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Jerusalem Life

| Top Ways Israelis Can Save Money Every Single Month

Chaya V    
Wednesday, 17 October 11:41 AM
This article translated with permission from Poenta, a news site focusing on consumer affairs in Israel.

If there is a word that Israelis hate, it’s the word fraiyer, meaning "sucker." Want to check how much of a fraiyer you are? Find out how much money you dole out free to all kinds of companies on a monthly basis.

Most of us make a daily effort to control our spending, but in this daily race of life we do not pay attention to hidden expenses in our monthly bills, some seemingly small, inadvertently slipping under the radar.

Reducing expenses is perceived as a challenge for many of us, but there is a simple way to do it - with very little effort.

How? A large portion of expenses are hidden in the accounts we receive from the communications companies - television, cellular, internet and home telephone. Thus, every month you may pay NIS 10 for a "song on hold" service, or a cellular package that does not suit your needs, or an inflated TV package.

Another expense lies in the section most of us find difficult to deal with: insurance and pensions. The “hidden” money is often not small money. It starts with management fees worth bargaining, and can even be “double insurance” - hidden items that are downright unnecessary.

Even our behavior at the bank can be more economical if we choose monthly plans instead of paying separately for each service. This is especially true when switching to automated, versus going in to the clerk.

It is important to remember that the law of small numbers works not only in large companies, but also for us, the consumer. Saving NIS 10-50 on recurring services can save hundreds of shekels every month, possibly even more.

Examples of the most common hidden expenses:

Cell companies - A song on hold: NIS 7-15 a month

Anti-virus / anti-spam filtering service: Starts out free, then raises to 20 NIS/month

Unnecessary TV channels, such as: Children's channels for pensioners, sports channels for non-sports fans. 50-200 NIS/month

Membership fees to a credit company or store club: (Shufersal, ICC, Isracard, Leumi Card) NIS 10-30 per month

Cooking-gas balloon: Some private companies charge a service fee of 20-30 shekels a month. Other companies only charge for the balloons you buy, upon delivery. Compare companies.

Bank fees:  NIS 10-20 per month or more.

Pension management fees: Can be NIS 300 a month. By law, maximum management charge can be 6%, which is obviously a huge loss in money. You can bargain them down - even a 4% charge is a significant savings. In fact, this is not really small money, but tens of thousands of shekels in aggregate.

Cellular companies: Make sure you need what the package includes, and whether a cheaper package will suit your needs just as well. You may be paying for a 100 gigabyte package when you actually use 2 gigabytes. Perhaps it is worthwhile to bring all members of the family together with one cellular company that provides a discount to family members. Compare companies!

TV plans - Can save over 300 NIS/month. Let's start by looking at HOT's customer service center. Even without haggling, you can easily lower the package - I know of one case where the savings offered was NIS 100 per month. Likewise, you might be able to upgrade for free -getting more channels for the discounted price.

How do you identify unnecessary expenses, and get rid of them?

  1. Credit cards: Once a month, spend a few minutes reading your statement to watch out for little unnecessary charges, overcharges, or even mistaken charges.

  2. Organize your insurance and pension funds. It's true that it takes time, and it's hard to understand the fine print, but it's worth it - even once a year.

  3. Bargain: Every time you're going to close an agreement with a company - from an insurance company to a cellular company - bargain and find you can pay less.

  4. Put reminders on your cell phone to warn you before the end of the operation in the cellular / TV / Internet package, etc.


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