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Occupation: Program Coordinator
Salary per month (Bruto or before taxes): ₪8,500
Rental Subsidy from Housing Ministry: ₪400
Rent: ₪1,900 (₪3,800 split with a flatmate)
Transportation: Work provides ₪213 toward a monthly bus pass (Rav Kav) but I just load my Rav Kav as needed as I don’t take the bus often enough to justify the cost of a monthly pass.
Student Loans: Thankfully none.
Health Care (basic health care is covered for all Israeli citizens through the government, but people may choose to supplement with private insurance): ₪90
Renters/Home Insurance: I should probably look into getting this…
Gas: ~₪12 (we have a line; balloons tend to be cheaper)
Municipal (Arnona): Haven’t yet gotten a bill for this year but I usually pay it up front (as opposed to installments) as they give you a 10% discount if you pay all at once.
Va’ad Bayit: ₪50
Cell Phone: Paid for by work
Streaming Services: Spotify ₪20
Savings/Pension: ₪500 monthly deposit to a savings account, pension no idea
6:15 a.m. – My alarm goes off and I’m supposed to go for a run but I didn’t sleep well last night so I snooze until 8:15. #Runcrastionation is real.
8:40 a.m. – Huge perk is being able to walk to work, which takes me about 15 minutes. Since I was rushing out the door this morning, I stop at the super expensive grocery store on my way and buy a yogurt, two rolls, a peach and a nectarine to tide me over at work. I’ll go to the normal grocery store later tonight as I didn’t do much shopping on Friday.
9:25 a.m. – I sit down at work and start my day. I’ll eat the yogurt and have a cup of coffee once I’ve gotten a few things done.
12:25 p.m. – My job is mostly sedentary at a desk and I needed information from a few people so instead of calling or emailing them I went to ask my questions in person. On my way back to my desk, I make another cup of coffee and eat the peach from the morning plus a granola bar that I’d grabbed from home on my way out this morning.
1:30 p.m. – Lunch is a roll from this morning, hummus that I leave in the fridge at work and some vegetables from last week’s shop. I really need to get to a proper supermarket!
4:45 p.m. – The day got away from me as I’m facing a deadline at work and I need to leave early today for an appointment. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be more mindful of what I eat because I know I’m going to be really hungry on my way home later after my appointment.
5:15 p.m. – I head out to my physiotherapist who I see twice a month. He’s great but unfortunately not covered by insurance. I take public transportation there and back, paying a one-time fare each way.
7:45 p.m. – I call a friend while I wander aimlessly around the supermarket. Never. Shop. Hungry. It takes me double the time to figure out what I need because my stomach keeps rumbling. I finally decide on a few things (though I’ll inevitably return to the supermarket at least twice more before Friday) and I finally head home. I buy seven nectarines, two frozen tuna steaks, a package of tofu, a liter of orange juice, six cucumbers, a package of spinach and a tub of yogurt (I prefer buying the tub as it’s less waste than the individual yogurts and usually ends up cheaper)
Dinner prep takes longer than it would because I’m still listening to my stomach..!
9:00 p.m. – I take out the dog for his walk. It’s earlier than usual but we go for about an hour and we’re both exhausted when we get home. I unwind by eating a piece of fruit and watching an episode of a TV show.
Daily Total: ₪406.19
7:45 a.m. – Today I got up on time and was able to pack food for the day.
8:20 a.m. – I grab a glass of orange juice on my way out the door. A colleague sees me walking to work and offers me a ride. At work, I eat the yogurt with fruit that I’d bought yesterday and make myself a cup of coffee.
11:50 a.m. – I’m not really hungry but feeling a little snacky so I have a handful of almonds that I keep at my desk for situations just like these. My supply is running low and I’ll need to replenish fairly soon.
3:00 p.m. – Lunch is leftovers from dinner last night – pasta tossed with parmesan and cherry tomatoes from my fridge plus the spinach I bought yesterday.
4:30 p.m. – Took a break to browse Amazon just for kicks. Ended up buying two packages of replacement foam tips for a pair of headphones – I’ve actually been meaning to buy them for a while and a friend will bring them back for me next week. Hopefully this will help them fit better!
6:15 p.m. – I stop by a friend to see her new baby and end up staying there for a couple of hours. Dinner is hamburgers that her husband made.
Daily Total: ₪100
8:40 a.m. – Breakfast is the same as yesterday. I’m meeting a friend for lunch later so I grab a few veggies to snack on throughout the day.
1:00 p.m. – My friend and I aren’t meeting in the end so I get a large salad from Aroma since I didn’t bring lunch with me. I order through the app so it’ll be ready to just pick up by the time I get there, plus if you order through the app you get a 10% discount! On my way back I call a driving teacher to find out how much he charges per lesson, something that’s been on my to-do list for a while. He tells me to call him back “Acharei HaChagim” (After the holidays) – the time period between the end of summer vacation and the end of Sukkot during which only the most crucial things happen – but quotes me ₪140 per session.
6:30 p.m. – I get home and manage to go for a proper, dogless run! You can tell that summer is over as it’s really cooling down outside in Jerusalem, plus sunset is getting earlier.
8:55 p.m. – I’m staying by a friend tonight since I have an appointment with my therapist in the morning. We’ll probably order food together.
