Aliyah Budgeting for the First Year

Planning effectively for aliyah is difficult because a lot of people don’t know the rough costs of living in Israel. Costs have risen in past years, and it’s more expensive to make aliyah today than it was just a few years back.

Currency fluctuations are also concerning for people transitioning to a new life in Israel because there was a time when one pound was around 8 shekel. And then all of a sudden, things changed and a pound is worth less than 5 shekels.

The exchange rate makes it more expensive for those wanting to make aliyah.

You don’t need to be a Personal Finance Analyst to understand that you need to budget properly. You’ll need to budget for:

  • Arnona
  • Va’adBayit
  • Public transport
  • Petrol
  • Rent
  • License fees
  • Electricity
  • Car insurance
  • Gas
  • Internet
  • Cell phone
  • Cable
  • Food
  • Insurance

And this isn’t accounting for school, health, entertainment and other items I may have missed. It’s a culture shock when moving to Israel. I had my wife and kids with me at the time, so I shared some of the burden of moving with them.

Being alone makes it much harder to deal with budgeting and ensuring that you meet all of life’s basic necessities.

Keep in mind that there are a lot of costs associated with the move that budget samples and new residents seem to forget. There are little costs as well as major costs, such as purchasing a car, savings, clothing, home maintenance and even the lift shipment costs.

Families and retirees will have a much different budget than a couple, so for the sake of trying to break down a sample budget, I will use couple’s data to come up with a rough cost for aliyah. Rent is one of the biggest costs, and you can expect to pay 3,500 – 6,500 in rent alone. Tel Aviv costs can be much higher, too.

Food is expensive, with costs of 1,200 to 3,000, while cell service will be 110 – 330. Utilities can range from 200 – 1,000, while municipal taxes can be as much as 800 (although they usually range from 250 to 800). Health insurance can be 0 – 180 but expect all of these costs to vary.

Most new residents will rely on bus passes until they’re fully settled. The costs for monthly bus passes will be 400 – 700 on average, and this does account for those sparse times when you’ll also need to pay for taxis.

Keep in mind that the prices above are going to vary, and these prices are the best I could come up with in mid-2017.

You’ll also want to pack your lift with a few items from home that are often cheaper. Dental supplies are expensive in Israel, and the same goes for shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. Deodorant is expensive, too, along with contact solution and baby items.

Don’t be afraid to stockpile your lift with many of the essential items that you’re buying in the States because you’ll often save a lot of money in the process.

About the Author
 Jacob Maslow is passionate about writing. For more than ten years, he's used that passion to transform the web presence of a number of legal and medical professionals in creative, innovative and effective ways that get them noticed in a crowded field. Jacob is originally from Brooklyn. He packed up his five children and made Aliyah in 2014. Jacob's experience and varied interests lend themselves to a diverse palette of topics ranging from technology, marketing, politics, social media, ethics, current affairs, family matters and more. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys being an active member of social media including groups on Facebook and taking in the latest movies. 
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