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Meet a Reader | Talia from Israel

Today we get to meet a reader who lives verrrry far away from my part of the world! I love meeting readers from anywhere, but it is especially fun to hear from readers who live in countries outside the U.S.

It’s like a little free travel experience. 🙂

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

So, my name is Talia, I’m 55 and I live in Israel with my husband, Gil.

man on path.

My husband on one of our hikes.

We have three grown kids and share our home with our two dogs and two cats.

orange cat.

I’m a freelance translator and work from home.

yawning cat.

In my spare time, I volunteer in a number of capacities and travel around our beautiful country.

Israel is tiny, but is so geographically diverse that you can drive from a snow-capped mountain to the lowest point on Earth, the Dead Sea, in six hours.

Our daughter and one of our dogs in the fields around our home

We love discovering new places and seeing history come alive in places that you read about in the Old Testament. Jerusalem is my favorite city and I visit whenever I have the chance.

view of israel.

Because Israel is close to so many great locations, we also love finding low-cost flights to remote Greek islands or exciting European cities, especially during the off-season, and discovering them on a shoestring budget.

2. How long have you been reading The Frugal Girl?

I’ve been reading the Frugal Girl for at least three years, maybe longer.

3. How did you get interested in saving money?

I grew up with parents who didn’t really know how to deal with finances.

They both worked very hard and earned relatively well but had no idea how to handle their money. They were always struggling to finish off the month and there was always an air of stress with anything to do with money.

Israeli skies

Israeli skies

I promised myself that I’d never be like my parents. I worked from a young age and saved most of my money.

When I met my husband, it was a relief that he was of the same mindset. We have been together for over 30 years and agree on nearly all things financial. It was important to both of us that we never go into debt, but it was also important to me, personally, that I be a stay-at-home mom.

field of flowers.

We needed to find a way to allow that, and that’s how I started looking at ways to become even more careful with our money since we were on one income for many years.

4. What’s the “why” behind your money-saving efforts?

I think I covered the answer in question 3!


5. What’s your best frugal win?

We managed to buy our first house with a relatively small mortgage. We closed off part of the house, rented it out, and that paid the mortgage. We then lived extra-frugally for a good few years, until it was paid off in total.

dog by fire.

We sold the house for a great profit and managed to buy our dream home where we brought our kids up.

6. What’s an embarrassing money mistake you’ve made?

Unfortunately, something that has happened a few times : I sign up for a gym or a sports class with all the motivation in the world to go diligently…. and never manage to carry through with the commitment.

I’m not proud of the money that went down the drain, especially at times when we couldn’t afford it.

7. What’s one thing you splurge on?

It’s important for me to spend quality time with my family, especially now that the kids are older and have their independent lives.

When we do manage to all get together, I like to treat them all to a meal in a restaurant and sit around a table for hours, eating a meal that I didn’t need to cook 🙂

8. What’s one thing you aren’t remotely tempted to splurge on?

Designer clothes and accessories. A total waste for me, IMHO.

9. If $1000 was dropped into your lap today, what would you do with it?

cloudy skies.

I’d spoil my family on a great weekend away and donate anything left over.

10. What is the easiest and hardest part of being frugal?

In the past, the hardest part was trying to explain frugal living to people who had no idea why I chose to live that way. The older I get, the less I care about what people think about me, so it’s become their problem, not mine.


The easiest part is that over the years, being frugal becomes part of you and you don’t need to think about the whys and whats.

11. Is there anything unique about frugal living in your area?

israeli flowers.

When I came to live in Israel, there wasn’t any awareness of second-hand shopping, mainly because of the cultural stigma. But I’m pleased to note that this has changed drastically in the last decade or so.

I love seeing thrift shops popping up all over the place and seeing people giving away free items on local Whatsapp groups.


Talia, thank you! It’s fun to hear that people from around the world are converging here at my blog. I loved seeing all the snapshots of life in your part of the world, and boy, I didn’t realize there was so much green in Israel!

Do you plan to live in Israel for the rest of your life? Is it hard to live that far from extended family? Did you raise your kids in Israel? What is the climate like where you live?

(And no worries if you don’t want to answer any of those questions. 🙂 )

Readers, the floor is yours!

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Grandma Bev

Thursday 13th of April 2023

Beautiful photos, pets, fields of flowers, what a wonderful place. Thank You!

Central Calif. Artist

Monday 10th of April 2023

Talia, thank you for sharing a bit of your life with us. I visited Israel a handful of years ago and was struck by its geographic similarity to the San Joaquin Valley of California. Right now we are super green, almost unnaturally beautiful, and in the summers, it is very hot, dry and brown. I admire Israel so much for its water efficiency; one river, and yet no one ever fussed about conserving water when we visited. I sure wish California would take a page out of your book in terms of recycling and desalinization. I also felt very at home with the food: fresh fruits and vegetables, hummus, yogurt, awesome bread (no one was whining about high carbs or once mentioned gluten free anything!)

I also fully understand how it is when frugality is simply a way of living; sometimes we don't realize we are being frugal (or, ahem, sometimes, maybe perhaps a little bit cheap) because it is just the way we do things, while others might consider some of our decisions to be deprivation.

As a young (while also ancient) country, it makes sense that thrift shops took awhile to take hold. That was one of the most interesting pieces of your interview.


Tuesday 11th of April 2023

@Central Calif. Artist, thinking similarly about California learning water lessons from Israel. Also solar panel lessons.


Tuesday 11th of April 2023

@Central Calif. Artist, so interesting that it's similar to San Joaquin Valley in terms of landscapes, especially since it's literally worlds apart. We live in a fantastic world! It's made me curious about your part of the world - I'm going to do some 'window-shopping' tonight on Google to learn more. Thanks!

MB in MN

Monday 10th of April 2023

Talia, I enjoyed your post and am so glad to "meet" someone from Israel. Thank you for the peek into your life!


Monday 10th of April 2023

This was fascinating! Thanks for responding to questions. I am another person who doesn't know much about Israel and it was good to learn a little more about it today. I was disappointed when I reached the end of the interview. I was hoping for more!

Beth B.

Tuesday 11th of April 2023

@Talia, Yes, we would!


Tuesday 11th of April 2023

@Kris, ask away. Happy to answer any more questions. I love that Kristen gives people the opportunity to meet so many people from other lands and backgrounds. If only the world were one giant Kristen Meet a Reader. We'd be a better place for sure! :)


Monday 10th of April 2023

Hi Talia (one of my favorite girl names),

What a fun interview! I love all the photos and descriptions of your life. I'm so curious about your translation work! I'd love to know which languages you speak and what kind of texts you translate.



Monday 10th of April 2023

@Talia, oh thanks for answering my question! What an amazing job. I absolutely love the sound of Hebrew too. Very cool.


Monday 10th of April 2023

@christie, hi there. I translate from English to the local language of Hebrew and vice versa. Besides that, I am fluent in two other languages, although I am less proficient in translating them. I translate anything that comes my way - from restaurant menus to medical files to newspaper articles to academic papers.

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