All about money. Idioms, words, phrases

General money vocabulary

What is money: Idioms, words, phrases about money in English

Money is a generally accepted means of exchange and payment, which is used in the economy to purchase goods and services. Money plays an important role in our lives, and understanding financial terminology is key to successful personal finance management and effective financial communication. Learning English in the context of money allows you to gain the necessary knowledge to understand financial concepts such as budgeting, investments, loans and taxes. This becomes an important component of financial literacy, which helps every person better navigate the world of finance and ensure the stability of their future. In this article, we will look at the main terms and verbs, idioms related to money, which will help you to enrich your vocabulary and improve your communication skills in English for financial matters.

The history of money

The search for a universal means of exchanging goods led to the appearance of the first forms of money. At first, people made exchanges, such as grain, shells, or animal skins, which were used for trade. Later, metal coins appeared, which had the weight and purity of metal. In ancient times, metallic objects, especially gold and silver, became popular forms of money because of their universal acceptance, trust, and measurable value. In the Middle Ages, paper bills began to be used as a convenient means of exchange. Paper money, backed by the authority of a state or bank, facilitated trade and became popular in more developed economies. With the development of information society technologies, money has become digital. Electronic transfers, credit cards and cryptocurrency are modern forms of money that allow for quick and convenient financial transactions. This evolution of money shows the constant adaptation of financial instruments to the needs of society and technological changes.

General vocabulary about money in English

Currency: The form of money used in a particular country; for example, the currency in the United States is the US dollar.

  • “I need to exchange my euros for local currency when I travel abroad.”
  • “The exchange rate between currencies fluctuates daily.”

Cash: Physical money in the form of coins and banknotes; for instance, I withdrew $100 in cash from the ATM.

  • “I prefer paying with cash instead of using my credit card.”
  •  “The store only accepts cash for purchases under $10.”

Banknote/Bill: A piece of paper currency issued by a bank; for example, I paid for my groceries with a $20 bill.

  • “The vending machine only accepts banknotes, not coins.”
  • “I need to break a large bill into smaller denominations.”

Coin: A small, flat, and typically round piece of metal used as money; I found a few coins under the sofa cushions.

  • “I used a coin to scratch off the lottery ticket.”
  • “He collects rare coins as a hobby.”

Change: The money given back as the difference when a purchase amount is more than the amount tendered; I received $5 in change after buying a coffee.

  • “Do you have exact change for the bus fare?”
  • “She dug through her purse to find loose change for the parking meter.”

ATM (Automated Teller Machine): An electronic banking outlet that allows customers to complete basic transactions; I need to withdraw money from the ATM.

  • “The ATM charged me a fee for withdrawing cash.”
  •  “The ATM is out of service; I’ll have to find another one.”

Bank Account: An arrangement with a bank that allows you to deposit and withdraw money; I have a savings account at a local bank.

  • “I transfer money from my bank account to pay bills online.”
  • “You need to provide identification to open a bank account.”

Deposit: To put money into a bank account; I deposited my paycheck into my checking account.

  • “You can deposit cash or checks at the bank’s ATM.”
  • “The bank requires a minimum deposit to open a savings account.”

Withdrawal: The act of taking money out of a bank account; I made a withdrawal of $200 from the bank yesterday.

  • “I need to make a withdrawal to cover my rent payment.”
  • “You can make withdrawals from this ATM 24 hours a day.”

Balance: The amount of money remaining in a bank account; I checked my bank balance online this morning.

  • “My balance is low after paying my bills.”
  • “The bank reconciles your account balance at the end of each month.”

Transaction: An instance of buying or selling something; I made a transaction using my debit card.

  • “The online transaction was completed successfully.”
  • “Each transaction is recorded in your bank statement.”

Interest: A percentage of a loan amount paid as a fee over time; my savings account earns interest every month.

  • “The bank offers a competitive interest rate on their loans.”
  • “High-interest savings accounts help you grow your money faster.”

Credit: The ability to obtain goods or services before payment; I used my credit card to book a flight.

  • “He has good credit and was approved for a car loan.”
  • “Applying for too many credit cards can negatively impact your credit score.”

Debit: The deduction of money from a bank account; I made a debit card payment for groceries.

  • “The debit was processed immediately from my checking account.”
  • “Debit transactions are deducted directly from your available balance.”

Income: Money received regularly from work or investments; my monthly income comes from my job.

  • “I’m considering additional sources of income to save more money.”
  • “Investing in stocks can provide passive income.”

Expense: The cost required for something; rent and utilities are my biggest monthly expenses.

  • “I track my expenses to stay within my budget.”
  • “Unexpected medical expenses can quickly drain your savings.”

Budget: A financial plan outlining expected income and expenses; I created a budget to manage my spending.

