30 Money Idioms Explained in English

Hello everyone,

Money is like the engine that keeps the world moving, like people say.

But money also finds its way into our everyday conversations through lots of interesting phrases and sayings.

An idiom is a group of words that have a special meaning that is different from the actual words themselves.

Many idioms about money create a clear picture while expressing ideas about wealth, expenses, worth, and other things.

Now, let’s check out 30 popular money idioms in English and discover what they truly mean in simple terms.

Cost an arm and a leg

Meaning: To be extremely expensive or overpriced

Example: “That luxury car costs an arm and a leg. Let’s look for something more affordable.”

Money doesn’t grow on trees

Meaning: Money is limited and hard to obtain

Example: “I can’t keep spending frivolously. Money doesn’t grow on trees!”

Break the bank

Meaning: To require spending all or most of your money

Example: “That dream vacation would break the bank. We should find something cheaper.”

A penny saved is a penny earned

Meaning: It pays to be thrifty with your money

Example: “By cooking at home, we save a lot. A penny saved is a penny earned, as they say.”

Money talks

Meaning: Money makes things happen or gets you what you want

Example: “When you have money, it talks. They upgraded my hotel room for free.”

Money to burn

Meaning: Having plenty of surplus money to spend

Example: “With their new promotion, they have money to burn these days.”

Money is the root of all evil

Meaning: Having too much desire for money leads to immoral behavior

Example: “He betrayed his friends over that business deal. Money is the root of all evil.”

A financial windfall

Meaning: An unexpected influx of money or wealth

Example: “After her uncle passed, she received a financial windfall from his estate.”

Born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth

Meaning: Being born into a wealthy family

Example: “He never had to work hard, being born with a silver spoon in his mouth.”

Make money hand over fist

Meaning: To make a lot of money very quickly

Example: “House flippers can make money hand over fist if the market is right.”

Pay through the nose

Meaning: To pay too much or an excessive amount

Example: “I paid through the nose for that outrageous speeding ticket.”

Money doesn’t buy happiness

Meaning: Wealth alone can’t make you truly happy

Example: “Despite his riches, he still seems unfulfilled. Money doesn’t buy happiness.”

A cash cow

Meaning: A lucrative source that generates a lot of revenue

Example: “That bestselling product line is a real cash cow for the company.”

Money burns a hole in one’s pocket

Meaning: One tends to spend money quicker than they acquire it

Example: “As soon as I get paid, the money burns a hole in my pocket.”

Money talks, but wealth whispers

Meaning: The truly wealthy don’t flaunt their riches

Example: “The neighbors flash their new cars, but old money keeps quiet. Money talks, but wealth whispers.”

Have money to burn

Meaning: To have plenty of surplus money to spend freely

Example: “If you have money to burn, why not invest in a rental property?”

Make a killing

Meaning: To make a large profit, especially unexpectedly

Example: “He made an absolute killing when he sold that startup business.”

Pin money

Meaning: A small amount of spending money for incidental expenses

Example: “She saves her pin money from tutoring to buy little luxuries.”

Money is tight

Meaning: Not having much money available to spend

Example: “Money has been tight since the rent increased. We’re watching expenses carefully.”

Put your money where your mouth is

Meaning: To prove your commitment by investing money or taking a financial risk

Example: “If you really believe in that idea, put your money where your mouth is.”

A nest egg

Meaning: Money saved for the future, especially for retirement

Example: “She’s been carefully building a nest egg by maxing out her 401(k).”

Penny pincher

Meaning: Someone who saves money by being extremely frugal

Example: “He’s such a penny pincher that he reuses tea bags.”

Money laundering

Meaning: Concealing the source of illegally obtained money

Example: “The criminals were caught for money laundering and tax evasion.”

Gold digger

Meaning: Someone who pursues a relationship for money rather than love

Example: “She’s just a gold digger chasing him for his fortune.”

Money is power

Meaning: Having wealth brings control, authority, and influence

Example: “In today’s world, money is power. The billionaires pull the strings.”

Money doesn’t sleep

Meaning: If invested well, your money can keep growing even while you rest

Example: “Build assets that make money for you. Money doesn’t sleep!”

Money pit

Meaning: Something that continually demands money to maintain or repair

Example: “That old mansion is just a money pit that will drain your savings.”

Money burns a hole in someone’s pocket

Meaning: One tends to spend money very quickly after getting it

Example: “As soon as he gets paid, money burns a hole in his pocket.”

Money is the bottom line

Meaning: Profit or financial considerations are the ultimate priority

Example: “For most businesses, money is the bottom line driving their decisions.”

Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy a jet ski

Meaning: While money can’t solve everything, it allows you to afford pleasures

Example: “Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy a jet ski. And that’s kind of the same thing!”

Use these 30 idioms about money, wealth, costs, and spending.

They create funny pictures and show how money is important in life.
If you use these idioms, you can make your talk about money more interesting and colorful.

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