Sparen – how to save like the Germans

Sparen - how to save like the Germans

No, this is not a post about how Germans might save their money differently to you, this is a post about the word ‘sparen’ and nouns beginning with ‘Spar…’.

The idea came over Christmas when I got this present:

What is it, you may wonder?
The label says: Sparstrumpf
It’s a money stocking or money sock, one way of saving your money at home.

There are quite a few nouns beginning with ‘Spar…’

  • der Sparstrumpf – money stocking
  • die Spardose/ Sparbüchse – money box
  • das Sparschwein – money box which looks like a pig
  • die Sparkasse – savings bank
  • das Sparbuch – savings book
  • das Sparkonto – savings account
  • das Sparguthaben – savings in a bank/ savings balance
  • das Spargeld – savings (lit. saved money)
  • die Sparmaßnahme – austeritiy measure
  • das Spardeck – not a money term but nautical, the spar deck

The adjective sparsam means thrifty and sparend means saving, as in Zeit sparend – time-saving. The verb sparen means to save.

I might use my Sparstrumpf to save for a new car (although I do realise that I will need to fill the sock more than once!): Ich spare für ein neues Auto. I could also say Ich spare auf ein neues Auto.

What are you saving for? Ich spare für …

Of course, apart from saving money – Geld sparen –  you could…

  • Energie sparen – save energy
  • Kosten sparen – save costs
  • Platz sparen – save  space
  • Steuern sparen – save on tax
  • Strom sparen – save electricity
  • Wasser sparen – save water
  • Zeit sparen – save time
  • am Essen sparen – being stingy with food
  • keine Mühe sparen – go out of one’s way
  • am falschen Fleck sparen – save on the wrong things
  • an allen Ecken sparen – cut corners
  • sich seine Worte sparen – save one’s breath

So watch out that nobody ever says to you “Sparen Sie sich Ihre Worte!” or informally “Spar dir deine Worte!” (You’re wasting your breath!) .

And make sure you won’t end up broke (pleite).

I’ll leave you with a little bit from Mary Poppins, to which you can say “Das hättest du dir sparen können!” (That was unnecessary!) ☺

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