How to afford a Scandinavian lifestyle

Affording to live a decent yet still within your means is obviously useful information for everyone in Scandinavia. Really, the cost of living in Scandinavia is higher than most parts of the world which makes it life saving to know survival tactics. In case you doubt how expensive life in Scandinavia can be, just walk into some down street boutique and check prices of new clothes or footwear. I bet you, they are damn expensive.

First timers who take the trouble to compare prices of items in Scandinavia with that of their own countries always feel cheated.  In  short, there is so much need to know what you may do differently to be stylish with your limited income. Here we present nothing but just the secret; treasured information points that will prove useful to you who is already in Scandinavia or planning to live there some time in the future.

Prices of items in Scandinavia

To be frank, the cost of living in Scandinavia is generally high. To know that it expensive to afford a good life in Scandinavia, just start by looking at how much rent one needs to pay for an average sized apartment. I tell you; it may cost you an arm and both legs to live is some of the major cities in Scandinavia. So if only house rent may cost up to 30% or even more of your monthly earnings, you don’t want to imagine if there will be anything left to spend on that expensive new model wristwatch in the market or a Nike Force 1 sneakers.

In reality, it may cost you more for almost everything  in Scandinavia compared to your own country. Economists who have much knowledge in why there are such big differences in prices will talk about how well an economy performs, purchasing power and the likes. But just to be bunt and clear, if you come from a low cost country, be ready to adjust your lifestyle, at least a little bit.

So What Matters to lead an affordable lifestyle?

The much you will need to pay for your lifestyle is all a personal choice. You may want to wear a first price, brand new high end cloth from a well known brand. This will of course come at an extra fee. You will likely pay by your nose to buy from leading brands because apart from the item you want to buy, it also comes with the brand image. So, you will be buying the item and its brand.

A second thing is that for the same lifestyle, you can get it affordably if you deliberately decide to be strictly on a low budget. What does this mean? It simply means that Scandinavia has space for everyone to live their desired lifestyles but in different ways.

You want to go drinking in a high end, 4th floor bar? What if you just went to a down street one with good refreshing space? You can begin to see some sense I guess. By choosing a low cost bar, you still get your liquor served well and your evening made while saving some coins for that other pressing item on your budget list.

So how do you live affordably in Scandinavia?

I have heard this sentiment quite a lot of times until it sometimes appear true, although not entirely. That you will have to completely change your lifestyle once you arrive in Scandinavia. Partly, you will for sure need to change your dressing, foodstuff for the obvious reasons pf weather, available food and such. But, you can still experience your social life as before provided you do it smartly.

Work for your lifestyle

As is the norm, you cannot try to lead a lifestyle that is beyond your income. Anybody in Scandinavia who tries to chat themselves into leading a life beyond their means will soon need antidepressants. Simply put, go out there and work your ass off. In Scandinavia, there is always a good payment for every perfect work done. With your own income, it should not be a hassle to lead whatever lifestyle you wish. It does not matter whether you need to order your branded clothing or apple products; it’s all your choice.

Working for a lifestyle is in the DNA of Scandinavians, at least for most of them. Nobody will be out there to just give you some free money to go buy whatever expensive gifts of your liking. Not at all. Again, working will not only make it possible for you to afford a lifestyle, it also gives you some sense of dignity as a person.

Buy Cheaply

The choice of shopping will to a large extent determine how costly or affordably you live. In Scandinavia, the same item; let’s say a smartwatch will cost you more in some high end store than in an ordinary shop in the hood. In the same way, foodstuff will cost differently in different stores. So as a someone who is interested in living on a low budget, it should not be donkey work to just know where to buy what. Maybe you need to buy grocery in Bilka, drinks in Netto, clothing in H&M, furniture in Jysk or so. You cannot just decide to buy everything at the same place. Remember, every penny saved counts for an affordable lifestyle.

It may also be a good practice to make walk ins into second-hand shops. Second hand shops to someone who has not been in one may mean where used things are sold. Yes, as the name suggests, they mostly sell used stuff but often have brand new items that the buyers for one reason or the other do not want to use. You can end up buying a brand new item for less than half its original price at a second hand shop.

Buy in bulk

It may not make much sense why you need to buy in bulk when you live all alone or only two to three people in the house. Yes, most people in Scandinavia live alone or with just a handful other people  in the same house.

When you think about buying two items at a reduced price than just taking two, it means that instead of soon going back or the same thing at a possibly higher price, you will already be sorted. In most cases, stores sell things cheaply when one buys a lot at the same time. Why not take advantage of this possibility? If its foodstuff, stock in your fridge for a week instead of buying every day.

Plan with your money

It is a good thing to plan for every penny that you earn. It is not possible that you want to spend $20 on something  if your income only allows you to buy it for $10 .It does not make sense how you will manage to plug in the deficit once you spend without having a plan from the beginning.

As a matter of financial discipline, it pays to all times remember that you are not just going to spend on clothes, jewellery or electronics alone. Each pf the things you need in a month should get enough. If you send blindly, of course, you will  be soon off budget

Rethink your lifestyle

People always fear changing their own habits yet lifestyle is habitual which means that at any one time, there will be a nudging urge to do one thing or the other. But, it is important to also think through and know that it will cost you something.

Instead of going to a club twice every other week, why not do it once instead? Yes it may be stylish to go to the restaurant on the 5th floor with a rooftop jacuzzi but what if it costs less to do it in a downstairs hotel?  In fact, it is downstairs where you may end up interacting freely and making new friends than up there where people often mean their own business. As is always the case, everything to do with lifestyle is a matter of personal choice.

Cook at home

While it may be fun eating out at the restaurant or an hotel, you soon realize that it costs more compared to cooking at home. Once in a while it may be a good thing to visit some restaurant and enjoy professionally cooked foods but if by any chance you need to save some money, it saves to cook at home most of the time.

The reality in Scandinavia is that raw foodstuff is cheap. So you only need to go and cook it. In fact, if you like, you can cook a lot at ago  then keep in the fridge to be eaten longer. With this tactic, it’s a sure thing that you will save a lot and still live decently.

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Author: Ludvig
Ludvig is the owner and driving force behind A native Norwegian with ties to Denmark, Sweden and Finland, he is the perfect guy to guide you through the delights of Scandinavia.