Things you buy on a budget

​Here are all the things you will need to buy for your student apartment, and how you can buy them on a budget! 
Picture of Nathaly showing plants and flower pots

It has almost been a year since I got to Gothenburg to pursue my master's programme in Biomedical Engineering​ at Chalmers. Let me tell you my experience when decorating and settling in my new home. First, I would like to say that, as an international fee paying-student, Chalmers helped me finding accommodation. I was offered an apartment of 18 sqm—approximately 1.5 km from Johanneberg Campus. My place is furnished with a single bed, desk, dining table, chairs, a little kitchenette, and a small fridge. On my way to making this place a home, I decided it was a good idea to divide my shopping list into sections and assign a budget for each of them.

Bedroom
Having a good night of sleep is as important as eating to me! So I needed to be super comfy when I went to bed. Comfy for me is having an incredible memory foam pillow, a super soft pillow to hold, and a warm duvet for the cold nights to come. Of course, you need to add to the budget the price of one cover for every item (since those are often sold separately).
Even though you can find one or more of these items in second-hand stores, I didn't want to risk having a bad experience (since I'm a little picky when it comes to hygiene). So I got all these at the fabulous Ikea. My budget was 1200 SEK, but I ended up spending 917 SEK.

Kitchen
Picture of a kitchenAnother essential section of the house is the kitchen! In here you get a fridge, a kitchenette with two stoves, and shelves lots of shelves. You’ll need things to fill those shelves up like cookwares. With these cookwares, you'll prepare and serve delicious meals that will fill your belly and warm your heart. You already know the basics; pots and pans, spoons, knives, dishes, cutlery, glasses, cups. If you love coffee as much as I do, you'll definitely need a coffee maker or a french press (which is very common to use here in Sweden).
Where can you get these items? I was able to find some dishes and cups for absolutely nothing a room outside my residence. In that place, other students leave things they do not want any more when moving out. It is usually located nearby the residences. For example, in my case, the free-things room is located at the center of the residences in Emilsborg. But don’t worry, this is not the only place that has it. I know from my friends that they have it too and that it’s also located in a centric area where they live. This is an excellent idea, especially if you don't mind having your kitchen items unmatched. There are some cool places around the city where you can buy second-hand cutlery, dishes, spoons and more, for a lower price. Again, if your eyes don't twinkle when your fork is not the same style as your knife or spoon, this is the place for you. If you are lucky, you'll get the same type of everything you need, but it does not always happen.
For pots, pans, knives, and french press, I preferred using new items. You already know where I went, right? My budget here was 700 SEK and since I actually spent 453 SEK, I was super happy about this!

Bathroom
Nothing better than a comforting shower to start and end your day. I believe you'll need a shower curtain, soft towels, and maybe a bathroom carpet. Again, a clean space makes me happy, so I went for completely new items even if you can find these second-hand for a cheaper price. If you are super organized and have tons of bathing supplies, you may need a cabinet.  My budget was 450 SEK and spent 309 SEK, not bad.
Home office:
One of my favorite places at home, especially now that we have blended studies at Chalmers with the education being both on campus and online. I have many "office supplies," so I definitely needed an organizer (or more than one). I got used to using two screens in my home country when working or studying. When I got here, I could find a good, used monitor on Facebook marketplace for an affordable price. It's all about fishing for the perfect match between price and quality. So if you are on a budget, this is a must-place to look for you. Since these are things I can easily clean, I could go for second-hand or look in the free-things room. This is how I found my desk chair; I was able to get it for the fantastic price of zero Swedish kronor by finding it there and bringing it to my apartment. This is the section that makes me happiest because I budgeted 1300 SEK and it actually was 530 SEK. 

Extras
Picture of Laptop and a monitor on a desk
If you come from a country with different power outlet connectors, you will definitely need adaptors. I would recommend that you get this new since the electrical and electronics have a limited valid lifetime. I got mine at a store called Clas Ohlson the first day I arrived. I brought a WiFi router from home, so I didn’t spend any money on this, but it is definitely needed here! So plan ahead that too. You may also need some cloth hangers, which sometimes you could find in the free room. If you like to have something special to decorate your apartment, maybe pictures, frames, cute design napkins, you name it. You don't need to rush on buying these the moment you get here. You'll have time to find the perfect item for you, either new, second-hand, or for free. You'd be amazed at all the pretty things you can find here. In my budget I had 200 SEK for extras, but I spent 312. After all the savings, it didn’t hurt to be out of the budget on this one.

Incredible memory foam pillow

150 SEK

New

Super soft pillow

99 SEK

New

Warm duvet

399 SEK

New

Covers

269 SEK

New

Pots and pans

250 SEK

New

Spoons

15 SEK

New

Knives

79 SEK

New

Dishes

0 SEK

Second-hand

Glasses and cups

0 SEK

Second-hand

French press

79 SEK

New

Cutlery

30 SEK

Second-hand

Shower curtain

20 SEK

New

Soft towels

139 SEK

New

Cabinet

150 SEK

Second-hand

Home office organizer

30 SEK

Second-hand

Office chair

0 SEK

Second-hand

Extra 22' monitor

500 SEK

Second-hand

Power outlet adapters

297 SEK

New

Cloth hangers

15 SEK

New

TOTAL

2521 SEK

  
Here is the average price I spent when buying the things I just mentioned, hope this is of big help to you. Some previous ambassadors also made a blog about how much does it cost to live in Gothenburg and a cool guide to cheap living. Happy decorating!


Picture of Nathaly


Author: Nathaly​

Page manager Published: Mon 17 May 2021.