• Sweden edition
 
Ten ways to save money in Sweden

Ten ways to save money in Sweden

Published: 02 Dec 2008 15:18 GMT+01:00
Updated: 02 Dec 2008 15:18 GMT+01:00

It has probably not escaped your attention that the world is not doing so great financially. And it probably comes as no surprise that you also happen to be living in one of the world's most expensive countries. There are many perks to living in Sweden but cheap living is certainly not one of them.

Of course, some of the naughty among us save money by eschewing travelling expenses through plankning, a Swedish word for the act of dodging your travel fare by jumping over the turnstiles in the underground, and other questionable exploits. But what about the rest of us law-abiding citizens? Here are 10 legitimate ways to keep more kronor safely in your pocket.

1. Good restaurants, good prices

Eating out in Sweden can be rather pricey, especially when you consider that a main course usually goes for more than 200 kronor.

The ingenious people at Eat Sweden have put together two books, one each for Stockholm and Gothenburg, which offer diners two-for-one main courses. Ideally for two people, each book offers 12 restaurants and costs 285 kronor, but it basically pays for itself the first time you use it. Using it at all 12 restaurants racks up a saving of a couple of thousand kronor. The books are available from DesignTorget and are valid until 31 December, 2009.

2. Half-priced dates with Daniel Craig

…or Angelina Jolie. The SF Rabattkort gives you the chance to see four films for half price and is valid Monday-Thursday for three months from the first visit. Perfect because you get to see the films without having your seat kicked by the snotty kids who tend to frequent cinemas at the weekend like they are social clubs. The card costs 60 kronor and can be purchased nationwide from SF Bio and Svenska Bio.

3. Free furniture

It's hard to believe that you get anything for free these days but this is exactly what you will find at Freecycle.org. Based on the concept that one man's junk is another man's treasure, unwanted goods are listed on the online community and are eagerly snapped up by those willing to give them a loving home. Membership to the Freecycle community is absolutely free, but this group needs givers as well as takers so even if you don't need a kitchen table, join and give away that mirror that has been collecting dust in your attic since 1998. If you can't find what you are after on Freecycle then blocket.se is a wonderful source of affordable goods, mostly secondhand but lots of brand new items as well.

4. The sweet sound of music

Peer-to-peer music sharing can be legally precarious but now there is a 100% lawful solution with Spotify, a downloadable program that gives you access to an extensive library of music without the bothersome buffering delay. Spotify is free with a friend's invite so do ask around, you'll be surprised the number of people who are already members.

5. Every little percentage point helps

Don't feel shy about negotiating mortgage rates with your bank. Two-year fixed-rate mortgages currently costs roughly 4.6% and a 0.2% discount would represent a 30,000 kronor saving per year on a mortgage of 1,500,000 kronor. Factors that influence the discounts banks offer include the size of your mortgage, whether you have other accounts with the same bank and whether your salary is paid into one of their accounts. If you are loyal to a particular bank and have all your money in one place as most people do then highlight this in your negotiation, and if not then offer to move your accounts for a better rate.

6. It pays to be clued up on taxes

The world markets are all over the place and many people have made bad investments this year. It might be worth selling off your underperforming funds and shares and to offset your losses against the interest you have paid on your savings account. Also, don't forget that 30% of the interest on your loan and mortgage is tax deductible. Taxes may be boring but not knowing about the benefits could mean losing out on thousands of kronor of savings a year.

7. On yer bike

Save money on a travel card and gym membership by getting on your bike. Sweden is a bike-friendly country with clearly-marked cycle lanes in the towns and cities so it is safe, good for your health and is also environmentally friendly. You can pick up affordable bikes at police auctions where you can find confiscated goods and unclaimed lost property going for as little as 50 kronor. The popular auction at Bålsta Auktionshall (balstaauktionshall.com) is one such example.

8. Food, glorious food

Supermarkets have different promotions every week and it is difficult to keep track of what is on offer where. Matvarupriser.se is an amazingly useful site that compares the cost of a typical shopping trip at different supermarkets in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. The price difference between the most and least expensive supermarkets is usually more than 50% for Stockholm and around 20-25 % for Göteborg and Malmö.

9. Be first to get the news

Ever wonder how some of your smug friends seem to always know about the best deals? Chances are that they receive all the news about special offers first, direct from the company. Yes, this is that pesky little box that asks you to tick if you want to receive promotional information from the company in question. Don't be too hasty to ignore it. An email from Ryanair about the one kronor all-inclusive offer could save you hundreds, and shops, trains and planes all run promotions all year round. Don't go out searching for the best deals, let them come to you.

