Update – Budget how to: I live on $800 monthly in Stockholm

An update

 I have recently moved to a new apartment, you can see the original post here. My housing expenses have gone up slightly. Not by much but I am not living a little further outside Stockholm but I am still a few stops away from the beating heart of the city. So my travel time is still 15-20 minutes. Not too shabby if you ask me.

I am still using the same company as before, which specializes in student accommodation in Stockholm. This means that our rental expenses are lower and we are paying closer to what the landlord pays for the property. My landlord gets a tax benefit and I get lower rent, a mutually beneficial relationship. If my apartment was not subsidized in this way then I would be paying closer to 8000 SEK / 869.80 USD monthly for it. 

All currency exchanges are based on 9/25/2020, I used Transferwise for this exchange.

My budget

Rent: 4453 SEK / 483.45 USD

It is not 4453 SEK, it is a ‘micro-studio’ of approximately 23 sqm. It includes a kitchen, bathroom, closet space, and a juliet balcony. My electricity, water, and internet are included in that price.

I am still in the process of moving in but once I am settled I will take you on a house tour. In the meantime, I will use the photo from my first place in Stockholm. 

Kammakargatan
Photo Credit: Crista W.

Spending: 2500 SEK / 270.73 USD

 I only spend 2500 SEK monthly on all my essentials. This includes my groceries, my home insurance (199 SEK), my phone bill (99 SEK). This also includes my outings: eating out, movies, etc.

Metro: 620 SEK / 65.95 USD

The cost rises every year but it is now 620 SEK but I only buy tickets for half of the year. The other half I cycle since it is only a 25-minute cycle to work and the city. When it is too cold outside for the Caribbean girl, I take public transport. How do I know when it is too cold? When my ears hurt from the cold air, so 35 F/ 2 C. 

The benefit of having the metro pass is that it makes a massive county seem a lot smaller. Stockholm county has an area of  6,519.3 sqkm or 2,517.1 sqmi.  IT IS HUGE!

T-Centralen, Stockholm
Photo Credit: Crista W.

Total of living in Stockholm?

6653 SEK / 754.18 USD without the metro and 7273 SEK / 820.13 USD with the metro.

How can you lower your cost of living?

  • Lower your fixed-expenses. Cheap and safe housing sometimes do not go together. Especially in a city where these costs are very high. I, personally, got lucky. However, lowering these costs is the main thing.
  • Not having a car. It is true, It helps to not have all the expenses that come with a car, however, I know this is not feasible for everyone. It certainly was not when I lived in Florida. If it is not feasible, find a cheaper car to lower the payment or shop around for insurance rates and take advantage of all the discounts you can find.
  • Eat more vegetarian meals. I would like to clarify I am not a vegetarian, I eat meat when it is on sale. However, I have found that cooking vegetarian meals is cost-efficient.
  • Only buy items on sale or in terms of your grocery bill, only buy in season. I create my meals for the month due to what is on sale. Another example is buying seasonal clothes when it is out of season. For instance, if you know for sure it will snow every December, buy your winter coat and boots in April.
  • Lower your cell-phone bill. I remember that my first phone in 2008 was a pay-as-you-go. I got so much flack for it from my peers but it was cheaper than all their plans, so I never sought a phone contract. It has recently become cool to do it this way so it is nice that others have realized its cost-efficiency.
  • Create a budget that you can keep. If it is too difficult then it is too restrictive, be honest with yourself about your budget. It needs to fit you!

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