Perhaps the personal habits of everyday Germans played a role in Germany's economic recovery; this article suggest Germans generally dislike debt.
The same article claims Germany offers better job security to German citizens than the US does to US citizens. Also, Germany implemented some kind of "shorter workweek" system to aid soften the blow of the recession on the German workforce.
And apparently Germans like to save their money, at least according to this Forbes.com article:
Here is the CIA's World Factbook with lots of information on Germany; US link provided for comparison:
Just comparing budgets; Germany lives within its means: