors. And neither do the Portuguese. So the streets, cafés and bars are full of people enjoying the lovely city atmosphere. So one coffee (40 c) becomes two (+40 c), and the third one might develop into an imperial (+2.00 €) with a snack to still the hunger (+1.00 €) – sum total: 3.80 €.
And so, one gets deceived by the cheap prices, easily leading you to spend more. Hence, the cheap-life scam!
A typical first world problem, I guess.