“We approached the paamonim mainly out of a desire to make a change and rise from a place of economic survival. We saw that we were working and working, and the economic situation wasn’t working out.” With these words, A. opens the story of the family process they went through as part of accompanying paamonim. The couple lives in northern Israel, parents of three children aged 7-11. Both are independent business owners, A. is a photographer, and D. builds and teaches technological courses for children.
The couple had one bank account. To which the income from the two independent businesses was deposited and from which the expenses were drawn to both of them and to the condominium. The lack of separation created disorder. The couple could not track their income and expenses and could not estimate the magnitude of each of them. “We weren’t in overdrafts or in debt,” A. says, “but the feeling was that we didn’t know where the money was going and how much it really went in.”
The couple felt stuck. “We both worked and yet the money didn’t work out, we felt like we couldn’t get off the ground, that we couldn’t fulfill our desires because we didn’t have enough money for them.” They felt they wanted to make a change and rise from a place of economic survival. The move, which was approaching at the time, put them under additional financial pressure and they realized they needed help. On the recommendation of friends who had been escorted, the couple decided to turn to the paamonim for assistance.
“The process was formative for us,” A. says, “We discovered that we are not in the reality we think we are. We understood that we had to check things out and not live on a cloud.” The couple received an escort that lasted for nearly a year. The first step was to split the shared account into three different accounts, one for home and one for each business. Splitting the account was the first step on the way to the order the couple wanted. Each of them began to set aside a salary each month from the business account to the shared home account. Thus the salary became more regular and orderly.
Splitting the accounts also helped the couple recognize their income from each business. “After all the expenses stay in the business’s account, and don’t mix with the expenses of the house, you realize how much your business really brings in. You think that a certain amount comes in and suddenly discover that it’s not quite like that. As an independent, it’s very hard to see that.”
Another significant change was the recording of family income and expenses. Monitoring helped them see their financial situation more correctly. “Suddenly we saw that we were spending a lot of money on a supermarket and we were shocked. We were sure we were spending half of it. The neat registration really helped us understand where we needed to save. We switched to cheaper supermarkets, we changed our preparations in terms of home shopping.”
A bell escort guided and guided the couple throughout. “The mentor mainly helped us understand and put our minds in order, find solutions and approach the situation in a different way. It was like someone coming from the outside and laying out the map very clearly in front of us. That’s what helped us the most, the clarity of the situation and the solutions.”
“The process was challenging in terms of our preparation and registration each time. We had to invest time in it. Having someone accompany you has become an incentive for us to be prepared with the necessary details for every meeting.”
Today, A. relates to their situation at the end of the escort: “I know today what I spend the money on compared to the past. There is much more control. At least we know where we stand and what the situation is. It’s something that thanks to the accompaniment we have, because otherwise until now we would still be living in some kind of movie financially.”
“The process is welcome and recommended,” A. concludes, “I recommend it to every family, and especially to families who are in a hole they don’t know how to get out of. This is a welcome initiative, especially for those who are in financial difficulty and can receive an escort free of charge. The accompaniment gives you the feeling that you are not alone and that there is someone with you, who comes to donate his time from a place of volunteering. There’s something very pleasant about it, that someone volunteers to help you.”
When asked what the couple’s dream is for the near future, A. replies: “I want to take the children and fly the whole family together to Italy, to change the atmosphere. I have to believe that we will succeed.”