The relationship between Finnish people and money is, diplomatically said, a story of its own.
In general, Finns don’t let their financial status show. We expect that everyone’s salary is a topic between the person and their boss.
Money issues are talked only with close friends and immediate family. Some funny things occur with this topic.
#1 Winning the lottery
It is a national sport to do the domestic lotto in Finland. The game for a new millionaire is on every Saturday. The lucky winner is the person or group which has chosen seven same numbers between 1-40 as the ”lotto machine” picks up.
It is close to gambling madness when the first price is near 15 million euros! Dreaming of the jackpot is something that every Finn can relate to.
“What would you do if you won in the lotto?” is a popular question on a first date, as it is a safe and positive way to find out the values and interests of the other person.
I would say that 90% of Finns start their answer by saying that they would pay off their home or student loan.
Being an entrepreneur is a funny thing in Finland. At the moment, the taxation system of Finland supports more a regular employee’s life than that of a self-employed.
The other thing is how entrepreneurship is reviewed in the society.
I believe there is even a study that found out that it is more appreciated to be a lotto millionaire than an entrepreneur in Finland.
There’s a big change going on, as the world is evolving into a place where even more and more poeple work as a micro entrepreneurs. It’s super interesting to see how entrepreneurship develops in Finland in the next few years.
#3 Women friends
Among ourselves, we Finnish women are cautious and precise that nobody owes anybody money.
I honestly cannot explain this hilarious, time-consuming and calculator-needing feature of ours. It just feels awful to think that someone would think that I haven’t paid my debts!
On the other hand, we don’t feel the need of rounding up. Thus, I certainly have found myself several times paying to another girl’s bank account the exact 26,70 euros for a joint baby shower or bachelorette gift.
#4 Men friends
Nobody keeps track of anything moneywise in a group of Finnish men friends!
The key is to make everything as easy and fast as possible. They take turns in paying, based on a hunch.
(Or so it looks to me. I have made a couple of scientific interviews asking this and the men in question have also told that there is no definitive system applied.).
And I have to say, somehow this method really works! Everyone is always a standard 200 euros poorer after a boys’ night.
#5 In restaurant
There’s no mandatory tipping culture in Finland, it doesn’t belong in our culture. Of course, anyone is free to tip if they would like to tip.
Another thing worth mentioning is that we Finns are spoilt and used to having our restaurant bills however we want. We can ask the bill all separate, all together or even in difficult arrangements.
For example, it is totally normal that a group of 8 people would ask to have their bills like this: A single person (1 bill) + a couple & child (1 bill) + family of 4 (1 bill) = Eight people & Three bills.
This is why many waiters in Finland, start the service by asking, how everybody want their bills.