Before I came on Aardvark, I never really had to think too much about my own money. While I have worked over the years, I am fortunate that my parents have usually always supplied money when I needed it and most days I either ate dinner with them or I had a college meal plan where I didn’t have to think about it.
Besides the joys of being in Israel, Tel Aviv is not a cheap city, no one ever said it was, yet no one here has parents that are close by, which means one word: budgeting.
My parents and I agreed upon an amount I would get each week before I arrived here. Getting all the money at one time is not something I suggest for anyone, as it is easy to blow through it quite quickly. Some apartments here cook together, and so they figure out the amounts each week that they will need, but in my apartment, we all have our own meals. I was very confused about how I would make my money last and really nervous about it. Besides using the money for food, I also want to have some aside to go out with my friends and for activities as well. Each week I’ve worked on creating a meal plan for myself, and I write down every single thing that I’m going to purchase, whether it’s just water or even what I got at dinner and how much it cost me. This not only prevents me from eating very unhealthy as it keeps me accountable, but it also does wonders for me financially as I am able to create a budget per day.
When I thought of the perks of coming on this program, I never thought of this one. Now I am lucky that when I go home I will hopefully be a more responsible person with my money. This was something I really struggled with before, and now I know a little more of what I am doing. I have also increased my cooking skills in the process.
If money management or cooking is something that would worry you about coming on Aardvark, one thing I’ve learned is it’s really great to face your fears. I have really learned and grown in this sense.