Budgeting

Budgeting

 

No matter what stage of life you may be at, budgeting is a very important skill to have. No one ever wants to go into debt and everyone wants to be able to manage their money and know where it’s going. Here are some useful tools to help you budget while living in Israel be it short-
term or long-term:

Transaction Tracking

Budgeting Spreadsheet

 


Budgeting Basics Series for the Anglo Young Couple and Family

Topics that will be Discussed: All about the Budget, How to Create a Budget, Income Enhancements, Streamlining Expenses, Tackling Debt, Short Term Savings, Food Shopping, Menu Planning, Payment Methods, Maintaining your Budget, Long Term
Savings, and more…
Part #1: Budgeting, all about it
Part #2: Bridging the gap
Part #3: Menu Planning and Food Shopping
Part #4: Payment Methods
Part #5: Short Term and Long Term Savings
Part #6: Conclusion

All about Renting

All about Renting

 

 

There are a few different scenarios you can find yourself in after you sign on your apartment contract. Either it’s a fully furnished apartment, not furnished at all, or it has a furniture package. You may not know what these things mean and how to go about dealing with each of these situations.

We have provided you with information that should help when you find yourself in these situations.

Furnished

Another scenario you might find yourself in is signing on a furnished apartment. That usually means that it comes with all the large furniture and large household appliances. Large furniture includes but is not limited to beds, closets, a couch, bookshelves, and a dining room table set. Large household appliances consist of washer/dryer, refrigerator, and oven. But you still need to get small kitchen appliances and everything else to make your home functional. The best place to get almost everything like that is Imperiat Hachesed located at Petach Tikva St 16. There you can find small appliances such as a toaster oven and Bosch mixer, and also silverware and dishes. It is reasonably priced so you shouldn’t feel like they are taking advantage of the uninformed Americans.

There few other stores to know when settling in. There is a chain of hardware stores called Tambor which has many little household things that you may need when starting up, and throughout your stay in Israel. You probably won’t be able to find a store with better prices than Tambor. There is one located at the corner of Shmuel Hanavi and Bar Ilan (next to Eli’s). Another store that is convenient for its location and for its inventory is Olam Habayit. It’s located in the heart of Ramat Eshkol on Paran Street. It has the most home goods that you will need but it’s quite expensive. For the occasional item I would recommend it, but not for a full stock up.

Unfurnished

If the baal dirah (owner) tells you to furnish the apartment, don’t freak out. It may seem overwhelming and expensive, but it does have its perks. The main benefit is that you get to choose what you want, you are the first person using it, and you can either sell it to the baal dirah when you move or sell it to the next tenant as a furniture package. You can do it expensive or cheap. The cheapest way to do it is probably to go to Ikea in Rishon Letziyon and load up on furniture and large household appliances (washing machine, dryer, refrigerator, etc.). The more expensive (and better quality) way to do it would be to choose furniture, aronot (closets), and large household appliances from various stores in Jerusalem. Some good stores for furniture are Rehitei Outlet located on Yirmiyahu Street 58 and Merkaz Hasapot on Shmuel Hanavi Street.

Furniture is one thing, but when it comes to large household appliances, that is a different story. Good quality appliances are of importance, as that is the essence of a home. Therefore, we recommend Appliance Direct as the number one stop for Major Appliances, and Air Conditioning Systems. They have been serving their clients for two decades and will assist you throughout the process of purchasing and installation. Their expertise, dedicated service, and great prices are what every customer will experience throughout. They carry a large variety of brands to suit every budget. When being in a foreign country, issues may arise that you don’t fully know how to solve on your own. With Appliance Direct’s friendly and courteous service, they will tend to any issue that may come up. This enables your transition to your new home, and new country to be much smoother!   

Furniture Package

You signed on your apartment and everything seems perfect and then you get slammed with a bill for $5,000 for the previous tenant’s furniture package. You are not quite sure if you’re are getting a good deal or are getting ripped off; most of the time we feel like we are getting ripped off. This is one scenario a person could find themselves in. In such a case, unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about it – that’s just the way the system goes. The only comfort, in this case, is that you have everything set up for you and that you will be able to resell it to the next tenant and get some of your money back. But even with a furniture package, you still may need to buy small appliances such as a toaster oven, mixer, etc. that are not included in your furniture package.

Common Apartment Issues

Common Apartment Issues

 

 

Your apartment is set up and ready to go and then the hiccups begin. I have provided for you tidbits of information and experiences I have had in this area that will help you minimize those bumps. Make sure you clarify which issues you have to cover and which your baal dirah has to cover. In addition are references for all these services that you may need throughout your stay in Israel.

