For members


Your January budget: Five ways to save money in Sweden this month

It's the start of the year and the end of the indulgence of the holiday season. Here's how to try to claw back some space in your wallet in Sweden.

Your January budget: Five ways to save money in Sweden this month
Knowing what vegetables are in season in Sweden could help you cut your food bill. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/SvD/TT

Take inventory of your bills

The start of the year is a good time to go through your regular bills and see if there’s a way you can save money there. Don’t forget to check your direct debit (autogiro) payments to see if you’re paying money for subscriptions you no longer use. Here are some more tips for reducing your regular bills.

Buy seasonal food

Seasonal produce is usually cheaper – and better for the environment.

Things to look for in Swedish grocery stores in January include: Green kale, Brussels sprouts (added bonus: they’re usually priced down after Christmas), turnips, carrots, swedes, red beets, red cabbage, white cabbage, artichokes, onions and apples. These are grown in Sweden and can be bought fresh this time of the year.

Aubergine, oranges and lemons, kiwi, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and fennel are in season in other parts of Europe.

Get a cheaper deal on your electricity

Electricity prices soared to record levels in Sweden last year, and they’re expected to remain high in 2023 too.

Compare the prices of various electricity companies at price comparison sites, such as Elskling, and don’t be scared of calling your company to negotiate.

Swedish houses are generally well insulated, so in the shorter term, save money by turning your heating down just slightly, making sure your dishwasher and washing machine are full before turning them on, and having shorter showers. Here’s The Local’s guide to how to dress to keep warm in the Swedish winter.

The cost of electricity depends on your living situation. Electricity tends to be the most expensive in southern Sweden, and your bills are likely higher if you own a house rather than an apartment. If you’re staying in a sublet or an apartment housing association, it is possible that the cost is included in your monthly rent, or avgift, if you own your property.

Save money on your gym membership

Who hasn’t joined a gym the weeks after New Year’s Eve? The downside is they’re expensive, so the best way to save money is not to join a gym at all. Instead, look out for outdoor gyms (utegym – they look like a wooden playground) scattered across Swedish cities and free running and exercise groups in your area.

In January, you ask. Yes, in January. Even in the snow? Yes, then too.

Pavements are often kept clear of snow in Sweden and you will see people exercising come rain, snow or shine. Just remember to dress right (not too warm, but gloves and a hat are sensible) and invest in a good pair of ice studs for your running shoes – it’s a one-time cost that will pay off in the long run.

If you do want to go to the gym, it’s worth asking your job if they can pay for your membership as a friskvårdsbidrag (health contribution), a tax-exempt benefit that many employers offer in Sweden and means you can get money to put towards a sports activity of your choice (no more than 5,000 kronor per year).

Make the most of the end-of-year sales

The post-Christmas sale (mellandagsrean) might still be ongoing in some shops with prices dropping lower and lower. Have a think about what you need to buy for the year ahead in terms of things such as clothes, electronics or furniture, and then go online to see if you can find what you need at a reduced price. The key is to plan your purchase before you go shopping and not let yourself be tempted by things that seem great at the moment, but won’t be needed or wanted six months from now.

Off-season items are often the cheapest, so buy your summer clothes now, or even your winter boots for next year. Or better yet, don’t buy anything at all. Maybe it’s cheaper and more sustainable to fix things you’ve already got. There’s also a booming second-hand market in Sweden where you can grab a bargain.

Did you buy or receive Christmas presents that weren’t quite right? Know your right to return items. This guide by The Local explains the rules in Sweden.

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For members


Which Swedish banks are lowering their mortgage rates?

Many banks in Sweden are starting to lower their interest rates on mortgages again following the Riksbank central bank’s decision not to raise its policy rate in November, the first time since May 2022. Which banks are lowering their rates and by how much?

Which Swedish banks are lowering their mortgage rates?

For most of the banks, rates are only being lowered on fixed-term mortgages. These rates all refer to the listräntor, the rate which the bank lists on its website and offers as a starting point, but most mortgage holders will have negotiated a lower rate, so the average interest rate – which they legally also have to show on their website – is actually lower.

Danske Bank

From November 17th, Danske Bank’s rate for two year fixed-term mortgages dropped by 0.10 percentage points to 5.24 percent, while three, four and five year terms all dropped by 0.20 percentage points, to 4.89, 4.79 and 4.56 percent, respectively.

Rates for six and ten year terms went down by 0.15 percentage points, to 4.61 and 4.52 percent respectively.

Rates on Danske Bank’s one year fixed-term mortgage remained unchanged, as well as its variable rate mortgage, which is technically a three month fixed-term mortgage.


At state-owned mortgage providers SBAB, all mortgage rates were lowered from December 1st, by between 0.1 and 0.15 percentage points.

After the drop, rates for a three month fixed term were 5.12 percent, a one year term was 5.17 percent, three years 4.58 percent and five years 4.41 percent.


Landshypotek Bank, one of Sweden’s top ten largest mortgage providers, cut its mortgage rates on December 6th for fixed-rate mortgages by between 0.25 and 0.40 percentage points, while variable rate mortgages remain unchanged.

Two-year variable rate mortgages saw the largest drop, 0.40 percentage points, with a new rate of 4.49 percent.

One year terms dropped by 0.25 percentage points to 5.09 percent, while three and four year terms were lowered by 0.35 percentage points to 4.32 and 4.17 percent respectively. Five year terms went down by 0.30 percentage points to 4.11 percent.


Pension company Skandia, which also offers mortgages, lowered its rates for all fixed-rate mortgages from December 7th, leaving variable rate mortgages unchanged.

Three year fixed rates were lowered the most, dropping by 0.30 percentage points to 5.14 percent. Five year terms dropped by 0.25 percentage points to 4.95 percent, while one and two year terms dropped by 0.20 percentage points to 5.69 and 5.29 percent respectively.

Sparbanken Syd

From November 30th, Sparbanken Syd lowered rates on two to five year fixed-term mortgages.

The largest drop was for five year fixed-rate mortgages, which decreased by 0.30 percentage points to 4.51 percent. One year rates decreased by 0.20 percentage points to 4.93 percent, and three and four year rates decreased by 0.15 percentage points to 4.73 and 4.60 percent, respectively.


Ålandsbanken, which uses Borgo, the same loan provider as ICA Bank, Ikano Bank, Söderberg & Partners and Sparbanken Syd, dropped rates on all fixed rate mortgages by 0.10 percentage points at the end of November.

Its lowest rate was for seven and ten year fixed rate mortgages, which both stood at 4.50 percent, while 1 year mortgages were highest at 5.35 percent.

Other banks and mortgage providers

At the time of writing, Swedbank, Nordea, Handelsbanken, SEB, ICA Banken, Ikano Bank, Söderberg & Partners, Hypoteket, Länsförsäkringar and Stabelo had not announced plans to lower rates on any of their mortgages.