The hardest part of being a student is being on a tight budget, you always have to think twice before taking your wallet out to buy anything.
I had scheduled this blog for later, but this is one of the most recurring queries to me that how much money does a person need every month to survive in Sweden! Well, there is no fixed amount for that, it totally depends on, if you frequently eat outside or cook, are you a junk food lover or a fruit lover, if you like to read off textbooks or e-books do the work for you.
The Monthly Expense range
These are estimated lower and upper costs of living in Stockholm. The cost of living can vary greatly depending on your lifestyle, budget, and spending habits.
These costs are broken down by month. You can calculate your estimated budget based on how long you will be in Stockholm.
|Monthly Costs: Lower range||Monthly Costs: Upper range|
|Rent||2500 SEK||6200 SEK|
|Food, Groceries||1500 SEK||2500 SEK|
|Traveling (SL Card)||550 SEK (Student Price)||550 SEK (Student Price)|
|Internet||0 SEK (Included in Rent)||150 SEK (Not Included in Rent)|
|Mobile phone||50 SEK||150 SEK|
|Toiletries||100 SEK||300 SEK|
|Stationery||50 SEK||100 SEK|
|Total per month||4760 SEK||9960 SEK|
My monthly expenses are normally 4500 – 5500 SEK, so they fall close to the minimum ones.
If you are an International Fee paying student, KTH has guaranteed accommodation for you, the costs of different accommodations are listed here.
Initial one-off costs
When you first begin university life there will be some one-off costs to consider. It is important to plan for these in your budget where necessary.
|Swedish ID Card||400 SEK (Not compulsory but recommended if you stay more than one year), needed for banking as well as accessing healthcare services on a shorter notice.|
|Travel Card||During your first month in Stockholm, you won’t be registered as a student, so you would need to buy the full price SL card which costs 830 SEK (+20 SEK for the new card). From September onwards, you can buy the student price card which costs 550 SEK/month.|
|Furniture||Although you’ll get a bed, mattress, chair, table in your apartment, but still you shall keep a budget of 1000 SEK for IKEA. Things like a center table, table lamp, hangers, some kitchen stuff might be needed, you might also need to buy some stuff for cleaning the apartment and toilet.|
|Bedding||If you take KTH Accommodation, you would be getting a new set of quilt + pillow upon your arrival, otherwise, you might again need to spend around 200 – 300 SEK for that at IKEA.|
|Student Union Membership||This is an annual expense. However, it’s totally up to you to take the membership. It costs 330 SEK/year and I’d recommend you to go for it, as you’ll need it for getting into SSSB Housing Queue.|
You will get a complimentary one-year membership for KTH-Hallen (KTH Gym), you’ll just have to pay 100 SEK to register yourself for a year.
It is also important to include costs of your social life in your budget. Here are some guide prices.
|Cinema ticket||120 – 200 SEK|
|Haircut||150 – 350 SEK|
|Gym Membership (Fitness 24×7 Gym)||170 SEK/month|
|Restaurant lunch||60 – 100 SEK|
|Restaurant dinner||250 – 300 SEK|
|Nightclub Entrance||100+ SEK|
Leisure Traveling costs
If you’re coming all the way to Sweden, especially if you’re coming from outside of Europe, you’d surely have plans to visit nearby countries.
Being a photography enthusiast, traveling has been a passion for me as well and I usually go for one out of Sweden trip during every study period (so at least four new countries a year). I’ve spent around 2500-3000 SEK per trip.
Make sure that you book your tickets well in advance, and booked wisely for your stays. I would not go in depth of how to save money in traveling, but I usually add money saving tips at the end of all my travel blogs, you can read them under the category My Itchy Travel Feet in this blog.
Some Money Saving tricks
- Keep a track on weekly offers at stores, stores like ICA have special discounts if you open a free student account with them.
- Know the cheaper places to shop from, Lidl is one of the cheap stores, never buy from expensive stores like Coop. Read my blog about Shopping guide for Stockholm here.
- Keep a track of seminars and events, they usually serve lunch sandwiches, a great way to save some cooking time and money. Remember, never say no to free food.
- Whenever shopping anywhere, always ask for student discounts, you never know when you might get a discount.
- Fikas can be very expensive and even equal the cost of going out for lunch. To bring the cost down invite friends over and tell everyone to bring something.
- Student parties usually serve cheap drinks than pubs, although I don’t have a first-hand experience of this, so I don’t know how much are the difference in costs.
- Going to the cinema can be very expensive! There is usually one or two nights a week they offer student prices for selected movies, which end up being half the cost of the original ticket price.
- Borrowing all of your textbooks from the library or reading them online, if available, is a great way to save money on buying new books.
- If you live near to your campus, you don’t essentially need a travel card, you could share the travel card with a friend, and any of you can use it when needed if you don’t go out together.
- Don’t buy stationery, go to career fairs and events, the companies always give away free stationery. Believe me, I got a year of stationery just in two days during Armada.
- Wait for the Christmas sale to buy your winter clothes and winter shoes as the discounts are as huge as 70% at many stores, and yes, there is a sale on each and every store in Stockholm 25 December onwards.
- Keep an eye on the second-hand stores and facebook groups where people sell old stuff for much cheaper prices or even give away for free.
Complete guide for Prospective students and newly admitted students: