Money Idioms

To tighten the purse strings

To tighten the purse strings is to reduce expenditure.

  • If we want to buy an apartment we’ll have to tighten the purse strings a bit.

Pay through the nose

To pay through the nose is to pay too much money for something.

  • I had to pay through the nose to get my car repaired.

A pretty penny

When something costs you a pretty penny, it is very expensive.

  • That necklace cost me a pretty penny.

Dirt poor

Extremely poor

  • She may be dirt poor, but she is honest.

Pay top dollar

To pay top dollar is to pay a lot of money for something.

  • Employers are starting to realize that if they want to retain talent, they will have to pay top dollar.

As poor as church mice

If somebody is as poor as church mice, they are very poor.

  • We were as poor as church mice when we first arrived in Mumbai searching for a job.

Strike it rich

When a business strikes it rich, it becomes highly profitable.

  • She struck it rich in the garments business.

To hold the purse strings

To hold the purse strings is to control a family’s or company’s money

  • He may be the only earning member of his family, but it is his wife who holds the purse strings.

Filthy rich

Extremely rich

  • She is filthy rich and that’s why he married her.

Rob Peter to pay Paul

Borrow money from one person to pay back money borrowed from another person.

  • You can’t rob Peter to pay Paul. If that is your policy you will never be out of debt.