  • “My budget helps me prioritize my financial goals.”
  • “Following a budget allows you to allocate money for savings.”

Savings: Money set aside for future use or emergencies; I transfer money to my savings account every month.

  • “Having savings provides financial security for emergencies.”
  • “It’s important to build up your savings for unexpected expenses.”

Investment: The action or process of investing money for profit; I’m considering investing in stocks for long-term growth.

  • “Real estate can be a profitable investment.”
  • “Diversifying your investments helps reduce risk.”

Loan: A sum of money borrowed from a bank or lender; I took out a loan to buy a car.

  • “The bank approved my loan application.”
  • “Paying off student loans can take many years.”

Credit Card: A card used to make purchases on credit; I use my credit card for online purchases.

  • “I pay off my credit card balance in full each month.”
  • “Many credit cards offer rewards or cashback incentives.”

Debit Card: A card used to access funds directly from a bank account; She prefers using a debit card for everyday expenses.

  • “She swiped her debit card to pay for lunch.”
  • “I lost my debit card and had to request a replacement.”

Mortgage: A loan to finance the purchase of real estate; I have a 30-year mortgage on my house.

  • “Paying off the mortgage is my long-term financial goal.”
  • “Interest rates affect the cost of a mortgage.”

Insurance: A contract providing financial protection against specified risks; I have health insurance through my employer.

  • “Car insurance protects against unexpected accidents.”
  • “Life insurance provides financial security for your family.”

Tax: A compulsory contribution to state revenue; I pay income tax on my earnings each year.

  • “You need to file your tax return before the deadline.”
  • “Property taxes are due at the end of the fiscal year.”

Vocabulary for giving, receiving and using money

Give: To transfer money to someone else.

  • Example: “She gave me $20 as a birthday gift.”

Receive: To get money from someone else.

  • Example: “I received my paycheck via direct deposit.”

Donate: To give money to a charity or cause.

  • Example: “They donated $100 to support local schools.”

Contribute: To give money towards a collective goal or project.

  • Example: “We all contributed to buy a retirement gift for our colleague.”

Transfer: To move money electronically from one account to another.

  • Example: “I transferred money from my savings to my checking account.”

Pay: To give money for goods or services.

  • Example: “I paid the plumber for fixing the leaky faucet.”

Purchase: To buy something using money.

  • Example: “I purchased a new laptop online.”

Invest: To use money to buy stocks, bonds, or other assets with the expectation of earning a profit.

  • Example: “He decided to invest in a mutual fund for retirement.”

Save: To keep money for future use rather than spending it immediately.

  • Example: “She saves a portion of her income every month.”

Splurge: To spend a large amount of money on something enjoyable but not necessarily essential.

  • Example: “After receiving a bonus, she decided to splurge on a luxury vacation.”

Borrow: To take money from someone with the intention of returning it later.

  • Example: “I borrowed $50 from my friend to pay for dinner.”

Lend: To give money to someone with the expectation of getting it back.

  • Example: “He agreed to lend me some money until my next paycheck.”

Reimburse: To repay someone for money spent or lost.

  • Example: “The company reimbursed me for my travel expenses.”

Cover: To pay for something, especially on behalf of someone else.

  • Example: “She offered to cover the cost of dinner for everyone.”

Settle: To pay a debt or bill in full.

  • Example: “I settled my credit card bill before the due date.”

Negotiate: To discuss and agree on the terms of a financial transaction.

  • Example: “They negotiated the price before finalizing the deal.”

Afford: To have enough money to buy or do something.

  • Example: “Can you afford to buy a new car right now?”

Profit: To gain financial benefit or advantage.

  • Example: “The company profited from its successful product launch.”

Cash Out: To convert investments or assets into cash.

  • Example: “He decided to cash out his stock holdings to fund a business venture.”

The main currencies of the world

  • US Dollar (USD): The currency of the United States is the most widely used and serves as the primary reserve currency worldwide.
  • Euro (EUR): The official currency of the European Union, used in Eurozone countries.
  • Japanese Yen (JPY): The national currency of Japan, one of the major currencies in international trade.
  • British Pound Sterling (GBP): The currency of the United Kingdom, also known simply as the pound.
  • Canadian Dollar (CAD): The national currency of Canada, extensively used in trade with the United States.
  • Swiss Franc (CHF): The national currency of Switzerland, known for its stability.
  • Australian Dollar (AUD): The currency of Australia, often used in trade with Asian and Pacific countries.
  • Chinese Yuan (CNY): The official currency of China, important for international financial operations in Southeast Asia.
  • Swedish Krona (SEK): The national currency of Sweden, used in trade with European countries.
  • New Zealand Dollar (NZD): The currency of New Zealand, significant for trade with Australia and Pacific nations.

