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Top Money Idioms You Need... At All Costs

Learn 9 useful idioms to talk about money. Listen to these communication phrases and idioms to use in daily conversations. Pay attention to the examples and try to create your own sentences. Oh, and read the full transcript below!

#1 Ballpark figure

Definition: An approximate number or a rough estimate of the cost of something.

  • "The costs of this project will vary depending on a number of things region to region, but a good ballpark figure would be between $1,000 to $2,000.”
  • "I don't know exactly how much it will cost, but a ballpark figure would be around $100,000."

#2 To cost an arm and a leg

Definition: very expensive.

  • "The house cost us an arm and a leg, but we have no regrets."

#3 To be born with a silver spoon in your mouth

Definition: to be born into a very rich family.

  • “Max never has to worry about money; he was born with a silver spoon in her mouth."

#4 At all costs

Definition: regardless of the expense, effort, or sacrifice needed.

  • “Our manager told us that we needed to have the website ready for Black Friday at all costs.”

#5 To make ends meet

Definition: earn just enough money to live on. If you find it difficult to pay for your everyday needs because you have very little money, it is hard for you to make ends meet.

  • “Joanna’s salary is so low that she finds it hard to make ends meet."
  • "We will need to start saving money in order to make ends meet."

#6 On a shoestring

Definition: with very little money, with a small budget

  • “When I was younger, I traveled to Thailand on a shoestring.”

#7 To make a killing

Definition: have great financial success, make a lot of money

  • "He made a killing on the stock market."
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#8 To make a down payment

Definition: to pay part of the total amount agreed when signing a purchase deal or contract.

“I haven’t bought my dream house yet, but I almost got enough money to make a down payment on a modest house.”

#9 To tighten your belt

Definition: to spend your money carefully because there is less available.

  • “If I stopped working full-time, I would have to tighten my belt.”

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Money Idioms - Transcript Episode 15

If you are learning English, including new English words and expressions will help you with effective communication. Remember to check out our other episodes on how to make small talk, how to deliver engaging presentations, how to speak English fluently, and many more: visit the podcast website. Listen to it on your favorite platform:

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Intro
Welcome to Talaera Talks, the business English communication podcast for non-native professionals. My name is Paola and I am co-hosting this show with Simon. In this podcast, we're going to be covering communication advice and tips to help express yourself with confidence in English in professional settings. So we hope you enjoy the show!

0:24
Hi there, I hope you're having a great day. If you don't know me yet, my name is Paola and I am your host today.

0:34
So I'm back with a new Talaera Bit, which means that in five-six minutes, I will teach you some useful expressions about a specific topic. And today, the topic is money. So we will start with a short fragment, as we usually do, where I've included all those money expressions that I want to talk about. And you will have to pay close attention and count all those money expressions. You are able to spot Are you ready? Here we go.

1:14
Hi, Anna. I found my dream house. It's big, it's gorgeous, and it's right by the ocean. So we asked for a ballpark figure. It really cost an arm and a leg hand. You know, I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. But I wanted it at all costs. So I thought of ways to make some more money. It was really hard to make ends meet with my previous job. And I didn't want to always live on a shoestring. So I decided to quit. I found a better job. And, do you remember that book I wrote years ago? Well, I decided to publish it. And with some good marketing, I made a killing! It's crazy but yesterday I managed to put a down payment on the house. A may have to tighten my belt now... But how exciting is that?

2:23
All right, that's the end of the fragment. How many did you hear? I included nine expressions this time, and we'll go over them. We'll talk about the meaning. And I'll give you one more example so that you can understand how to use them.

2:42
So the first one, the first one I included is ballpark figure. If someone gives you a ballpark figure, they give you an approximate number or a rough estimate of the cost of something. For example, the cost of this project will vary depending on the number of things. But a good ballpark figure would be between 1000 to $2,000.

3:11
Number two, to cost an arm and a leg. If something costs an arm and a leg, it means it is very expensive. Like the house I was telling you about it cost an arm and a leg It was so expensive.

3:28
Number three to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth. This is very true for me. It means that a person you know when a person is born with a silver spoon in their mouth, they are born into a very rich family. And I said I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth.

3:50
Number four is at all costs. If you are determined to obtain or achieve something at all costs, it means you want it regardless of the effort, the cost, the sacrifice involved, it means you really go after it. And another example would be our manager told us that we needed to have the website finished for Black Friday at all costs. We had to.

4:22
Number five, make ends meet. If you find it difficult to pay for your everyday needs because you have very little money. It is hard for you to make ends meet. So Joanna's salary is so low that she finds it hard to make ends meet. That's another example.

4:47
Number six on a shoestring if you do something on a shoestring you do it with very little money and true story. When I was younger, I traveled to Thailand on a shoestring We stayed at the cheapest hostels ate the cheapest food, and if it was an adventure, but it was so much fun. So that is number six on a shoestring.

5:14
Next one, number seven to make a killing. I told you that I sold, I published the book and I made a killing. I wish that's not actually true, but it means that you have great financial success, you make a lot of money. And another example would be he made a killing on the stock market means he invested and he made a lot of money thanks to it.

5:44
Number eight downpayment. When someone makes a down payment, they pay part of the total amount agreed when signing a purchase, deal, or contract. And I haven't really bought my dream house yet, but I almost got enough money to make a down payment on a minus little house.

6:10
Number nine, this is the last one off today. If you need to tighten your belt like the one tighten your belt, you must spend your money carefully because there is less available. So I told you that I might have enough money to make a down payment on a mother's house. But if I do that, I would have to tighten my belt, I would have to be very careful with my money.

6:39
All right, that's it for today. I hope you enjoyed these nine money idioms. I would like to remind you that you may want to listen to this again because there were lots and lots of information and go check out our blog because there we have some more exercises for you to practice these new words and expressions. All right, it was lovely to talk to you today. And I look forward to our next episode. Have a great day!


7:10
And that's all we have for you today. We hope you enjoyed it, and remember to subscribe to Talaera Talks. We'll be back soon with more! And visit our website at https://talaera.com for more valuable content on business English. You can also request a free consultation on the best ways for you and your team to improve your communication skills. So have a great day and keep learning!

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