Sunday, March 30, 2014

Being A Woman In Sweden

Some of my everyday beauty products

One of the lessons I learned this past year in Sweden, is that there is no way I could afford to live in Sweden full-time and be a woman. Perhaps, part of this is because for Swedish women, ignorance is bliss. Now, I'm not in any way calling Swedish women ignorant. No, I'm simply saying that you don't know how cheap things are elsewhere in the world (AKA, at Target) and so therefor are accepting of how expensive certain things are in Sweden.

expensive to be a woman in Sweden
The mascara I use (and found a great deal on this past week!)

Lets take a look at one of my recent purchases at Target. My usual mascara, that I buy for $4.99; is actually being discontinued at Target- so I was able to buy 4 tubes for $2.48 each (I bought them for 16 krona, regular price they would have been 32 krona). This same exact mascara I have seen for sale in Sweden…for 139 krona (or $22). OUCH!

beauty products in Sweden
Even nail polish is much more expensive in Sweden!

Nail polish. Essie and Sally Hansen "complete salon manicure" are two of my favorite brands. When purchasing Essie in Sweden, it retails for 139 krona ($22). Again, OUCH!

I can't afford to be a woman in Sweden
One of my favorite conditioners I use

Shampoo and conditioner. This big bottle of TRESemm√© I purchased at Target for $4.49 (29 krona)…and in Sweden, this same bottle retails for 89 krona ($13.69). I definitely used less conditioner while I was in Sweden!

And of course, those are just a few of the everyday things that I buy on my trips to Target. Hair, nails, beauty routines, shopping, all of these are much more expensive in Sweden. A few years back, Nick had a couple of his friends and their girlfriends come over and visit- he told me the girlfriends wanted to go get a manicure done daily, just because it was so cheap here. You can get a plain old manicure here in Minnesota starting at $20 (130 krona), maybe doubling that price if you go for a gel manicure (which is my favorite!) Same thing in Sweden, your looking at almost $100.

Towards the end of the year, I was getting tired of being a brunette and wanted to start highlighting my hair to get back to blonde. I chatted with a couple of gals I knew, who informed me that with what I wanted to do, I was looking at at least 1800 krona ($275). When I knew I could do the same thing in the US for $100, I just waited a few weeks to get my hair done!

A few of my friends have also asked me how the shopping was in Sweden. My honest answer? I went shopping (and actually purchased items) exactly once while over there. Sure, there are some cute items in the stores- but again, when I knew I could purchase the same exact things in the US for half the price, and even better if I wait until Thailand in 11 days-- it was very hard to shop and spend the money!

With all of those everyday expenses adding up, I am positive that I can't afford to be a woman in Sweden, especially with the knowledge that I have. For my readers, have you noticed major price differences like this living in new areas (whether it is city, state, or country)? How did you adapt- or not?

**A little disclaimer: I am fully aware this post may be dramatic. There are options I could have done in Sweden, such as not doing my hair, makeup, or nails. However, to me, this is part of being a woman and I like my routine. Many women do choose to go without doing their nails, and things like that. I just enjoy indulging in some pampering every once in awhile!**

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