Topic: Money



In this lesson, your tutor will help you go over the topic “Money”. Go over the following vocabulary and expressions with your tutor first. Read the word/expression and definition out loud, and your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice making a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.

Vocabulary/ Expressions

pay off to finish paying all money that is owed
e.g. I finally paid off my student loan!
put aside to save money for a specific purpose
e.g. I‘ve been putting aside some money for my marriage.
throw money at something to try to solve a problem by indiscriminately spending money on it.
e.g. This agency has thrown money at the housing problem, but it has been nothing but a long-term disaster. 
it’s a steal If you find something that you want for a very low price, much lower than what it is worth, you can say ‘it’s a steal!’.
e.g. He’s selling it for $20? At that price, it’s a steal!
out of your own pocket If you pay for something out of your own pocket, you cover the cost with your own money.
e.g. Breakfast is included but you must pay for lunch out of your own pocket.
loan shark A loan shark is a person who lends money at an extremely high-interest rate to people who are unable to obtain a loan from the bank.
e.g. The young immigrant was beaten because he was late paying back money to a loan shark.
eat/dip into one’s savings If you eat or dip into your savings, you spend part of the money you have put aside for future use.
e.g. I had to dip into my savings to have the car repaired.
cash in your chips If you cash in your chips, you sell something, especially shares, either because you need the money or because you think the value is going to fall.
e.g. Andy cashed in his chips as soon as business started to slow down.
burn your fingers If you burn your fingers (or get your fingers burnt), you suffer financially as a result of foolish behavior.
e.g. Jack got his fingers burnt playing on the stock market.
back-of-the-envelope calculation This expression refers to a quick approximate calculation done informally, as on the back of an envelope.
e.g. I don’t need the exact amount. Just give me a back-of-the-envelope calculation.


Use the following questions as a guideline to form an interesting conversation with your tutor. Feel free to diverge if anything interesting comes up.

  1. Is money important to you?
  2. What’s the most expensive thing that you have ever bought?
  3. How much money have you spent today? What did you spend it on?
  4. What is the minimum someone needs to live on in your country?
  5. How important do you think it is to save money?
  6. What is good about money? What is bad about it?
  7. Do you think money brings happiness?
  8. Do people worry about money too much?
  9. Can you be rich without a lot of money?
  10. Do you agree with the expression “money is the root of all evil”? Share your thoughts with your Cambly tutor!


Go over any new expressions or vocabulary that you learned today.


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