• 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
Thunderstorms replace Swedish heatwave
The Viking Lines ferry pictured was ripped away from the dock as a result of the storm. Per Gustavsson / TT

Thunderstorms replace Swedish heatwave

UPDATED: The Swedish summer was brought to a halt on Sunday as thunderstorms caused chaos in Stockholm with further inclement weather forecast for the week ahead. READ  

Cops looking for dead woman's partner
Police carry out a technical examination following the discovery of a woman's dead body in Ystad on July 26th 2014. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Cops looking for dead woman's partner

Police in southern Sweden are eager to speak to the partner of a 43-year-old woman who was found dead in an apartment on Saturday. Elsewhere in the south a 26-year-old man was arrested in Malmö on suspicion of carrying out a string of shootings. READ  

Gaza crisis delaying case of murdered child
Protesters gather in Malmö for a pro-Gaza demonstration on July 26th 2014. Stig-Åke Jönsson / TT

Gaza crisis delaying case of murdered child

The ongoing conflict in the middle east is delaying the investigation into the death of an 8-year-old girl who was found dead in Sweden in May. Meanwhile, over a 1,000 people attended a pro-Gaza march in Malmö. READ  

Politician reported for selling 'negro ball'
A selection of Swedish chocolate balls. Leif R Jansson/TT

Politician reported for selling 'negro ball'

UPDATED: The Afro-Swedish national association has reported Swedish politician Eva Sidekrans to the police for selling chocolate balls labelled as "old fashioned unprejudiced negro ball" saying it incites racial hatred. She has since apologized. READ  

'Dead' Swede's damages claim killed off

'Dead' Swede's damages claim killed off

A 36-year-old woman in central Sweden who was listed as deceased by the tax office has lost her claim for damages after the Chancellor of Justice rejected her demand for compensation. READ  

Five dead in 'black Friday' drownings
A life ring pictured in Stockholm. Maja Suslin/TT

Five dead in 'black Friday' drownings

Five people died in drowning related incidents on Friday, further raising the death toll of those lost in the water in July. READ  

Swedes insist EU prioritize environment

Swedes insist EU prioritize environment

An EU public opinion poll released on Friday revealed that Sweden is the only nation which thinks the environment should be a top priority for the union. READ  

Police turn blind eye to Swedish 'slave trade'
File photo: TT

Police turn blind eye to Swedish 'slave trade'

Police in Gothenburg have confirmed that sex trafficking in the city has developed into a full-blown slave trade - but that they lack the resources to do anything about it. READ  

Pirate Bay inmate claims religious persecution
Photo: TT/The Missionary Church of Kopimism

Pirate Bay inmate claims religious persecution

Peter Sunde has complained that his religious rights have been impinged after he was refused permission to meet a representative of a church inspired by the keyboard shortcuts for cut and paste. READ  

Stockholm 'bomb man' jailed and deported
Police at the scene of the threat in June. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Stockholm 'bomb man' jailed and deported

The 43-year-old man who threatened Stockholm's Gamla Stan with a bomb in June was sentenced on Friday to two years in jail, followed by deportation. READ  

Top ten Swedish taboos
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
Blog updates

24 July

Sharing our Pride: Celebrating Love & the LGBT Community! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"It’s mid- July in Stockholm, and with much of the city on vacation, things can seem a little quiet – the streets, the bus, and the grocery store. One thing that has not paused for a summer break, though, is preparation for Stockholm’s Pride Festival, which will take place from July 28 to August 2...." READ »


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 »

Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
What's On in Sweden
People-watching July 23
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
People-watching July 11-13
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

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:
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.
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: