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Finances in Russian Posted by on Aug 7, 2014 in Russian for beginners

This post goes out to all the expats and businesspeople working and doing business in Russia. While finances are generally a good topic to be conversant in, it becomes especially important for those who have to manage their finances abroad.

Personal Finances

First, let’s look at the ways to manage your деньги (money; always plural). The sources of your income (источники дохода) may be зарплата (salary), стипендия (a student’s allowance, usually paid monthly by the university) or пенсия (retirement). Many people still get paid in cash (получают деньги наличными), although others increasingly get their earnings transferred to a bank account (перечисляют на карту – the payer of the money would be the subject here; the recipient is the dative object). For what it’s worth, the opposite of доходы is расходы (expenses).

In terms of keeping the money, a lot of people, who may have lost their savings in the default of 1998, still hang on to cash (наличные). A famous pun suggests “Храните деньги в банке,” в банке being the prepositional case of either банк or банка — so, you should keep you money in a bank or in a glass jar, depending on your outlook.

Here are a few other words that will help you talk about your finances:

  • вклад – deposit
  • анковский) счёт – an account
  • открыть/закрыть счёт – to open/close an account

Comment: in the Soviet period, Sberbank (Сбербанк) was pretty much the only place you could have an account in. You balance would be printed in a little folded booklet called сберкнижка. So people would actually say сберкнижка to refer to your account in phrases like “деньги на сберкнижке.”

  • положить деньги на счёт/карту – to deposit money in your account/card
  • снять деньги – to withdraw money
  • проценты – interest
  • баланс – balance
  • перевести деньги/средства – to transfer money/funds

Invisible Hand

If you ever find yourself in a heated debate with you Russian friends on the world economy and the such, this basic economics vocabulary will help you express and understand the fundamentals of economics.

  • рынок – market (both Sunday market and global market)
  • рыночная экономика – market economy (as opposed to командная экономика)
  • спрос на + noun in accusative – demand (n.)
  • предложение + noun in genitive – supply (n.)
  • цена на – price
  • Цены растут (go up) or падают (go down)

Bulls and bears

To illustrate more stock exchange (биржа, technically фондовая биржа) oriented vocabulary, I would like to share this article by Business FM – “Российский рынок акций проигнорировал санкции” (Russian securities exchange ignores sanctions). Note the expressions they used to talk about securities (ценные бумаги) appreciating:

  • акции (shares) дорожают
  • индексы (indices) растут
  • индексы подтягиваются
  • котировки (quotes) укрепляются
  • бумаги (securities) в плюсе

To talk about the prices going down, the article uses:

  • акции демонстрируют снижение
  • акции упали
  • бумаги просели
  • бумаги подешевели

This is a very cursory overview of some basic concepts in economics and finance. Feel free to add to it in the comments. If you would like to see more examples of this vocabulary or pick up more of it, be sure to follow some of Russian news outlets online!

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About the Author: Maria

Maria is a Russian-born translator from Western New York. She is excited to share her fascination with all things Russian on this blog. Maria's professional updates are available in English on her website and Twitter and in Russian on Telegram.


  1. Mark S:

    “акции демонстрируют”, ой, какой ужас мне произносить (“‑кц‑” и “‑стрир‑”)!

    • Maria:

      @Mark S Марк, понимаю! К счастью, люди обычно не говорят, как в газетах. Есть варианты попроще. Кроме того, я советую пропускать первый звук в сочетании согласных, если его (это сочетание) невозможно произнести.

  2. Sue:

    Thank you for this useful information. It’s good practice for me to maintain my language skills. I knew about “babok” but not the other terms. Interesting!

    • Maria:

      @Sue Thank you, Sue! I’ll be sure to post more vocabulary entries then.