English with Nab

Idioms about money – it won’t cost you anything to learn

Idioms about money - it won't cost you anything to learn

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.


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.

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

to 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 stings

used to refer to the amount of money that is spent by a family, company, or country

  • My wife holds [=controls] the family purse stings.
  • The government decided to tighten the purse stings [=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?

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