Japanese Language Blog

What is “Secret Money” ? Posted by on May 20, 2014 in Culture, Grammar

Recently, I came across this article on Yahoo Japan News that discussed about Hesokuri(へそくり), “secret money”. へそくり is the money you save secretly, without telling anyone about it, not even to your spouse. Perhaps you might have へそくり set aside already?



  • Average へそくり for men: $13,600 & for women:$15,500.

This study was based on the internet research done by one of the Japanese banks. Research was based on 1000 married Japanese couples who were between 20 and 69 years old.

It is interesting to see that women (wives) shows a bit higher amount of へそくり. According to the study, most of the husband have been saving from their allowance money(Okozukai,お小遣い、おこづかい). (It is pretty common in Japan for husband to receive a certain amount of “allowance” money from his wife, if she is the one taking care of their family budget or finance.) On the other hand, the study showed that it was more common for wives to have been already saving へそくり from single days, meaning before they got married.

If you are interested in reading the original article, click here.

I am not sure how common it is to have へそくり in the U.S., but I am sure some of you have been already saving へそくり. 🙂

Since we have discussed about money, here are some of the Japanese expressions related to money.


Money – Okane (お金、おかね)

How much is this? -Kore wa ikura desuka? (これは、いくらですか?)

It is 800 yen. – Sorewa 800 en desu. (それは、800円です。)

1,000 yen – Sen en (千円、せんえん)

10,000 yen – Ichi man en (一万円、いちまんえん)

500 yen – go hyaku en (五百円、ごひゃくえん)

Expensive – Takai (高い、たかい)

Cheap – Yasui(安い、やすい)

Borrow money – Okane o kariru (お金を借りる、おかねをかりる)

Lend money – Okane o kasu (お金を貸す、おかねをかす)

Hide money – Okane o kakusu (お金を隠す、おかねをかくす)

Spend money – Okane o tsukau (お金を使う、おかねをつかう)

Over spend- Mudazukai suru(無駄遣いする、むだづかいする)

Save money – Chokin suru (貯金する、ちょきんする)

Make money -Okane o tsukuru (金をつくる、おかねをつくる)

Hope this info was helpful!  Let me know if you have any questions!


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About the Author: keiko

Born and raised in Japan. She currently lives in U.S. with her husband and two kids.