Two students sitting by the lake enjoying the view. Photo: Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se

Cost of living in Sweden

What's an average student budget in Sweden?

Average cost of living

Like everywhere, living costs in Sweden depend on your personal lifestyle and where you live. Here’s an average monthly budget:

Food: SEK 2,000
Accommodation: SEK 4,070
Local travel: SEK 550
Phone/internet: SEK 300
Hobby/leisure, miscellaneous: SEK 1,450

Total: SEK 8,370 (around €815 or $925).

Several of our bloggers have also written about their spending habits. Keep in mind that this is just a snapshot of their own situation:

When applying for a residence permit, you need to prove to the Swedish Migration Agency that you can support yourself financially during your studies. Visit the Migration Agency’s website for more information.

City-specific spending guides

Here’s what you may end up spending in specific student cities:

A girl shopping for clothes in a second-hand store.

Photo: Simon Paulin / imagebank.sweden.se

Tips to save money

Want to become a pro at saving money and spending wisely? Our bloggers share their best tips:

1. Use student discounts

“Take advantage of student discounts by getting a Mecenat card or Studentkortet.  They have special offers on everything from clothing to electronics to newspapers.” – Anita

2. Borrow course literature

Many universities even have second-hand bookstores where you can buy (or sell) used course literature. “Or why not try to find your course literature in the library, or borrow it from senior students?” – Sania

3. Become a member

“Sign up for membership programmes run by your local supermarket (ICA, Coop, Willys, Hemköp) or chains like Clas Ohlson or IKEA. The points you accumulate as a member give you discounts and access to deals.” – Anita

4. Be a smart shopper

“When you go shopping for groceries, seek out the goods that are on promotion that week. You’ll just need to be a bit more creative and spontaneous with your cooking!” – Sania

5. Recycle bottles and cans

Don’t throw away empty bottles or cans! ”When you return them to a grocery store, you get a ‘pant’ coupon: a little ticket with money you can use to shop in the store. Just look for a black-and-white recycling symbol on your bottles and cans.” – Katharina

6. Bring your own lunch

“Make your lunch the night before, then take it to uni in a lunchbox. A total financial saver! Campus cafeterias have microwaves available to heat your lunch, and sinks to wash your lunchbox.” – Sania

7. Wear vintage clothes

“Second-hand shopping is like treasure hunting: with patience and time, you can find premium-quality products at a fraction of the usual cost. Chains like Myrorna, Stadsmissionen, Emmaus or Beyond Retro will get you all kinds of amazing clothes without the expensive price tag.” – Raeed

8. Travel at a discount

“If you’re under 26 years old or a student, you can book an SJ youth or student ticket. These can be up to 15% cheaper. And 24 hours before departure, SJ offers Last Minute tickets for as little as 155 SEK.” – Katharina

9. Get a part-time job

A part-time job can be a great way of getting extra cash. Just keep in mind that “if you don’t speak Swedish, these jobs are hard to find. And because university will take up a lot of your time, your part-time wage won’t be enough to cover all your expenses.” – Andrés

10. Stick to a budget

“Make a budget, then stick to it. Do this consciously: the next time you want to make an impulsive purchase, ask yourself two things: ‘do I really need this?’ and ‘how much value will this add to my life?’. This will help you avoid purchasing stuff you don’t need.” – Raghu

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