Cost of Living in Finland
There are about 110,000 immigrants living in Finland, despite the high cost of living, but proof enough that the Finnish life is worth every euro.
Finland ranks in the top half of the most expensive countries in the world. The average expenditure for a month averages about 500 to 700 Euros for one person. But, as always, how much you spend depends on your lifestyle.
Finnish legislation allows expats to freely purchase property in the country. According to statistics, housing expenditure takes up about 20% of an individual's income in Finland. The cost of real estate varies depending on location. A city studio apartment would cost between 35,000 and 50,000 Euros.
The best location for real estate would have to be in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area (HMA) as it makes city life accessible for the career-driven expat. Lapland, which is located in the northern part of Finland, is also gaining popularity for expat-retirees who enjoy the beauty of its evergreen mountains.
If you're not yet ready to invest in real estate, renting is the best option. You may be required to pay a security deposit and pay in advance. A written contract is advisable. Shared living is definitely the cheapest housing option, especially for single individuals (approximately 250-350 Euros). A one to two bedroom apartment on the other hand is about 600 to 1000 Euros. Utility expenses such as water and electricity are sometimes included in shared housing costs.
Finnish cuisine in general is simple, made from fresh products, and more often than not, healthy. Fish is more widely used in dishes than meat or poultry. Spices are not a common ingredient in Finnish cuisine due to the lack of availability.
On average, you will spend about 12.9% of your income on food in Finland. Cooking and eating at home is most recommended for those who wish to save up those euro for other expenses. Potatoes are a staple on Finnish dining tables, as well as dark rye bread and milk. A loaf of bread costs from 1.50 to 3.50 Euros, while a liter of milk costs about 1 Euro.
The cost of eating out depends greatly on where you eat. Middle-class restaurants cost about 10 Euros per person, while meals in a high-end place would cost up to 100 Euros.
Transportation and Recreation
Approximately half of the expat population in Finland resides in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Fortunately, Finland has a well-developed transport system, so getting around, is never a problem.
It has an extensive network of roads, stretching a length of about 13,528 kilometers. Road transport is the most popular means of moving around the country. Coaches operated by Matkahuolto and bus transport offered by Express Bus are the most utilized public transportation. Bus fares in Helsinki are two to four Euros, which would add up to about 50 Euros per month.
Despite the stable economy, owning and using a car as a means of transport is not at all common. Finland has a ration of 521 cars per one thousand inhabitants. And despite the low price of petrol at one to two Euros, the Finnish still prefer using public transport.
The railway system is also another common means of transportation. This is owned by the state-managed VR Group.
Finland has a ratio of 1.7 million saunas to 5.2 million people. Obviously, relaxing in a sauna is the most popular recreation, almost to the point of being a national obsession. Visiting a public sauna costs about 4Euros, while owning one would cost you between 2000 and 4000 Euros.
The Finnish are also avid coffee-drinkers. In fact, coffee parties are a common way of socializing. You can enjoy a steaming hot cup to beat the cold Finnish nights for only two euro.
Finland does have a high cost of living in comparison to other expat destinations; but Finnish life is incalculably both relaxing and exhilarating.
Expat Services in Finland
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