Sharon Levin

Preparing financially for Enlisting in the IDF

What financial factors should be considered when preparing for military service? In the past, recruits were provided with essential items such as uniforms, undergarments, socks, shoes, and other necessities, which covered their basic needs. The IDF recruitment process has undergone significant changes, including financial expenses that parents and recruits need to be prepared for.                                                                                                         As we approach the upcoming recruitment cycles, this summer, it is important to consider additional associated costs. While the IDF provides all necessary equipment for enlistment, there are additional expenses that are often  overlooked.

This is where the principles of Paamonim come into play: planning, budgeting, comparing, and making informed purchases.  By comprehending and implementing these principles, parents and recruits can effectively navigate the financial aspects of the process.

The IDF website offers a comprehensive list of suggested items that new recruits are expected to bring themselves. To support this, the government allocates a dedicated budget known as the “star” budget (Kochavim) to all soldiers, typically provided approximately a month before the recruitment date, followed by subsequent allocations in the following month, and at the beginning of each calendar year.

You or your new recruit may be curious about how to effectively utilize the stars (Kochavim). This allocated budget serves as financial support primarily intended for the purchase of two categories of items: general equipment and sports equipment. Have you compiled a thorough list of essential equipment? Are you acquainted with the “stars” (Kochavim), and have you explored the different stores for comparison? Bear in mind that the allocated budget is subject to limitations and may not be adequate for all desired purchases. It is therefore essential to prioritize quality products while actively seeking discounted prices.

The Army website “Caveret” (Beehive)- is a great resource that delivers items directly to bases, eliminating the need to buy in advance. Don’t be swayed by store owners insisting on the need to purchase unnecessary items. Seek advice from those serving in the same branch or unit for insights.

Plan and budget in advance, and consider asking for items listed when receiving recruitment gifts. This way, you can save the star budget for future needs.

After being drafted, soldiers are entitled to valuable rights and benefits. Familiarize yourself with these entitlements to ensure you receive what you rightfully deserve.

Prioritize saving during your military service. Allocate a portion of your salary for future endeavors like travel, living expenses, or education. This will help you achieve your dreams and smoothly transition to civilian life.

Be safe and wishing you a meaningful and pleasant service.

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.