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  • Hi, I'm Kasia.

  • Welcome to Oxford Online English!

  • In this lesson, you're going to learn how to talk about money in English.

  • You'll learn useful English words and phrases to talk about common money topics such as your

  • spending habits, salary, borrowing money, and more.

  • But wait, is it okay to talk about money?

  • Maybe you heard someone say that it can be rude to talk about money in the UK or in the

  • US.

  • Sometimes it's not appropriate.

  • For example, it's generally not acceptable to ask someone how much they earn.

  • However, people talk about money all the time; in this lesson you'll see how to talk about

  • money in a natural way in English.

  • You're going on holiday again?!

  • How can you afford it?

  • I can barely pay my rent each month.

  • Well, I've been saving up for it.

  • How do you do it?

  • I make a budget for each week, so I decide how much I can spend, and what I can spend

  • money on.

  • That way, I know how much I'll save.

  • But how does it work?

  • I'm pretty careful with my money, but I find it really difficult to save much.

  • It's the little expenses that add up.

  • You buy a bottle of water here, a sandwich there, a takeaway pizza in the evening

  • They don't cost much, but over time you end up spending more than you realise.

  • I guess you're right.

  • But, how do you stick to it?

  • Don't you just want to have a takeaway pizza once in a while?

  • Ask yourself: which would you rather have?

  • Most people waste a lot of money on things they don't really want.

  • I really love travelling, so I'm happy to cut back on some less important things so

  • that I can pay for it.

  • You're right, but I don't think I could be that frugal.

  • I'm not a big spender or anything, but I really enjoy splashing out and treating myself

  • occasionally.

  • Here's a question: can you name three things you can do with money?

  • You heard a lot of useful phrases in the dialogue.

  • Of course, you can spend money.

  • You can also save money or waste money.

  • You spend money on something.

  • For example:

  • I don't spend much on food.

  • He spends a lot of money on gadgets and technology.

  • How much do you spend on rent every month?

  • You can use waste money in the same way:

  • They waste a lot of money on things they don't need.

  • Someone who spends a lot is a big spender.

  • The opposite?

  • Someone who spends very little money is frugal.

  • These words are neutral; they don't have positive or negative associations.

  • What about save money?

  • You can save for something, or you can save to do something.

  • Often, instead of saying save money, you can use the phrasal verb save up, which has the

  • same meaning.

  • For example:

  • I'm saving up for a holiday next year.

  • We're saving up to buy a car.

  • In order to save money, you can make a budget: you make a spending plan, and write down everything

  • you spend so that you stick to your plan.

  • If you're saving for something, you might need to cut back on other things, meaning

  • that you spend less than usual.

  • On the other hand, some people aren't so good at saving.

  • Some people like to splash out; they spend money on things they enjoy.

  • You can also treat yourself, by spending more money than you usually would in order to do

  • something nice for yourself.

  • What about you?

  • Are you a big spender, or are you more frugal?

  • Do you find it easy to make a budget and save money, or do you like to splash out and treat

  • yourself?

  • Think about these questions and how you could answer them.

  • If you aren't sure, remember that you can go back and review the dialogue and the explanations

  • again.

  • Let's move on.

  • So, I'm thinking of moving to London.

  • I got a job offer, but I'm not sure about the salary.

  • It sounds good, but I've heard London is expensive, so I'm not sure.

  • I guess it depends on your lifestyle, but you definitely need more than in other places.

  • My friends who live in London all make decent money, but they don't have much left over

  • at the end of the month.

  • Mostly, they're just getting by.

  • They offered me 25k.

  • That would be okay in most places I've lived, but I'm not sure I'll be able to make

  • ends meet in London.

  • It'll be challenging!

  • That's on the low side, for sure.

  • Put it this way: I know someone who makes around 45k, and she says she struggles in

  • London.

  • Anywhere else, you'd be very well-off making that sort of money.

  • Hmm

  • I guess I'll look for something better.

