“Money makes the world go round” is a well known idiom. Money is an important part of our lives whether we realize it or not. Without money not much can happen or not much can be done. Here are very common English idioms related to money.
14 English Idioms Related to Money
1. COST AN ARM AND A LEG
usually something that is very expensive and outside our range
ex. Michael wanted to buy the latest (newest) mobile phone with all the apps. When he got to the shop he saw that it was really expensive and he did not have enough money. It would cost him an arm and a leg to buy it.
2. LIVE FROM HAND TO MOUTH
where someone has not got any money or regular job or savings and is unable to plan ahead more than a day at a time
ex. People living on the street are unable to plan where there next meal is coming from. They have no savings or regular work and always live from hand to mouth.
3. MAKE ENDS MEET
your income/salary is just about enough to cover your expenditure
ex. John had been working in the same job for several years without a pay increase. Inflation reduced his ability to save. He found it very difficult every month to make ends meet. He would have to get a job that paid more money.
4. TO BE IN THE RED
you owe money to your bank and have a negative balance on your account
ex. Peter received a letter from his bank manager. He had overdrawn his account and the bank needed him to repay the money owed as quickly as possible. He could not understand how he got in to the red but remembered he had spent a lot on Christmas presents.
5. PUT SOMETHING BY FOR A RAINY DAY
you have some savings you will not touch (use) unless there is an emergency
ex. Mary saved a little money every week. It was a small fund for some emergencies in case her family needed money urgently or she had to replace something in the house. She always advised her children when they got a job to put a little something by for a rainy day.
English Idioms related to Money - Infographic
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6. OUT OF POCKET
you lose money in a transaction
ex. The organiser of a concert was €10,000 out of pocket after the concert was cancelled.
7. MONEY DOESN’T GROW ON TREES
there is only a limited supply of money. Usually, we say this to warn someone that it’s not easy to earn money.
ex. You shouldn’t be spending money on expensive lunches. Afterall, money doesn’t grow on trees.
8. TO SPEND MONEY LIKE WATER
to spend money freely as if it were in endless supply
ex. Jack has just bought himself a new car. He spend money like water!
9. MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL
people do many evil things because of greed
ex. Mary’s son was convicted of robbery last year. Money is the root of all evil.
10. MONEY CAN’T BUY HAPPINESS
neither wealth nor luxurious items can bring long-term happiness
Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote in 1750: “Money buys everything, except morality and citizens.”
ex. If somebody thinks that money can buy happiness then that is not true happiness.
Popular English Expressions about Money - Video Lesson
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English Idioms related to Money - continued
11.ON A SHOESTRING
do something with very little money
ex. Marketing can be done on a shoestring budget.
12. MONEY FOR OLD ROPE
easy money, money earned with little effort
ex. All you have to do is answer a few questions and smile to the camera. It’s money for old rope.
13. HAVE MONEY TO BURN
have a lot of money, spend unwisely
ex. ‘Why do they need 3 expensive cars?’ ‘They don’t, but they always have money to burn.’
14. SPEND MONEY LIKE WATER
regularly spend large amounts of money, usually on luxuries
ex. Tom wife spends money like water, she’s just bought a new expensive handbag.
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