Lately, I have been receiving a lot of questions from the prospective students about how much I spend every month. The expense is definitely an important thing to consider to plan your masters budget accordingly. Now that I have been living the student life for half a year already, I seem to have kinda figured out my spending pattern and also the general pattern of the people around me. So, here is how the money gets spent, I will write everything in SEK and I hope you will not find difficulty in converting them to your currency.
Rent is definitely the biggest expense you would incur every month. But, the magnitude of the word “BIG” really depends on your preferences. For example, a studio room on campus costs about 6800 SEK, which is being the highest, while a shared corridor room a bit away from the campus at Farsta, costs about 2500 SEK, being the least. I love at Lappis, which is just about 15 mins away from campus and it costs me about 4300 SEK. I have a corridor room with a shared kitchen. So, you can basically select an accommodation that would fit you well with respect to cost, distance etc.
I personally prefer staying near the campus because life becomes a bit easy. You needn’t have to consider the bus and metro schedules while staying late at school cause you can simply walk back home. Staying late at school is something you will find yourself often times in 😀
Also, usually, electricity and Internet prices are included in the rent. There is a 24/7 supply of hot water in the tap. The tap water is potable and make sure you drink it cold. It is super fresh that way 🙂 And, every room comes with a space heater. You might have to invest on an extra one during the winter and they are not expensive. Click the link here to check out the various KTH accommodations, their locations, size, and prices.
Food is the next big expense that will eat your pockets. But this again depends on the person that you are. If you opt cooking at home all the time then your monthly food expense wouldn’t go over 1000SEK. I am indeed including the chips, biscuits, and chocolates you’d buy as part of your weekly grocery. Below are some pictures during my grocery shopping.
It is kinda an art to even choose your grocery store here. For the reason that there is no standard price of stuff at every store. Lidl is my usual shopping place, Willy’s can be a good store as well. But, there are other stores like Coop and ICA, well they are a bit on the expensive side, might not be a good option for people on a student budget 🙂
And, if you’re someone like me who loves a “Pick-a-Deli” box at 7-eleven, it will cost you about 70-100 SEK every time, which is super expensive for a meal. So, if you eat out a lot then you will end up spending too much. I can give you an approximation of my common eat-out prices.
Pick-a-Deli – 80 SEK
Coffee + Cinnamon Bun – 15 SEK (Student price)
Croissant – 15-25 SEK ( depends on the shop as well)
Subway – 35-75 SEK
A meal at campus – 68 SEK
Semla – 25 SEK
One nice thing to remember will be to ask for student discount where ever you go. You never know! I have got crazy discounts at really really unexpected places. This will help you save a lot. Another good thing to remember, for the good of your mind is to stop converting. Never convert SEK to INR or other currency when you buy your food. It puts a lot of pressure. Always know your budget in SEK and make sure you stay within the limit in SEK. Conversion eats your brain! I am sure my friends here would agree on that one.
Travelling inside Stockholm is super easy and every place is extremely well-connected by the public transport. A 550 SEK SL card, which is the public transport monthly pass, will give you access to the busses, ferries, metros, light rails, trams, and rails that are operated by SL, which is the company that operates public transport in Stockholm. You might wanna check out their website here. Oh yes, there are student prices at SL a well, which is 550 for a one month pass. You can also buy individual tickets or weekly passes.
Apart from this, if you live close by, you can also choose to walk or bike. Swedes love biking even when it is snowing. So, totally up to you to choose.
The above are the big things I spend my money on. Yes of course, when you’re in Stockholm, its inevitable to avoid shopping. Especially, when you have brands like H&M, Vero Moda in every corner. But that is definitely not something you will do always and it depends on your lifestyle as well.
So, to sum it up, My monthly expenses are below
Accommodation – 4300 SEk
Travel – 550 SEK
Food- 1000 SEK
Junk food – 800 SEK
Phone bills – 145 SEK
Clothes and other shopping – 800 SEK
Total – 7500 approx (which is my budget for a month)
I do try to avoid junk food every now and then and keep shopping to a minimum.So, I am of course not that bad, so to say. 🙂 But it takes some time for you to settle down. Don’t be concerned when your expenses skyrocket in the initial months. You need to make a few one-time investments in the beginning. And, expenses on washing liquid, bathroom and cleaning stuff don’t occur every month. You will figure out all of these when you come here. As you can see, I am a spender. You can live in Stockholm with just half the budget as mine depending on what choices you make. Anyway, you have the picture now 🙂
The final golden thumb rule is : Always have a budget and stick to it. Let me know if you want me to write about anything more. 😀