30 Common Money Phrases | CapWay

Posted by Sha'Kreshia Terrell in MindsetFebruary 16, 2023(Last Updated February 16, 2023)5 min read
Key Takeaways
  • Money can be a hard subject to discuss with others. 
  • It is easier to speak of our financial situation when we resort to using money idioms.
  • Most money idioms make sense when you think about them, even though their meanings may take time to be clear from their individual word definitions.
Are you ready to make some real money moves?

What is an idiom?


A figure of speech known as an idiom enables you to describe a situation without speaking in literal terms. Idioms make the use of language (talking with others) more exciting and colorful. A common idiom is “a piece of cake,” referring to the ease of doing or gaining something. Another idiom includes “spill the beans,” meaning a secret was revealed. 


30 Money Phrases

At times, money can be a hard subject to talk about. When we use money idioms, it is easier to speak about our financial situations without feeling intensely serious. Below are 30 common money phrases that you can learn to help talk about your financial situation with ease.


1. A penny for your thoughts


This phrase is used when you want to know what another person is thinking, especially if they have been quiet for a while.


2. A penny saved is a penny earned


This well-known phrase encourages people to save money. It’s beneficial to save money just as it is to earn it. The more you earn, the more you should save. 


Recommended Read: How to Make Money Moves with a CapWay Debit Card


3. All that glitters is not gold


Even the most beautiful and sparkling appearances can be deceiving. Even though a deal or opportunity seems or sounds valuable, it might not be. But, on the other hand, it's probably true if something seems too good to be true.


4. Bang for your buck


A phrase often used to explain how to get more value for what you are paying for. For example, depending on the situation, buying a home could be valuable because you are investing in a potential asset.


5. Bring home the bacon


You are making enough money to support your family.


6. Born with a silver spoon in your mouth


A phrase used when someone has an advantage in life because they were born into a wealthy family.


7. Easy Money 


Money that is made without putting in a lot of hard work.


8. From rags to riches


A phrase used to describe the transition of someone from a poor financial situation to one of great wealth.


Man with idea to build wealth


9. Foot the bill


Pay the bill when the cost is deemed high or unreasonable.


10. He who pays the piper calls the tune


A person who contributes funds should have a say in how to spend it.


11. Health is wealth


It’s impossible to enjoy, sustain, or work for wealth without good health.


12. I don’t have two nickels/pennies to rub together.


Someone implies they are either extremely poor or don't have any money at the moment.


13. If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys


You get what you pay for. If an employer pays its workers a low wage, it will more than likely get workers who aren’t willing to work very hard.


14. Keep our heads above water.


Maintaining obligations or work in order to barely make ends meet.


15. Live within your means 


To live within your means, with no extra money for frivolous purchases.


16. Money doesn’t grow on trees


A phrase often used to warn someone about watching their spending habits.


Recommended Read: 7 Ways to Teach Your Kids About Money


17. Money isn’t everything


Though money is important to provide for ourselves and our families, it is not the most important thing in the world.


18. Money is no object


Regardless of how much something costs, it will get bought. This phrase is used when someone is willing to spend any amount necessary whenever required.


19. Money Talks


This implies that financial status significantly impacts people's decisions and actions. Also, money motivates people to take action.


20. Paying an arm and a leg


Some products are so pricey that you almost feel physical pain when you pay for them. When you take an expensive trip, purchase a luxury vehicle, or indulge in a shopping binge, but you really don't have the money to pay for it comfortably, you are essentially spending too much money. 


21. Paycheck to paycheck


When someone lives paycheck to paycheck, they barely meet their financial obligations for basic living expenses. Therefore, they would be unprepared for an emergency expense because they allocate their entire paycheck to expenses rather than savings.


Recommended Read: 6 Tips to Break The Cycle of Living Paycheck to Paycheck


22. Pouring money down the drain


When you spend money on unnecessary things, you are pouring money down the drain. 


23. Put your money where your mouth is


When you put your money where your mouth is, you demonstrate your worth through actions rather than words.


24. Rain Check


When a person cancels or is unable to keep a scheduled appointment but promises to reschedule at a later time. 


25. Save for a rainy day


To put money away in case you ever need it. Having an emergency fund set aside is saving for a “rainy day” or, in other words, an emergency. Rihanna’s hit song, “Umbrella,” featuring Jay-Z, a money lyric that Jay-Z said stands out best for this money phrase.


“In anticipation for precipitation, stack chips for the rainy day” - Jay-Z



Image Credit: Debby Wong / Shutterstock


26. Strapped for cash


Being strapped for cash means you do not have the necessary funds to purchase an item at that moment. Most likely, you would have to wait until your next paycheck to make a purchase.


27. The best things in life are free


There are some things that you can’t put a price on, like love, friendship, and good health. These things don't require us to pay.


28. Time is money


This is a pun on the time value of money, which holds that money that is available now is worth more than money that will be available later because of its growth potential.


29. Up the ante


To increase demand or the amount spent on something. This phrase is often used to motivate someone to raise a bet if they are confident they have a high chance of winning.


30. Worth its weight in gold


This phrase emphasizes that someone or something is extremely valuable and that it would be hard to manage without them. Regarding building wealth, getting an 80% return on investment within five years is worth its weight in gold. In other words, it is highly useful and makes a significant difference in your life.


Recommended Read: 4 Best Investments to Make During Inflation


The Money Wrap-Up


You may have likely heard a money idiom at some point in life. Most money idioms make sense when you think about them, even though their meanings may take time to register their individual word definitions.

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