couponing in the holy land

Frugal food shopping for the Anglo Israeli

How the other half lives- The Bass Family

One of the most important issues for new olim is learning how to make ends meet at the end of each month.  Sometimes it feels as if we are drowning and wonder how it is that Israelis seem to have it so much easier than us.  Every once in a while the newspapers publish stories about average Israeli families and their financial situations.  I think it is important for olim to see how the other half lives to help us put our own financial struggles in perspective.  This article was published in Yisrael HaYom  on 12 September 2014.

Yasmine (34) and Amit (36) Bass

Two children: Orin (6) and Yanai (4)

They live in a 3 room apartment (2BR) in Haifa for which they have a mortgage.

Yasmine has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and is studying social work at the University of Haifa.  Amit is a welder for the electric company.  They own a 2006 Renault Scenic.  For hobbies, Amit plays sports on the beach for free.  Yasmine: “I am a proud housewife and student, and my hobbies and free time revolves around the house.”  The last vacation they took was three years ago when they went to Eilat through Amit’s work so it was very cheap.

The budget: “We are constantly in minus but we know that it is a temporary situation because learning is intensive right now.  We are about 4000 shekels short each month.  We generally live on Amit’s salary. Since I started learning two years ago we are living on our savings.  We sold our apartment in Rishon L’zion specifically so I would be able to learn.  With what we earned from the sale we were able to buy the apartment in Haifa and be able to start learning.   To my luck I am an excellent student – so that I am able to deliver the goods.  We received help from Paamonim and got insight into household financial management and we are trying to pay up front so that we don’t build up debt.”

Monthly expenses:

Apartment: 3388 shekels

Electricity and water: 565 shekels

Communication and television: 540 shekels

School and chugim: 742 shekels

Car and gas: 2210 shekels

Insurance: 660 shekels

Kupot Cholim: 223 shekels

Food and household goods: 3000 shekels

Culture and socialization: 233 shekels

Vacations: 0 shekels

Miscellaneous expenses (pets, haircuts, fines, clothing, shoes, presents, etc.): 1175 shekels

Loans: 350 shekels

Savings: 500 shekels

TOTAL MONTHLY EXPENSES: 13,586 shekels

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