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Israel Cost of Living
Hebrew:כמה עולה לגור בישראל
Making aliyah. You are moving, and going to be living in Israel and wondering how much it really costs to live here. How much money does my family need a month? Can we live on $5000 a month? Can we live on less? These are just some of the questions you may be asking. Make use our guideline of the average living expenses - in Shekels - for a family of four, to build your budget.
Obviously living expenses will vary greatly from family to family according to your life-style and the town or city you choose to live in. For example, on average, living in Raanana is about 30 percent more expensive than living in Haifa. Municipal taxes (arnona) in Haifa however, are amongst the highest in Israel.
Salaries in Israel are lower than you are used to earning! The minimum wage in Israel, according to the Department of Statistics, currently stands at 23.12 shekels/hour or 4,300 per month. The average wage is about 9,300 shekels per month as of October 2013
Your Israel Budget
In your first year, it is very important to take time and develop a realistic family budget. You'll probably be at ulpan for about 5 months and it may take you another few months till you find a job. Use our list to build your budget.
|Rental prices in Israel vary considerably. We are basing our price on a very basic and average 100sq/m -3 bedroom apartment.||3,000+ NIS/month|
|Usually a 40% down-payment is required when making a property purchase. Your monthly mortgage payment or your rental should not exceed more than 1/3 of your income.|
|Prices listed here are just a basic guideline. Check with your realtor and research current prices.Prices quoted per square meter in US$.|
|Jerusalem||6,000 - 12,000|
|Tel Aviv||5,000 - 7,000|
|Beersheva, Haifa, Hadera & Afula||2,500 - 5,000|
|Modiin||2,000 - 2,500|
|Can I buy a home for 1,000,000 shekels in Israel? Click here to find out more....|
|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. The monthly levy is much higher in buildings that have elevators and swimming pools.||50 - 300+ NIS/month
|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.||50 -75 NIS /month|
Lights, washing machine, dishwasher, oven, microwave and other small appliances (not including the cost to run a clothes dryer or air-conditioner).
|250 - 700 NIS/month|
|Most Israeli use gas ranges rather than electric ones. Many families use toaster ovens instead of regular ovens for small quantities and quick cooking. Electricity bill are sent out every 2 months so your actual bill will be double of that which is listed here (around 500 - 1500 shekels)|
|A medium range air-conditioning unit costs approximately one shekel per hour to run.|
|Hebrew English translation of an electricity bill...|
|What appliances and items should you bring to Israel?...|
|Municipal Water Bill|
|Under the current water restrictions and regulations, each family member is entitled to 2.5 cu per month. A family of 4 is therefore entitled to 10 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.||150 - 300 NIS|
|Click here for a Hebrew English translation of the municipal water bill...|
|Arnona - Municipal rates and taxes|
|Arnona on 100 sq/m in an average area||From 1,000 NIS|
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 councils may include the walls, balconies, stairwells, refuse areas etc.and others may not.
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. You can get a 3rd generation package: calls, text and internet from 50 shekels per month. Click here for a translation of your mobile phone bill and other household bills.
Before signing up for any phone plan with any carrier, please read the fine print very, very carefully. Please note that the prices here may not reflect current special offers.
|Basic Bezeq package with 100 minutes of call time (land and mobile lines) and 15 Mega internet||109 NIS/month|
|HOT package with unlimited calls, 100 mega internet and 168 television channels||359 NIS/month|
|Golan package with unlimited local calls, texts and discounted rates to landlines abroad||59 NIS/month|
|Phone purchase - 3rd generation||1,000+ NIS|
|Purchase of additional non-packaged TV channels (per channel)||15 - 50 NIS/month|
The amounts listed here are based on an average family of four.
|Supermarket||1,000 - 2,000 NIS|
|Fresh produce market - shuk (fruit and vegetables only)||750 - 1,500 NIS|
|Shopping at the fresh produce market is considerably cheaper on Friday afternoons from around 2pm till closing at 4pm. See our article on shopping in Israel and average supermarket prices for the past 4 years.|
|Running a Car|
|Insurance: 3rd party and comprehensive on an average family vehicle||300 - 400 NIS/month|
|Annual roadworthy (package deal:- regular service + pre-test check + test levy)
|| 529 NIS
|Gasoline - the prices of regular gasoline is adjusted on the 1st of the month. There are gas stations offer discounts so it is important to shop around for the best deal. Self-service is cheaper.
|| 6+ NIS liter
|Vehicle license - different types of vehicles at different rates||1083+ NIS|
|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||120+ NIS/lesson|
|Drivers test||400 NIS|
|Egged & Dan basic interurban - regular single adult bus fare||6.90|
|Sherut (shared taxi) - usually 5 - 10% less|
|Train fare is determined by distance|
|The Jerusalem light train, Haifa Carmelit and Metronit - regular single adult fare||6.90|
|Movie ticket||37 NIS|
|3D movie ticket||45 NIS|
|Live shows, theater, symphony||100 - 350 NIS|
|Overseas performers||300 -1,500 NIS|
|Mac Donalds||400 - 50 NIS|
|Salad (enough for 2 people)||55 NIS|
|Specialized coffees (selected coffee shop franchises are selling a basic coffee for 5 NIS)||18 NIS|
|Soda||7 -12 NIS|
|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.
|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, have been lifted.
|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 January 2014
|Per hour if you work per hour (regular hours - without overtime)||23.12 shekels/hour|
|Per month if you work on a monthly salary||4,300 shekels/month
|See a typical, and translated Israeli salary slip|