Scrimping and saving. Adjusting to higher taxes, and fewer government benefits.
That's what we are all thinking about right now.
So what's a struggling family to do? It's already hard to keep from falling into the "minus" gap that so many Israelis find themselves in. And now - it is going to get tougher.
I don't have the answers. I know this is going to be a tough time for many of us. Lapid keeps promising that the tax hike and cutbacks are temporary, and while I hope that's true, I wouldn't place any bets on that.
So here are some money saving ideas.
1. Call your service providers and ask for lower rates, and be ready to switch to the least expensive competitor.
2. Evaluate all of your spending. Save every receipt from every purchase you make. See where there are unnecessary expenses. This will vary. there is no exact formula for deciding what you can cut out, but there are usually places to cut back.
3. Watch your electricity usage. Turn off the lights when you leave a room. unplug small appliances when not in use. (Actually, I also unplug my washing machine a dryer when not in use, too) Don't run fans in empty rooms. During the day, use natural light - make sure to open those shades to let the light in!
4. If you are throwing out food at the end of the day/week, then you can safely cut back on the amount of food you purchase.
5. If you need new clothing, first check the second hand shop! There are plenty of them out there, and lots of them have clothing for just a few shekels per piece. Especially if it's a G'mach. I've gotten really great deals at the second hand shop, even items that are new with tags!
6. If you are genuinely struggling, consider downsizing. Sell stuff that you aren't using - post on Craigslist, Yad2, your local bulletin board. I would even recommend moving somewhere that will cost you less in the long run (as long as the savings are greater than the move itself will cost you!).
7. If you need to quickly save up money, try out a spending fast for a month. A month with NO spending (I would say except the very basics of living) at all. And stash the money saved for rainy day!
8. If you must buy something, do take some time to comparison shop, especially if it's a big-ticket item! Your wallet will thank you.
9. Even for groceries, keep track of prices. Some stores have consistently better prices on some of the items you buy, so be sure to buy them where they will cost you less! (As an example, my kids wanted yogurt in single serve cups. And 8-pack at Mega was well over 20 shekels. But at Yesh, that same 8-pack was 16 shekels!)
What are your best money-saving tips?