These are the hidden costs of living in Norway

These are the hidden costs of living in Norway

NRK tax

Prior to January 2020, residents of Norway were required to pay an annual tax on television licenses. You had to pay a fee for each TV you owned. Since we now receive our news on different types of screens other than our televisions, the government has implemented a new tax model.

As of January of this year, the TV license tax has been converted to NRK tax. NRK is the public broadcasting network in Norway, and residents are required to pay their “contribution”, or tax, to be a viewer.

The new tax system is based on the income of an individual. So, depending on what income bracket you are in, you will be billed between 200 and 1,700 crowns per year. Remember, this is an individual – so if you and your living partner are both in the highest tax bracket, your shared budget will see a withdrawal of 3,400 crowns per year in tax. NRK.

Imported food

Finding the ingredients to prepare an authentic meal from your home country can get expensive. If you want to make a pumpkin pie for the holidays, for example. A box of pumpkin puree at the MENY grocery store will set you back 90 crowns, or 10 US dollars, compared to the 2 dollars you would pay in the United States.

A mango in the same grocery store often costs 38 crowns (3.50 euros), and an avocado can cost up to 40 crowns (3.75 euros).

The current low level of the Norwegian krone against currencies such as the euro, the dollar and the pound is likely to make it even more expensive to import food into Norway. This will lead the consumer to pay an even higher price on imported food.

Fortunately, the possibility of finding the ingredient you need is more likely than in the past, as Norwegian residents have significantly expanded their cuisine from traditional Norwegian cuisine over the past two decades.

READ ALSO: Five Weird Norwegian Delicacies You Might Think Twice Before You Try

The price of sending or receiving goods abroad by post

If you have ordered an item to be sent to you from a location outside of Norway, start preparing for the price you may have to pay when you pick it up at the post office.

Several times I picked up a package from an online clothing store and paid up to 600 crowns (56 euros) in tax.

Here is a list of the prices you might have to pay when you receive a package at the post office.

You have to pay VAT (value added tax) on products you buy online from foreign websites, according to the tax authority, Skatteetaten. If Norwegian consumers buy online from stores that are not registered, VAT and possible customs duties will be added when the goods cross the Norwegian border.

You have to pay VAT on food products, including sweets, tea, and spices. Most often, couriers will pay the fee on your behalf, but may charge you a fee up front.

Depending on the weight and size of the package, the stamps you will need to send a package outside of Europe can cost between 32 crowns (3 euros) and 280 crowns (27 euros) depending on the Posten Norge price list.

Organized sports

Want to join a climbing gym or start playing golf on the weekends? No problem. Norway has a wide range of sports facilities, but there are additional costs other than membership fees to consider.

You may need to pay a permit for these activities. It doesn’t matter if you are a professional climber, if you want to be a member of a climbing hall, you must take the safety and learning courses to receive your brattkort, or climbing card. This is compulsory in all climbing halls in Norway if you want to both climb and belay others.

The basic course that you will need to take to receive your climbing card at the Sørlandsklatresenter in Kristiansand, for example, will cost you 990 crowns (92 euros). This is in addition to the 5,500 crowns (516 euros) you would pay per year to become a member.

According to a 2013 Aftenposten article, Norway is the most expensive country in Europe to play golf. You pay the highest annual fees and the highest green fees.

The airport train

The airport train, or Flytoget, can be one of the first surprises you’ll find when it comes to cost of living, travel, or moving in Norway.

Norway’s airport, Gardermoen, is the closest to the capital Oslo. An adult ticket on the airport train from Gardermoen to downtown Oslo will cost you 198 crowns (around 19 euros). That’s a steep price to pay compared to a nearby Scandinavian hub: the train from Copenhagen Airport, the capital of Denmark, once traveled between Copenhagen Airport and the city center only cost 36 crowns. Danish (4.80 euros).

Some useful tips! There are trains in addition to the Flytoget that take you to and from Gardermoen and downtown Oslo that cost less than half the price of a seat on the airport train. It will take you on average five to ten minutes longer as there are stops along the way, so make sure you have enough time to use this option.

Check if you are eligible for discounts before purchasing a ticket for the airport train. Students and seniors benefit from a reduced rate.

Go to the cinema

You might think of a casual night at the movies as an affordable activity. In Norway, you’ll usually want to check what’s going on before accepting an invitation to the cinema.

A standard cinema ticket in Norway costs 140 crowns (13 euros). This is double the price you would pay to see a movie in France. Not only the ticket prices, but the high prices of concession stands attribute to the fact that cinema in Norway is seen more as a special occasion than a casual activity. Two sodas and an average popcorn bought in a movie theater will cost you about the same as the movie ticket.

Bakery bread

Bread is a staple of the Norwegian diet. Of course, buying products in a bakery will cost more than in a regular grocery store, but the price of some breads in a bakery will make you wonder if you heard the cashier correctly.

Typically, a loaf of bread costs around 35 crowns (3.2 euros) in grocery stores, but some artisan breads make it a budget option. Salt and pepper bread at Edgars Bakery in Kristiansand costs double the price. Even more surprisingly, a loaf of sourdough bread at Ille Brød Bakeri in Oslo costs 98 crowns (9 euros).

Bakery breads are delicious, but the quality of grocery store bread in Norway is so high that it’s not necessarily worth paying double, sometimes triple, the price of a bakery.

The high prices of bread in general in Norway may be due to the fact that there are only two groups of flour mills in the country, as previously pointed out by TV2. They can mark up the price they charge for grinding wheat because there is little competition and the demand for bread is so high.

If you are looking to cut your grocery budget, you can also bake your own bread. Dinside broke down the price by the amount of ingredients needed to make a simple “everyday” bread in Norway. The cost of making a basic loaf of bread can be as low as 3.34 crowns ($ 0.31).

Useful vocabulary

income: ticket income: sports ticket: sports post office: post office foreign food: foreign food cinema: cinema

Have we missed any of the extra hidden costs of living in Norway? Is there anything else you would like us to write? Let us know.

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