The crisis is over, let’s save even more!

In case you hadn’t noticed, German psychology is different than other kinds of folks’ psychology (volks-psychology?). At least when it comes to saving money it is.

Whereas Americans, let’s say, save the little that they can when times are hard and then toss it out with both fists like crazy people the first chance they get, Germans save when the times are hard and then save even more when the times are good again. The spending part gets removed from the calculation here entirely.

And that’s what’s happening now, again. Now that the financial crisis is ancient history and everything is booming here again and unemployment is supposedly under three million and milk and honey are flowing down the streets and into the gutter and all that, private Germans are saving more privately than ever–an average of about 11.5 percent of what they’ve earned this past six months.

And no, they don’t maybe know something that the rest of us don’t know. They’re just hamsters. It’s in their jeans. I mean genes.

“Für die privaten Haushalte zusammen ergibt sich ein Sparvolumen von rund 93 Milliarden Euro.”

PS: I’m thinking now it’s maybe just a big game or something that only the initiated (the Germans themselves) know about. Whoever has saved the most money by the time he or she dies, wins.

5 responses

  1. Geez.. I pack away about 20%…. Is that enough?

    The thing isn’t just to deposit it in the 1st National Bank of Sealy Posturpedic, it’s to have some kind of goal in mind. Mine is to stop the big spar at some point when I can stop working, and actually spend it.

    Remember: Jesus Saves, Moses Invests!

  2. Haven’t you noticed how expensive things are in this country? No wonder people save when they can. That’s so they have money when they really do have to buy things. So what if they don’t go overboard and get up to their necks in debt? Fat lot of good that did everyone, didn’t it?

  3. I think German frugality is way cool Ian, honest. It’s just that it turns into some Adrian Monk-like obsessive compulsive neurosis at one point and they never snap out of it again. Well the “older ones” don’t, at least. I’m starting to get the impression that younger Germans are just as reckless with their money as Americans are/can be. So I guess there’s still hope for them!

    • Well, at least they’re unique among Europeans in that they seem to have some disposable income at all. Disposable meaning discetionary stuff left at the end of the month that they COULD save AT ALL.
      I.E.: the thing to remeber with a place like France, for example, is that Parisian pricing doesn’t really drop off for a good 150 km, and not at all when it comes to universal and some semi-universal basics such as fuel and groceries. nationally appled fixed pricing makes EVERYONE have a hard time saving.

  4. I don’t know; if you look at German entitlements, I think it would be fair to say that Germans go absolutely wild with other people’s money; they just don’t like to spend what they consider their own. Germans have built a system of unsustainable government entitlements that their children and grand-children, at least those that bothered with the whole process, will have to pay back at some date in the near future.

    The truth is, Germans just don’t really have that much disposable income anyway. Salaries here are extremely low, taxes are extremely high, and the training system takes years longer than in other countries; all of this contributes to a people who just don’t have a lot of change rattling around in their trousers. Here, everyone is quite sure that they will be better off if they vote for huge government entitlements and put up with the high taxes thinking that some other guy will get shafted. It’s the only way they can tame the extreme streak of jealousy and fear that someone else will have something they don’t.

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