If money makes the world go ‘round, then it also makes my head spin. I used to be financially clueless – burning through paychecks before the bills were even paid. But now that I’ve been living in Sweden for a few years, here’s what I’ve learned from the locals.
Budgeting and spending smart are a top priority here, sitting down and drawing up a detailed plan of where your money is going is key, finances are a personal subject that’s not often shared, both conversationally and literally! If you’re looking to borrow a few bucks from a friend because you blew your whole paycheck on the latest smartphone… Nope, Sweden isn’t the country for you.
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Make finances your priority 0:20
Saving is a national virtue 0:41
Plan all purchases, even the smallest 1:07
Respect other people’s money 1:30
Learn about finance at an early age 1:57
Find natural ways to cut spending 2:21
Exercise for free! 2:45
Get rid of stuff you don’t use anymore 3:08
Buying used is just as good! 3:31
Don’t overspend for the holidays 3:58
Get things on sale, even if it’s out of season 4:23
Reduce, reuse, recycle 4:39
Stay far away from debt 5:02
Get your own property later in life 5:41
Always think ahead 6:01
Indulge…when you retire 6:23
– At almost 60%, personal income taxes in Sweden are among the highest in Europe. And about half of what’s left of your salary goes to rent.
– The Swedes feel quite ok refusing from anything they don’t absolutely need.
– Asking somebody about their income and spending habits is considered rude here.
– They try not to use too many electronic devices, and you’ll see plenty of candles and low-energy lightbulbs.
– You’ll see a lot of Swedish people hiking, running, cycling, and doing yoga outdoors.
– Nobody here will store useless junk on the balcony, and they certainly won’t buy things they see no need for.
– If you decide to sell your stuff, you’ll find plenty of buyers (if it’s not useless junk, of course!).
– The Swedes buy swimming suits in fall and winter coats in spring when they get incredible mark-downs.
– Instead of borrowing money you don’t have, the Swedish philosophy is to grow what you do have!
– If you’re young, you’ll have a hard time getting financed for a car or house.
– The Swedes start setting aside retirement money at a relatively young age, around 35 or so.
– Older folks here have no problem traveling the world, buying themselves nice gifts, and just having the fun they’ve denied themselves for so long!
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