How to Save (a little bit of) Money in Sweden*

It’s a common knowledge, I think, that living in Sweden is not cheap. According to a data from Numbeo (2018), “Cost of living in Sweden (rent is excluded), is 15.47% higher than in United States.” However, thanks to the Swedish ways of life, there are some things that we can do to save a little bit of money. Here is the list based on my personal experience:

  1. Shop “home brand”

When you shop at Swedish supermarkets, you’d better check their home brand first for comparison, as their price could be much cheaper. Some of these home brands use the supermarket’s name like ICA; some others use totally different names because they have cooperation with certain suppliers, like Garant and Eldorado. But, you can tell which ones those are from their simple, plain and usually duo-tone colours packaging since that’s how they keep the prices low. The quality of these home brand products is okay especially when you need to save money for the rainy days. 🙂 Continue reading “How to Save (a little bit of) Money in Sweden*”

Where to have fika in Lund?*

Visiting a city in Sweden isn’t a complete experience without having the famous Swedish coffee break better known as fika. Where the best places to have it in Lund? Here is the list:

img_79051. Love Coffee Roasters

Located in Klostergatan 1, at the very corner of Lund’s cathedral, this café is famous for its manual roaster and hipster culture. With 17 years experience of stellar coffees, Love Coffee Roasters is indeed a great place for a great fika.

Opening hours:

Monday – Friday : 8.00 – 18.00
Saturday :10.00 – 17.00
Sunday : 11.00 – 16.00

Continue reading “Where to have fika in Lund?*”

Mrs Fantastic

On our way home the other day, my daughter and I had a small talk like we always had. We discussed this and that and she excitedly told me about the unit she’s currently doing: “Human Body” and how she did a research on skeleton as part of the unit. That day she said that an adult has 206 bones while a new born baby has 300+ bones which eventually fuse to form the adult bones and that’s why the number is decreased. My comment was: “Wow, I didn’t know about that. Well done.”

Later she asked: “Do you think Ayah knows?”

“I don’t know. You can ask him when we’ve arrived at home,”

“But Ayah is very smart. He’s so intellectual and knowledgeable. Maybe he knows already,” she replied reluctantly.

“Yes, you’re right. He’s super smart. But it doesn’t mean that he knows everything. You can still tell him that information. I’m sure he will be very happy to hear it.” Continue reading “Mrs Fantastic”

What to Expect the First Year (in Sweden)*

People say the first year of everything is actually the hardest. What about the first year living in Sweden? Well, it’s not easy, I must say. But, if you know what to expect, you will know how to deal with that.

  1. Bureaucracy

Welcome to Sweden!

First thing first: get your personnumer and your Swedish ID as soon as possible. These two things are essential for your new life in Sweden. Brace yourself during these times, as Skatteverket will be your number one office to visit. Expect a long queue so come to the office early. Make sure you provide every document they need and double check no document is missed. Then, whenever you are in doubt, ask!

I know that coming to Skatteverket office over and over can be really exhausting (and boring!), but it is unquestionably important to keep your eyes on the whole process. I personally had quite an experience with Skatteverket when my personnumer application was rejected but I didn’t know it sooner because for some reasons I didn’t receive the rejection letter. Later I knew it was because my residence permit was almost expired at that time so I needed to renew it first to be able to apply for personnumer. Thus, if you found something suspicious with your application, like the duration of the process or no reply after two weeks, do not hesitate to check it in nearby Skatteverket office. Continue reading “What to Expect the First Year (in Sweden)*”

New Kid on The Block*

15871834_10158132364510094_4498883074623820572_nI can still remember, vividly, the first moment when I got off from Öresundtåg at Lund’s Central Station. The cold winter air was slapping on my face like waking me up from a long dream, and I whispered excitedly to myself: “Okay, this is real.” But then, I stepped out outside the station and that was when my new kid on the block moment began.

My first days in Sweden were a combination of anxiety and excitement. Everything was just so different from my home country or any other places I have visited: the weather app seems to never predict correctly since the weather changes almost all the times, the shops close quite early, and everyone seems too busy to have small talks with stranger. I felt lonely and detached. I felt like everybody was looking at me as if there was something wrong with my face. I also felt completely lost in translation, literally and figuratively. I remember going to the nearest shop worrying about what the shopkeeper might say in Swedish.

Then, I realised that most of the times, those were all just my own uneasiness. I mean nobody said moving to a new place would be easy. But, it is actually a choice, to drown into hassle that I create myself, or to start embrace every moment and get familiar with the Swedish ways of life. I chose the latter and made some changes.

How, exactly? Continue reading “New Kid on The Block*”