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Surviving until your first paycheck in Sweden

Surviving until your first paycheck in Sweden

4 Jan, 2018

I still remember when I moved to Sweden in early September 2015. My work permit had been recently approved and my employer and I decided to start my contract on 1st of October so that I had a few weeks to sort out the paperwork with Skatteverket and Migrationsverket (getting a personnummer and a residence permit card).

Waiting until October 1 to start also meant I had to wait until October 25 to get my first paycheck. People typically get paid on the 25th of the month in Sweden -unlike in New Zealand where my friends and I all got paid on different times; different times of the month, some of us fortnightly.

In a previous blog post, I discussed budgeting your first month in Sweden. I’d like to extend a bit more on that post by giving advice on how to make your money stretch further (so that you don’t feel like you’re running out of money too quickly) and other tips on overcoming problems you may come across in your first few months in Sweden

Write down everything you spend. EVERYTHING. Use a spreadsheet. Write it on pen or paper. Just record it in some way. You’ll be surprised at how little things can add up.

Avoid alcohol. Alcohol is rather expensive in Sweden. There’s a reason why you may have heard Swedes go to Denmark for their alcohol (and the Danes go to Germany).

Avoid eating out Eating out is also expensive in Sweden. (more so than in most other countries I’ve been to)

Write a Budget If you have an idea of when you’ll get your first paycheck (you have secured a job), you can make a budget based on the money you have in your savings account, and how much time you need that money to last and how much money you want as a cushion

Ask a friend or work colleague to “borrow” their address if you are staying at a hostel or Airbnb when you first move to Sweden You’ll need an official address to get a personnummer. If you are unable to find long term accommodation when you first move to Sweden, and find yourself staying at hostels or Airbnb at the start - you may need to ask a friend or work colleague to borrow their address. Note this is also where your Residence Permit card will be sent.

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Written by Nicola Owen