Money and Finances

Let’s talk about money and finances. What is money? Money is a medium of exchange for various goods and services in an economy. Without it, modern economies could not function. Money may make the world go around. Finances – the money that a person or company has; the management of money, or the money belonging to a person, group, or organization (corporate/personal finance/the city’s finances; I’d like to buy a new car, but my finances are in such a bad state that I can’t afford to. The company’s finances are in a mess.)

Exam in Mind Level B1/B2

How much money is enough?

The question of a sufficient amount of money is absolutely subjective – everyone has their own pay-rate expectations. This highly depends on the lifestyle one leads – on the quality of life one is accustomed to. In my opinion, one can surely say they have enough money when they are able to afford spontaneous purchases thoughout the month without worrying about their next month financial stability. There are many modern online banking apps that allow to track monthly spendings and plan future budgets – they are a great helping hand indeed.

a sufficient amount of money – достатня сума грошей
pay-rate expectations – очікування щодо оплати праці
is accustomed to – 
spontaneous purchases
– спонтанні покупки
financial stability
– фінансова стабільність
online banking apps
– програми для онлайн-банкінгу
to track monthly spendings – 
відслідковувати щомісячні витрати
plan future budgets – 
планувати майбутні бюджети
a great helping hand
– чудова допомогa

What problems does money cause in your society?

Money is the tool that solves many problems – from very small daily ones to huge infrastructural issues. However, there are certain people whose individuality and character force them to make poor decisions when given too much money or power. One of the most evident examples is politicians who are frequently corrupted, which makes them incompetent and inefficient public servants. Globalisation only exacerbates the gap between haves and have-nots. Many people lack money to sustain day-to-day living, while the rich become richer every day.

huge infrastructural issues – величезні інфраструктурні проблеми
evident examples – очевидні приклади
incompetent and inefficient public servants – некомпетентні та неефективні державні службовці
exacerbate the gap – загострити розрив
haves and have-nots – the people who are not poor and the people who are poor
lack money – не вистачає грошей
sustain day-to-day living – підтримувати повсякденне життя

Do young people nowadays believe in saving money? What conflicts can arise between a person’s family and a person’s friends?

The willingness and ability to save greatly depends on a person’s character. Since many young people are still not mature enough and prone to sudden mood swings, it is easier for them to fall prey to compelling ads, ending up with a bag of spontaneous purchases. In addition, many companies offer easy payment terms, so youngsters get tempted to spend more on things they do not really need. A great example would be the rapid advancement in technologies that give access to instant credit from the biggest and most reliable banks.

willingness – готовність, бажання
prone to sudden mood swings
– схильність до різких змін настрою
fall prey to compelling ads
– стати жертвою привабливих оголошень
get tempted
– піддатися спокусі
rapid advancement in technologies
– швидкий розвиток технологій
access to instant credit
– доступ до миттєвого кредиту
reliable banks
– надійні банки

Do you like shopping?

No, I don’t. I am not a hoarder and only prefer to buy high-quality things that I know I definitely need. And this, of course, happens not that often.

Have you bought anything interesting recently?

Yes, I did. I desperately needed new sneakers and found a beaufitul pair of white ones.

How important is money to you?

I consider money just a tool to achieve goals. Without it, it would be quite hard to get anything significant in life when it comes to tangible things that can be bought.

Do you think you will have lots of money in future?

Yes, definitely. I am working hard right now to get a nice well-paid job. In the future, I will for sure be able to maintain a good lifestyle.

Would you like to become rich some day?

Of course, I do. But this is not an end goal for me. I need money to serve the humanity better, because I want to build a chain of waste recycling plants in the future.

Do you think it is ok to lend money to friends or family members?

I do not support those who rely on borrowing. However, sometimes it is okay to lend money as long as it serves a good cause.

Are you good at saving money?

Yes, I consider myself very conscious when it comes to my spending habits.

Do you invest your spare money?

Unfortunately, not yet, however, I have been thinking about investing it for quite some time. The thing is – I can’t find enough time to properly break this down for myself.

Do you think financial literacy is at the high level aross generations?

In my opinion, young people generally think less about money management than adults. I expect this to change because of better education at schools and universities.

hoard – накопичувати
be a hoarder – бути накопичувачем
tangible things – матеріальні речі
maintain a good lifestyle
– підтримувати хороший спосіб життя
an end goal
– кінцева мета
a chain of waste recycling plants
– мережа сміттєпереробних заводів
rely on borrowing
– покладатися на запозичення
conscious –
 свідомий, розсудливий
spending habits
– звички витрачати
financial literacy
– фінансова грамотність
money management
– управління грошима

Describe something you want to buy but can’t afford.

You should say:

  • what you would like to buy
  • how much it costs
  • why you can’t afford it and explain if there is any other way you could acquire it.

