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January 12, 2010

What It Costs to Be Me: Women's Average Salaries

Five women from across the world reveal how they spend their monthly paychecks.

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maria kammonen

Photo Credit: Mikkel Ostergaard/Panos Pictures

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MARIA KAMMONEN, 29, HELSINKI, FINLAND
Occupation:
Advertising rep for Sulake, a social-networking company
Annual income: $54,000 (converted from euros)
Average income for a woman in Finland: $28,992

Home sweet home: "I own a large two-bedroom apartment with my fiancé. We split the mortgage, about $1200 each per month, which includes utilities. That's pricey for Helsinki, but we live in a nice neighborhood about 10 minutes from the city center, where all the action is."

Bills, bills, bills: "My monthly iPhone service is about $120 a month. That's a lot, but mobile Internet access isn't cheap here. And I'm constantly on the Web."

Only in Finland: "Every three months, everyone with a TV set is charged $120 for access to public television. A lot of young people lie about having one so they won't have to pay for it."

Meal plan: "Helsinki is ridiculously expensive. I buy lunch — usually sushi — near my office, which can cost as much as $18. My fiancé and I don't eat dinner out as much as we used to, but when we do, we go all the way. My favorite restaurant is Demo, one of the top restaurants in Helsinki. It's about $150 for dinner for two. It's a once-in-a-while splurge we never regret."

The weekender: "A lot of young Finns have parents who own a second place in the country, so you'll get invited over for an extended out-of-town house party."

Jeans Index: "I once spent $300 on a pair of jeans I bought in New York City."

Recessionomics: "I used to shop quite a bit, but lately, I'm thinking more about money, buying only quality items that I know will last a really long time."

Checks and balances: "We're not short on money right now, but we're not saving at all. My fiancé and I feel that while we're young, we'll spend our money on travel, which is a passion of ours. We should start saving, though...at the moment, we've got nothing in the bank!"


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