How do I say "saving money" in Latin? Ideally I would be looking for a verb (possibly with an object), as it could be used similarly to other languages I know, but a noun or an adjective will also do.

By saving money I simply mean putting some money aside out of all income to prepare for surprises or a major purchase. I would like to focus on accumulating a fund, not on a frugal lifestyle; I want to speak about accumulating some savings and not about living ascetically. There need not be any hint of investment or doing anything with the money, but phrases with that connotation are fine too.

The best I can think of is using pecuniam with a verb: servare, asservare, recondere, condere, reponere, seponere. I assume or hope that there is a canonical choice of words here, and I don't feel strongly enough about any of these verbs for this use.

For a concrete example, I would like to be able to say: "Now that you got a pay rise, you should start saving some money."

2 Answers 2


Here's a list I've come up with mainly using Latinitium's Smith & Hall and L&S, some Loebs as well as a Ru<>La dictionary:

  • reservāre 'to save up by keeping', probably in reference to the entire amount:

    omnēs meās vīndēmiolās eō reservō... ('I am putting all my little gleanings aside to...', Cicero ad Atticum, Loeb translation)

  • sēpōnere 'to put part of the whole aside [for a purpose]', more of a physical action

  • repōnere 'to put away, store up [earnings to a bank, provisions for winter]', with planning and regularity

  • condere 'to stash away, put into a safe place'

  • comparcere 'to save up, put together some money through thrift and over a length of time'

    • parcere is the non-goal oriented 'to be saving money, to avoid spending'
  • compendiō facere 'to avoid spending and keep for oneself, netting a saving, a profit'

  • lucrārī 'to make some money, cash in, net a profit'

As for pecūniam servāre, looks like it can only mean something different, namely 'to retain, avoid losing,' and later in the jurists with a bit of a switcheroo, 'to obtain, succeed in gaining' when used with ab aliquō (so says L&S and at least one translation agrees). Thus a Loeb:

  • haec ūna ratiō ā rēge prōposita Postumō est servandae pecūniae ('[the king advanced this to Postum] as the sole condition under which he might retain possession of his wealth', Cicero, Pro Rabirio Postumo)

From Cic. Rab. Post. 10:

nam ut ventum est Alexandream, iudices, haec una ratio a rege proposita Postumo est servandae pecuniae, si curationem et quasi dispensationem regiam suscepisset.

I think this could be taken more than one way, i.e. trying to reduce spending versus setting aside money for a purpose. It definitely feels like using the word save in a way that we would today for money, though.

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