As of writing this post, inflation in Israel is at 5.1% year to date. We all have been feeling the cost of living going up. If you have been reading our blog for the past few months we are strong on budgeting and tracking expenses. Unlike fixed monthly expenses such as rent or tuition, food is one major category we have more control over. Transportation, entertainment, assorted purchases, subscriptions, water and electricity are others.
These next few ideas can free up some money in your budget.
- Wait a week – Sometimes when out or online, we see something that we absolutely must have now. Instead of buying it right away, wait a week and see if you still want it. (Hint: Oftentimes you’ll have forgotten about it by then.) This can help you avoid impulse buys. We all buy stuff that we regret. This can help prevent some of it.
- Carpool or public transportation – Fuel prices can go up and go down depending on supply and demand in the world or if there is a war or not. If you have a neighbor who commutes to the same place, consider carpooling to save on gas. Another option is public transportation. Finn’s Dad used to drive to his nearest train station and take the train into Tel Aviv every day. This saved him time otherwise stuck in traffic, money otherwise spent on gas and parking and was better for the environment. Win win win.
- Check your credit card and bank statements at least once a month – A couple months ago, we noticed several suspicious charges on our credit card. We googled the name and found that it was something that we never bought. We canceled the card on the spot and reported the charges when our credit card’s customer service hotline opened the next morning. It turned out that one of the charges was a hora’at keva (standing order) and we would have been charged every month if we didn’t notice it. Thieves often start by making small charges on your credit card to see if you notice them. If they go unnoticed, they will make larger charges or start a standing order. Missing a charge that you don’t recognize can cost you a lot of money.
- Clean out your closets – If there is something that you haven’t worn or used in two years, consider if you want to revive it or let it go. Find or host a local clothing swap where you can refresh your wardrobe for free. Join local buy nothing/free swap groups where you can give away your things and get things you need for free. You may even find something of value like baseball cards or beanie babies, which could bring in some extra cash.
- Eat leftovers – In the middle of November 2022 an article came out saying that 37% of food is thrown out and more than half of that is in good enough condition to be eaten. Make a point of minimizing your household’s food waste, so that food that you spend money buying and time preparing doesn’t end up in the garbage. By bringing it to work for lunch, not only are you saving it from being tossed, you don’t have to spend money on buying lunch.
- AC/Heater – According to the electric company, keeping your heat between 18-20 in the winter is more efficient than having it higher. Wearing a long sleeve shirt at home or even putting on a sweater before putting on the heat is a way to save on your electric bill.
- Water – When showering, turn off the water when you are soaping up. It also saves water as we do have a limited amount of water in Israel.
- Coupons – Shufersal, superpharm and other chains offer coupons on their app and website. Make sure to check them out when planning your shop, make sure to activate the coupons, and make sure the product you are buying is actually the one on the coupon.
What other ways are you planning to save money this winter?
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