Saturday, 20 October 2018

How much does it really cost to live in Israel?  Will I have to dip into my savings every month?  

Hebrew:כמה עולה לגור בישראל

You've made the decision, taking the plunge and making aliyah.  You've got a few months to get organized and if you haven't alreay you might be wondering how much it really costs to live here.  How much money does your family need to come out every month? Is it possible to live on $5000 a month?  Is it possible to live comfortably on less? Use our guide of average living expenses to help in building your Aliyah or relocation budget.  Prices listed here are based on an average family of four.  

Obviously living expenses will vary from family to family according to your life-style and the town or city you choose to live in.  For example, on average, living in Raanana is about 30 percent more expensive than living in Haifa.  Municipal taxes (arnona) in Haifa however, are amongst the highest in Israel.

Salaries in Israel are lower than you are used to earning!  As of December 2017  the minimum wage in Israel, according to the Department of Statistics, currently stands at 5,300 shekels per month. The average wage is about 9,500 shekels.

Your first year will be the hardest; you'll probably be at ulpan for about 5 months and it may take another few months until you find a job. So take some time to develop a realistic budget

Housing Costs

Rental

Rental prices in Israel vary considerably.  We have based our price on a very basic and average 100sq/m -3 bedroom apartment.

Expect to pay upwards of 3,500NIS/month in Haifa

Between 5,500 NIS and 7,000 NIS/month is Tel Aviv is average

Upward of 7,000 NIS/month in Bakaa and Bayit VeGan in Jerusalem is average

Purchase price

Usually a 40% down-payment is required when making a property purchase.    Your monthly mortgage payment or your rental should not exceed more than 1/3 of your income.  Prices listed here are just a basic guideline.  Check with your realtor and research current prices.

Prices quoted per square meter in US$

Jerusalem 6,000 - 12,000
Tel Aviv 5,000 - 7,000
Beersheva, Haifa, Hadera & Afula  2,500 - 5,000
Modiin 2,000 - 2,500

 

Is it possible to buy a home for 1,000,000 shekels in Israel? 

House Committee Levy

The monthly house committee levy generally includes electricity (for the entrance and stairwells), water (garden and washing floors - entrance and stairwells), a cleaning person and general building maintenance.  Special one-time repairs or maintenance are generally divided equally by the neighbors if and when necessary. These repairs are not the responsibility of a tenant. The monthly levy is much higher in buildings that have elevators and swimming pools.

Expect to pay upwards anywhere between 50 - 300 NIS and more/month


Utilities

Gas: Cooking & Heating

A small gas balloon - 12kg - costs around 150 shekels and generally lasts for  2 - 3 months when used for cooking purposes only.  If you use gas to heat your home in the winter, your bill will be considerably higher. Ceramic stoves (glass tops) are now quite popular in Israel and are energy efficient making the operating costs quite comparable to gas.

Expect to pay between 50 - 100 NIS for gas/month

Electricity

Lights, washing machine, dishwasher, oven, microwave and other small appliances (not including the cost to run a clothes dryer or an air-conditioner). 

Expect to pay between  250 - 700 NIS/month depending on the season and your location.

Gas ranges are still more popular than electric ones. Consider using toaster ovens instead of regular ovens for small quantities and quick cooking.

Electricity bills are sent out every 2 months so your actual bill will be double of that which is listed here (around 500 - 1500 shekels)

The cost of running an airconditioning units is approximately one shekel per hour.

Hebrew English translation of the bi-monthly Hevrat HaHashmal (Israel Electric Compan) electricity bill

Is it worth bring appliances and electrical items to Israel?

Municipal water bill

Under the current water restrictions and regulations, each family member is entitled to 3.5 cu per month.  A family of 4 is therefore entitled to 14 cu of water per month.  Water consumption above this, is charged at a much higher rate.  The water bill is sent out every 2 months.

A family of four can expect to pay around 150 shekels every 2 months (based on taking showers and not baths and  running a dishwasher and a washing machine every day)

Click here for a Hebrew English translation of the municipal water bill

Arnona - Municipal rates and taxes

Arnona on 100 sq/m.  Budget for at least 500 shekels per month but expect to pay more in exclusive suburbs

Statements of account for municipal taxes are sent out every 2 months. Arnona rates vary from one municipal district to another. Within a city the rates and taxes vary from suburb to suburb.  There is no regulation as to how the Arnona is calculated - some municipal councils may include the walls, balconies, stairwells, refuse areas etc.and others may not.

New immigrants are entitled to discounts on their arnona

A Hebrew English translation of the arnona bill


Telecommunications

2012 saw a revolution in the mobile phone industry in Israel with the establishment of a number of new mobile phone carriers. Competition between them is rife.  Before signing up for any phone plan with any carrier, please read the fine print very, very carefully. 

These prices are correct as at 15 September, 2018.  Telecommunications companies reserve the right to adjust their prices at any time.

Bezeq (Israel's first telecommunications carrier) do not advertise prices on their website however they offer internet, telephone packages and other internet services like smart home - home automation as well as cloud services.

HOT cable company is currently offering a triple package which includes internet, 300 minutes call time from a landline, selected television channels for 199 NIS/month

YES is currently offering cable TV packages from 149 NIS/month

Partner (Orange) are offering a triple package which includes; television, landline and internet from 139NIS/month

Golan Telecom is offering packages that start at 10NIS/month and up to 100NIS/month.  These packages include local calls, SMS services, internet up to 40GB/month, international calls to landlines, a virtual telephone number as well as calls and internet abroad.

Hot Mobile is offering packages that start at 39NIS/month and include: local telephone calls and SMS,100GB of internet/month in Israel, 300 minutes of call time to landlines abroad and 2GB of internet abroad in selected countries.

Smartphone purchase; from 1000 NIS

It pays to shop around.

A list of local and cable television channels

Click here for a translation of your mobile phone bill and other household bills.


Groceries

The costs listed here are based on an average family of four and refer to basic food and grocery items. If you regularly buy gourmet, delicatessen items or imported goods, then  budget more.

Supermarket

Budget a minimum of 1500NIS/month for food and grocery items

Fresh produce market - the shuk

Budget a minimum of 600 shekels/month for fruit and vegetables

Shopping at the fresh produce market is considerably cheaper on Friday afternoons from around 2pm till closing at 4pm. Get more tips for shopping in Israel and check out average supermarket prices for the past 3 years.


Transport

Running a car

Budget 500NIS/month for 3rd party and comprehensive insurance on an average family vehicle

Budget 500NIS for the annual roadworthy (package deal:- regular service + pre-test check + test levy)

Budget between 6 and 7 NIS/liter for gasoline.  The price of regular gasoline is adjusted on the 1st of the month.  Some gas stations offer discounts so it is important to shop around for the best deal.  Self-service is cheaper.

Budget a minimum of 1000 NIS for the vehicle license - different types of vehicles at different rates

Driver's license - annual renewal fee (you can renew your driver's license for up to 10 years at a time - 52 - 439 NIS

Driving lessons - budget around 120NIS/lesson

Driver's test - 400NIS

What are the requirement for bringing or importing your car to Israel?

 

Public Transport

Regular route, single adult bus fare - 5.90NIS

Sherut (shared taxi) - 6.00NIS

Train fare is determined by distance

The Jerusalem light train, the Haifa Carmelit and Metronit - regular single adult fare - 5.90

2016 Transport tariff reform

Rav Kav multi ride public transport ticket

All salaried employees are entitled to compensation for their traveling expenses to and from work. The travel allowance is set out by law.


Entertainment

Keep these amounts in mind when budgeting for entertainment

40 NIS for a movie ticket

47 NIS for a 3D movie

100 - 400NIS for live shows, theater and symphony

300 - 1,500NIS for overseas artists

Children's theater - budget 80NIS per ticket

50 NIS - and adult ticket for entrance to a museum

70 NIS entrance fee to a water park

396 NIS for an annual membership to the Israel Nature & Parks Authority - Matmon Card

 

Eating out

50 NIS for MacDonalds combo meal

20 NIS for a Felafel (a half-portion is also available for the not-so-hungry)

35 NIS for a Schwarma

150 NIS for a steak meal

60 - 70 NIS for a large salad (enough for 2)

18 NIS for special coffees

8 - 12NIS for a soda can in a restaurant

20 - 30NIS for a beer in a pub

6.50NIS for 1.5 liters of coca-cola in a supermarket


Education

School Fees

 

Municipal school fees in Israel, are laid out by the Ministry of Education.  Additional charges are levied by the schools and will vary from school to school.  Levies would include: the parent's committee, annual class trip, heating, class year books, parties etc.

Hebrew English  translation of the municipal bill for school fees

 

Basic fee (sal ha'tarbut) 150 – 400 NIS
Class parties  25 - 100 NIS
Annual class trip  400 – 1,000 NIS
Personal effects, notebooks, equipment etc. (not clothing)  600 NIS
An after school activity; ballet, judo, art etc. (per month per activity) 150 - 200 NIS
Private school fees 2,000+NIS month
Private day care for tiny tots (generally includes a meal) 1500+NIS month
 

As of September 2012 fees for children attending municipal kindergartens, from age 3, were lifted.

 

School Uniforms

 Summer T shirts  25 – 45 NIS ea
 Girls summer tights (leggings/ski pants) Please note: some schools in Israel, no longer   allow girls to wear these tights.  Check with your school before you buy  35 - 65 NIS ea
 Boys summer gym shorts  35 - 55 NIS ea
 Long sleeved T's  35 - 55 NIS ea
 Winter sweatshirts and hoodies  45 - 100 NIS ea
 Jeans  200 - 300 NIS/pair
 Sneakers  300 - 700 NIS/pair

 

Minimum Wage or Salary in Israel as at December 2017

Per hour if you work per hour (regular hours - without overtime) 28.00 shekels/hour
Per month if you work on a monthly salary 5,300 shekels/month
   
See a typical, and translated Israeli salary slip

 

Average supermarket prices 
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Alon Gal's 10 Top Money Tips
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Your household bills translated from Hebrew to English
Overview of Banking in Israel

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