Tighten One's Belt Idiom

Tighten One's Belt idiom

Look at the picture and try to guess the meaning of the idiom 'tighten one's belt.'   

Tighten one's belt:  to spend less than usual in order to save money.


Belts have holes that are used to make the belt tighter (or looser) around the waist. In difficult times people who had very little money were not able to buy as much food as usual and therefore they lost weight. Thus, they had to tighten the belt in order to keep their pants from falling down.


  • I have a feeling my son will be tightening his belt  this semester since we decided to give him a strict allowance rather then sending him money every time he asked.
  • We had to tighten our belts  when my husband lost his job. 
  • I've decided to move to a warmer place so I'm going to tighten my belt  over the next year and save as much money as possible before I leave.
  • We tried tightening our belts  for several months but we can't continue like this—I'm going to have to get a part-time job.
  • It wasn't as hard as we thought to tighten our belts—we're saving $600 a month alone just by eating dinner at home.
  • If you want to pay off your debts you'll have to get a better job or tighten your belt—we're not helping you out again.
  • I've been tightening my belt  for a year and I've just paid off one credit card—only four more to go.
  • Everyone in town is tightening their belts  after the factory closed.
  • I tightened my belt  by doing my own nails, coloring my hair myself and making my own coffee at home.
  • We tighten our belts  every January and February to pay off our Christmas gift purchases.
  • When I saw my parents couldn't tighten their belts  any further I got a part-time job at a restaurant and my parents are so grateful for the extra $700 I give them each month.
  • We had to tighten our belts  after my wife left her job but it's worth it to have her home with our baby.
  • I'm not raising your allowance again—either tighten your belt  or get a job!
  • When I was a student I really had to tighten my belt—I ate a lot of peanut butter sandwiches and spaghetti with pasta sauce.

If you found this idiom useful, sign-up for my free newsletter to learn about new updates to my website.

Your Turn to Practice

Time to practice your English by writing a sentence of your own below in the comments box. I will give feedback and correct any mistakes you might make. 

› Tighten One's Belt Idiom

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.