10. Talk for less

Skype is a free online service that lets you make free calls from your computer to other Skype users anywhere in the world. You can also purchase Skype credit so that you can make cheap calls to landlines and mobiles. For example, if you are calling an Australian landline, this would cost 0.164 kronor per minute with Skype's Pay As You Go compared to 2.99 kronor per minute with Tele2's fixed line rate, which is 18 times more expensive.

If all else fails, you could always leave Sweden.

Thanh Dinh (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right
Today's headlines
Sweden keeps eye on Norway bomb threat
Norwegian police car at Oslo Gardemoen Airport. Photo: TT

Sweden keeps eye on Norway bomb threat

The Swedish Security Service (Säpo) have said that an "imminent terror threat" to neighbouring Norway doesn't yet affect Sweden although developments are being closely followed. READ  

Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
The Blomdahl family in Berlin. Photo: Private

Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin

Edvin Blomdahl is seven-years-old. He also cycled from Sweden to Berlin, a journey of 370 kilometres, in four days. READ  

Opinion
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Demonstrations at Sergels Torg in Stockholm. Photo: Kent Vilhelmsson

'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'

As the rhetoric rises at demonstrations in Swedish cities, Stockholm-based Israeli writer David Stavrou calls on Swedes to think before they shout and to cast a critical eye over much that is written and said about the conflict in Gaza. READ  

Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Sweden
The vintage tractor ready to travel from UK to north Norway. Photo: Peter Matheson

Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Sweden

A British man is set next month to drive from Scotland, across Sweden, and to the northern tip of Norway on a vintage tractor to raise money for a cancer charity. READ  

Sweden agency hikes heat warning to 'extreme'
This canine friend is not amused. Photo: TT

Sweden agency hikes heat warning to 'extreme'

Swedish weather agency SMHI has raised its weather warning to class 2, giving notice of "extremely high temperatures" in parts of the country. READ  

Songs for a hot Swedish summer
Ted Gärdestad. Photo: TT

Songs for a hot Swedish summer

Contributor Paul Connolly has put together a list of Swedish songs to capture balmy summer days, which in his neck of the northern woods are pushing the mercury above 35c for the first time in a century. READ  

Swedes suffer as buses boil in the summer sun
Photo: TT

Swedes suffer as buses boil in the summer sun

Stockholm's local traffic authority has received almost 300 complaints since June 1st with many regarding stifling heat on the city's buses, which lack air con. READ  

Grounded flights strand Swedes in Tel Aviv
Photo: Matt Rourke/TT

Grounded flights strand Swedes in Tel Aviv

UPDATE: About 270 passengers planning to fly to Stockholm are still stranded in Tel Aviv, and airlines have stated that flights will likely be grounded on Thursday as well. READ  

The Local List
Top ten: Swedish taboos
The butter knife is for butter. Photo: Mats Sandelin/TT

Top ten: Swedish taboos

From standing in line to taking your hols in the off-season, Sweden is a society with customs and faux pas, the Danes might say taboos. Here is a list of ten to watch out for. READ  

Fears mount for Swede kidnapped in Ukraine
A tank in Horlivka. Photo: Dmitry Lovetsky/TT

Fears mount for Swede kidnapped in Ukraine

A mediator who handles prisoner exchanges between Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels said on Wednesday that he feared for the life of a kidnapped Swede. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching July 23
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Blog updates

22 July

Det (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! “Det” is a personal pronoun that can be used in many ways, and it might me confusing if you always translate “det” to English “it”. In this article I will do my best to guide you to how to use “det”. Det replacing a word, a phrase or a clause Let us begin with the less confusing..." READ »

 

22 July

PROTECTING GIRLS FROM ABUSE OF THEIR RIGHTS (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Today (22 July) my Prime Minister, David Cameron, and UNICEF, are hosting the world’s first #GirlSummit in London. The Summit’s aim is to mobilise domestic and international efforts to end the appalling practices of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Child Early Forced Marriage (CEFM). This is a high priority for the UK government and the Prime..." READ »

 
 
 
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Gallery
People-watching July 11-13
National
Malmö mayor slams Danish beggar ban
National
Swedish anti-abortion midwife sues county
National
Swede's salary chopped for Facebook use
National
Northern Sweden warmest in 90 years
Gallery
'Victoria Day': Crown Princess Victoria turns 37
Politics
Mona Sahlin to fight extremism in Sweden
National
EU tells Sweden to cover up snus flavours
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

702
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se