9:15 p.m. – I took a cab over because I wanted to get there in less time and it would probably take me 20 minutes by bus, versus less than half the time by cab (₪32). I treat us to a pie from Big Apple pizza because it’s just that kind of night.
Daily Total: ₪158
7:45 a.m. – My therapist is thankfully heavily subsidized by my socialized insurance. I see her weekly at ₪142/session. (More than happy to recommend her – ask NBN to get in touch with me!!). I have a standing coffee date afterward with a friend and we alternate weeks paying. Today is his turn!
9:20 a.m. – I get a notification from the staff “free food” WhatsApp group that there are goodies in the break room. Nothing especially piques my interest but I still have the second roll from earlier in the week so I slather it with butter. Yum!
1:15 p.m. – I really love cold, leftover pizza. There’s something about the mouthfeel that’s really appealing. Good thing that’s what’s for lunch today!
3:30 p.m. – I make myself a cup of cold coffee because I’m falling asleep and pair it with a nectarine. Not an ideal match in terms of taste but I’ll live.
5:30 p.m. – A colleague gives me a ride home which means I can get to the gym for a 6 p.m. class. Win!
7:00 p.m. – I’m a sucker for workout clothes but I’m also extremely picky in terms of textures. I wander around one sports outlet but the sizing is weird so I quickly leave. I then proceed to spend probably over an hour at the second sports outlet trying to find a particular pair of shoes. The ones that I’d taken to the cash register initially had a defect, so I tried to find a replacement pair – to no avail. I walk out empty-handed though I may go back tomorrow as the price was really great and I need to replace a particular pair of shoes that are long past expired.
9:15 p.m. – Dinner is an omelette with spinach from earlier in the week and cheddar cheese from my fridge. Is there anything better than melty cheese?? (Answer: No.)
Daily Total: ₪142
8:00 a.m. – I really wanted to run this morning but I was randomly awake in the middle of the night for 2 hours. I’ll either go later tonight or tomorrow afternoon. The smell of freshly baked pastries from the bakery I pass on my way to work was too enticing to pass up this morning so I stop in and buy a croissant.
11:30 a.m. – I munch on some wafer squares and a plum (leftover from last week’s grocery shop). Lunch today is provided by work – it’s not always the healthiest but it means (a) I don’t have to bring from home and (b) I’ll actually make time to eat and not get side-tracked, both of which is fine for me.
3:00 p.m. – I munch on a nectarine and some bittersweet chocolate that I keep at my desk.
5:30 p.m. – My friends are hosting a “Brita” (Simchat Bat) for their month-old daughter and it seems ridiculous to take a bus 3 stops when it won’t take that much longer for me to walk there. On the way over I call my hairdresser to make an appointment – she doesn’t have a free appointment until next week but a wash+cut+dry is ₪250.
Unfortunately I’m more than a little sweaty by the time I get to the party but thankfully not many people had arrived. It was a catered event with bagels and salads from one of my favorite cafes – because what’s a Simchat Bat without muffins, bagels and schmear?
9:00 p.m. – A friend is in from out of town so we make tentative plans to get together later that night which doesn’t actually end up happening. I meet up with a different friend and end up crashing by them.
Daily Total: ₪9
9:30 a.m. – Lazy morning because (a) it’s Friday and (b) I’m going away for Shabbat and don’t need to cook anything. Friday is my main day for grocery shopping, specifically because I like to buy my produce at the farmer’s market and support a family-run business. They set up on Fridays for a couple of hours in the courtyard of the local community center. The prices are generally higher than the supermarket (less competition) but I find that the quality is better and fresher and for as long as I’m shopping just for myself, I’m happy to do it. I’m not sure it would be sustainable for me in the long run if I were buying for a household.
I buy cucumbers, peppers, cherry tomatoes, plums, carrots, corn on the cob (gotta get it while it’s still in season!), sweet potatoes and a dozen organic, free-range eggs (the eggs alone are ₪24).
10:45 a.m. – I dump the produce at home on my way to the supermarket. I don’t need too many things and hopefully it won’t take so long. Then again, it’s a supermarket in Jerusalem at 11:00 am on a Friday so who knows. I usually only come to this supermarket on Fridays because it’s less convenient but it’s cheaper. At the more expensive shop that’s closer to my house, the lines are usually faster but I’m not in much of a rush today so it’s just a minor annoyance.
11:20 a.m. – I really like the whole wheat challah at this specific bakery but they were sold out by the time I got there – no big surprise. I buy a half wheat/half spelt challah instead and three whole wheat rolls that I was asked to bring for Friday night dinner.
11:35 a.m. – I go to a different bakery to buy dessert for my Shabbat lunch – I couldn’t decide which cake to get so I buy a chocolate and a blueberry at ₪22 each. I also picked up some pastries to have with my coffee on Shabbat morning.
11:40 a.m. The third bakery was just to get some plain rolls – I guess I’m really picky when it comes to bread! I buy two mini Challotat ₪3 each.
Daily Total: ₪252
Spent Shabbat with friends I hadn’t seen in a while. We closed out the day by sharing a bottle of wine from my collection – not purchased during this week but the actual cost was ₪78 so I’ll include it in this diary. I got a ride home and chipped in ₪20 for gas.
Daily Total: ₪98