Top savings methods from around the world
How are you with savings? Are you the one in four UK adults that has none? Or maybe the one in ten that spend more than they earn on the regular. We might be good at a few things, like football, occasionally, but the rest of the world seems to have us beat for saving that hard-earned cash. Instead of being jealous of how those in other parts of the world save, we thought we’d try to learn from them. After all, imitation is the greatest form of international flattery.
Check out how other countries hoard their yen, euros, and pesos for saving inspiration:
China: Strong savers
To put into context just how strong: China was top of the world-saving charts back in 2017 when its gross national savings (individual, government and business savings) was a tidy 48.3% of its gross domestic product (GDP). China may have slipped to 3rd place for 2019 (behind Singapore and Suriname) but they still have strong saving habits.
The key? An ingrained habit of saving even more than the recommended amount. Back in 2014 China’s household savings rate was 37% of their disposable income, where most budgeting practices recommend 20% of income for savings.
Germany: Cash over credit
While a lot of countries are increasingly shunning physical cash in favour of contactless transactions, Germany consistently bucks this trend. So much so that they regularly use one of the world’s most valuable currency denominations, the 500 euro note.
Using cash over card makes it much easier to keep track of your spending and has a knock-on effect with savings.
Japan: Cash waaay over credit
The Japanese revere cash even more than the Germans. And this extends to the physicality of it as much as what it can buy you. All denominations, large and small, are treated with respect and kept clean and in top condition. Much of this is tied to an overall culture of cleanliness but it has an important bearing on spending. If you treat moolah with respect you are a lot less likely to spend it unwisely.
Mexico: Spot me
Like going to the gym, saving is one of those things that is hard to start and even harder to maintain. That’s where doing it with a group can help. The Mexicans call it: “Tanda”, and it is a savings pool system. All participants pay an agreed-upon amount into the pool per month and the pooled cash is given to a different participant each round.
A big benefit of this over a savings account is that it keeps the money further out of reach. Plus, depending on how big the ‘Tanda’ is it can end in a pretty big payday at the end of it.