Shomer Shekalim

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preparing for snacks

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legal warning: The information here should not be understood legally as financial advice. If you believe anything on this site is in error, please contact me. I am always open to corrections, new ideas, and new opinions...

I know it’s been a while.  But I am back and hope to try to update more regularly.

So, without further ado… preparing for snacks

Consider the following situation:  Your wallet is empty and you need ₪100 in order to buy groceries.  You can either (1) go to the atm next to the supermarket and pay ₪3, (2) walk 20 blocks to your bank’s atm and take out money for free, or (3) you pay an extra ₪2 to pay using your credit card.

In this case, you’re probably weighing a simple ₪1 difference to see if it is worth it to use cash or credit; it hardly seems worth it to walk 20 blocks back and forth for ₪2.

But there is another way to look at this. You would have saved money had you taken out money from your atm before you went shopping in the first place.  In retrospect, you’re paying a ₪2 fine for not planning in advance.  But this goes far beyond ₪2 when shopping.

Consider a family going to the mall.  The children so desperately want some candy from the store.  The parents look for the cheapest candies and find some bamba for ₪5, the cheapest item in the store, and get it; after all, the children have been behaving well and deserve something.  The problem here is that the economic choice is being viewed as the best option available at the time.  But another option existed and was missed.  Had the parents picked up bamba at a ₪1 store and kept it with them in the car for these occasions, then they would have saved a bundle.  In fact, the parents could stock up on potato chips, energy bars, cheetos, or bisli and pretty much never run into the situation of getting the ₪5 bamba.

The practical applications are limitless and go far beyond brining your own water to the movie theatre (judging by the price for the water they sell there, it is probably laced with gold.)  Bring a book to the airport instead of buying one for retail in the bookstore in the airport.  Pregnant women should carry snacks, in case they get hungry.  And men, never wait until you’re in the airport to buy jewelry.  Basically, be prepared and think in advance – it’s the most economic option.


  1. Risa says:

    I’m not sure I follow your ₪100 dilemma. How do you figure that it costs 2₪ to use the credit card? Also, I don’t think it’s free to take money even from your bank’s ATM anymore.

    • jonnydegani says:

      in some places in Israel they will charge you less if you use less. I agree it is semantics, but it means you pay more for using a credit card.
      About the ATM fees: Some banks let you use an ATM for free. My wife is at Mizrahi and acording to her plan it is free (I don’t know the terms, it is from before we got married). I am at Mercantile / Discount and, because I work for an educational institution, I do not pay any teller or ATM fees (I found out about this about 9 months after I began working at my job – apparently there is some kind of auction for which bank handles the educational accounts and Discount won, so you can negotiate better terms there if you work in education.)

  2. Devorie says:

    Bank Yahav now offers no-fee accounts for both public sector employees and private sector employees. The terms are very reasonable – I think you have to transfer a minimum salary of 5,000 NIS for one person or 7,000 NIS for two (Bank Igud also has a no-fee account, but the minimum salaries are much higher). You can save a lot of money by taking advantage of a no-fee account. Some banks will also negotiate the fees, if they think you will leave them for the competition.

  3. LeahGG says:

    everywhere I shop, the price for credit is the same as the price for cash, except furniture shops and the like – and there it can be a big chunk, and there, they accept checks as cash since they don’t pay a processing fee on checks.
    Every mall I’ve seen in Israel has a supermarket, so if you’re at the mall and your kids are pestering you for snacks, make a beeline for the supermarket. Unless it’s a particularly busy time of day, it won’t take much longer than waiting at a kiosk or something, and you can buy snacks that way – if you have the right number of kids, you can even buy a box of ice cream cones/popsicles.
    Likewise, if you’re going to eat in the food court, always pick up a liter and a half bottle and a pack of cups at the supermarket before you head to the food court. If you’re 2 people, it will already cost less, and children rarely drink as much as a can of drink.

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