Budgeting for your first month in Sweden

Budgeting for your first month in Sweden

6 Sep, 2017

When you first arrive in Sweden for work, chances are you don’t have an apartment yet. (It’s very hard to find an apartment, if you do find one in advance, consider yourself very lucky!) But you can still budget for your first month and plan out how you will spend your money and make it until you get your first paycheck on the 25th!

Here is a set of monthly estimated costs for a major city (Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö) for when you first arrive in Sweden: Note, this does not include set up costs for furniture or utility bills as it assumes you are using Airbnb while you look for your first apartment and that you can cook in the Airbnb you stay in

  1. Airbnb: 7500-8000kr for a month
  2. Commuter card: 600-900kr
  3. Groceries: 2000kr
  4. Eating out for dinner 3x a week: 2500kr
  5. Eating out everyday for each meal if you can’t cook in the Airbnb: 10800kr

Above are the very basic costs. Other things like entertainment expenses are not included as this can vary widely.

From my experience, when I first came to Sweden, from New Zealand, here are some things I noticed price-wise in Sweden:

  1. Alcohol is rather expensive here if you drink at a bar or restaurant
  2. Eating out in general is rather expensive here. If you want to save money, you can get salads from the supermarket or get food from the hot-food section in the supermarket (this would mean meals are an average of 60kr each instead of 120kr as per my calculation in point 5 above)
  3. Grocery items are comparable to New Zealand (can’t speak for other countries)
  4. Day passes or one-off passes aren’t very good value for money. Soon as you know where you’ll be commuting to, quickly do the maths, then buy a monthly pass
  5. Entertainment is rather expensive (e.g. going to the movies and bowling)
Life in Sweden
Written by Nicola Owen