Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Big News: Aliyah + Saving Money

Well, okay, I did it: I've applied for aliyah (aka returning/moving to the land of milk and honey -- Israel!). Oy va voy. Big step, right? Huge step. We're talking Hulk-smash-style step! But guess what? I'm single, I'm happier than I've ever been in my memorable memory, and I'm ready to take this major step that I've been fantasizing about for many, many years.

Whoa. I'm moving to Israel. 

Hopefully by the end of the year. And when I get there, well, I'm praying that there are loads of my Twitter and blog friends at the airport to meet me. (I've always dreamed of being greeted with someone holding a sign with my name, and shockingly, it has yet to happen.) I'm hoping for a quick-and-easy transition into the workforce (or that my current employer will let me continue rocking out the work I'm doing until I find something and they find someone). Times of Israel is hiring a Social Media Manager, and, come on, I'm perfect for such a gig, right? Think they'll wait for me? And then, of course, there's finding my zivug and reuniting with the mishpacha I grew to know and love while back in West Hartford, Connecticut.

Of course, this is no easy thing for me. Well, I take that back. You guys know me, and you know how easy it is for me to pick up and relocate. I always bounce back -- financially and emotionally. Yes, I know Israel isn't like moving from the East Coast to the Rockies. There is a new language, new food, new economics, new hardships, new challenges. But guess what? That's life! You meet challenges everywhere you go, and I'm prepared to rock those challenges like a hurricane. (Catch that reference there? Oh yeah. I'm classy.)

Over the past few weeks my spending has all but ceased. I went to the grocery store one day and purchased some hot sauce and agave and veggies to make a salad for a Shabbat meal I was attending, but my extraneous spending has completely stopped. Go me! Oddly enough, most of the spending that goes on in my life is on groceries -- begin a gluten-free ovo-vegetarian isn't cheap. Organic veggies aren't always cheap. But I'm eating in-season, which lowers the costs immensely. (That means that if I can't get jicama, I can't get jicama, and I deal.)

So now -- the time of savings! -- is a perfect time to rock the SNAP Challenge by Mazon. Technically the challenge was for this week, but I'm going to attempt this challenge next week with bloggers Mara of Kosher on a Budget and Susie over at Daily Cheapskate. So what is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Challenge?
Participating in the SNAP Challenge is simple: eat for one week using only the amount of money you would have if you relied solely on SNAP to pay for your food. By taking the SNAP Challenge, you will directly experience the struggle that nearly 1 in 7 Americans – including nearly 25% of all American children – face every day. You will learn first-hand how difficult it is to afford nutritious foods, avoid hunger, and stay healthy without adequate resources.
We three blogging queens are going to give you an example of three types of typical American households: The Family of Five (Mara), The Couple (Susie), and The Single (me!). You'll get to see how the three of us cope with feeding our families and ourselves on a small budget. For me, that means one week at $31.50.

So the journey begins! Saving money, saving myself.