META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" Content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1"> From Banking in Israel to Personal Finance Tools Available. Here are some FAQ's

From Banking in Israel to Personal Finance Tools Available. Here are some FAQ's

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1. We just made Aliya, what personal finance tools are available in Israel
First of all, Mazal Tov on your Aliya. As for personal finance tools I would recommend first getting familiar with the Israeli financial products, banking and investment system and then assessing how to set up your finances in Israel. Currently only one of the banks offer a free budget planner on its web site this is a useful tool for tracking your spending. You can read more on this site, Israeli newspapers, join a seminar, or book a private consultation to learn more and asses your individual financial needs.

2.A. I heard I can get tax back on charitable donations in Israel? How do I go about doing this?

If you are employed, you can give the receipts for donations to your employer. They will present them for you, and you will automatically pay less income tax. Most Israeli employers will do this for you, but it has to be done during the course of the year (receipts for 2009 must be given in by December 2009). Tip: don't forget to add in life insurance which is also tax deductible. If you are self employed, give receipts to your accountant, and s/he will do it when s/he presents your annual report to the tax authorities. For more information on Tax returns in Israel press here.

2.B. Can I do this myself?
Yes, if your finances are fairly straightforward. Take the train to Ramle (Mas Hacnasa is a 7 minute walk from the train station)or your closest Mas Hachnasa office. There are people who can help you fill out the form.

3. The bank is so different to what I am used to. I really don't know where to start…..what resources are available to help me?

The banking system here is totally different, and it can be overwhelming. But, you have come to the right place – look at our tips for banking in Israel page.You can also join one of my banking seminars; These seminars are available via Nefesh BNefesh, AACI or run privately. These seminars are offered in different locations throughout Israel. If there is no seminar planned near you in the near future, you could host a seminar.

4. What is FSW?

FSW "Financially savvy women" is an initiative designed to empower women with managing their personal finances in Israel, by teaching them the basics of financial planning for women with their unique financial needs and exposing them to personal finance tools that will assist them on their path to becoming "Financially Savvy". FSW groups were featured in an article in the Haaretz English edition.

5. We barely get by on our Israeli salary, let alone thinking about saving. Should I be worried that I don't have any savings in place?
Israeli salaries leave a lot to be desired, which is why many Israelis live in overdraft, but this doesn't make savings any less important, or living in overdraft a necessity . Prioritizing for savings is as important as paying a bill – there is a principle "pay yourself first"…..whatever you are earning, put something aside for savings, don't wait until the end of the month when there may be nothing left.