27 Idioms for Money: The Secrets of Financial Language


Money makes the world go ’round, and language reflects our deep connection to it. Have you ever wondered why we use certain phrases when talking about money?

These idioms add a colorful twist to our financial conversations. Let’s delve into the world of idioms for money and discover the hidden meanings behind these expressions.

idioms for money

What is an idiom for money?

Idioms are phrases that don’t mean exactly what the words say. They often have a figurative meaning that goes beyond the literal interpretation.

When it comes to money, idioms add flair to our discussions about wealth, spending, and financial situations.


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Created by Dr. Julia Rossi

English Language Level Placement Test – (TEFL)

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1 / 20

What is a simile?

2 / 20

Identify the simile in the following sentence: “She swims like a fish.”

3 / 20

What is a metaphor?

4 / 20

Which of the following is a metaphor?

5 / 20

What is an idiom?

6 / 20

What does the idiom “break the ice” mean?

7 / 20

What is an adjective?

8 / 20

Choose the adjective in the following sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

9 / 20

What is an abbreviation?

10 / 20

What does the abbreviation “e.g.” stand for?

11 / 20

What is a verb?

12 / 20

Identify the verb in the following sentence: “The cat sleeps on the sofa.”

13 / 20

“Out of the frying pan into the fire” is an example of:

14 / 20

Which of the following is an adjective?

15 / 20

The abbreviation “NASA” stands for:

16 / 20

Choose the metaphor in the following sentence: “Time is a thief.”

17 / 20

What does the idiom “hit the books” mean?

18 / 20

Which of the following sentences contains a simile?

19 / 20

“LOL” is an abbreviation for:

20 / 20

Identify the verb in this sentence: “They whispered secrets into the night.”

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IdiomMeaningIn a Sentence
Break the BankSpending more money than planned or having extravagant expenses.Sarah wanted a new phone, but buying the latest model would break the bank.
Money TalksWealth has influence or power.In business negotiations, it’s often true that money talks.
Penny for Your ThoughtsAsking someone what they are thinking or feeling.When John looked upset, Mary asked, “A penny for your thoughts.”
Cash CowA reliable source of income or profit.The successful franchise became a cash cow, bringing in profits for the company.
Money Doesn’t Grow on TreesMoney is not easily obtained; it requires effort and hard work.Dad reminded the kids that money doesn’t grow on trees.
Pay Through the NosePaying a high price for something.Jane loved the designer dress, but she had to pay through the nose to make it hers.
Roll in the DoughHaving a lot of money; being wealthy.After winning the lottery, Tom felt like he was rolling in the dough.
Rake in the CashTo earn a lot of money, often quickly.The company’s new product was so popular that they began to rake in the cash.
A Dime a DozenSomething common or easy to get.Nowadays, smartphones are a dime a dozen, with many affordable options available.
Tighten Your BeltTo reduce spending; live frugally.With unexpected expenses, the family had to tighten their belt and cut back on spending.
Go DutchEach person pays for their share of expenses.When dining out with friends, they decided to go Dutch and split the bill evenly.
Two Cents WorthOffering one’s opinion, often unsolicited.Sarah always has her two cents worth to share, even when no one asks for it.
In the BlackHaving a positive financial balance; making a profit.After a successful quarter, the company was finally in the black.
In the RedHaving a negative financial balance; experiencing a loss.After some tough months, the business found itself in the red and needed a strategy.
Throw Money Down the DrainWasting money on something with no return or benefit.Buying an expensive gym membership and never using it felt like throwing money away.
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth IsBacking up words with actions; investing in what you believe.If you believe in the cause, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is.
Make a KillingTo earn a large amount of money, often in a short period.The stock market investor made a killing when the share prices soared.
Money to BurnHaving more money than one needs.After winning the lottery, Mark felt like he had money to burn and started planning extravagant vacations.
Cost an Arm and a LegSomething very expensive.Getting the car repaired turned out to cost an arm and a leg, much more than expected.
Feather in One’s CapAn achievement or accomplishment.Graduating with honors was a feather in her cap, showcasing her dedication to academics.
Money is the Root of All EvilThe belief that the pursuit of wealth leads to immoral behavior.Grandma often reminded us that money is the root of all evil, emphasizing values over material gain.
Easy Come, Easy GoObtaining something easily, but losing it just as quickly.Winning the lottery might seem like easy come, easy go, as some winners struggle to manage their newfound wealth.
Pinch PenniesTo be thrifty and save money.While in college, Lisa had to pinch pennies to cover her living expenses.
Worth Its Weight in GoldSomething very valuable or useful.The antique watch was a family heirloom, considered worth its weight in gold for its sentimental value.
Rob Peter to Pay PaulTaking from one source to pay another, often creating a cycle of debt.Using the credit card to pay off the loan was like robbing Peter to pay Paul, creating more financial problems.
Break the Piggy BankTo use one’s savings, especially for an unexpected expense.When the car broke down, Tim had to break the piggy bank to cover the repair costs.
Out of PocketHaving spent one’s own money.After treating his friends to dinner, James found himself out of pocket but happy to have shared a good meal.

