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Idioms about money

Here is the list of idioms about money

Earn a fortune

to earn a lot of money
  • He made a fortune on the stock market.

Tighten your belt

to reduce the amount of money that you normally spend
  • We’ve had to tighten our belts since my mother lost her job.

On/below the breadline

having very little money or a very low income to live properly
  • They are living on the breadline.

Get your fingers burnt

to suffer loss as the result of doing something risky
  • He got his fingers burnt in foreign markets.

Burn a hole in your pocket

If money is burning a hole in your pocket, you want to spend it as soon as you possibly can

Chicken feed

an amount of money that is so small to be significant
  • It’s a nice job but the pay is chicken feed.

Cost an arm and a leg

to be extremely expensive
  • The fur coat cost her an arm and a leg.

Have deep pockets

to have a lot of money
  • a company that has deep pockets

Feel the pinch

to have financial problems because you are not earning as much as you used to earn
  • When his parents lost their jobs they began to feel the pinch.

Golden handcuffs

a large amount of money paid to employees to persuade them to stay in their company rather than go and work for another company

Hard up

not having enough money
  • I’m too hard up these days.

Ill-gotten gains

money that was not made in a legal or dishonest way
  • He was spending his ill-gotten gains in casinos.

Keep the wolf from the door

to have just enough money to buy basic necessities such as food and clothing
  • He works part-time to help keep the wolf from the door.

Laugh all the way to the bank

to earn a lot of money easily
  • If our main competitor wins the building contract they’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.

Licence to print money

an opportunity to make a large amount of money with little effort
  • His chain of pubs and restaurants is a licence to print money.

Live/be in clover

to live a comfortable life because you have a lot of money
  • My dream is to win the lottery and live in clover forever.

Make a killing

to earn a lot of money quickly and without much effort
  • He made a killing in network marketing.

Easy money

money that you get with little work

Coin it/money

to earn a lot of money easily
  • He is coining money with that software.

In the money

having a lot of money; rich
  • He is in the money now and wants to buy a bigger house. 

Be rolling in it/money

to be very rich
  • He has a Rolls-Royce. He must be rolling in money.

Have money to burn

to have a lot of money to spend
  • He likes to dine at expensive restaurants. He’s got money to burn.

Made of money

very rich
  • I’m not going on an extravagant vacation. I’m not made of money.

Marry money

t marry a wealthy person
  • She married money – her husband is a successful businessman.

Money for jam/old rope

money that is earned with little work; easy money
  • I think house sitting is money for old rope.

Money talks

used for saying that people with money have a strong influence on other people


having no money
  • Can you lend me some money? I’m flat broke.

Pin money

a small amount of extra money that someone earns to spend on pleasure rather than essentials
  • He walks the neighbour’s dog to earn pin money.

Pay through the nose

to pay a high price for something
  • She paid through the nose for the leather jacket.

Purse strings

used to refer to the amount of money that is spent by a family, company, or country
  • My wife holds [=controls] the family purse strings.
  • The government decided to tighten the purse strings [=spend less money].

Nest egg

a sum of money that is saved to use it for something in the future
  • Do you have a savings plan for building up a nest egg?

Idiom Cards

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