Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

5 Av 5761 - July 25, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Home and Family
Making Ends Meet
by Rosally Saltsman

Part II

"Usually, saving money also involves some kind of spiritual tool, be it self-control, creativity, bitachon, self reliance or doing a mitzva for someone else."

[We continue from last week's excellent ideas]

13. I once spoke to a bus driver who had bought apartments for four of his children just by saving the child allowance he got every month from National Insurance (Bituach Leumi). Families who are blessed with many children may not find this practical, but they can put aside small portions of the allotment for some future event like a bar mitzva, marriage etc. This can be done in a bank savings plan or through a monthly bank deposit order to a Free Loan gemach plan.

14. Save for something you want, as opposed to paying it off later. Just putting away a few shekels a day in a cookie jar can help you save up for a vacation or a special purchase.

15. Reward yourself for saving money by using some of that money to treat yourself or your family to something. You may be spending the money you saved, but you're reinforcing saving behavior and eventually it will get to be a habit.

16. Give your children allowances. Not only is this recommend by Rav Hirsch and Rav Shlomo Wolbe for chinuch, but that puts the onus of some expenditures on your children and you thereby limit some areas of spending and leave it to their discretion. This, of course, has to be realistic and agreed upon with the child a priori as well as renegotiated as the child gets older and legitimately needs more spending money.

17. Grow things in your garden or on your windowsill (in a few months, or sprouts even during shemitta). Growing some vegetables or flowers may only save you a little bit of money each week, but every bit helps. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is a real treat and putting your own flowers on your table gives you a feeling of pride. You also have the opportunity to learn and practice halochos related to home-grown produce.

18. Don't keep things you use only once a year. Make an agreement with neighbors who may use something only once a year that you use frequently. For example, I bake only for Yom Tov, so I don't need a flour sifter in the house. I can borrow one from my neighbor. On the other hand, my neighbor doesn't have a computer or a fax machine, so I can type a letter for her on the rare times she needs one typed, or faxed.

19. The first time I heard this, I thought it was insane, but when shortly after it worked for me, I became a believer. If you need something, you don't necessarily have to buy it. Pray for it, tell people you need it, or just leave yourself open to receiving it and I'm telling you, it almost falls from heaven at your very feet.

20. Buy at `dollar stores' [I guess the Five and Dime or Woolworth's is the non-Israeli equivalent]. "Hakol bedollar." There are many different types that stock a wide variety of things. Good for stocking up on small gifts (see 22).

21. Shop only with a list. Do not buy anything else! Also, don't exceed your budget for that item.

22. Weddings, bar mitzvas and birthdays, you usually know about months in advance. If you don't wait till the last minute and buy something nice when the opportunity presents itself, you'll not only save money but you'll probably buy something more appropriate and thoughtful. You don't have to bring a large check to every simcha.

23. Anything expensive should be relegated for Shabbos consumption or use. Haagen Daz ice cream, your best china, your nicest clothes, anything that is either a luxury or would cost a lot to replace should be used in helping to bring sanctity to Shabbos. I know this is almost impossible, but junk food should be consumed only lekovod Shabbos or when you have guests [not your kids' everyday guests!]. This also helps cut down on dentist bills.

24. It is my personal prejudice that people should go to natural doctors (naturopaths, reflexologist, homeopaths). Although this costs a lot more money than going to your Sick Fund, in the long run, your family will be, be'H, healthier and will have less need for doctors and medicines.

25. As much as possible, frequent the same stores. Loyalty to shop owners is rewarded by special treatment and discounts. If you always patronize the same clothing, toy and stationery stores, you'll save money and make friends.

26. Pay in cash immediately. Credit cards, post-dated checks and paying in installments on your credit card all end up costing more than paying in cash and set up a cycle of debt.

27. Be in as little debt as possible to as few people as possible. Debt draws debt, money draws money.

28. Anyone still not shopping at bazaars and gemachs, besides spending a lot of extra money and losing out on a mitzva, is missing out on fun. I love going to bazaars because it makes me feel rich. It's the once place I can walk into and buy almost anything I want. I've found some real nice stuff at bazaars and the clothes I buy there usually get more compliments than the ones I buy retail.

29. If you must borrow money, pay it off as quickly as possible.

[Final part next week. Hopefully by then, some of the readers will have sent in their own bright ideas so that we can keep this column flowing.]


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.