 

 

Exterminators

My wife and I returned to our apartment after Pesach one year and we started noticing bees in our bedroom. We couldn’t locate the source of these bees. We called an exterminator who located the hive (in the wall from the outside) but failed tremendously in destroying the hive. He was obnoxious and very unhelpful. He even sealed up our window so we couldn’t open our window. On top of all this, he charged a fortune, 750 NIS. After coming back twice and still not getting rid of the bees, we decided to call someone else. This second exterminator was way more erlich. He told us the other guy was a ganav for charging so much and that it will only cost 250 NIS. He did the job and we haven’t seen a bee since. He gave me his business card, which was written on a book on emuna and bitachon. The name of his service is Ahavat Shalom and he can be reached at 025822148. From my experience and hearing others, most exterminating services should be between 250 and 450 NIS. Anything above that, you’re probably getting ripped off.

 

Electrical Issues

It is not uncommon in Israel that your electricity blows. There are many different reasons why this could be happening. It may be because you have many large appliances running at once such as a dryer, washing machine,  and three air conditioners, or you have a faulty appliance that is blowing the fuse. To figure out which appliance is blowing the fuse, go to the electric box and turn on the switches one at a time. The switch that triggers all the others to fall is the one that is problematic. Call an electrician to come down. If the fuse blows and `none of the switches are down, a regular electrician will not be able to fix it – you must contact the Israeli Electric Company (IEC) to send one of their guys down to asses the problem. Again, these are large issues that your baal dirah is most likely responsible for.

Handymen

Over the years, we have had many handymen come over to fix small issues that were pushed off for months until it came to a point where we couldn’t push it off anymore. As mentioned above, some issues are definitely the baal dirah’s responsibility in which case you want to be in touch with him or his apartment manager. But for the small jobs, there are so many handymen advertising, it’s hard to know which are good and won’t rip you off.

Mold

A problem almost every apartment has is mold. Mold is most common in the bathroom because there is a lot of moisture and it doesn’t get aired out. In order to avoid mold build-up, keep windows open, especially after showering. Mold either comes from the moisture or because there is a leak somewhere and the water is pooling up in the walls. 

 

The do it yourself solution to the mold problem is to scrub the moldy area with bleach. This will temporarily get rid of the mold but it will come back with a vengeance.

The other option is to hire a painter who scrapes off the mold and coats your walls and ceiling with an anti-mold paint which should last for a few years.

A recommended service for this is called Walls R Us Painting. The information is as follows:

Walls R Us

Phone Number: 0526119500

Website: http://wallsruspainting.com/

Send Email

 

Internet

 

One of the first things people do when they settle in Israel is they sign up for the internet. Whether they’re here for the six-month honeymoon or the long haul, signing up for the internet and having Wi-Fi is a must for most. There is only so long you can bum it off your neighbor for (unless they go 50/50 of course). The main service people use is Bezeq. You call Bezeq and they come down to your house to set it up. They should be able to come the day you call. Their number is 039203008. Make sure you record the information that you set up with them such as the username, password, and the landline that comes with your service, even if you don’t actually get a physical landline. In addition, make sure to put a password on your Wi-Fi unless you enjoy having yeshiva guys and seminary girls sitting in front of your building. The more usage, the slower your internet will go.
When you call to get internet service, there are two things you are signing up for תשתית and ספק (“Sapak”). Bezeq is the תשתית and the ספק is the provider. Xphone (018) or Netvision are examples of providers. In order to get Wi-Fi, both are required. Make sure you are paying both. There are some plans available from Bezeq where you just pay one bill to bezeq and it includes the תשתית and the ספק.  With other plans, it will be two separate bills. Bezeq sometimes will have a deal that for the first year of subscription, they will pay the provider and then from then on, you must pay it. There is a good chance the provider won’t reach out to you to get your information to continue charging you for the second year and on. In that case, you must call up and provide your information such as your email address and your credit card information so you pick up the bill when Bezeq stops paying it. If you don’t take over that bill, you can be billed years later for a large sum of money.
I personally experienced this because I was unaware that I needed to pay both and take over after the first year. Only after five years did the provider shut off my internet and they were claiming that they wouldn’t turn it back on until I paid. I felt that I was being wronged because I had never received a bill from the provider in four years (officially starting from after the first year I signed up with Bezeq). It didn’t make sense to me that it was my responsibility to call up to give my information. If they were providing me a service for so many years, they should have sent me the bills. So after a long yelling match between me and the customer service lady, she agreed to a 15% Hanacha (discount). I told her she can keep her agurot (pennies), and demanded a higher discount. I was only adamant because I was told by people that the provider was completely at fault and should provide a more reasonable discount. After speaking to a manager, I was fiiiiinally granted a 25% discount. The point of the story is to be clear on the plan that you sign up for and what it includes so you can avoid such headaches.

 

Customer Service

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