Cost of Living in Sweden 2018 Swedish Kronor / Source: Riksbank

Cost of Living in Sweden 2018

Recently, I participated in a Study in Sweden webinar that was aimed at giving potential students some information about how it is to live in Sweden. A question I got asked and get asked alot is about the cost of living in Sweden for students.

So, in routine fashion, I decided to write this blog post on the Cost of Living in Sweden in 2018.

This post is inspired by a series of blog posts done by various ambassadors each year including ABC for 2016 and 2017.  Other bloggers like Raghu have also written about student budgeting in the post How to live cheap in Stockholm.

Cost of living in Sweden 2018

Cost of Living in Sweden 2018

Food Store / Credits: Tuukka Ervasti/

For a general overview of the Cost of Living in Sweden see this write up by Study in Sweden on the average student budget in Sweden.

From Migrationsverket

For International Students who will be seeking to obtain a residence permit you must:

  • hold a valid passport
  • be accepted on a course of full-time study at a university or university college
  • be able to support yourself during the period for which you are applying for
  • have a comprehensive insurance policy

The maintenance requirement for people applying during 2017 is at least SEK 8,064 per month.

For applications that are received by the Migration Agency on 1 January 2018 or later the maintenance requirement is at least SEK 8,190 per month.

You must show that you have secured maintenance for the period for which you are applying for a residence permit.

This means that you must show that you have money available in your own bank assets, grant or similar, for example a study grant from your country of origin.

However, if you are going to study for one year or longer, you must show that your maintenance is secured for ten months of the year.

Cost of living for families

Cost of living in Sweden 2018

Parenting / Credits: Simon Paulin/

If you are coming to study with your family you must also show that you have fulfilled the maintenance requirements as below:

Example of the maintenance requirement
Study period You must have at least Your husband, wife or cohabiting partner must have at least Support requirement per child
6 months SEK 49,140 kronor (6 x SEK 8,190) SEK 21,000 (6 x SEK 3,500) SEK 12,600 (6 x SEK 2,100)
12 months SEK 81,900 (10 x SEK 8,190) SEK 42,000 (12 x SEK 3,500) SEK 25,200 (12 x SEK 2,100)
13 months SEK 90,090 (11 x SEK 8,190) SEK 45,500 (13 x SEK 3,500) SEK 27,300 (13 x 2,100)


Where you live?

This is one of the biggest determining factors of how much you spend on different commodities during your time in Sweden. Larger cities such as Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö are more expensive than smaller towns such as Kalmar and Jönkoping.  Your lifestyle i.e. if you like going out or travelling also has a big impact on your budget.

48 hrs Gothenburg on a budget

Gothenburg Skyline / Credits: Per Pixel Petersson/

Cost of Living for a student in 2018

Thus, we will be working with at least SEK 8190 per month, however if you are granted a Study in Sweden Scholarship you are awarded SEK 9000 per month.

Also, it is good to keep in mind that most students also have part time jobs to earn extra income.

Cost of Living in Sweden 2018

Swedish Fashion / Credits: Simon Paulin/

For my list, I will be working with average prices for goods purchased and activities done for January 2018 in Gothenburg.

Cost of living in Sweden 2018

Cocktails on Linnégatan Gothenburg / Source: Anita

Monthly Budget

Product/Service SEK Euro USD
Rent 3673 375.60 464.60
Monthly Tram Card 470 48.06 59.45
Taxi 120 12.27 15.18
Food 1300 132.94 164.44
Systembolaget 250 25.57 31.63
Eating Out 530 54.20 67.04
Going Out 650 66.47 82.22
Gym 169 17.28 21.37
Netflix 89 9.10 11.26
Airtime 200 20.45 25.30
Shopping 300 30.68 37.95
Miscellaneous 400 40.92 50.63
Total: 8151 833 1031


NB: These calculations have been done with the days exchange rate:

1 SEK equals 0.10 Euro.

1 Euro equals 1.24 USD.

Take Away

This post should not be a concrete budget guide. It should rather give you an idea of how much a student spends in a month. Some students spend way less than this, some spend way more. I do too depending on the time of the year (exam months or Xmas season).

However, be sure to check out my blog post on 5 tips of how to live cheap in Sweden for some extra help with budgeting.

5 tips to live cheap in Sweden

5 tips to live cheap in Sweden / Source: Anita

Please note: This information is accurate at the time of posting this blog post.

From Sweden with Love

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A Kenyan student studying a Masters degree in Global Studies at the University of Gothenburg. If you have any questions about studying in Sweden or general feedback email me on
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