Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Making It: Self-Supporting Singles

Chaia Frishman

Not everyone is given a “cookie cutter, one-life-fits-all” plan. These self-supporting singles inspire as they embrace their mission.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


no caption.

GGrow up, get married, move out. In that order. Simple! Life’s expected order of operations sometimes takes on a trajectory of its own. It did for the singles in their 20s and 30s you’ll meet on these pages. They might not have found their bashert...yet, but the move out of their childhood nest is their next step toward gaining vital life skills to prepare for their future home.

Caption text

It’s a challenge. There’s work, and sometimes school to juggle, not to mention paying the bills, arranging Shabbos plans, and squeezing in a social life, all while weathering the pressure of dating and marriage. Not everyone is given a “cookie cutter, one-life–fits-all” plan. These self-supporting singles inspire as they embrace their mission.

Avigail Silver

Age : 25

Employment: Speech therapist

Income after taxes: $2,700/month for ten months a year, $30/month babysitting, summer job $2,000. All after taxes.

Rent : $400/month

Utilities: $100/month

Food: $150/month

Medical insurance: Copays about $200/year on parents’ plan

Auto financing: $500/month

Auto insurance: $200/month

Gas: $60/month

Student loans: $0

Entertainment including gym membership: $190/month

Trip budget: $125/month

Grooming: $40/month

Maaser: $300/month

Shul membership: $50/month

Phone bill: $60/month

Clothing/accessories: $150/month

Flight expenses: $600/year

Prepare for the Future, But Live in the Present

Growing up, we lived on the outskirts of the frum community in Cleveland. My little sister has Down syndrome and my parents chose to live in our neighborhood so she could get the best education possible. It didn’t affect me much. I had a great social life in school, would hang out with friends during my free time, and spend Shabbos in their homes. I didn’t grow up wealthy by any means, but we never felt deprived. Still, with the challenges that a child with special needs brings, I never wanted to add to their burden, so I was pretty independent from the get-go.

I babysat and worked in day camps in the summer, and always saved money for my own luxuries and even necessities. My parents were happy to give me money, but I preferred not to ask them.

I graduated high school, went to seminary with all my friends, and returned with hopes of an imminent engagement. I dated throughout college, but lived at home. I paid off as much college debt as possible because I didn’t want to owe money once I got married. I was exhausted every week, so I barely went away for Shabbos in college. Most singles hope to get married before they graduate, but if they don’t, it’s not exactly par for the course, or very “acceptable” to move out.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Evolution vs. Revolution
Shoshana Friedman I call it the “what happened to my magazine?” response
Up, Up, and Away
Rabbi Moshe Grylak What a fraught subject Eretz Yisrael is, to this day
Where Do You Come From?
Yonoson Rosenblum Could they be IDF officers with no Jewish knowledge?
Heaven Help Us
Eytan Kobre Writing about anti-Semitism should rouse, not soothe
Work/Life Solutions with Chedva Kleinhandler
Moe Mernick “Failures are our compass to success”
An Un-Scientific Survey
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Are Jerusalemites unfriendly? Not necessarily
Out of Anger
Jacob L. Freedman How Angry Lawyer was finally able to calm down
5 Things You Didn’t Know about…Yitzy Bald
Riki Goldstein He composed his first melody at eight years old
When the Floodgates of Song Open, You’re Never Too Old
Riki Goldstein Chazzan Pinchas Wolf was unknown until three years ago
Who Helped Advance These Popular Entertainers?
Riki Goldstein Unsung deeds that boosted performers into the limelight
Your Task? Ask
Faigy Peritzman A tangible legacy I want to pass on to my children
Are You There?
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Emotional withdrawal makes others feel lonely, abandoned
A Peace of a Whole
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt Love shalom more than you love being right
Seminary Applications
Rabbi Zecharya Greenwald, as told to Ariella Schiller It’s just as hard for seminaries to reject you