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 dafna@nbn.org.il

Occupation: Research Engineer with M.Sc. degree
Spouse’s Occupation: Medical Resident
Age: 30
Number of household members: Five
City: Be’er Sheva

Averaged monthly over the year 2018

Gross (brutto) salary: ₪10,000
Spouse’s gross (brutto) salary: ₪25,000
Combined gross salaries: ₪35,000
Combined net income (post-tax and deductions): ₪24,700
Total Spending: ₪21,700
Liquid savings accrued: ₪3,000
Combined pension received: ₪3,100
Combined keren hishtalmut (short term, tax free savings plan) received: ₪2,500

Monthly Expenses

Rent: ₪3,000
Travel (includes car insurance, 12 month car payments, bus, bike maintenance, car maintenance): ₪3,600
Utilities (water, electric, gas, internet, two phones): ₪600
Groceries (food, household and pharma products): ₪3,700
Arnona: ₪440
Child care (includes one child in daycare without a discount, two in gan + tzaharon, babysitting, summer camps): ₪5,500
Entertainment: ₪60
Bureaucratic fees (bank, passports etc): ₪135
Medical bills (insurance and medications): ₪975
Clothes/shoes: ₪600
Cleaner: ₪895
Other miscellaneous spending: ₪1,900
Streaming accounts: Use account of family abroad

Read More

The Diary

DAY ONE

7:30 a.m.  – We hired a weekly cleaner once I returned to work after my third was born. She is coming today for four hours. She takes ₪60/Hour + bus fare. I leave ₪250 for her on the table. Drop off one kid at gan (Husband takes one on bike) and run a few errands with my son before taking him to speech therapy. Need to buy two gvinah levanah for his Tu Bishvat party at gan and pick up some hand cream at the pharmacy. While running errands, we treat ourselves to some borekas at the local bakery. (2 gvinah levana: 10, 1 hand cream: ₪25, 4 borekas: ₪9)
₪294

9:00 a.m. – We go to a private speech therapist with the “ishur” of our kupat cholim, meaning they’ll reimburse 80% of the cost. A one hour session costs ₪220.
₪44 (after future reimbursement)

11:00 a.m. – Get to work. Make free coffee in the office.

12:30 p.m. – Eat home-packed lunch with my coworkers. Thank goodness for Shabbat leftovers.

2:00 p.m. – I need to pay “meches” tax on a package I ordered from abroad (clothes from Next) before picking it up from the post pick-up location. I create a “my post” online account and pay the tax. (I normally keep my online orders under $75 to avoid this fee, but this one came out to ₪380 so I had to pay 17% VAT).
₪65

4:00 p.m. – Leave work and pick up kids from gan.

5:30 p.m. – We all go to visit some cousins a one hour drive away for a Tu Bishvat Seder and dinner at my aunt’s home. We visit this family once every few months (it’s hard to travel and visit with our busy schedules and kids and no free Sundays).

9:00 p.m. – At home, pack two kids’ aruchat esser (10:00 AM brunch meal at school), and my lunch, for the next day. My husband gets free lunch at work (hot meal with lots of meat and vegetarian options). His meal technically costs ₪1 that comes out of his paycheck every month before taxes.

Daily Total: ₪403

DAY TWO

7:30 a.m. – I drive two kids to their ganim and then to work, my husband takes the third kid on his bike and then continues to work. We work and live in Be’er Sheva, each leg of the car ride takes about 10-15 minutes in morning traffic.

8:30 a.m. – Get to work. I’m in the mood for something other than the energy bar I brought for breakfast, so I go buy a “toast” (grilled cheese).
₪11

12:30 p.m. – Eat home-packed lunch.

5:30 p.m. – We have planned a community kids’ Tu Bishvat party at our local shul as part of an initiative of young Olim families in Be’er Sheva to strengthen our sense of community. Entry costs ₪20/person for pizza and prizes. It’s a lovely event and a good time is had by all. It’s nice that we haven’t been home for dinner since the cleaner came on Sunday – this means the apartment is still clean for once!
₪100

Daily Total: ₪111

DAY THREE

8:00 a.m. – This morning my husband can’t bike, he takes the youngest for a well-check-up (free) and then a cab to drop her off at gan and then to work. Later he’ll take a bus home from work. (we fill our bus cards – rav kav- with ₪50 once every few months or as little as twice a year for the occasional bus ride).
₪49

8:15 a.m. – Get to work, eat home-packed PB and jelly sandwich. Make free coffee at work.

