Life in Finland, part 3

06 August 2017

Life hacks and life habits

All say that Finland is incredibly expensive. But I think that not so much, sometimes even cheap.

Indeed, the consuming model is very different here. If practicing old habits (at least old Russian habits), living in Finland would cost a lot. So it is important to follow local life hacks and understand how the system is designed and works.

If speaking, for example, about cleaning the house, it looks that using cleaning services is only for upper class. It would cost about €60-80 for a regular apartment. Ordering this service weekly would be too much. However, there is a tax deduction, which is as much as 50% of cleaning service price. Also, it can be estimated in advance, there is no need to wait for the end of the year. This way, you would spend €200 a month for cleaning, but get €100 more salary. Pure expenses are €100.

Sales in shops happen regularly, there is a yearly calendar of them. Winter and summer sales are the must, and there are also Hullut päivät (Crazy days) in Stockmann every spring and fall. The discounts are down to 70%. There are also sales on Easter, even in groceries.

Of course, impulse buyings are still expensive. But everyday life gets much cheaper if it is organized properly. I cannot recollect last time I was buying tights or laundry products without a discount. We have a stock of them at home 😊

Now, I want to make new glasses. The frames cost 1,5 more than in Germany or UK. But in here, if to order the whole thing with lenses, the discount for a frame is 70%. This way it works in several optic shops. In another one, if to order the glasses, you can get the same lenses into the second frame for free.

Before ordering the glasses, I made vision checkup. Actually, it can be free with a certificate from a doctor. But our nurse is on her vacation (Finnish July, nothing surprising) and I did not want to wait. So, I went to get a €20 check-up. At the end, they did not take the money. They told me that it was a special offer for that day, and they had some fun with me in that boring day. This way, it works everywhere!


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When moving, it's needed to notify the housing company (which company it is, usually has written downstairs in the building hallway). The company takes care of everything, without any additional fee. For the new tenants, they change the door sign. They can write whatever you wish but usually, it is a surname of one or all the persons living in the apartment. The same changes they do for the list of tenants placed. downstairs.

All the doors have slots, the size it standard across the whole country. And it seems that in Sweden it's the same. The sign is usually made from the separate letters which you can see in the picture. But in semi detached houses and own houses, some people use their creativity. Once we saw a sign which can be translated as "recidence of Mr. Virtanen and Mirri and Selma the cats".


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Church in Tampere, from last year. I rarely visit churches and know little. This is Lutheran, modest interiors. There are women in service, also as bishops. Church members pay church tax (we don't).


I tried to cook marjapaistos — a kind of casserole dessert with oat flakes and berries. Very tasty!

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First time, I had it at Fazer Cafe, the same as in the picture. This is a dessert but not too sweet, and it is a bit sour thanks to the berries. Oat flakes on the top makes it feel like healthy food 😊

I found the recipe and the Myllyn Paras website. BTW, their products are very popular and visible in Russia as well. But I did not use their flakes, just bought the first I saw. Important that the flakes are not for fast cooking but normal ones. So, the dessert is baked and tastes deliciously! Next time I would put less honey and make the oat dough level a bit thinner. In the cafe, it was exactly like that.

Here is the recipe, in Finnish!

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