Life in UK by Lisa Gusto

Today is the first day of the guest posts about Life in UK. I am very excited about sharing with you all the posts that I received from fellow mummy bloggers.
The wonderful Lisa Gusto agreed to write the first post about her Life experience in UK. She moved here from Sweden and blogs about life,cooking and she gives some really great tips about beauty. Check out her blog and her Twitter page.

I moved to London from Stockholm (Sweden) 18 years ago and I’m still as in love with the greatest city on the planet as when I first came here in the early 90’s.
For me London is freedom.
This is where I came to re-invent myself without the restraints of the past, and also to grow up and have a family.
If I would move my whole life back to Sweden (horrible thought!), now that I have a man and two boys, my life would be so much easier though.
Apart from having the grandparents as babysitters on tap, my shoe collection would be extensive and I would just have come back from a resting holiday on Bora Bora J
It’s all because the Swedish government is supporting families with kids and a mortgage in a way parents in the UK can only dream of!
Big warning!
If you don’t want to cry with envy at the unfairness of being a parent in the UK don’t read any further.
And if you’re pally with David Cameron you might want to give him a hint of what his Swedish counterpart is doing for families… Read and weep!

The maternity leave is 1 year with 80% of your salary and you can space it out for how long you want.
Paternity leave is 3 month of this & it’s lost forever if you don’t take it.
Needless to say ALL dads take advantage of this!!

A nursery place is made available for all children at the age of 1.5.
Opening hours are tailor-made to suit full time working parents.
There are also Night Nurseries available if you work nights.
And the cost? £111 a month!! No I did not forget a zero at the end!
The cost is the same for everyone.
If your child is sick you get 80% of your salary for as long as your child is ill.
There’s absolutely no need to fork out on private education. Schools are good and everyone attends the local government run school.
When school is out around 2-ish the kids head off to Fritids it’s like an afterschool club.
There you can pick your child up after work.
This will set you back £60 a month.
Do I need to say that all my female friends in Sweden work?

Obviously university is free. Actually the government hand out around £186 a month to students.
Now over to what the government does to help you with the burden of keeping house:
House work, cleaning, decorating, repairs and maintenance is tax deductable!! You are allocated £4663 per adult in a household per year.
And read and weep!!!
30 % of your interest on loans is also tax deductable!
For example: Say you borrow £500000 your interest rate is 5% i.e. £25.000 a year, then the government will subsidize 30% of that cost. It’s offset against your tax.
And the tax system is not that bad either I would pay exactly the same amount of tax on my income in Sweden as I do herein the UK.
I’m not saying Sweden is utopia when you have a family but it certainly makes life a hell of a lot easier!
Would I move back for less financial stress and a larger shoe collection? Not in a million years!!!

What do you think? If you would like to write a guest post too please let me know by emailing me at or tweet me – @romanianmum.

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  • Bob

    Whilst I’ve loved every single day I’ve spent in Sweden I can never get over how high the cost of living is. It was about £1.10 for a mars bar the last time I was there, the cheapest pint of beer I could find (and I hunted really really hard) was £6 and the cheapest salad whilst eating out was over £10.

    Whilst the tax I’d pay on my salary might be the same I’m terrified to think how much VAT there is on stuff in the shops.

  • Krislang27

    Hi Lisa, I’m in the process of finding work in Sweden and move there with my little family. I have a 5 year old daughter who is at preschool. I’m so happy that she is out of nursery because did we strugle with the fees? Oh yes, BIG TIME!! We payed nearly £1000/month and it put an enormous strain on us financially. I really wish the government here in the UK would support young parents who want to go back to work but sometimes it is not worth it purely because the nuresry fees you pay then you will left with no money.

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