If you don’t have money to buy enough food, you will probably lose weight. And if you go hungry for a long period of time, you might get so thin that you literally need to tighten your belt! But in English, we just use this expression to mean that we have decided to cut back on our spending. We don’t really plan to go without food!
Watch the video below to see more examples of this idiom in use.
OK, this guy needs to tighten his belt. Otherwise, his trousers are going to fall down! Is that what this means? No! To tighten your belt means to spend less money; to live on a smaller budget; to cut your expenditure.
Let’s see how we use this phrase naturally:
- We spent €450 more than we earned last month. We’re going to have to tighten our belts because that’s unsustainable.
- If this company is going to survive, we’re going to have to tighten our belts. Unfortunately, that means that some people are going to lose their jobs.
- Mr. and Mrs. O’Reilly, if you don’t tighten your belts and start repaying your loans, this bank may have to repossess your house.
So, there we are: tighten your belt. Can you use this phrase in a sentence of your own? Why not give it a try in our comments section?
Read the questions below, and respond using today’s idiom in your answer.
- Did you ever decide you needed to spend less money? Why?
- If your friend lost his job, what advice would you give him?
- If you needed to save extra money for a deposit for a mortgage, what would you do?