8 American Habits I Lost When I Moved To Sweden
1. Using cash or checks.
I first worked for a Swedish company when I was living in Canada. My boss asked how I wanted to be paid, and I said, “It’ll be too expensive for you to do an international wire transfer every month, why don’t you just mail me a check?” He emailed me in a panic and said, “I don’t even know how to get a check! No Swedish bank has any idea what to do!” Swedes are an almost entirely cashless society — you can buy roasted almonds or fresh raspberries from the little corner market stall using an app, and many stores have “Cards only, no cash” signs. I go weeks without seeing coins or bills. This must be particularly difficult for the panhandlers you see outside grocery stores, as I don’t honestly know how anyone has anything to give them.