Money doesn't make you happy, but it surely helps to have a happier life. It helps A LOT, if I may add. It's interesting to see how people around the world deal with cash and their attitude to money and saving.
Here are some great traditions and ideas to save or raise money for that trip, car, house, wedding you want to get.
Zakat in Pakistan
In Pakistan, there is a very generous giving practice called Zakat, whis is mandatory by law. Everyone has to donate at least 2.5% of their income to charities and those who are less fortunate.
There are two advantages to this action: it teaches self-discipline and it helps people to stay away from accumulating material possessions, a sort of #advancedsocialminimalism. Not bad at all.
Harambee in Kenya
If you can't get a loan alone, in Kenya the community might help. In recent years, there has been a rise of harambee, a community-led initiative whereby people pool their money together and use it for a community project. Very similar to the modern crowdfunding, the harambee has a more social spirit to it, harambee literally means “let’s pull together” in Swahili, and it stands for a tradition of community self-help events.
Allowance in the USA
In the USA and many other western countries, children are rewarded with pocket money or an allowance once they complete household chores, university courses and others. You can step back in time and set yourself an allowance once you complete some annoying tasks. I personally reward myself with an extra book/cinema/camera lens, whenever I manage to complete something extremely hard, boring or simply long.
Kuri Kalyanam in India
Indians know how to party. And what better way to encourage people to donate money to you than by throwing a huge one? In south-western India, kuri kulyanam parties are thrown to raise money for big expenses, like hosting a wedding or building a house.
The rule is that each guest is expected to make a cash donation, but -watch out - when it'll be your turn to attend other people's partys you’re expected to give twice what you've received.
Saving in China
When it comes to finance, the Chinese have only one mantra: save. China’s savings rate is one of the highest in the world. In 2015, China’s gross national savings rate was 48.3% of GDP vs USA's saving rate 19.2%
Considering the explosion of the Chinese economy around the world, we can surely assume that the very healthy attitude to saving was part of that success.
Tanda in Mexico
If your problem is to stay motivated while trying to save, then maybe you should move to Mexico or create a community savings pool system like the Mexican tanda.
This is an incentivized savings system in which all participants pay a set amount once a month into a pot. The pooled money is then awarded to a different participant each round. You can find tandas in many Hispanic immigrant communities, as well as online through sites like eMoneyPool.
When it’s your turn to receive the pot, it’s a very nice day — the range is typically between $1,000 and $10,000. Not bad, uh?
Pay Cash, Not Credit in Germany
It is a known fact that Germans prefer to pay cash than use credit cards, in fact Germans conduct 80 percent of their financial transactions in cash and they regularly use the €500 note (I, personally, have never seen it! LOL!)
The facts speak clearly too: only 32% of Germans have a credit card, while 53% of Americans do.
Respect for Money in Japan
In Japan, all currency is handled with respect and kept clean and crisp. According to The Economist, in Japan you can even buy anti-bacterial wallets that press and sterilize bills (whaaat?)
Crisp, new bills in special envelopes with a red tie are a common gift in Japan, especially at important events like weddings and funerals. There is a link between the respect for cash and the typical importance of Japanese cleanliness, however, there is also another factor: treating cash with respect will remind you of its value and help you resist the urge to spend it. Anyone else looking for that wallet like me?