This week we’re looking at the wealth of phrasal verbs in English that relate to money, including those used for having and not having money, those for saving money and those for spending it. Starting with a very common phrasal verb, if you pay off a sum that you owe to a bank or person, you give them all of it: I’m hoping to pay off the debt within two years.
As regards spending money, if you pay a lot for something, especially when you don’t want to, you may use the informal phrasal verb fork out: I’m not forking out fifty dollars for a ticket!
If you spend part of an amount of money that you have saved, you might say you dip into that amount: Unfortunately, I had to dip into my savings to pay for the repairs.
If you say that something sets you back a particular sum, you mean that it costs that amount:
It’s a nice car, but it’ll set you back thirty thousand pounds.
How much did that set you back?
Meanwhile, in UK English, someone who buys something expensive may be said to splash out: She splashed out on a fancy new camera.
Still with spending money, if you settle up with someone, you pay them the money that you owe them: You get the tickets, Evan, and I’ll settle up with you later.
If several people who are buying one thing together chip in (UK, informal), they all give some money towards it: We all chipped in and bought James a really smart coffee machine.
As for saving money, if you put away a sum of money, you save it, usually in a bank: He puts away a little every month.
He’d salted away several thousand pounds over the years and no one knew.
She had a fortune squirrelled away.
Some phrasal verbs relate to having not enough money. Someone who scrapes by, only has enough money to pay for the basic things they need: Even with both of us working full-time, we only just scrape by.
With too little money, someone might decide to cut back on what they spend, by intentionally spending less: I’m trying to cut back on my expenses.
They might also borrow a sum of money from a friend to tide them over for a short period. To tide someone over is to supply someone for a short time with money: I gave her a hundred pounds to tide her over till she gets paid.
Finally, someone who comes into money, receives it after a relation dies: She came into a bit of money when her grandfather died.