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Budgeting tips for Stockholmers-to-be

Hello everybody and welcome to this new blog post! Today, I want to share with you some budgeting tips to make your life in Sweden more affordable. Scandinavian countries have the reputation of being particularly expensive and, even if this is not completely true, living on a student budget can still be tough. We have already covered the cost of living in Stockholm in previous posts, so feel free to check those out first (you can find mine here)!

Some fridges from a cheese department at a supermarket
You realise you’re getting older when you start wandering around supermarkets with interest

Be a wise shopper

Groceries prices in Stockholm can vary greatly from different supermarkets. My biggest advice, in this case, is to visit the different stores close to your accommodation and find the cheapest one. Also, one thing that I found is that some shops are cheaper when it comes to meat, some others are cheaper when it comes to vegetables, and so on. What I did when I first moved here was choosing a couple of products representing different grocery cathegories (meat, vegetables, cheese, etc) and compare their prices in the two supermarkets closer to my home. I ended up buying everything in one supermarket except for meat, because it was cheaper in the other one! This will save you a lot of money in the long run (especially when it comes to meat and vegetables).

Write your shopping list beforehand

I hate lists. I truly do: I find them super boring and always end up forgetting things while writing them – but they’re incredibly useful when it comes to saving money, and that’s a fact. So: don’t be like me! Try to keep a list of things that you have to buy, in order to only buy what you really need.

If you’re also not really into lists, a small tip I can give you is to think about it this way: don’t write down what you have to buy, but write what you’re running out of at home. This will make it easier to draft your list gradually and not forget things – everytime you notice something is almost over, you write it down.

Also, don’t forget to grab the supermarkets’ weekly catalogues: you can find them at the entrance and they are super useful to spot the best offers. And, most importantly: never go to the supermarket when you’re hungry!

Check your spendings

Lastly, I would suggest you to always keep track of how much you spend. You don’t have to download fancy applications or use an Excel table – just make it as simple as possible: a notepad in your phone will do the work just fine.

I think this is important because it helps you to keep track of how much you spend on “needs”, making you understand how much you can spend on “wants”. Everybody has his hobbies and desires, and I think that, even while living on a tight budget, it is good to spend money on things simply because we like them. This can make you feel better and have fun (who doesn’t like a drink with some friends or a pair of new shoes from a second-hand store?) – but it should be done carefully!

Vegetable department at a supermarket.
A wall of fruit and vegetables at the supermarket close to my house!

This is all for today. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, feel free to comment below if you have any questions! Before leaving, I would suggest you to check out Raygo’s and Martyna’s post on their cost of living, and Martyna’s last post on KTH campuses. They are definitely worth it.

I’ll see you next week. Have a nice weekend!

// Lorenzo