Sharon Levin

Breaking Matzah: Overcoming Passover Challenges

Paamonim has recently revealed its financial resilience index for 2023, which has scored 65, slightly lower than the previous year. According to Paamonim’s survey, many individuals encountered financial challenges this past year. 45% of the survey respondents struggled to make ends meet due to the high cost of living, and one in three people took out loans or fell deeper into debt this year. Additionally, the survey showed that 75% of respondents gave up eating out and 57% gave up gift-giving to save money.

While Passover is typically associated with happiness and celebration, it also brings various financial extra expenses when hosting, cooking, traveling, and shopping. To steer clear of debt during this period, Paamonim suggests taking proactive measures such as early preparation and creating a budget for the expected expenditures. Keeping a close eye on expenses and avoiding unnecessary costs is crucial.

Eating out before Passover

In the lead up to Passover, when families are busy with holiday preparations and children are off from school, dining out may seem like a convenient option. However, this can lead to expenses that can quickly add up.

To prevent this, it’s essential to plan ahead and set a dining-out budget. This helps to avoid overspending. To manage costs, decide how many times to eat out (or order in) in advance.

Food and beverage:

Preparing for Seder night, whether you are hosting or being hosted, entails heavy food shopping. However, overspending can be avoided by creating an accurate shopping list based on the number of guests and menu planned for the holiday. Keep in mind that supermarkets remain open during Passover, hence there is no need to stockpile food.

Gifts for family and hosts of Seder

To avoid overspending when giving gifts to hosts and family during Passover, set a budget and stick to it. Remember, a heartfelt gift, no matter how small, can be more meaningful. Don’t forget to also set a budget for the Afikoman.

Renewing and refreshing our home

Spring often inspires the desire to renew and refresh our homes however, it’s important to do so in moderation to avoid overspending. Passover also tends to be a popular time for home repairs, yet it’s vital to prioritize and focus based on urgency. Try to reduce expenses in non-essential areas.

So what do you spend on and what not?

In order to be prepared for the financial challenges of Passover, it is crucial to carefully consider where and how to spend your money and where to make cutbacks. One approach to achieving this is by prioritizing expenses based on what is essential and what can be foregone. By taking charge of your spending and allocating money to the areas of your choice, you can avoid incurring unnecessary debt.

Paamonim provides a distinct Passover shopping list and additional recommendations on their website to aid in your holiday preparations.

As a charity organization that supports needy families in times of financial crisis, Paamonim is asking for support in preparing for Passover. Many families struggle to make ends meet during the holiday season and require assistance to become financially independent. Your support can help these families celebrate the holiday with joy and stability.

About the Author
Sharon Levin has an M.A. in Public Policy and is a certified Group Facilitator. She has worked for Paamonim since 2009, lead roles include Regional Director responsible for Paamonim's volunteers who provide free one-on-one financial counseling. As Director of Group Activities, she headed the establishment of Paamonim College for Financial Education, offering courses, programs, and lectures teaching financial fundamentals to participants, all geared towards helping people acquire financial education for better living.
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