The language you speak may affect how you approach your finances, according to a working paper by economist Keith Chen (seen via posts by Frances Woolley at the Worthwhile Canadian Initiative and Economy Lab). It appears that languages that require more explicit future tense are associated with lower savings. A few interesting quotes from a quick glance:
...[I]n the World Values Survey a language’s FTR [Future-Time Reference] is almost entirely uncorrelated with its speakers’ stated values towards savings (corr = -0.07). This suggests that the language effects I identify operate through a channel which is independent of conscious attitudes towards savings. [emphasis mine]
Something else that I wasn't previously aware of:
Lowenstein (1988) finds a temporal reference-point effect: people demand much more compensation to delay receiving a good by one year, (from today to a year from now), than they are willing to pay to move up consumption of that same good (from a year from now to today).
There has been a pretty lively debate on this topic over at Language Log. Geoff Pullum starts off with questioning the classification of languages into weak and strong FTR:
Mark Liberman's post is worth reading in its entirety. He tries to argue that the fact cultural traits spread geographically in correlated ways means that we can not read too much into the correlation of savings rate and future tense marking in languages.
Keith Chen was also invited to respond to the criticisms and he does so in this post. I found his discussion on the unreliability of the FTR classification rather unconvincing:
This doesn't seem that different from standard endowment effect findings.
For the Sapir-Whorf, my opinion is that it may likely be correct about some people. As the thread on generalizing from one example has shown, people literally think different and it appears entirely plausible that even fairly strong version of Sapir-Whorf hypothesis holds for some people. Universally though, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is grossly inconsistent with human ability to step outside the language and invent new things.
One needs also to avoid generalizing from averages - even if the effect in question is caused by linguistic issues, it may be affecting only small percentage of population (e.g. those incapable of mental visualization of any kind).
Furthermore the language's future tense constructs may themselves be a result of cultural attitude towards future; the correlation may come from common cause. Or it could be that the researchers had too many degrees of freedom.