25 July, 2018

How Expensive is Sweden?

We all know that Sweden belongs to one of the most expensive countries. But, how expensive is Sweden? I say it is really worth it because of the quality of life here. Nonetheless, if you just moved, the first thing that you should not do is convert the expenses in Sweden to your currency back home. 

When moving to a different country, our main concern is the monthly expenses. I have only been living in Sweden for less than a year. Comparing the cost of living in Sweden vs the cost of living in the Philippines, it is obvious to say that it is much more expensive in Sweden. Well, in some cases. During my first few weeks, people have been asking me about how expensive is Sweden.

Average monthly expenses in Sweden

A little bit of background about my living situation: I am living alone and working full-time in Stockholm. So, I spend most of my days in the office. I may not have a crystal clear picture of my monthly costs, but so far, here’s the breakdown of my average expenses in Sweden with a bit of information that might give you a clearer picture.

Housing: SEK 12.000

I am renting a 40m² 2-room fully-furnished apartment with separate kitchen. Fortunately, this includes electricity/gas, water, heating, internet and cable TV. If you want to know more about the average price of renting an apartment in Stockholm, read this.

Food & Groceries: SEK 2.000 to 3.000

I am not much of an eater, and I usually cook my meals so I am saving much more. Though, there are days when I buy my lunch if I didn’t have time to cook.

Transportation: SEK 860

Now, if you live in Stockholm, and you commute more often, it is advisable to buy an SL-access travel card with longer validity. A 30-day validity costs SEK 860.

Other expenses: SEK 2.000

  • Mobile phone contract: as low as SEK 149
  • Shopping: as low as SEK 100
  • Haircut: SEK 200

Quick fact about how much money you need in Sweden

If you are moving to Sweden to work, according to Migrationsverket, SEK 13.000 salary is enough.

You are offered an employment that enables you to support yourself. In order to achieve the demand for livelihood, you must work to the extent that the salary will reach at least SEK 13,000 in the month before tax.

In addition to that, if you are studying in Sweden, the maintenance requirement is only SEK 8.190 per month.

The maintenance requirement for people applying during 2017 is at least SEK 8,064 per month. For applications that are received by the Migration Agency on 1 January 2018 or later the maintenance requirement is at least SEK 8,190 per month.

Tips on how to save more

  1. Rent a shared apartment. I have checked and found out that you can rent a room that costs SEK 4.000 to SEK 5.000 depending on the location.
  2. But, if you don’t want to share an apartment with others, you can also rent cheaper apartments outside the Stockholm city center.
  3. If you want to have some exercise and spend less on transportation, you can cycle to school or work or other places.
  4. Cook your own food as much as possible.
  5. Compare prices when buying your groceries.
How do you budget your expenses? What do you think, how expensive is Sweden? Would love to read your comments below!

Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

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Karen Roldan
Hi! I’m a 25-year-old travel and lifestyle blogger at I love pastel colors, dogs and all things teal, turquoise or aqua - basically all simple things. A few months ago, I moved to Stockholm from the Philippines for work. Being new to Sweden, I am still exploring and getting to know more about this beautiful country.

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