You arrive in Uppsala, you’re enjoying the weather, you’re enjoying your program and making new friends. You join a nation, start going out and start living your life but then you realise Sweden is a bit more expensive than you anticipated. What do you do? Do you save money? That’s probably a good idea, but maybe you want to gain some extra money too! Well, you’re just in luck because in this blog post I am going to give you all the tips and tricks to gain some extra cash and teach you some tricks to save you some money too!
So, let’s start by saving some money. Sweden might be very expensive, but they also have lots of different shops and ways to save some money. Let’s start with the cheapest supermarkets in Uppsala.
Uppsala has a wide range of different supermarkets, with ICA being almost everywhere you go. While ICA has lots of different options, they are nowhere near the cheapest supermarket. If you’re looking for cheap supermarket options, I would suggest Lidl and Willy’s. They also have a wide variety of items but at a cheaper price than ICA. I would also suggest checking all the discounts offered at different supermarkets. You can find discounts on their app or online, or just by walking through the supermarket. Any discount can help save you money! Another tip to avoid spending too much in a supermarket, do not shop while hungry. I can assure you you’ll get home with lots of snacks you didn’t need but at least we have some ice cream now, right? I know I’ve been guilty of this, woops…
Next, let’s talk buying clothes and shoes in Sweden. You might come from a warmer climate or didn’t move with all your clothes to Sweden and you are looking for good winter coats, or just some more clothes to wear. Well,’ you’re in luck because Uppsala has LOTS of second-hand shops you can buy clothing, shoes, books, kitchen items, you name it! The second-hand shops often have really good clothes and its really cheap! Here is a list of my favourite second-hand shops in Uppsala you can check out:
- Loppis Poppis
- Stil Uppsala
Aside from these second-hand shops, you can also find cheap clothing at outlet stores. These stores are usually near Ikea and have lots of clothes on sale or at a cheaper price than regular clothing stores. My favourite outlet store is Stadium Outlet.
Some extra tips to save money is to catch any student discount you can! Once you are a member of a nation you can get an app called: STUK and they show you ALL the discounts you can get in Uppsala but also in Sweden in general. This can be coffee, food, clothes, and even train tickets in Stockholm. It’s a great way to save money and know where you can go for a cheaper price!
Another great thing about Sweden is their sustainability. When you buy plastic bottles, these bottles have something called Pant. This means that when you return your plastic bottles to a supermarket, you can get money back that you can use to get a discount on your groceries. So, next time you buy a plastic bottle, don’t throw it away! Keep it and bring it back to your nearest supermarket for a nice discount on your groceries. Just look for one of these machines:
Working in Uppsala
Now, let’s talk working and earning some extra money. Before I go into working in Sweden, it’s very important to tell you that there is no way that working part time can cover all your living costs and that working aside your studies can be VERY difficult timewise. Especially, since some programs have a lot more hours on campus or higher workloads than others. So, I would focus on your studies and see whether you have time and energy to work aside your studies at all. If you think you do, great! Let’s talk about the opportunities to make some extra money in Uppsala.
First up, nations always have job offers for students. You can work at a nation at the bar, in the kitchen, waiting tables, at formal dinners, etc. These jobs are always open, and nations are always looking for students to help. You can get paid at nations in money, but this is only if you have a personal number and Swedish bank account. If you do not have this, you get paid in free food and drinks or free tickets to different events, such as Valborg! Working at a nation is a great way to earn some extra income, get some free food and, especially, make new friends. Nations are run by students, so you can easily meet other students there and have such a fun time while working at a nation!
Secondly, getting a regular part time job. Now, I am not going to sugar coat it, it is VERY difficult to find any part time jobs in Sweden that do not require you to speak Swedish. Aside from this, most jobs require you to have a Swedish bank account as well which means you need to have a Swedish personal number. It is also important to note, most jobs that don’t require Swedish are hard labour jobs, like working in a warehouse, or delivery jobs which usually requires you to have a car or driver’s license. Most jobs that do not require Swedish are also in Stockholm, not Uppsala. This means you should be willing to commute to Stockholm for your job if you find one.
Let’s talk finding a job. Looking for a job is going to be a very long process and is going to be very difficult. You will most likely not find a job in your field. You can look for jobs on Indeed, LinkedIn or contacting a Swedish company you think might be interested in hiring you or accept an open application. After a month or two of job hunting, I found a part time job on LinkedIn. I looked for jobs in Sweden but also for remote jobs. I would suggest looking for remote jobs aside from jobs only in Sweden. This way you don’t need to commute, and you can work from home! I was lucky to find a semi remote job in Stockholm. I could go to the office when I wanted to, but also work from home if that worked out better. But it did take me at least a month to find, and I had to go through an interview process that also took some time.
I won’t say getting a part time job is impossible, but it can take a lot of time to find something. And I can say it is also very tiring since you will not have much free time aside from your studies and work. So, think hard about whether you can work and study without your job hurting your studies in any way, because this can be very difficult for many. I know it was difficult for myself too, because a program is full time and requires a lot of attention.