Times are tough and we are all trying to save money. Well, I am!

On the other hand, I’m also trying to invest some money wisely in improving my skills. How about you?


Here are 5 handy expressions to talk about saving money:

  1. cut down / cut back 

This means I want to reduce my spending. We use it talk about spending money but it can also be used for other things you want to reduce such as smoking, drinking or social media.

E.g I need to cut down on my spending on restaurants and take-out. 

2. save up

This means that you are saving your money for something particular, often something that takes time to save for.

E.g I’m saving up for a deposit so I can buy a house.

3. tighten my belt

When we make our belt tighter, we spend less money than before.

E.g I have had to tighten my belt significantly since I lost my job.

4. put away

This expression is used about trying to save money, often a little bit each week or month.

E.g I’ve been putting away 50 euros a week.

5. balance the budget / balance the books

When we try to make sure we don’t spend more money than we earn we use this expression.

We often try to look at all of our income and expenses to see if they match.

E.g I’ve been trying to balance the company’s budget. It’s not looking good. We are going to have to look at cutting back on some expenses.


You can download this summary here: Study guide: 5 expressions to talk about saving money

To help your visual memory you can also save the video below:

Now, let’s practise!

Can you answer these questions, trying to use the expressions when you respond:

  1. When you need to cut back on spending, what is the first thing you usually try to cut down on?
  2. Are you saving up/putting away money for anything special at the moment?
  3. Have you been tightening your belt recently?

If you like this exercise, why not try my 7-day mini-workout?