Let’s say it straight: Finland is quite expensive. Compared to Italy it definitely is.
As an EVS volunteer you don’t get any salary. Though, such an experience is free of charge for the ones taking part in it (accommodation, food and other main things are provided), and in addition to this, you will have a pocket money, a small monthly budget, which may vary according to your “volunteering agreement”.
So you may have a chance to afford social life during your EVS, even in Finland.
It doesn’t matter how small it’s your budget, I will give you some tips in order to use it in the best way.
- Second hand shops: in Finland you can find many of these. Usually the stuff it’s in very good condition and if you are lucky you can really make great deals. For instance, I think you could go there when you are looking for winter clothes and you want to be sure their are really good for Finnish winter!
- Super Markets: the product you want to purchase it’s almost always sold also by the “Market’s brand”, that is way cheaper than the other ones. There are different of those: Pirkka, K-menu, Rainbow… depending on the Market. Look at the lower shelves, the prices are lower as well!
- Travelling: Finland has a lot to offer, there are many places that you could visit. Trips can be expensive if you have to take public transportation. One solution is buying beforehand the tickets, since the Finnish train company offers “saver tickets” for the clients who book earlier their trip. Then, if you don’t mind to spend long hours on a bus, this is also a solution. There are different bus companies which are very cheap, the most famous one is Onnibus, but you can check also Savonlinja or others…
- Night-life: well, I would say that get a drink in a bar it’s not so cheap. But sometime there are special offers on a specific day. If you want to hang out without spending a fortune, check it. You can find bars offering a beer for € 2.50, not bad, right? But remember to drink responsibly.
- General advices: actually the better persons who can give you very good tips are Finns themselves. So, don’t be afraid: ask people at your work place or where you live! They will be glad to help you! I am sure!
Ok, I hope this list can help you to manage your volunteer’s budget! Sometime probably you will have to make a choice, not all is affordable for a volunteer. But still I believe that this is a vary good teaching! It’s not always reasonable to get everything!
Good luck! See you soon!