tighten (your) belt

Meaning(s)

1. reduce expenditure

Popularity

High

Professional

High

Social

Check Icon How to Memorize

we need to tighten our belts

Check Icon Analysis

This expression means to spend less money than you used to, usually due to a negative change in your financial situation. It tends to be a relatively short term measure which, while it lasts, results in a reduction in your standard of living. While this financial circumstance is often forced upon people, it can also be a choice if you are trying to save up for something, like a holiday, for example. It is common in both social and professional contexts and is similar to the phrase 'pinch pennies' or 'keep to a budget'.

Check Icon Social Examples (Basic)

  1. I used to spend money on frivolous things, but I've had to tighten my belt since I lost my job.
  2. I tightened my belt for a year in order to save up for my dream holiday.

Check Icon Professional Examples (Basic)

  1. Due to the economic downturn, everyone in the industry is tightening their belts.
  2. It will take some belt-tightening, but I think we can fit that project into the budget.

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