The High Cost of Living

Sunday, 14 August, 2011

I normally don’t talk about money. How much we have or don’t have, but I know we did all right back in northern California. If we wanted to, we could go out and have dinner every night with friends and shop for the things we wanted to buy…and still put money aside for savings and a rainy day.

Imagine my horror in coming to Stockholm. Don’t get me wrong – I had braced myself for the high cost of living here.

However, it didn’t truly hit me until I logged into our online banking yesterday. Then I saw that in the past two weeks we had spent roughly a little over $2,000. I scrambled to find the receipts to see exactly what we had spent that amount on…save for about $400 in miscellaneous make-up purchases and random Colin purchases the other $1,300-ish had been spent on food. Not going out and eating restaurant food food because I knew it was expensive, but just everyday food – bread, milk, cold cuts, eggs, cheese, salad, etc. Just things to make breakfast, lunch and dinner. We eat leftovers!

I am truly baffled as to how the Swedes or any of the other countries like Denmark survive on such high prices. I can never look at another plate of food like the one I had today – burger and fries that came with a slide of cole slaw…it cost 167kr, about $25. I felt like splurging so I got a diet coke – that was $5. That average meal back in the US would have cost me no more than $12, severely pushing it $15.

Forgive me for sharing my sticker shock with you all. My time in Paris, London and Scotland was cheap compared to here. I still flinch when I have to buy food. Sadly I suck it up and buy the food because whether I like it or not we still need to survive.

Which makes me wonder…are we really living? I know that money is important, but the simple enjoyment of purchasing something small becomes such a large dent in the pocketbook…it almost negates all the happiness and satisfaction of the initial purchase, making it fleeting and, to a certain degree, regretful.

Colin and I had talked about traveling and seeing his family in Scotland, in addition to seeing friends scattered throughout Europe. However, when I look at the cost of simply living here, it cuts into our travel budget in a big way. 🙁

So what did I do to cheer myself up from my sticker shock/reality blues? Why I went shopping of course. Hell, if I’m going to spend money I’m going to do it in a big way. Well, big enough for me to feel like I’m giving the high prices the finger but still relatively safe for me.

Yea, look at me…big spender. I was immediately drawn to the red and purple nail polish. I don’t know what it is about red and purple nail polish for me lately. It’s been a whole year and I’m on this crazy kick for those shades. I hope it dies down for me.

I had to get Lemony Flutter because my cuticles were looking pretty torn up. Plus, it really moisturizes well for a small dab on the cuticles. This pot goes a long, long way for me.

As for Charity Pot, it’s a bit pricey, but it went to a good cause!

Plus, I’ve found that of all the lotions I’ve ever used, Charity Pot works the best for keeping me moisturized all day.

So that was my Saturday…partially shopping and partially sightseeing. In case you haven’t been, please make sure to stop by my husband’s photo blog. He definitely takes better pictures!

Tomorrow I’ll put up pictures of my gimp attempts of scenic photography…or I’ll just take a pic of the current color on my nail and call it a day. 😉

What's In Your Purse?
Fun rainy Saturday, Part 1