Welcome to Israel Money Diaries. We are asking Olim how they spend their hard-earned money during a one week period — and we’re tracking every last shekel. If you are interested in joining us in this project, please contact [email protected]

Occupation: Data Analyst
Industry: Hi Tech
Age: 31
Number of household members (whom you provide for): 2
City: Jerusalem
Salary per month (Bruto or before taxes): 14,500
Spouse’s salary: ~500 (My wife is in school full time and works a few times a month as a dental assistant)

Monthly Expenses

Rent: 4,800 for a two bedroom apartment
Transportation: ~1,000
Health Care (basic health care is covered for all Israeli citizens through the government, but people may choose to supplement with private insurance): 0
Internet: 89
Electricity: ~200
Gas: ~25
Water: 50
Municipal (Arnona): 500
Va’ad Bayit: 100
Cell Phone: 0 (My work pays for my phone)
Streaming Services: 50 (Netflix)
Gym: 177

Read More

The Diary

DAY ONE

6:15 a.m. – Alarm goes off. Sundays are always hard but I prefer to get an early start to the week. Have a ride to work at 6:45 so gotta get moving.

6:45 a.m. – Walk two minutes to my ride and off we go to the Merkaz. The ride usually takes around an hour and fifteen minutes in the morning so perfect time to get some shuteye. Normally this ride would cost around 20 shekels but Waze Carpool is having a promotion until the end of the year so my ride is free!

8:00 a.m. – Got to the office. Breakfast is provided by work (assortment of fresh breads, cream cheese, butter, jelly, nutella, nuts, granola, yogurt etc…) Sundays I’m a bit dead so it’s a morning for black coffee and a banana chocolate chip muffin that my wife made on Friday.

1:00 p.m. – My company provides its employees with 40 a day for lunch through a program called 10bis, so I don’t have to pay for lunch unless I want to order something that costs more than 40 shekels and then I just pay the difference. I ordered a steak sandwich to the office for 37 shekels.

5:30 p.m. – Heading home after a long day, still have 3 shekels left on my daily food allowance so get a package of oreos from the vending machine for 3.4 shekels, which charges 0.4 shekels to my credit card.
0.40

9:00 p.m. – Wife is working today and we have leftovers from Shabbat so we will be heating those up tonight.

Daily Total: ₪.40


DAY TWO

8:15 a.m. – Went to sleep late last night so decided to go in to work later today. Could not get a ride through Waze Carpool so just using the WhatsApp group I have with people that live in Jerusalem and work in the Merkaz area. The going rate is 15 shekels a ride and I pay via PepperPay today.
15

12:00 p.m. – Did not order in today so headed out to a restaurant around the corner that has home-cooked style food. Ordered a schnitzel baguette sandwich and a crembo for 34 shekels which is within my 10bis food allowance.

2:00 p.m. – They started a farmers market at work last week. A farmer with local produce sells at our workplace once a week. I buy some cherry tomatoes and corn that the vendor says is delicious.
25

5:30 p.m. – Couldn’t get a ride today so taking the bus. 10 minute walk to the bus stop and then a one-hour ride to the Jerusalem Central Bus Station and then a local bus home.
₪16

7:00 p.m. – Going to be making hotdogs for dinner tonight so stop at the bakery to pick up buns and dessert
₪20

7:15 p.m. – Taking the bus home from the Central Bus Station.
₪5.90

Daily Total: ₪81.90


DAY THREE

9:00 a.m. – Another late day for me, could not get a ride again this morning. Taking the bus to the Central Bus Station and then the bus to the Merkaz.
₪5.90

9:30 a.m. – Going to grab a coffee and pastry for the bus from the bakery before I get my bus at 9:40.
₪14.90

9:40 a.m. – Ran out of money on my RavKav (bus card) so have to put some more on. I load 200 shekels on my card and get on my bus and on my way to work.
₪200

2:00 p.m. – Got in late today so having a late lunch. Ordered fish schnitzel from a place across the street for 45 shekels which is 5 shekels above my limit, which gets charged to my credit card.
₪5

6:45 p.m. – Heading home from work. Got a ride! 

8:00 p.m. – I finally get home after a long day at work, and I am surprised by a delicious dinner. We are eating the corn I bought at the farmers market on Monday as well as roasted butternut squash and fish sticks.

Daily Total: ₪225.8


DAY FOUR

7:30 a.m. – I have Miluim (army reserves) for the next two days so won’t be spending much money as the army supplies all of our meals (hooray for corn, beans and tuna sandwiches!) I get a tremp with another person in my unit so I don’t have to pay for a bus or train to base. Also, the army reimburses us 200 ILS to get to base and back.

Miluim usually consists of one week of training per year and then a month of guarding once every three years. This time I only have two days of training, as our unit is switching over to a different gun which I trained on during my mandatory service so I only need to go for the last two days.

The next two days will consist of going to the shooting range to calibrate our weapons and a 20-hour period where we will walk for most of the time with a mix of different types of exercises that will simulate war-time activities with little to no sleep.

While Miluim is not necessarily something I enjoy doing, it is nice to see people from your unit that you see once or twice a year. Additionally, the thought that we are taking part in something that contributes to the defense of Israel makes it worth it.

Daily Total: ₪0


DAY FIVE

2:00 p.m. – Finally finished a gruelling two days in Miluim. When we returned to the base I find an ice cream vending machine (hallelujah!) and buy a magnum ice cream bar to celebrate finishing Miluim.
₪10.50

7:00 p.m. – We are headed to a friend’s potluck meal tonight. We head out to grab a bus to the event. My wife has a yearly bus pass, so she does not need to pay for the bus every time she rides.
₪5.90

10:30 p.m. – The dinner is over and we are stuffed! We order a cab to head home and get some shuteye after a long day.
₪24.50

Daily Total: ₪40.9


DAY SIX

8:00 a.m. – It’s Shabbat tonight and we are going out for both meals over Shabbat so we need to go shopping. We go to the bakery to get challah for our Friday night meal and pay 20 shekels for two challot. Additionally, we head over to a local grocery store to buy stuff that we need for the week and items for the salad we will be making for Shabbat lunch. I also buy some chicken wings that I will be making Saturday night for the big college football game that luckily I get to watch because it starts at 7:00 pm Israel time.
₪168.31

5:00 p.m. – It’s supposed to rain all of Shabbat but we are bundling up and hope that we don’t too soaked. We head over to our Friday night hosts who live 30 minutes away in Katamonim. 

10:00 p.m. – We finish a fantastic meal and head home, venturing back into the cold and wet night. Amazingly it only rained during the meal and stopped when we started walking back so we missed all of the rain. We make it back home and exhausted, retire for the night.

Daily Total: ₪168.31


DAY SEVEN

11:30 a.m. – We head over to our Shabbat lunch hosts who live in Baka about 45 minutes away. We get a bit lost on the way there but luckily ran into a friend who knows where our hosts live. 

7:00 p.m. – One of the fun things about living in Israel is being a college football fan. Normally games that start in the East Coast in the US at 12:00 pm are unwatchable as a religious Jew. In Israel that game starts for us at 7:00 pm, so time for some  football! I prepare some habanero bbq oven fried wings (the secret for super crispy oven wings is baking powder) and settle in for a good game.

Daily Total: ₪0

QUESTIONS?

For more questions about personal budgeting, finances, and Aliyah
please connect with our advisors by email at [email protected]

How can we help your Aliyah?

Name(Required)