Money Idioms You Need to Know!

Money Idioms You Need to Know!

Level: Intermediate    Reading Time: 6 minutes    Category: Idioms

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Idioms are a great way to improve your English communication skills. They will help you sound more natural and you will be able to understand native speakers more easily. In this lesson you will learn 5 money idioms that you can use to talk about anything related to cash!

Going for a song:

Definition: To be very cheap 

This has nothing to do with singing. If something is being sold for a price that is almost too cheap to believe, you can say that it is going for a song. Imagine you can pay for it with a song, and songs don’t cost anything!

Here are some examples:

  • Check out my new shoes. I had to buy them… they were going for a song.
  • You need to check out that new shop. Everything is going for a song and it’s good stuff too!
  • I want to sell my car, but no one is making a good offer. Maybe I will have to let it go for a song


I have lots of other lessons on this site which are going for a song, so why not check this one out next?

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Paying through the nose

Definition: To pay a lot of money for something. 

If something costs you a lot of money, you can say you paid through the nose for it. It has the nuance that you didn’t want to pay for this thing, but you didn’t have a choice.

This is how you can use this idiom:

  • I had to pay through the nose to get my car fixed.
  • Health care is so expensive these days. You end up paying through the nose for insurance.
  • I am so sick of paying through the nose for this house. Let’s move to a cheaper place.


You don’t need to pay through the nose to improve your English. Try these things instead!

     5 Things You Need To Quickly Improve Your English

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Bring Home the bacon:

Definition: To describe someone who earns the salary for the family.

In some families, one person works while the other stays home and takes care of the house and kids. The person who goes to work is the one who earns the salary for the whole family. They are the one who brings home the bacon.

Check out these examples:

  • My wife brings home the bacon in our house.
  • Since my father retired, I started to bring home the bacon for the whole family.
  • I want to stay at home! I don’t want to bring home the bacon anymore!


If you want to bring home the bacon, improving your English speaking will help you get a better job!

  How to Improve your English Speaking by Shadowing!

Living on a shoestring

Definition: To be poor / not have much money to live on

If you are living on a shoestring, you do not have much money to spend on things like rent, food and clothes. It has a bit of a nuance that it is a temporary situation. 

Here are some examples:

  • We lived on a shoestring when we were at university.
  • Since I lost my job, I have been living on a shoestring.
  • I need to find a better job. I am sick of living on a shoestring all the time. 


If you want to avoid living on a shoestring, maybe you need to avoid these mistakes too…

     Common English Mistakes you NEED to Avoid

Rolling in it

Definition: To have a lot of money / to be rich

If you are very rich, you have enough money to put it all over the floor and roll around in it for fun. This means you are rolling in it! 

Here are some examples:

  • Steve is rolling in it these days. Maybe he won the lottery or something.
  • I bet Elon Musk is really rolling in it.
  • My company is rolling in it, but they won’t give us a pay rise! 


If you want to be rolling in it, maybe you can improve your English and get a better job with these idioms?

     Do You Know These COLD Idioms?


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