an illustration of a person who puts money in his wallet and the money flies away and the word "idoims"

Idioms: financial trouble

Worksheet overview

This ESL worksheet features 12 idioms used when talking about financial trouble, saving and spending money. Students will learn and practise them with the speaking activities included in the lesson. You can combine it with the worksheets “Phrasal verbs: money” and “Phrasal verbs: shopping“.

The first group of idioms related to finance (e.g. a rainy day fund, paycheck to paycheck, make ends meet, throw good money after bad) are introduced through a text about gaining financial stability. Students match the idioms to their definitions. To practise, they complete 4 opinions with the correct idioms and then discuss the opinions. Then they discuss their personal experiences, answering 7 questions, which will prompt them to use the idioms.

The rest of the idioms (e.g. to be flat broke, on a shoestring, to break the bank, throw money down the drain) are introduced through a short dialogue. To practise, students complete 4 sentences with their own ideas. Then, they paraphrase 5 sentences, using a suitable idiom from the lesson.

The last 2 activities are focused on speaking: First, students are given a role-play situation. Finally, they are asked to discuss 6 conversation questions, which can also be used as debate prompts.

For further speaking practice and to review these idioms related to financial trouble, you can use the printable conversation cards.


Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Student’s interactive PDF

This worksheet works well in combination with the following lesson plans

Show more
0 0 votes
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments