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: Content Manager
Industry: Nonprofit
Age: 30
Number of household members: 3
City: Modiin
Salary per month (Bruto or before taxes): ₪10,000
Spouse’s salary: ₪15,000
Ongoing financial support: No

Monthly Expenses

Rent: ₪5,200
Transportation: ₪299 for a monthly bus pass (covered by work), about ₪800 on gas (our car is paid off).
Student Loans: None, thank you subsidized college in Israel!
Health Care (basic health care is covered for all Israeli citizens through the government, but people may choose to supplement with private insurance): ₪200
Internet: ₪150
Electricity: ₪400
Gas: ₪30
Water: ₪150
Municipal (Arnona): ₪480
Va’ad Bayit: ₪170
Cell Phone: ₪80
Child Care: ₪650 for my daughter’s Tzaharon (after gan program)
Streaming Services: We use my sister’s Netflix
Savings/Pension: About 10% of our salaries plus 2% of my salary goes to Keren Hishtalmut, a savings program.
Gym: ₪45/week for yoga
Community Fees:
Extracurriculars (Chugim) for kids: ₪70/week for swim

Read More

The Diary

Please note:

The family in this edition of The Money Diaries was following the up-to-date restrictions put in place by the Ministry of Health. The restrictions have since changed. For more information about adhering to MOH restrctions during corona virus, please consult our Emergency Information and Updates page

DAY ONE – Sunday March 15, 2020

6:00 a.m. — Three-year-old wakes up at 6:00 on the dot every morning. Normally I’m up and getting ready for work anyway, but life in the time of Coronavirus means I am working from home. I let her come into our bed and we all chill and read books together for about an hour before we get up for breakfast.  

7:00 a.m. — Get up and give my daughter, E, breakfast. She has cereal and milk, I have yogurt and tea. Our kitchen is fully stocked because I did a huge shop at Rami Levy on Friday in preparation for the possibility of things closing down or needing quarantine. We are set for food for at least two weeks. E colors across the table from me while I open my laptop and begin my work day. 

9:30 a.m. — Husband takes E and I go to my room for a work Zoom call. At some point, E’s friend came over and the two of them played outside in the garden. At this point we have a few friends who we are willing to see, but we are constantly reevaluating and discussing if we are comfortable to continue with playdates, and if so, with whom. 

12:00 p.m. — Emerge from my room and make lunch for everyone. Today’s lunch is bagels from the freezer, cheeses, and vegetables. 

1:00 p.m. — More work in the living room while E plays with her toys. She wants me to play with her, and I’m trying to pay attention to her while I also work. I obviously feel guilty about not paying E enough attention, but I remind myself how lucky I am to have work right now. More and more people are losing their jobs every day or being put on Chalat (unpaid leave from work). 

3:00 p.m. — Set up a fun, free exercise video for E. I take a break from work to do the video with her. We do one full video followed by a kid’s dance video, and then just listen to music for a while, dance, and play. 

4:00 p.m. — E’s whole class Zooms! Is Zoom a verb now? The call is adorable and chaotic. 

6:00 p.m. — Dinner is Shabbat leftovers, followed by bath and bedtime for my daughter. 

7:10 p.m. — Sit down and close up some work. 

8:30 p.m. — TV and unwinding with my husband. We break out the Ben and Jerry’s we’ve been hiding. 

10:00 — Good night!

Daily Total: ₪0

DAY TWO – Monday March 16, 2020

6:15 a.m.  — Daughter climbs into our bed. We decided to move her Gro-Clock to turn yellow at 6:15 instead of 6:00 because there is no reason for us to all be up quite so early right now. We chill and read for a while, she goes back and forth gathering toys and plays in our bed. 

7:00 a.m. — Breakfast with E is muffins from the freezer, with tea for me and orange juice for her. After we finish, I dump kinetic sand into a bin for her to play with while I open my laptop and begin working. 

9:30 a.m. Husband took E to a playdate at a friend’s house. I have a Zoom meeting with my team followed by a staff meeting for the whole company where we touch-base, receive company updates, encouragement, and all begin to adjust to our current remote reality. 

12:00 p.m. Emerge from my room to prepare lunch. Rude awakening that we need to have three meals a day at home for the time being. Made tomato sauce with a lot of vegetables in it (gotta sneak some extra vegetables into E’s diet) and boil a pack of gnocchi that we had in the pantry. 

Afternoon is a blur of trying to work and trying to entertain E. At some point we all go for a walk and E’s class has a Zoom again. 

6:00 p.m. Dinner is hot dogs, roasted potatoes, and salad. 

7:15 p.m. — E is in bed, time for some parent unwinding – TV and relaxing. We also begin to make plans for cleaning, shopping, and cooking for Pesach. Although we are working from home this year, we expect preparing for the holiday to be especially challenging because all of our waking hours seem to be split between working and taking care of E. That doesn’t leave much time for heavy Pesach cleaning marathons, and we plan to begin preparing further in advance in smaller, more achievable increments.

Daily Total: ₪0

DAY THREE – Tuesday March 17, 2020

6:30 a.m.Pushed E’s clock to 6:30. We know we are pushing our luck here, and she is awake long before 6:30 but she only comes out of her room once the clock turns yellow.

7:00 a.m.  — Breakfast for E and me! We all woke up a little cranky today. E is watching TV while I work. 

9:30 a.m. Zoom with my team and more work. All three of us are in bad moods today. 

12:00 p.m. Lunch is burgers, salad, and home fries. E had a huge meltdown about TV which is totally out of character for her, so we decided we need to get out a bit.

1:00 p.m. We Ask E where she wants to go and she says the desert, so we get in the car and drive south. E fell asleep in the car and slept all the way there. We did an easy hike near Masada and it was exactly what we all needed. We saw animals, enjoyed the scenery, and aired out the cobwebs. We stayed out until the sun began to set and then headed home. Under normal circumstances, we would stop for dinner somewhere, but due to the corona outbreak we are avoiding restaurants, even takeout. 

6:30 p.m. Stop for gas on the way home. ₪250

7:30 p.m. — E is exhausted and says she isn’t hungry, she just wants to go to bed. She eats a banana and a rice cake before going to sleep. 

8:00 p.m. We have pasta for dinner, I do some more work until we go to sleep. 

11:00 p.m. Good night!

Daily Total: ₪250

DAY FOUR – Wednesday March 18, 2020

6:45 a.m. — E “slept in” today! Yesterday must have tired her out. 

7:30 a.m. — E and I get up for breakfast. The weather has been gross and rainy all week, but we see now how important it is to get out. We all feel a lot better than yesterday. E makes “Mitzrayim” from her toys in the living room while my husband and I work. 

9:00 a.m. E’s class has Zoom davening which is adorable chaos. 

9:30 a.m. — I go to my room to Zoom with my team and get work done in peace and quiet. 

12:00 p.m. Lunch time again?? Eggs, roasted broccoli and sweet potato for everyone. 

1:00 p.m. Drive to the nearby forest. We are lucky in Modiin to have Park Canada and Ben Shemen Forest nearby for beautiful nature with easy walks. 

4:00 p.m. E has another Zoom with her class, just for fun, while I do more work. 

6:00 p.m. — Dinner is chicken that I put in the crockpot this morning and leftover rice.  

7:00 p.m. Bath and bedtime for E, more work for me! 

10:30 p.m. Exhausted, off to bed.

Daily Total: ₪0

DAY FIVE – Thursday March 19, 2020

6:30 a.m. — Wake up, chill, breakfast. Feeling more optimistic about today. We are getting into a routine of getting work done for a solid few hours in the morning, entertaining E for the afternoon, and then a few more hours of work after E goes to sleep. 

