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How do different cultures around the world save and borrow money?

Around the world, people save and borrow money in different ways. Depending on the culture, there are a variety of methods that can be used to either store money or borrow it when needed.

In some cultures, it's common to borrow money from family and friends when you need it. In other cultures, people rely on financial institutions like banks to save and lend money. It depends on your culture and the norms in your society. It would be really interesting to find out about how different cultures around the world save and borrow money, wouldn't it? In this article, we'll look at some different ways that cultures around the world save and borrow money.

1. Mexico, Tanda

In Latin America, there is a popular informal association called "Tanda". A Tanda is a group of people that know each other and get together to collect money (either weekly, monthly, yearly) to help each other financially. It's common for everyone in the Tanda to contribute the same amount of money every month. In exchange, members of the Tanda can borrow money when they need it. This might be somebody's rent or somebody's medication. All members of the Tanda are obliged to pay back the money they borrow for their loan to be considered valid.

2. The United States, Allowance

In the United States, it's common for kids to get an allowance. Kids in this part of the world are often given a certain amount of money each week or month by their parents to spend on whatever they want. At some point when these children become teens, their parents might start giving them more responsibilities like paying utility bills or grocery shopping. These practices make children aware of the value of money and the responsibilities that come with it

3. Germany, Connect with money

German culture is heavily influenced by its history with inflation. During the Weimar Republic, money was devalued to worthlessness and this has affected their financial behaviors decades later. Germans are known for being frugal. They prefer to save cash than borrow money from family and friends, banks, or credit card companies. It makes sense if you spend money only using credit cards, you will lose track of your spending and start overspending.

4. Pakistan, Zakat

Pakistan is an Islamic country where zakat or almsgiving is required by law for all healthy adult individuals. Everyone who makes equal to or more than that specific amount must pay 2.5% of their income to charity, especially that which benefits the poor and needy. This makes it easier for poverty-stricken families to receive help from the rich or those who can afford to give. It teaches how you can avoid getting attached to material items, which will make you lose sight of your purpose in life.

5. Kenya, Harambee

Harambee is a Kenyan word that means "pull together" or "all for one." It's a community-led initiative where everyone in the group comes up with an idea or project they need help with. A member will have to present their idea, project, etc., and after voting, members can contribute money to finance it until it's finished. At the end of the participation period, members will split whatever is left from the kitty. Harambee groups are a great example of how communities work together to accomplish their goals and needs.

6. India, Kuri Kalyanam:

Since Indian culture is largely influenced by its Hindu roots, Kuri Kalyanam is a microfinancing scheme in the form of an event or party that helps the organizer financially cover a life event such as a wedding or buying a house. Attendees would be invited by hosts, who would inform guests and relatives that the event was to take place for a particular date and time. Cash donations are required of everyone who attends.

7. Panamá, Caja de Ahorros

Similar to the German's frugality, Panamanians are known for their savings habits. Over two-thirds of Panamanian households have at least one Caja de Ahorros, or savings bank account. This is because it allows someone to save money the whole year round without feeling the pressure of saving up for something specific like Christmas.

8. Japan, Kakeibo savings technique

Japan is known as one of the most creative countries in the world. And it reflects how they manage their money. In Japan, Kakeibo is an "art" of saving money. It encourages the Japanese to set savings goals and spend wisely to achieve them. The method has been around Japan for more than 100 years. It's a classic way of managing money with note cards and pens.

9. Korea, Money Envelope

It is one of the most creative and unique methods to save and lend money. When a wedding takes place, an invitation card doesn't just mean that your presence is required. It also includes a small envelope where you can put money for the newlyweds. The money inside is for buying household things. It's an interesting take on celebrating without spending much, which has been part of Korean culture since long ago.

10. Philippines, Alkansya

Filipino parents teach their children about the importance of saving money through Alkansya. It's about saving small amounts whenever you can. Alkansiya is a practice of saving coins in coin banks. They believe even the smallest savings can add up to something big over time. Parents always remind their children to save money that they get from their allowance, aguinaldo (cash gifts during Christmas), and money earned through completing household chores.

11. China, Frugal Living

China's culture is all about frugality and simplicity. Even in the past, money was not equally distributed to everyone. Before, Chinese people had extreme difficulty acquiring money because they only earned a few cents every day. They still practice that good habit even in modern times when financial situations aren't as tight anymore. Chinese people save up to 30% of their income. They don't like spending much on fancy food, entertainment, or clothes.


All of the methods in the list are ways to save money for a common goal or cause that will benefit people in one way or another. While some use it purely for financial gain, others use it as an investment towards social responsibility. This type of savings isn't just beneficial for the individual but also the society. Different cultures have different approaches to how they manage their money. It is not bad or good, it just depends on the person's financial awareness and whether they would like to involve other people in helping them save money.


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