Save money with these 9 English money idioms

Did you know that English can help you save money? The English language is full idioms and expressions giving advice on how to spend and save money. So if you want to talk about money fluently and are interested in English idioms, read on to learn the meaning of these useful expressions!


This expression means to save money, or describes someone who is unwilling to spend money.

  • I have to do some penny-pinching this month if I want to buy that coat!

A penny saved is a penny earned

This means that not spending money is almost the same as earning it because it will still be in your pocket!

  • A: Why do you bring your lunch to work with you instead of buying it at a cafe?

  • B: I’m trying to save money and a penny saved is a penny earned!

The best things in life are free

A similar saying is ‘Money isn’t everything’, in other words money can’t buy the most important things in life, like love or friendship or health.

  • My favourite thing in life is going for a walk in the park with my family – The best things in life are free!

Saving for a rainy day

This means keeping money for the future, or saving for an emergency.

  • Every month, I transfer part of my salary into a savings account. I think it’s important to save for a rainy day.

A fool and his money are soon parted

Some people are clever with their money, others aren’t. This proverb reminds us that foolish people do not know how to hold on to their money!

  • A: I can’t believe Dave spent all his money on a new car! It will be worth have the price next year.

  • B: Well, a fool and his money are soon parted!

Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise

This is a famous saying of Benjamin Franklin, meaning if you go to sleep early and wake up early you can get rich! Sometimes we just use the first half of this expression to mean the same thing.

  • A: How have you been so successful in your career?

  • B: I get up early every morning. You know what they say “Early to bed, early to rise…”

Money doesn’t grow on trees

Parents frequently tell their children this if they constantly want to buy things! This expression means that money is not easy to earn.

  • Child: Mom, can you buy me this new toy?

  • Mother: No, it’s too expensive. Money doesn’t grow on trees!

Money talks

This is a modern expression which means that money is powerful, or that money makes things happen.

  • A: I can’t believe they got this work done so quickly. Did you pay them extra to make them work harder?

  • B: Yes. Money talks, you know?

In for a penny, in for a pound

This proverb has come to mean that if you start something you may as well finish it, even if you have to devote much more effort than you expected. The original meaning was that if the punishment is the same, people will commit the offence which brings the greatest profit.

  • A: I said I’d help Simon with this project but it’s so much more work than I expected! Should I tell him I can’t help anymore?

  • B: I think you should keep helping until it is finished. In for a penny, in for a pound!

So, how about you? Are you saving for a rainy day? Do you think the best things in life are free? Have a go at using these sentences in your own example sentences and write them in your notebook or share them with your English speaking friends on Facebook or Twitter.