Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

What are your cultural ideas about money?

Money is one of the most universal things in the world and we all have to deal with it.

This is a great topic to bring up with English native speakers to find a common subject to talk about.

Today, Lindsay and Michelle share with you four idioms to talk about money in English.

What Is Your Relationship With Money?

In the episode, Michelle asked Lindsay if she thinks that we live in a money-obsessed culture.

Lindsay says yes. She believes that there are a lot of people who are obsessed with money, business, and are success-driven.

Michelle mentions that in relationships, money is the number one reason for fights between couples.

Money is very personal to people which means we all have different relationships with it.

We grow up with different messages about it.

We also view money based on our own family background and direct experiences.

How You Handle Money Over Time

Lindsay’s relationship with money has changed over time.

Lindsay used to be more careful with money.

She would keep it and not be more open to spending it.

Through all her experiences, she learned to be strategic in handling her money.

She has also made smart decisions and made investments.

Michelle remembers when she was a kid, she was so frustrated with money.

She wished money didn’t exist when she was younger. She felt that it causes too many problems.

She would also ask herself about its purpose but when she grew up she finally understood how it works.

Michelle now knows the value of money and how to properly handle it.

For example, you can weigh money over other situations or values, like time.

There will be circumstances that money can’t help you.

It’s a matter of assessing your life and what you want to achieve.

There will be goals that will be easier to reach if you put aside a certain amount of money towards them.

Over time, you will get to establish a good relationship with money through the risks you take and the experiences you choose to have.

Idioms About Money

You can also listen to All Ears English Episode 1505: Phrasal Verbs For Money That Really Pay Off.

Here are some idioms about money:

  • A Run For Your Money. The expression “A run for your money” is used to imply heavy competition. This doesn’t always have to be about money. It doesn’t literally mean money changed hands. It is used to describe when something is tight or close in a competition.

Example: He gave her a run for her money with that amazing presentation.

This means that there was a competition between two people over who had the better presentation.

The woman in the situation historically might have always shown great presentations and now the man has possibly showcased a better presentation than her.

  • I Will Put My Money on That. When you use the idiom “I will put my money on that” you are saying you are confident enough to take a risk and bet on something. The expression doesn’t have to be taken literally, it is often used figuratively.

Example: I’d put money on her acing the exam.

This means that she is confident that her colleague will not fail the exam. It’s a good way to show strong support for someone or something.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is. The idiom “Put your money where your mouth is” is similar to saying walking the walk or talking to the talk. It is a way to encourage or push someone to take some action on something they said they would do but kept putting it off.

Example: Okay, when are you going to put money where your mouth is and get started on your workout plan?

This is asking when the person would do something and overcome the thoughts that make them hesitate to act.

Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees. Parents would often use the expression “Money doesn’t grow on trees” to lecture their kids on the value of money.

It may be annoying to hear but it makes you understand that money is not easy to earn and is not always available.

Example: No more toys, money doesn’t grow on trees.

Lindsay supports this and shares that you should teach your kids to value money by showing them how to make money at a young age.

She adds that it doesn’t necessarily have to be a lesson on making money but rather encouraging them to provide solutions to problems they see in the world.

Roleplay Using All Idioms

Note: You don’t have to use all of these idioms in one conversation. That would sound a bit unnatural. This is just for example purposes:

(Lindsay and Michelle are coworkers)

L: Wow, so the other group gave us a run for our money yesterday. We really need to up our game.

M: Completely. We always talk about upping our game, but it’s time to put our money where our mouth is.

L: I agree. I’d put money on us outdoing them at the next presentation if we work hard.

M: Same. (looks at phone) Oh man, my husband just bought a new car. Sometimes I think he thinks money grows on trees!


Not everyone has the same relationship with money.

We all encounter money in our lives but we all come from different backgrounds and have different experiences with it.

Despite that, talking about money is very common all over the world.

Use the English idioms that we shared today when you have a conversation about money with a native English speaker.

Do you have a lot of idioms about money in your own language?

What questions do you have about culture and money here in America?

Comment down below and we would like to hear about it.

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