I would like to buy myself a car. This will be my first vehicle, because I have just got my driver’s licence. I like travelling with comfort to work and around the city, but the heavy traffic during rush hours makes public transportation really inconvenient for me. However, I am very conscious about the environment and wouldn’t like to spend money on a conventional automobile that will only contaminate the air we breath. Therefore, the perfect car for me would be an electric one – ideally, a Tesla.

Teslas cost substancially more than usual petrol cars. Their price fluctuates around 80,000 – 100,000 USD. What I especially love about it is that it’s possible to design my own one – some parts of it can be customized.

Unfortunately, I can’t afford this car right now – I have just graduated and entered the job market with not the highest ever salary. Also, I haven’t taken up a single loan, and I am of a strong belief that credit must finance only investments that generate future returns. And such a consumeristic purchase as a car definitely won’t earn me any money. In fact, I will only spend even more on planned maintenance. Thankfully, Tesla is not a vehicle that needs petrol, so I will majorly save on gasoline. Thus, I will wait for a couple of years, until my pay improves. I will also have a better range of car models to choose from.

Money and Finances: Tasks in Writing

  1. As well as making money, businesses also have social responsibilities. Do you agree or disagree?
  2. Some people think that money is the only measure of the success of a business.  Is this a true indicator of the success of a business and in what other ways could success in a business be measured?
  3. Money is the only driving force behind working hard at the company you’re employed in. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Idioms about Money

Money doesn’t grow on trees – money is limited
She told her son that he couldn’t have the new game since money doesn’t grow on trees. Don’t spend so much, money doesn’t grow on trees, you know.

Break the bank –  something costs too much money, or to use all of one’s money.
I know the car is expensive but it’s not going to break the bank. We can just get a sandwich if you want – that won’t break the bank.

Bring home the bacon – to earn a salary (which enables you to buy bacon)
Her husband was the one to bring home the bacon and he often kept long hours at work. We both bring home the bacon.

Born with a silver spoon in your mouth – have a high social position and be rich from birth
She never had to work a day in her life since she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. She may have a lot of money, but she earned every penny herself; she wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth.

Bottom dollar/Bet my bottom dollar – refers to one’s last dollar/you’re so sure of something you’d bet your last dollar on it.
I’d bet my bottom dollar Jim will have a crazy excuse for being late again. I can bet my bottom dollar he won’t have waited for us. You can bet your bottom dollar that their team will win.

Bread and butter – one’s income
His new company needs to do well because it’s his bread and butter. Acting is his bread and butter.

Dime a dozen – something is easy to get or common
I told her not be upset since guys like him are a dime a dozen. Novels like this one are a dime a dozen: write something original!

Feel like a million bucks – feel or look very healthy, happy, and beautiful
I recovered from my illness and feel like a million bucks now. Wow, I feel like a million bucks in this new suit!

Foot the bill – pay for something
I told my son that I would foot the bill for his college education as long as his grades are good. Who’s going to foot the bill for all the repairs?

Money to burn – have more money than you need
Thanks to her rich husband she has money to burn and is always shopping at fancy boutiques. I’ve never seen anyone spend so much in one evening; he must have money to burn!

Money talks – means that people with a lot of money have power and influence
We can’t compete against the big companies. Money always talks. He hired the best lawyers and won the case, money talks.

On the house – something is given to a customer for free.
Because they made us wait so long for our table, drinks were on the house. The owner knew about the engagement and brought them glasses of champagne on the house.

Pay peanuts – to work for very little money
The hotel workers get paid peanuts. I’m tired of working for peanuts. I am going to ask for a pay rise. I am tired of working for peanuts!

Pay your dues – earn something through hard work
He put in the hours and paid his dues and was rewarded with a big promotion at work. I’ve paid my dues for the last 25 years, and now I’m ready for a comfortable retirement.

Penny pincher – someone is conscious about money and watches what he spends
He always brings his own lunch since he is the biggest penny pincher I know. Bill is such a penny pincher. He never gives a cent to charity.

Pick up the tab – pay the bill
In addition, my company will pick up the tab for all legal and moving expenses. Do you think that men should always pick up the tab on a blind date?

Pour money down the drain – means wasting money.
Buying all those silly toys is like pouring money down the drain. I don’t know why you pour money down the drain on such useless things.

Strike it rich – be suddenly rich.
She struck it rich when she won millions on the lottery. Happy New Year and hope you strike it rich!

Time is money – means time is valuable, so don’t waste it
I like to get to work early each day since time is money. If you have hourly earnings you know that time is money.

Worth its weight in gold – it means that something is very valuable
This recipe book is worth its weight in gold – it tells you everything you need to know about cookery. A reliable car is worth its weight in gold.