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As the title says, I would like to know differences between 貯金{ちょきん} and 節約{せつやく}. Both mean "saving money" and have the irregular する verb ending:

貯金する{ちょきんする} : To save money

節約する{せつやくする} : To save money

From what I understand by reading example sentences, 節約{せつやく} has a more general meaning and can be used with anything to save like water, food, money...

Is 貯金 only usable with a money context? Are there any differences between the two of them when they are used in a money context?

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貯金 = to put money in the bank or a piggy bank or envelope.

節約 = to avoid spending money (i.e., to make food rather than eat out)

Both of these are [漢語]{かんご} (Chinese words in Japanese).

貯金 follows a verb-object pattern. Thus,

 貯(v) store  金(object) - money

節約 follows a duplication pattern:

 節(v)  -save 約 - save

So you can do lots of things to 節約, but if you are talking about water, people say [節水]{せっすい} or about electricity [節電]{せつでん}. In those cases, it means "reduce use of X"

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    You can do 貯金 using a piggy bank or an envelope, too. – naruto Aug 23 at 8:15
  • @naruto okay amended! – virmaior Aug 23 at 8:31

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