Suzy Kahati

Why we need to track expenses in the time of stress

Welcome readers, this is my first post in the The Times of Israel blog, I hope that you enjoy the article.  If you have any subjects that you wish answered, please send me an email at

I am a family financial advisor and one of my clients phoned me up and informed me that her son was badly injured in his legs in Gaza.  “Thank goodness” she said “that he is alive and that they managed to save his legs, but we need to postpone our monthly meeting” and added “also during this stressful time I was unable to track my expenses”.  I wished her son a speedy recovery and that I was happy to help out in anyway and, of course, we can put the meeting on hold.  Regarding the expenses, it is a very good idea to continue tracking so that you know how you react in a time of crisis and, of course, get to know what is important to you.  The next email I received from her was the following “I started to track and all I am spending money on is food at the hospital and pharmacy, no grocery shopping, barely any petrol”.


Why is it so important to track expenses?  We need to check the progress of every action that has a process.  We wear a watch so that we arrive at our meeting on time; whilst cooking, we check that the food does not burn so that we achieve the best result – tasty food.

Tracking is the tool in budgeting, it enables us to know the status of our bank account on a daily, weekly, bi-monthly basis so that we can adhere to the golden rule of not spending more than we earn.

However, tracking is even more important in situations when tracking is the last action we want to do.  When we are on holiday; when there is a family event; when there is a family tragedy, these are the times when we tend to ignore the financial side until the time comes when we have to deal with our finances.

Tracking my expenses on holiday has given me a very good indication of how much I spend so when I am planning for my next trip I’ll know roughly how much I need to budget.  When budgeting for a family event (a happy one) the more I budget the more I will tend not to overspend and I will know how to differentiate between what I need as opposed to what I want.

But why do we need to track expenses during times of tragedy?  The majority of us have a limit to our income,  therefore, as I have seen so many times, when there was an event and there was no tracking of the expenses, the family spiraled very quickly into debt.  Tracking expenses increases your awareness of what you have spent your money on and through this exercise you begin to realize what the major expenses are and what the minor ones.  What expenses are vital and which expenses are secondary.  Which expenses can ,maybe be refundable, expenses that can receive help from family and friends, like food, looking after children that are at home, finding a place to stay near a hospital rather than paying hotel bills and so on.

The result of tracking means that you are in control of your spending and ensures that your finances do not deteriorate.  If you have any questions, please call me for a free telephone consultation 054-4217207 or send me an email to 

About the Author
Suzy Kahati was born in London, UK and made Aliyah in 1983. She is divorced with three wonderful daughters and lives in the center of Israel.