12:00 p.m. – Forgot to pack lunch last night (don’t worry, the kids got their aruchat esser), buy a large tuna sandwich.
₪14

4:15 p.m. – Fill up car with gas. On average we fill up gas once every six weeks.
₪204

5:30 p.m. – Dinner with the kids at home (still eating Shabbat leftovers – hurray!). Husband is out at a work dinner (free steak).

8:00 p.m. – Kids are finally sleeping. Clean up what looks like a tornado of schnitzel hit the dining room and pack two aruchat esser and breakfast and lunch for myself for the next two days (Shabbat leftovers got me through the whole week – woohoo!).

10:00 p.m. – Shufersal online grocery shopping. Besides for the usual replenishing of grocery and household basics, we’re hosting eight adults and four kids for Shabbat lunch and need to buy meat/chicken. I don’t love the chicken selection so I opt for frozen beef on sale for ₪30/kg (halak kashrut) – cheap meat is always good when cooked low and slow. I also have chicken in the freezer to defrost (bought last Friday right before the local makolet closed for buy one get one free – always worth checking if your local makolet has sales on fresh items before closing for Shabbat and chag). The grocery order is about ₪450 but I’ll only see what it came out to exactly when it arrives tomorrow.

Daily Total: ₪267

DAY FOUR

8:15 a.m. – Get to work. Eat peanut butter sandwich from home.

9:30 a.m. – Pay quarterly bituach leumi for my cleaner via btl website. (7.25% of salary paid).
₪196

12:30 p.m. – Eat home packed lunch.

5:00 p.m. – Shufersal grocery delivery arrives. The kids love “helping” me unpack the bags.
₪487

6:00 p.m. – Kids and I heat up frozen pizzas for dinner (two “mishpachti” pies). Husband works late and eats the leftovers when he gets home.

9:00 p.m. – Old Navy is having a too-good-to-resist clearance sale and I have family visiting from the States next month. I order clothes to their house and they’ll bring it to me when they come.
₪367

Daily Total: 1050

DAY FIVE

8:15 a.m. – Get to work. Eat peanut butter sandwich from home and make a cup of tea.

3:00 p.m. – Very busy day. Eat a late home-packed lunch.

6:00 p.m. – Heat up frozen vegetarian schnitzel for dinner.

10:00 p.m. – Watch a movie on Netflix while folding a mountain of laundry.

Daily Total: ₪0

DAY SIX

8:00 a.m. – Husband takes the kids to gan and heads to work for a few hours. I start cooking for Shabbat.

9:00 a.m. – Grilled cheese for breakfast. Keep cooking and cleaning.

1:00 p.m. – Everyone is back home. Mostly prepared for Shabbat. Heat up frozen schnitzel for lunch. My husband bought challah (five challot and three rolls) on his way home from our favorite bakery.
₪64

5:00 p.m. – Head to our community kid-friendly Kabbalat Shabbat with kiddush (everyone brings something – we’re bringing crackers, wine, and grape juice).

6:30 p.m. – Eat fish and lasagna for dinner (dairy is a nice change). Chocolate, dates and walnuts for dessert.

Daily Total: 64

DAY SEVEN

7:00 a.m. – Husband goes to an early minyan and I sip my coffee as the kids start rolling out of bed. They eat cereal and milk on and off over the next two hours.

9:00 a.m. – Husband comes home and makes kiddush, we have a quick bite of cake and crackers before he takes the kids out to “tefilat yeladim” at the later minyan. I stay home and finish getting salads ready for lunch. We’ll be having eight adults and four kids coming.

11:30 a.m. – Big fun lunch: Salads, chicken, beef, potatoes, vegetables. Fruit, nuts and popcorn for dessert.

1:00 p.m. – Spend the afternoon in the playground.

6:00 p.m. – We eat leftover lasagna, put the kids to bed and start cleaning up all the mess from Shabbat as well as pack lunches and breakfasts for the next week. Shavuah tov!

Daily Total: ₪0

QUESTIONS?

For more questions about personal budgeting, finances, and Aliyah
please connect with our advisors by email at aliyah@nbn.org.il