So, I recently made a post on my Instagram about how I live on this amount in Stockholm, Sweden. It was met with some shock. On that note, I decided to show you my monthly budget so you can see how I do it.
Rent: 3724 SEK. It’s an en-suite room with a shared kitchen and laundry. The water and electricity are also included.
Spending: 2500 SEK. This is my spending money for the month, the majority I spend on groceries but some it is used for when I go out for dinner or drinks as well.
Metro: 590 SEK. I only use this for 6 months out the year, I cycle for the other half.
Phone: 199 SEK. This is my phone bill with 5 GB and unlimited calls and text. I currently use Tre but will be switching my company to Hallon which uses the Tre network but is cheaper.
Total: 7013 SEK with metro and 6423 SEK without it. The average monthly spending is 6718 SEK is 692.55 USD based on the 11/10/19 exchange rate. I do not include my savings in this budget since it is due to the fluctuating exchange rates.
How can you do this? Have a low-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 you currently have 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 are 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. 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 plan. 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!