Metaphors can describe money in unique ways, like comparing it to the lifeblood of a business. To explore more metaphors for money, you can visit this link: Metaphors for Money. Similarly, similes provide comparisons that make money more relatable, such as saying it’s as elusive as a fleeting dream. Discover additional similes for money here: Similes for Money.

Idioms for Money

1. Break the Bank

Meaning: Spending more money than planned or having extravagant expenses.

In a Sentence: Sarah wanted a new phone, but buying the latest model would break the bank, so she opted for a more budget-friendly option.

2. Money Talks

Meaning: Wealth has influence or power.

In a Sentence: In business negotiations, it’s often true that money talks – those with more financial resources tend to have more influence.

3. Penny for Your Thoughts

Meaning: Asking someone what they are thinking or feeling.

In a Sentence: When John looked upset, Mary asked, “A penny for your thoughts,” hoping to understand his concerns.

4. Cash Cow

Meaning: A reliable source of income or profit.

In a Sentence: The successful franchise became a cash cow, bringing in profits for the company year after year.

5. Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees

Meaning: Money is not easily obtained; it requires effort and hard work.

In a Sentence: Dad reminded the kids that money doesn’t grow on trees, encouraging them to appreciate the value of hard work.

6. Pay Through the Nose

Meaning: Paying a high price for something.

In a Sentence: Jane loved the designer dress, but she had to pay through the nose to make it hers.

7. Roll in the Dough

Meaning: Having a lot of money; being wealthy.

In a Sentence: After winning the lottery, Tom felt like he was rolling in the dough.

8. Rake in the Cash

Meaning: To earn a lot of money, often quickly.

In a Sentence: The company’s new product was so popular that they began to rake in the cash.

9. A Dime a Dozen

Meaning: Something common or easy to get.

In a Sentence: Nowadays, smartphones are a dime a dozen, with many affordable options available.

10. Tighten Your Belt

Meaning: To reduce spending; live frugally.

In a Sentence: With unexpected expenses, the family had to tighten their belt and cut back on non-essential spending.

11. Go Dutch

Meaning: Each person pays for their share of expenses.

In a Sentence: When dining out with friends, they decided to go Dutch and split the bill evenly.

12. Two Cents Worth

Meaning: Offering one’s opinion, often unsolicited.

In a Sentence: Sarah always has her two cents worth to share, even when no one asks for it.

13. In the Black

Meaning: Having a positive financial balance; making a profit.

In a Sentence: After a successful quarter, the company was finally in the black.

14. In the Red

Meaning: Having a negative financial balance; experiencing a loss.

In a Sentence: After some tough months, the business found itself in the red and needed a strategy to turn things around.

15. Throw Money Down the Drain

Meaning: Wasting money on something with no return or benefit.

In a Sentence: Buying an expensive gym membership and never using it felt like throwing money down the drain.

16. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Meaning: Backing up words with actions; investing in what you believe.

In a Sentence: If you believe in the cause, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is and support it financially.

17. Make a Killing

Meaning: To earn a large amount of money, often in a short period.

In a Sentence: The stock market investor made a killing when the share prices soared.

18. Money to Burn

Meaning: Having more money than one needs.

In a Sentence: After winning the lottery, Mark felt like he had money to burn and started planning extravagant vacations.

19. Cost an Arm and a Leg

Meaning: Something very expensive.

