Basic Financial Planning - Blog

This Blog is where you will find updates on Basic financial planning and managing your money efficiently in Israel.

Follow our updates to ensure you find out relevant financial news from Israel. Check back regularly to see how to keep your personal finances in Israel running smoothly.

Hear about ways to save money by being financially informed, and look out for our free tips.

Why prepare a Household Budget?

Why prepare a Household Budget? here are some benifits you may not have thought of. We offer professional advice and practical tips to manage and save your money. Learn more about budgeting.

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Banking in Israel. Banking Terms

7 Money Saving Tips for Banking in Israel, The banking system and banking terms in Israel are very different to elsewhere

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7 Money Saving Tips on your Electricity Bill

7 Money Saving Tips on your Electric Bill

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User friendly keys to basic financial planning and basic budget planning: how to , how to successfully take control of your finances. We offer professional advice and practical tips to manage and

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How much Tzedakah must I give?

I keep being asked this by clients and my answer is always "ask your Rav". I just found this article which gives some useful Halachik answers.

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Financial Lectures in Israel - Lectures & Events

Financial Lectures in Israel

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Testimonials- From Clients who wanted Basic Financial Planning or Financial Consultant Servises

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My latest Article- finding the balance with the back to school expenses

How do you find the balance between keeping your spending in check and allowing your kids some freedom to choose what they want? Published in the Jerusalem Post September 7th 2010.

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Shekel Currency Converter

The currency converter is back! Know what your currency is worth against the Shekel

Use the new currency converter on the Home Page to convert any currency to or from Shekels.

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Join us on Facebook!!!

Personal Finance is Israel is now on Facebook - Join us for useful tips on managing and saving your money is Israel.

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Updating Site

We're upgrading this site during July and August 2010.Looking forward to hearing from you about the new look.

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Cash back in Israel!!! From October

Finally: From October we can get cash back from goods purchased. For goods returned up to 14 days after purchase or only 24 hours for clothes and shoes. (minus a 5% fee)

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Price increases expected on 1/July/10

Price of Water will go up tonight by 5%.Petrol/Gas prices will increase by 2.5%

TASE 25 at 1200- What does this mean!?!

The TA 25 stock index, dubbed the "Ma'of", (this is an index of the 25 largest stocks in the Israeli stock market) passed the 1200 points today and is now only 2.4% away from the November 2007 historical high.

How does this affect your personal finances? If you are invested in the Tel Aviv stock market, directly via stocks or indirectly via a Keren Hishtalmut, Kupat Gemel or Pension Fund, you may have made a profit (on paper) or made up a significant amount of your losses depending when you invested in the market.

Please return to this site soon for more details on the Tel Aviv stock market, Keren Hishtalmit and Kupot Gemel.


Cheap loans but no housing!

Despite the relatively low interest rates first time home buyers have been locked out of the Israeli housing market, with soaring house prices, contributed to by a number of political and economical factors. See this “Globes” article on Israeli housing prices

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Average Israeli salaries.

January 2010.

I mention on the Israel page that there are difficulties involved in adapting to living on an Israeli salary,I recently found a new survey released from the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics; according to a new press release the average wage for employees is close to 8,000NIS.

I wanted to find out more details and looked at the monthly income survey from 2008 – these make very interesting reading, especially for women.

The gross monthly income per household in 2008 with head of house employed was 15'712 NIS. When the head of house was self employed it rose to 17'394NIS. If the head of the household was unemployed the gross monthly income was 5444NIS.

These numbers comprise income from all sources including Bituach Leumi payments.

Now the really interesting part:

Salaried males earn an average of 9627 NIS (gross) whereas salaried women earn only 6077 NIS!! Maybe you think it's a difference in academic standard that accounts for the difference in pay. Well you'd be wrong; men with academic degrees earn an average of 16332 NIS, whereas women with academic degrees earn only 9408 NIS.

It is highly unlikely that the difference in wages is due to different number of working hours, rather women are paid less. Is it not time for women to demand the higher pay they deserve?

For more information have a look at these links:

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Bank of Israel raises interest rates by 0.25%

How might this affect your finances?

Tomorrow it is likely that all the banks will raise their interest rates according to the change announced today by the Bank of Israel. Whilst rates will still be low (1.25%) this will have an impact on the interest rates of overdrafts, some mortgages and loans.

The group of people who will be most affected are those who have to be taking mortgages at the "prime" rate (Loan rate will fluctuate with the Bank of Israel interest rate changes. Interest rates have been low therefore mortgages linked to the "prime" have become very popular over the last year) . The interest rate on their principal will go up by 0.25%

From April-August 2009 interested rates were at an all time historic low of 0.5%. Since September 2009 the Bank of Israel has been slowly raising interest rates in increments of 0.25% to reach the current level of 1.25%.

Only a few days left to deposit into a Keren Hishtalmut for 2009

What is a Keren Hishtalmut? The keren hishtalmut (fund) was originally designed as a way to allow professionals, specifically teachers, to further their education. Nowadays this is used in most professions as an almost tax free savings tool.

If you want to use money from the fund for a "hishtalmut" or further education program it can be withdrawn after 3 years. Money can also be withdrawn tax free after three years upon retirement. After 6 years the money can be withdrawn from the fund for any purpose and is not subject to capital gains or income tax. Consequently this can be a practical money saving tool.

If you are employed, you may automatically pay money from your salary into a keren hishtalmut every month. The employer can give up to 7.5% of your monthly salary, and you contribute up to 2.5% Employer, employee ratio is 3:1. (your contribution is not exempt from income tax).

If you are self employed you can deposit up to 7% of your income, into a Keren Hishtalmut and get an income tax recognition on up to 4.5% of your income.
There is still time to contact your insurance agent or a Keren Hhishtalmut fund directly and make a deposit before the end of 2009.
Please note that while many employers offer this perk, unlike a pension fund, depositing in a Keren Hishtalmut is not mandatory.
For most self employed people, it is well worth looking into taking advantage of this saving scheme. I recommend asking your Bookkeeper, Tax Adviser or Accountant for more details.

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Testimonials- From Clients who wanted Basic Financial Planning or Financial Consultant Servises

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Financial Updates for 2010

2010 is almost upon us, there will be a few changes in the israeli financial world that will go into effect on the 1st of January. Salaried workers will see an increse in their wage due to lowered income tax (Mas Hachnasa). This is part of the reform Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu set in place back in 2004. The increase will be in inciments based on your wage.