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Idioms

30 Idioms based on Money

These are English idioms based on money. You can also try this Money Idioms Quiz

Click on any idiom for more information, including example sentences, notes and quizzes.

Idioms

(your) bread and butter

Your bread and butter is your livelihood or the source of your income.

a ballpark figure | a ballpark estimate American English

If you give a ballpark figure or a ballpark estimate, you give a number which you think is fairly close to the actual one.

a nest egg

If you have a nest egg, you have money put away for the future.

a vested interest

If you have a vested interest in something, you have a strong personal interest in it because you stand to gain from it.

cook the books | cook the accounts

If someone cooks the books, or cooks the accounts, they keep inaccurate accounts for a business, usually in order to pay less tax.

cost the earth | charge the earth

If something costs the earth, or they charge the earth for it, it's very expensive.

deep pockets

You can say a person or an organisation has deep pockets if they have lots of money.

dirt cheap

You can say something is dirt cheap if it costs very little money.

easy come, easy go Informal

You can say "easy come, easy go" to express the idea that if something comes to someone easily, such as money they get without working hard for it, they can lose it just as easily and it won't matter to them much.

easy money

You can say "easy money" to describe money that someone gets without having to make much effort.

feather your own nest

If you feather your own nest, you use your position or your job illegally for personal gain.

feel the pinch

If you are feeling the pinch, you're finding it harder to survive on your income.

for my money

You can say "for my money" to mean the same as "in my opinion".

go out of business

If a company goes out of business, it stops trading and closes down.

grease someone's palm Informal

If you grease someone's palm, you pay them a bribe.

in the black

If a person or a company is in the black, their assets are greater than their debts.

in the red

If a person or a company is in the red, their debts are greater than their assets.

kill the goose that lays the golden egg

If you kill the goose that lays the golden egg, you destroy something that has made you a lot of money.

made of money

If you are made of money, you have lots of money.

make a killing

If you make a killing, you make a lot of money from a sale or a deal of some sort.

make ends meet

If you make ends meet, you earn just enough to pay for a place to live and your daily expenses.

pay the price

You pay the price for doing something when you experience the unpleasant results of doing it.

pay through the nose Informal

If you pay through the nose for something, you pay more than the usual price for it.

pick up the tab | pick up the bill Informal

If you pick up the tab, or pick up the bill, you pay for yourself and your friends in a restaurant or a bar.

rags to riches

If you go from rags to riches, you start out very poor and you become very rich.

talk turkey

If you talk turkey, you discuss something seriously, usually to do with business or money.

tighten your belt

If you tighten your belt, you try to spend less money.

under the table American English

If something is done under the table, it's done secretly, usually because it's illegal or unethical.

wheeling and dealing

If you're wheeling and dealing, you're involved in the complex world of making deals and exchanging favours in business or politics, or both.

worth its weight in gold

If something is worth its weight in gold, it's extremely valuable or extremely useful.

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