In a Sentence: Getting the car repaired turned out to cost an arm and a leg, much more than expected.

20. Feather in One’s Cap

Meaning: An achievement or accomplishment.

In a Sentence: Graduating with honors was a feather in her cap, showcasing her dedication to academics.

21. Money is the Root of All Evil

Meaning: The belief that the pursuit of wealth leads to immoral behavior.

In a Sentence: Grandma often reminded us that money is the root of all evil, emphasizing the importance of values over material gain.

22. Easy Come, Easy Go

Meaning: Obtaining something easily, but losing it just as quickly.

In a Sentence: Winning the lottery might seem like easy come, easy go, as some winners struggle to manage their newfound wealth.

23. Pinch Pennies

Meaning: To be thrifty and save money.

In a Sentence: While in college, Lisa had to pinch pennies to cover her living expenses.

24. Worth Its Weight in Gold

Meaning: Something very valuable or useful.

In a Sentence: The antique watch was a family heirloom, considered worth its weight in gold for its sentimental value.

25. Rob Peter to Pay Paul

Meaning: Taking from one source to pay another, often creating a cycle of debt.

In a Sentence: Using the credit card to pay off the loan was like robbing Peter to pay Paul, creating more financial problems.

26. Break the Piggy Bank

Meaning: To use one’s savings, especially for an unexpected expense.

In a Sentence: When the car broke down, Tim had to break the piggy bank to cover the repair costs.

27. Out of Pocket

Meaning: Having spent one’s own money.

In a Sentence: After treating his friends to dinner, James found himself out of pocket but happy to have shared a good meal.

10 Quizzes About The Idiom in The Article

Quiz 1: Break the Bank

  1. Question: What does the idiom “Break the Bank” mean?
    • A. Saving a lot of money
    • B. Spending more money than planned
    • C. Investing wisely
  2. Question: In the article, how is the idiom “Break the Bank” used in a sentence?
    • A. “The successful franchise became a break the bank.”
    • B. “Sarah wanted a new phone, but buying the latest model would break the bank.”
    • C. “Rolling in the dough is a way to break the bank.”

Quiz 2: Money Talks

  1. Question: What is the meaning of the idiom “Money Talks”?
    • A. Money can speak
    • B. Wealth has influence or power
    • C. Discussing financial matters
  2. Question: How is the idiom “Money Talks” used in a sentence in the article?
    • A. “Paying through the nose means money talks.”
    • B. “In business negotiations, it’s often true that money talks.”
    • C. “Rolling in the dough is another way money talks.”

Quiz 3: Penny for Your Thoughts

  1. Question: What does the idiom “Penny for Your Thoughts” mean?
    • A. Offering someone money for their opinion
    • B. Asking someone what they are thinking or feeling
    • C. Discussing financial matters
  2. Question: How is the idiom “Penny for Your Thoughts” used in a sentence in the article?
    • A. “Money talks, but sometimes a penny for your thoughts is more valuable.”
    • B. “When John looked upset, Mary asked, ‘A penny for your thoughts.’”
    • C. “Rolling in the dough is similar to a penny for your thoughts.”

Quiz 4: Cash Cow

  1. Question: What is the meaning of the idiom “Cash Cow”?
    • A. A reliable source of income or profit
    • B. A type of currency
    • C. A wealthy individual
  2. Question: In the article, how is the idiom “Cash Cow” used in a sentence?
    • A. “Breaking the bank can turn into a cash cow.”
    • B. “The successful franchise became a cash cow.”
    • C. “Rolling in the dough is another term for a cash cow.”

Quiz 5: Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees

  1. Question: What does the idiom “Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees” mean?
    • A. Money is easily obtained
    • B. Money requires effort and hard work
    • C. Money is a natural resource
  2. Question: How is the idiom “Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees” used in a sentence in the article?
  • A. “Dad reminded the kids that money grows on trees.”
  • B. “Money talks, but money doesn’t grow on trees.”
  • C. “Rolling in the dough means money grows on trees.”

Feel free to use these quizzes to test your knowledge of idioms for money!

Conclusion

Money idioms are more than just words; they reflect our attitudes and experiences with wealth. Understanding these expressions can add depth to our conversations and offer insights into the complexities of financial matters.

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