The main cryptocurrencies of the world

  • Bitcoin (BTC): Bitcoin is the first and most well-known cryptocurrency, introduced in 2009 by an anonymous person or group of people using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. It operates on a decentralized ledger called the blockchain and is used for peer-to-peer transactions without the need for intermediaries like banks.
  • Ethereum (ETH): Ethereum is a decentralized platform that enables developers to build and deploy smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps). Ether (ETH) is the native cryptocurrency used on the Ethereum network.
  • Binance Coin (BNB): Binance Coin is the native cryptocurrency of the Binance platform, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. BNB is used for discounted trading fees on the Binance exchange and other purposes within the Binance ecosystem.
  • Cardano (ADA): Cardano is a blockchain platform focused on scalability, sustainability, and interoperability. ADA is the native cryptocurrency of the Cardano network.
  • Solana (SOL): Solana is a high-performance blockchain platform known for its fast transaction speeds and low fees. SOL is the native cryptocurrency of the Solana network.
  • Ripple (XRP): Ripple is both a platform and a cryptocurrency designed for facilitating fast and low-cost cross-border payments. XRP is used to bridge different currencies on the Ripple network.
  • Dogecoin (DOGE): Dogecoin started as a meme cryptocurrency but has gained popularity as a payment method and tipping system on the internet. It features the Shiba Inu dog from the “Doge” meme as its mascot.
  • Polkadot (DOT): Polkadot is a multi-chain blockchain platform that enables different blockchains to interoperate and share information. DOT is the native cryptocurrency of the Polkadot network.
  • Chainlink (LINK): Chainlink is a decentralized oracle network that connects smart contracts with real-world data. LINK is used to pay node operators for retrieving and providing data to smart contracts.
  • Litecoin (LTC): Litecoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency created as a “silver” alternative to Bitcoin’s “gold.” It offers faster transaction confirmation times and a different hashing algorithm.

Idioms and phrases with money in English

Break the bank: To spend a lot of money; to exceed one’s budget or financial means.

  • Example: “Buying a new car like that would really break the bank for me.”

Cost an arm and a leg: To be very expensive.

  • Example: “Have you seen the price of designer handbags these days? They cost an arm and a leg!”

Money talks: Money has the power to influence people or situations.

  • Example: “When it comes to business deals, money talks.”

Put your money where your mouth is: To support your statements or beliefs with action or financial backing.

  • Example: “If you’re so confident about this investment opportunity, why don’t you put your money where your mouth is?”

A penny for your thoughts: A polite way of asking someone what they are thinking about.

  • Example: “You look deep in thought. A penny for your thoughts?”

In the black: To be financially profitable or solvent.

  • Example: “Thanks to increased sales, our company is now in the black.”

Pinching pennies: To be very frugal or careful with money.

  • Example: “Ever since losing my job, I’ve had to start pinching pennies.”

Cash is king: Cash is the most valuable asset, especially in financial transactions.

  • Example: “During economic uncertainty, cash is king.”

Money doesn’t grow on trees: Money is not unlimited and should be spent wisely.

  • Example: “You can’t buy everything you want—remember, money doesn’t grow on trees.”

Throw money down the drain: To waste money on something without gaining any benefit.

  • Example: “Spending so much on fancy dinners every night feels like throwing money down the drain.”

Pay through the nose: To pay a very high price for something.

  • Example: “I had to pay through the nose for that concert ticket.”

Filthy rich: Extremely wealthy.

  • Example: “She’s part of a filthy rich family.”

Make a killing: To earn a large amount of money, especially through a successful business deal or investment.

  • Example: “He made a killing in the stock market last year.”

Cough up: To pay or give money, often reluctantly.

  • Example: “It’s time to cough up the rent money.”

Easy money: Money earned with little effort or difficulty.

  • Example: “Some people think gambling is a way to make easy money.”

Go Dutch: To split the cost of something equally among all parties involved.

  • Example: “Let’s go Dutch on dinner tonight.”

Money for old rope: Easy money obtained with little effort.

  • Example: “Working from home feels like money for old rope.”

Live beyond one’s means: To spend more money than one can afford.

  • Example: “She’s always buying luxury items and living beyond her means.”

Rolling in money: To have a lot of money; to be very wealthy.

  • Example: “After winning the lottery, he’s rolling in money.”

Bite the bullet: To accept an unavoidable hardship or difficulty, often related to financial matters.

  • Example: “I had to bite the bullet and take out a loan to pay for medical expenses.”

Learning to understand financial terminology in English can be useful for successful studies and career development. Key aspects to know include currency, financial terms, methods of calculation and money idioms. By learning more about these aspects, you will be able to confidently communicate about money in English, which will be useful both in everyday life and in professional situations.

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