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Occupation: Teacher (as is my spouse)
Industry: Education
Age: 34
Number of household members: 5
City: Kiryat Gat
Salary per month combined: 35,000
Ongoing financial support: None

Monthly Expenses

Mortgage: 2,000 (we own our home)
Transportation: 1,500
Health Care (basic health care is covered for all Israeli citizens through the government, but people may choose to supplement with private insurance): 100
Internet: 110
Electricity: 500
Water: 120
Municipal (Arnona): 650
Cell Phone: 120
Child Care/Education: 2,000
Savings/Pension: Through work. Currently exploring extra plans
Extracurriculars (Chugim) for kids: 400

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The Diary

DAY ONE

5:00 a.m. – The worst part of my job is to wake up time.  I am a morning person, and it still seems insane to me. Breakfast is cereal, then I get the kids’ lunches ready, then off for my hour-long commute. Most days I carpool with a coworker, which work pays for.

7:15 a.m. – My work requires a lot of travel. Today we are heading to Tzfat to teach about The Crusades. It means a whole lot of bus time in my future, so I get my True Crime podcasts ready.

9:00 a.m. – First stop is Kochav Hayarden. My students storm the Crusader castle, take lots of notes, get into a long debate, and explore the moat.

11:30 a.m. – Lunch is provided by the school. Stereotypical cooler lunch of cold cuts and cold corn schnitzel. It will have to do.

1:30 p.m. – Arrive in Tzfat. Teach about Kabbalah, then give the students free time.  

6:00 p.m. – Stop the bus for dinner in Rosh Pinna.  Dinner is on the school, though I splurge on a sweet snack. My husband feeds the kids Shabbat leftovers.
₪20

Daily Total: ₪20

DAY TWO

5:30 a.m. –  Another early morning. Luckily only two kids need lunches packed today.

8:00 a.m. –  Make it to work and begin teaching. Students are beyond half asleep from yesterday’s trip.

11:00 a.m. – Run to catch the train. I hear conductors are striking today so I pray it will all run on time. Because of the weather, I catch a bus to the train though I usually walk (₪6). I use my Rav Kav card to pay for the train (₪32).  Didn’t have time to pack lunch so I grab a snack to hold me over (₪18).
₪56

2:00 p.m. – Get a quick run in before I have to pick up the kids. Two out of three kids are in Tzaharon (after school program) and eat lunch there.

4:00 p.m. – Do the kid pick up and head to buy party shoes for the girls for the Henna party (Middle-Eastern and North-African Jewish pre-wedding party) we are attending tomorrow.
₪ 200

5:00 p.m. – Grocery store run. Nothing left in the fridge! I really try to go once a week to the store, with a small run on Friday for Shabbat things. We buy very little meat, usually for one meal during the week and for Shabbat. I do try to balance American splurges with frugal Israeli meals.  I can’t live without my cheddar cheese, and my sugary American cereal…. But I also buy lots of fresh fruits and veggies, only in season.
₪ 600

6:00 p.m. – Make dinner and deal with all the kids and school things. Lots of grading to be done!

Daily Total: ₪856

DAY THREE

5:30 a.m. – Once again up and ready for a busy day. Off to Jerusalem today.

9:00 a.m. – Finally get to Jerusalem. Starting with digging in Emek Tzurim today, which is a lot of fun.

12:00 p.m. – Catch a bus home. My sister-in-law is having her Henna ceremony today, which means the rest of my day will be dealing with family and trying to get the kids to rest so they don’t go too nuts tonight.
₪20

3:00 p.m. – Running around to the hairdresser, getting the kids out of school and ready.
₪30

7:00 p.m. – It’s party time! I never knew about Henna parties until coming to Israel… but they sure are a lot of fun!  Lots of food and drinks and family and Henna. Typical Israelis expect you to bring a gift of cash – enough to cover your seat. Since it’s family we are doing a single large gift just for the wedding.

11:00 p.m. – I’m really not a night person, and some of us still have to be up for work in the morning, so we call it a night.

Daily Total: ₪50

DAY FOUR

5:00 a.m. – Way too early of a morning after last night’s party.

8:00 a.m. – Back in the classroom.  

11:00 a.m. – Meeting time. No time for lunch, so I snack off of leftovers from last night’s party that I snuck home.

3:00 p.m. – Time to do kid pick up and Chug runs.  

6:00 p.m. – The WhatsApp group for my son’s Gan starts going crazy. Never a good sign. The Va’ad has decided to do a last minute class breakfast tomorrow.  I get charged with making a salad for 20 kids. Luckily I’ve got veggies in my fridge and just add it to my dinner menu.

10 p.m. – Early to bed.

Daily Total: 0

DAY FIVE

5:00 a.m. – By Thursday I really don’t like this wake-up time…  but I get up and eat breakfast and get ready.

7:30 a.m. –  At work, proctoring a test today.

11:00 a.m. –  I think my 5 a.m. breakfast throws me off, and I eat an early lunch while in meetings. It’s leftover pasta from last night.

3:00 p.m. – Home in time for kid pick up. Fill up the car with gas.
₪100

5:00 p.m. – Get out for a quick run while kids are in Chugim. I’m training for a race happening soon, so every kilometer counts!

6:00 p.m. – Make dinner and get the kids ready for bed.

8:00 p.m. – Once kids are settled, I start grading until I turn in.

Daily Total: ₪100

DAY SIX

6:15 a.m. – Finally a late-ish wake-up!  Breakfast and get the kids off to school.

8:00 a.m. – Head out for my weekly long run. The city really isn’t that big, so I have to get creative to not get bored while getting my kilometers in. Luckily it’s a very active city, so I often pass people I know.

10:00 a.m. – Errands for Shabbat.  Last minute grocery run, Challot and some things for the table.
₪250

12:00 p.m. – Get the kids and make some family visits.

1:00 p.m. – Settle in to cook and try to keep the kids occupied. My husband often works until just before Shabbat on Fridays.

5:00 p.m. – Finally family time…. Though the kids are fighting and it’s never nearly as peaceful as I plan.

Daily Total: 250

DAY SEVEN

7:30 a.m. – My kids don’t sleep in much. Truth be told, neither do I. Saturday morning is board game time!

10:00 a.m. – Walk over to my in-laws for lunch. It’s a decent walk and walking both ways, plus lunch takes up a good chunk of our Shabbat.

7:00 p.m. – Shabbat is out and I rush around getting ready for the even crazier week ahead of us.

Daily Total: ₪0

QUESTIONS?

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