  • In most English-speaking countries, people talk about annual salaries: the amount you

  • make each year.

  • Also, it's normal to talk about the amount before tax.

  • For example, '25k' in the dialogue means 25,000 pounds per year before tax.

  • In case you're wondering, the average salary in London is around 29,000 pounds per year,

  • while the average cost of living for a family of four is around 4,000 pounds per month,

  • assuming a comfortable but fairly basic lifestyle.

  • If your salary is higher than average, you can say you make good money or make decent

  • money.

  • In this case, you'll probably be well-off: not rich, but with enough money to have a

  • nice lifestyle and not worry about money.

  • On the other hand, if you only just make enough to cover your costs, you can say you're

  • just getting by.

  • This means that you have enough money to live, but not much more.

  • If you say, I'm just getting by, it suggests you don't have a lot of extra money to spend

  • on eating in restaurants, going out, travelling, and so on.

  • For example:

  • I don't earn a lot, but I get by.

  • --> Meaning: I make enough to pay all my bills, but I don't have much spare money.

  • If someone doesn't even make enough to cover their basic expenses, like rent, bills, food

  • and transport, then they are struggling.

  • You can also use the phrase make ends meet, which you heard in the dialogue.

  • Do you know what it means?

  • Make ends meet means to cover all of your expenses.

  • Let's see some examples:

  • I can barely make ends meet.

  • He's struggling to make ends meet.

  • I don't know how we'd make ends meet if we had another child.

  • If you say that someone can barely make ends meet, you mean that they don't earn much

  • money, and so it's difficult for them to pay all their bills and cover their regular

  • expenses.

  • What salary do you need to make to get by where you live?

  • How much does someone need to make to be well-off?

  • Think about these questions and how you would answer them.

  • Let's look at the next section.

  • Did you hear?

  • He might lose his house.

  • He told me he's six months behind on his mortgage payments.

  • Seriously?

  • I knew he was in debt, but I had no idea it was that bad.

  • He has other loans too, apparently.

  • The car, the furniture: everything was bought on credit.

  • He has three or four credit cards, all maxed out.

  • He owes a lot of money.

  • What's he going to do?

  • Well, he can't even keep up with the interest, let alone the actual repayments.

  • He'll have to declare bankruptcy, but he'll lose everything.

  • That's awful.

  • Of course, he should have been more responsible, but how could they lend him so much money?

  • They must have known he wouldn't be able to pay it back.

  • I don't know.

  • It's a bad situation.

  • When you borrow money from the bank, you take out a loan.

  • If you're borrowing money to buy a house or an apartment, there's a special word

  • for it: mortgage.

  • The spelling is strange, so practice the pronunciation: mortgage.

  • You need to repay a loan.

  • Generally, you do this by making payments every month.

  • Some of the payment is interest: an extra percentage which you pay to the bank.

  • When you finish paying back a loan, you pay it off.

  • If you have a lot of loans, then you're in debt.

  • This means you owe money.

  • In the dialogue, you heard the phrase he owes a lot of money.

  • Let's look at some more examples with this language:

  • It'll take us another ten years to pay off our mortgage.

  • The interest on our car loan is ridiculously high.

  • I never borrow money; I don't like being in debt.

  • In the dialogue, we were talking about someone who had bought a lot of things on credit.

  • If you buy something on credit, you take out a loan just to buy this one thing.

  • We also mentioned that he has maxed out credit cards.

  • You max out a credit card when you borrow the maximum amount you can on it.

  • Finally, if you can't pay back your debts, you'll have to declare bankruptcy.

  • Your debts are cancelled, but you also lose anything you have which is worth money.

  • So, think about some questions: have you ever taken out a loan or bought something on credit?

  • In your country, if someone is in a lot of debt, can they declare bankruptcy?

  • What happens to the money they owe?

  • Again, think about how you would answer these questions, and review the dialogue and the

  • explanations if you need to.

  • Ready to move on?

  • Let's talk about one more thing.

  • Can I tell you something?