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: Marketing
Industry: Nonprofit
Age: 27
Number of household members: 3
City: Efrat
Salary per month (Bruto or before taxes): 11,000
Spouse’s salary: Depends on the month, but 9-11,000 (he is also in school)
Ongoing financial support: No

Monthly Expenses

Rent: 3,500
Transportation: 299 shekel for a monthly bus pass (covered by work), about 800 on gas (our car is paid off).
Student Loans: None, but paying 2,000 each month for my husband’s school (he is getting a second degree)
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: Internet and landline – 150
Electricity: About 400
Gas: 30
Municipal (Arnona)/Water: Water together with Arnona – 600
Cell Phone: 80
Child Care/Education: 2,300 – daycare is from 7:30-4:00 but we pay extra until 4:30.
Streaming Services: My sister’s Netflix which I offered to chip in for, but she kindly said no.
Savings/Pension: 10% of our salaries
Community Fees: Shmira – 130

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The Diary


6:00 a.m. – Is it already morning? My son is awake and my husband is already gone for the day. Get up, get my son dressed and ready, get myself dressed and ready.

7:30 a.m. – Drop off my son and head to the bus stop to get my bus to work. I have a monthly pass paid for by my company, so I swipe and go sit down and listen to The Daily podcast.

9:00 a.m. – Breakfast at work is yogurt and banana that I brought from home.

11:45 a.m. – Run out with some coworkers to pick up a salad for lunch. I try to bring food from home, but I was too tired from Shabbat clean-up to make food for today.

2:30 p.m. – Head home to pick up my son. Two days a week I do both drop-off and pick up, which means my time in the office is shorter and I make up the hours from home at night. Get on the bus, swipe my monthly bus card, and Whatsapp call my mom in America – after work bus is time to catch up with my mom.

4:00 p.m. – Pick up my son from daycare and bring him to the park. I bring two bags of Bamba so he can share with his friends.

6:00 p.m. – Dinner time – fish sticks, apple, and pita for my toddler, mushroom cap tuna melts with sweet potato and salad for me and my husband, followed by bath and bed for my son.

8:00 p.m. – Sit down and finish my work

10:30 p.m. – Good night!

Daily Total: ₪32


6:00 a.m. – Good morning! Going to work from home today.

7:30 a.m. – Bring son to daycare. He has breakfast there.

7:50 a.m. – Breakfast and sit down to work. Breakfast is a yogurt and fruit that I have in the house.

12:00 p.m. – Lunch is a salad of vegetables and Shabbat leftovers. I also threw some chicken into pans for tonight’s dinner and for a friend who just had a baby. When people in our community have babies, we take turns making meals for them and I signed up for tomorrow night, so I want to make it today.

2:00 p.m. – Ordered Shmura Matzah.

4:30 p.m. – Picked up my son from daycare and headed to the grocery store to buy food for the week, stuff for the house, plus some things for Pesach –

  • Normal fruit, veg, and miscellaneous for the week
  • Matzah
  • Chicken for Shabbat and for Pesach
  • Cutting boards, peeler, utensils
  • Disposable pans, plates, utensils (yes, I feel guilty about the environment but I have one Pesach box and zero room for storing more).
  • New spices, salt, sugar for Pesach
  • Pull-ups for my son and toilet paper
  • Normal groceries for the week and upcoming Shabbat


6:30 p.m. -Came home and ate the chicken I made earlier, rice left from Shabbat, and cut up veggies with techina.

7:30 p.m. – Bath and bedtime for my toddler.

8:30 p.m. –  Clean up, make lunch for tomorrow.

10:30 p.m. – Shower and bed.

Daily Total: ₪997.90


Election day!

7:00 a.m. – Wake up.

8:00 a.m. – Breakfast – banana and yogurt for me and my son. My husband skips breakfast.

10:00 a.m. – Go vote! As an Olah, election day is super meaningful to me, I hope that feeling never wears off.

11:00 a.m. – Pack picnic lunch and go north for a Tiyul!

12:30 p.m. – Get to the park. We are members of Shmurat HaTeva – Israeli National Parks – and did not have to pay.

3:30 p.m. – Buy two ice pops.

4:00 p.m. – Drive to Tveriya, walk around, enjoy.

5:30 p.m. – Dinner at a really nice place overlooking the Kineret. It is a big treat for us, and dinner cost 275 including tip.

