The Art of Saving: An Investigation into the Proverbial Saving Capacity of Italians

Trade and Economics - March 18, 2024

Italy is known for a particular characteristic that has deep roots in its society: the ability to save.

The uniquely Italian ability to save effectively has been passed down through generations and has shaped not only the personal finances of individuals, but also the entire economy of the country. The habit of saving is deeply rooted in Italian culture and has ancient origins. Since Roman times, in fact, the idea of saving was considered a virtue, as demonstrated by ancient sayings such as “Love saving and you will live free” attributed to Cato the Elder. During the Renaissance, the savings mentality was further promoted, as patrician and bourgeois families accumulated wealth through trade and financial activities.

Over time, this culture of saving has been transmitted from generation to generation, becoming an integral part of the Italian national identity. Even during periods of economic crisis, such as world wars or recessions, Italians have demonstrated an extraordinary ability to adapt and save, seeking creative ways to manage their resources and protect their financial well-being. The reasons behind Italians’ ability to save are many and varied:

  1. Family and Community

Family plays a central role in Italian culture and financial resources are often shared among extended family members. This sense of solidarity and mutual responsibility has helped create an environment where saving is encouraged and supported.

  1. Financial Stability

Italians tend to have a conservative approach to personal finances, preferring safe, long-term investments over higher risks. This attitude reflects a mentality of foresight and financial prudence.

  1. Work Culture

Hard work and commitment are fundamental values in Italian society. Italians are accustomed to saving a portion of their income, regardless of their income, as a means of ensuring future financial security.

  1. Trust in institutions

Despite economic challenges, Italians maintain some trust in the country’s financial and government institutions. This trust helps promote a climate of financial stability and security. The ability of Italians to save has had a significant impact on the entire Italian society, influencing various aspects of daily life and the national economy:

  1. Financial Security

Savings provides a financial safety net for individuals and families, allowing them to deal with emergencies and economic challenges more effectively.




  1. Economic Growth

Savings play a fundamental role in the country’s economic development, providing resources for investments and the creation of new businesses. Furthermore, the savings accumulated by Italians contribute to the stability of the national financial system.

  1. Consumer Culture

Despite the reputation of being savers, Italians still appreciate the good life and the little joys of life. However, this culture of saving has also influenced consumption habits, encouraging frugality and the search for value. Despite its long history of saving, Italy faces challenges and opportunities in the rapidly evolving global economic landscape:

  1. Aging of the Population

The aging of the Italian population presents challenges in terms of the sustainability of pension and healthcare systems. In this context, saving becomes even more important to ensure the financial security of older people.

  1. Technological Innovation

The advent of digital technologies offers new opportunities for managing savings and investments. Italians are gradually adopting digital tools to manage their finances more efficiently and conveniently.

  1. Financial Education

Investing in financial education is essential to promote responsible money management and ensure greater awareness of financial risks and opportunities. Italians’ ability to save is a distinctive feature of their culture and society. This skill, passed down through generations, has shaped personal finances and the country’s economy, providing a financial safety net and promoting long-term economic stability. However, addressing future challenges will require a flexible and innovative approach, with a focus on financial education and adaptation to new technologies and demographic dynamics.