7:00 a.m. — Breakfast with E and we make pizza dough for lunch for later. I sit down and work, E plays with play dough across from me while I work. 

9:00 a.m. E does Zoom davening with her class. 

9:30 a.m. — Team meeting followed by staff meeting, discussing our work routine and the regulations the government is putting in place to contain the virus.

 12:30 p.m. —  Make the pizza which is a great activity for E! She has a great time spreading the sauce and sprinkling the cheese. 

2:00 p.m. — Go out for a short walk. 

4:00 p.m. — E has another Zoom with her class, followed by exercise videos. 

5:00 p.m. I make dinner – tilapia, quinoa, salad. 

6:00 p.m. Dinner time, followed by bath and bed. While I’m putting E to bed, my husband goes to pick up projects for Pesach that E’s ganenet sent for the class! We are really excited to have some projects to do with her for Pesach (that we don’t have to come up with ourselves). We have been discussing Pesach all week, and even though it doesn’t feel like we have been as hands-on as other parents, E can tell us the whole story of Pesach, all 10 plagues, and knows the order of the Seder. We are doing better than I realized, and I feel good about that. 

7:00 p.m, Sit down and do more work. 

9:00 p.m. Bibi made more announcements on the news today about regulations. It feels like things are getting more and more serious, and we have decided to stop doing playdates for the time being. 

11:00 p.m. — Off to bed, we survived the work week!

Daily Total: ₪0

DAY SIX – Friday March 20, 2020

Friday, no work today!

6:30 a.m. — E wakes us up and brings us “breakfast in bed” from her toy kitchen. 

7:00 a.m. We all get up and have breakfast. My husband and I do an online grocery order – we chose to do it first thing in the morning in the hopes of getting it delivered in a reasonable time frame. We will get it early next week! We don’t need anything too urgently thanks to the big shop we did last week, but I ordered chicken and meat for Pesach, along with a few other things for Pesach like Matzah,  and more fruits and vegetables for the upcoming week or so. 


9:00 a.m. It is drizzling out but tomorrow’s weather is going to be worse, so we go for a walk in the nearby forest. E complains a lot but we know that we all do a lot better when we all get out and get exercise and fresh air. 

11:00 a.m. — Go home and cook, clean, Facetime grandparents, aunts, and uncles, take showers and baths, get ready for Shabbat! 

5:30 p.m. — We are excited that Shabbat is finally here, but also nervous for yet another day all cooped up together, knowing tomorrow will be very cold and rainy and that we can’t rely on Netflix for entertainment. There were Whatsapps going around telling people to go outside to their yards and balconies and sing Lecha Dodi together, which is beautiful, but we did it ourselves in our apartment. 

8:00 p.m. We are all off to bed!

Daily Total: ₪928.70

DAY SEVEN – Saturday March 21, 2020

6:30 a.m. Someone needs to teach E how to sleep in on the weekends. We play and chill and read books in my bed for two hours. Then I get up with E and let my husband sleep for a little while longer. 

8:30 a.m. — E and I have breakfast and then play all her games – Shoots and Ladders, Candy Land, Hi-Ho Cherry-o, and do tons of puzzles. We had a great morning, and we both enjoyed the fact that she didn’t have to share my attention with my laptop! 

1:00 p.m. Lunch much later than we usually have it on Shabbat, but hey, what’s the rush? 

2:00 p.m. I take a nap while my husband plays with E. 

4:00 p.m. — It’s raining but we decide to go for a walk. E puts on her rain boots and jumps in every puddle she sees. We get home soaked, but we have a great time. 

6:30 p.m. — Dinner for E, bath, Havdallah, and bed. 

7:30 p.m. Wacky Mac for my husband and me for dinner. We have a Saturday night Zoom hangout with my cousins and catch up on how we are all holding up in this strange new reality. 

11:00 p.m. Off to bed! Feeling optimistic about the week ahead.

Daily Total: ₪0


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?