8:00 p.m. – Filled up gas, bought two bottles of windshield fluid for the car, and a diet coke.

9:30 p.m. – Home, take my sleeping toddler out of the car and put him straight into bed.

10:00 p.m. – Make lunch for work for tomorrow.

11:00 p.m. – Shower and bed!

Daily Total: ₪578.60


6:00 a.m. – Force myself to get out of bed. I am not used to having such an active day in the middle of the week – maybe it is better that our weekend is Friday-Shabbat because you have all of Shabbat to rest for work on Sunday…

6:45 a.m. – Swipe free bus card, sleep on the bus to work.

8:00 a.m. – Breakfast that I brought from home – yogurt and fruit.

12:00 p.m. – Lunch – salad and egg from home.

3:00 p.m. – Afternoon snack – I really want that Snickers bar in my drawer but I give it to a coworker and opt for an apple from home which I know will make me feel good and wake me up a little.

3:45 p.m. – Swipe free bus card for my ride home and call my mom on Whatsapp.

5:00 p.m. – Make dinner – leftover meat curry from the freezer, fresh roasted vegetables, and riced cauliflower. I’ve been trying to implement healthier dinners, but the towel I used to strain the cauliflower kind of smelled really bad, and cauliflower rice has been banned by my husband from my apartment from now on!

7:00 p.m. – Bath and bed for my toddler

8:30 p.m. – Wash dishes from dinner and begin to clean for Pesach! Started out with one shelf, just so I could put away the Pesach items that I bought. I also went through my pantry to figure out ways to use up what I already have and what can be used over Pesach. Most years I forget to do this, but I was really on top of it this year – I stopped buying stuff like pasta a while ago to make sure it would all be done before Pesach.

10:00 p.m. – Make lunch for work for tomorrow.

10:30 p.m. – Shower and good night!

Daily Total: ₪0


6:45 a.m. – Swipe paid for by work bus card, listen to Worklife podcast on the way to work.

7:30 a.m. – Breakfast – yogurt and fruit from home.

12:30 p.m. – Lunch – salad from home.

3:30 p.m. – Head home, swipe paid-for bus card, call my mom on Whatsapp for our bus ride catch-up.

6:00 p.m. – Throw together dinner of eggs and toast and vegetables.

8:00 p.m. – Toddler is asleep, the babysitter is here, and we head out to a birthday party. We bring a bottle of wine that we had in the house.

11:00 p.m. – Get home and pay the babysitter – He charges 15/hour but we gave him ₪50.

Daily Total: ₪50


6:30 a.m. – It’s Friday, no work!

8:30 a.m. – My husband brings my son to gan. I have breakfast – you guessed it, yogurt and fruit.

9:00 a.m. – Make challah dough. I should clean for Pesach, but I enjoy my quiet time home alone and catch up on some Jane the Virgin on Netflix.

11:30 a.m. – I go to pick up my son – I waited for him to come home so we can make the challah together.  

12:30 p.m. – I make chicken and roasted vegetables for Shabbat, and give some to my husband and son for lunch. We are only home Friday night dinner and are going to friends for lunch, so I only need to cook one meal. I make enough food that my son can have dinner tomorrow night, though.

4:30 p.m. – We have Skyped and Facetimed grandparents and aunts and uncles around the world. We go out for a short hike nearby before Shabbat.

6:40 p.m. – Shabbat Shalom!

Daily Total: ₪0


7:00 a.m. – My son “slept in” until 7am! He has cereal and almond milk for breakfast which is his Shabbat treat.

8:30 a.m. – We all go to shul.

9:45 a.m. – We go to the park with friends after shul.

11:30 a.m. – Lunch at friends, I bring homemade muffins.  

2:30 p.m. – We all go home for naps and reading.

4:30 p.m. – Back to the park! See lots of friends and my son has a great time, it is finally really warm and gorgeous outside.  

5:30 p.m. – We visit friends on our way home from the park.

7:45 p.m. – Havdallah, dinner for my toddler of leftover chicken, challah, and roasted vegetables, followed by bath and bedtime.

9:00 p.m. – Drag myself off the couch to wash the Shabbat dishes, make dinner for my husband and me (salad and leftover chicken) and make lunch (salad… can you tell it is my favorite?) for myself for work tomorrow.

10:30 p.m. – Shower and bed – Shavuah Tov!

Daily Total: ₪0


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please connect with our advisors by email at aliyah@nbn.org.il