Gefilte Fish Out of Water

Worried about money.
March 28, 2009, 8:44 pm
Filed under: Feelings, Struggles, Work


I had a fantastic Shabbat.  Brunch at a really cool place w/ friends.  Blogging.  Blew off a jog for nice long nap.

Then, woke up and went to town on the junk food.  And started hitting the Atraf.  Had to ask myself: was something up?

God bless being in touch w/ yourself.  B/c I got an answer very quickly.  During brunch I had three separate conversations about money; all were very helpful.  In one of them, I learned that someone with a marketing job (I know I could do also very well) is making 3,000 more scheckels/month more than me ($731).  He also offered the opinion that I could be making double the salary I am making now.  Now, let’s be clear: to make that $$$, I’d have to be marketing an electronic gambling website; pretty vapid stuff when compared to the important nonprofit work I am doing.  (As stated previously, I cannot discuss the particulars of my job, as much as I’d like to.  But just know that it is in the nonprofit field, and it’s a very, very worthy cause.)  When I think about what would make me happier: having enough money to eat, pay rent, do some some fun things AND do really meaningful work vs. have extra money to play with AND work that means nothing to me, I easily choose the former.

In the next conversation, I learned something great: I can open a sub-account at my bank, linked to my main account, for dollars only.  This is great, b/c I plan on moving money over often from accounts in the U.S., and this way I’ll pay much less in fees and commissions. 

And in the third conversation, I learned that even if I make all my income from an Israeli employer in Israel (paid in scheckels), I still have to file my taxes in the USA every year, even it’s just to be eligible for stimulus checks and social security.  Plus, I am exempt for the first $70K of income I make outside the U.S.

But what I realized later was – as helpful as all that information is to me, it was upsetting me, too.  The first conversation, I’ve already talked about and resolved.  I’m happy making a little less money because of the nature of the work I get to do.  As long as I have enough for what I need, and I do.  The second conversation upset me b/c – I am afraid about having to go to the big bad Israeli Bank and ask the questions I need to ask now about this dollar sub-account (Is there a minimum balance required? Is there a fee to wire money from my U.S. checking account into it? What about a fee to transfer money from the dollar sub-account into my main Israeli account? Can I view the dollar sub-account online, the way I can the primary account? If I transfer money from the dollar sub-account into the primary one online, can I avoid paying fees?)  Now, I know I can ask and get the anwers to these questions.  I know I can do it.  I can show up at the bank, find a representative who speaks good enough English, ask the questions and get the answers.  Get the facts and make some decisions.  But it’s just fears about doing it, normal and natural.  Fear that I won’t get what I want.

As for the last conversation, it’s more fear, and it involves me projecting way into the future.  I already told you I’m not making a fortune here, so it’s not like I’m going to have a complicated tax return and need to hire a staff of accountants to help me manage my money.  The fear comes from not staying in the NOW…thinking lots of *yeah, but what if…?* type questions.

All of this will be fine.  I believe I always have been and always will be taken care of by a Higher Power.  But it was a lot of information to receive at once, and it was a little too much for me to handle comfortably.  So, I slept, ate and surfed.  Pretty harmless, if I think about it.



3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hey Scott,

I am here because of your post on NBN. Glad you advertised– that’s the only way to drive traffic if you aren’t already in a major network.

Make sure to add yourself to Hanan Cohen’s blogroll of English language blogs in Israel if you haven’t already done so: It’s a great resource.

Good luck with blogging and everything else. From one oleh to another, we sure need it. Love the name of your blog, by the way. Wouldn’t have guessed the “Gfish” unless you’d explained. 🙂

Shavua Tov,

~ Maya Norton
The New Jew: Blogging Jewish Philanthropy

Comment by Maya Norton

Thanks, Maya. I emailed Hanan about adding me to her blogroll. I added you to mine – and sent you some traffic! 😀

Comment by skatp

Thanks, Scott.

I got your e-mail yesterday and will answer your question about feedburners as soon as I have a free moment. The quickest thing to do is go to Google Feedburner and register your blog. Then go into WordPress and add the widget under the Appearances tag on the global dashboard so that your feedburner icon shows up on your homepage. Let me know if this is gibberish to you and I’ll certainly clarify.

~ Maya

Comment by Maya Norton

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: