• Daniel Bullock

Idioms For Expensive Or Unrealistically High Costs: Speak Like A Native

Grow your English vocabulary and learn to speak more like a native by practicing these idioms for pricey things. We will talk about unrealistically high costs, being rich, or owning luxury items using idioms. Also, we will learn about the opposite of “wealthy”, and check out some idioms about poverty. Have you ever tried to purchase something but realized it actually cost a bomb? This means it was too pricey. What does "price yourself out of the market" mean? Find out this and more here!

big tall mountain, representing unrealistically high cost and expensive things
Just like this mountain is unrealitically high to climb, so are some things to buy!

List of idioms about price, luxury, being rich, and poverty.

If you want to find another word for expensive, you have come to the right place. Costly, exorbitant, and over the odds all mean expensive. Here we will look into more idioms on this topic. If you want to describe not having enough money, you have also come to the right place! Ever been skint? That means you don't have enough money and are poor right now. Here are some other words and expressions with similar meanings to expensive, price, luxury, and poverty.

1. Daylight robbery

daylight, sunbeam, cloud, blue sky, weather, summer idioms and sayings about
Your prices are daylight robbery. You should lower them!

This English saying is used to comment on the price of something. If something costs a bomb, or we consider it far too pricey, then we can say the price is “daylight robbery”. It is a figurative saying which draws a comparison to being robbed in the street during daylight hours. It is so unlikely and shocking, just like the price!

For instance:

I can’t believe they want $100 for that second-hand t-shirt. It is simply daylight robbery!

2. Cost a bomb

A student of mine recently asked me: Is cost a bomb an idiom? The answer is yes. We use this figurative saying to mean that something is exorbitantly priced. For instance:

Darryl’s new car cost a bomb. I don’t know how he afforded it!

Also, we can combine “cost a bomb” with to. We use “to” before a verb. For instance:

These days, it costs a bomb to go to university.

3. Price yourself out of the market

This saying means that the price you want to be paid is unrealistically high. It could be for something we are trying to sell. A house, for example. Or, it could be that you are demanding a certain level of pay to do some work, which people are not willing to pay. The end result is you do not get the work. For instance:

I think that paul priced himself out of the market with that online gig. He should lower his rates.
small house, steep price, purple clip art building, cute
Try not to price yourself out of the market, if possible.

Charlie and Samantha have priced themselves out of the housing market. They will never sell it if they want $500, 000 for such a small house.

4. Why am I always skint?

Skint means things set you back a lot. You have no money, or at least not enough. The word often makes a phrase such as “I’m always skint” or, “Why am I always skint?” It is a colloquial English expression, particularly popular in the UK. Here is an example sentence using skint:

Dom is always skint because he spends his whole paycheck every month. He loves to go out with his friends.

5. Beyond my budget

This means something is very costly compared to what you had planned to spend. If you were planning to buy a new car, and the model you wanted was priced at $10, 000, but you only had $8000 available - then the car is beyond your budget, unfortunately. If something goes beyond your budget, second-hand goods are always a good alternative. You need to buy something less expensive.

That shiny sports car is beyond my budget, regrettably.
idioms about poverty, being poor, too pricey sports car, beautiful lady driver, red, shiny, convertable, cabriolet
This high-grade sports car is well beyond my budget. I'm too poor!

6. Not within my budget

This is a similar expression to beyond my budget. When people say something is not within their budget, what they mean is something is too expensive for them. Usually, the term budget carries the nuance that you have planned to spend money, so it is not really related to impulse spending. Here is an example of the phrase:

Stacey recommended going to Hawaii for a summer vacation. Unfortunately, it isn’t within my budget. I will holiday closer to home.

7. Prices start at

You will need to fork out a minimum, base price. You will see this phrase in commercials or in shops. It is used to advertise the entry price of a product. For example, you wish to buy a new smartphone. You are thinking about buying a famous brand of phone. Their website reads, “Prices start at $200.” This means you can buy the most basic, cheapest model for that price. If you want a more advanced model, with all the bells and whistles, then you would have to pay significantly more. Here is another example sentence:

If you are looking to buy a new power washer, prices start at around $100

8. That's a little outside my budget

This is a similar expression to not within my budget. Instead of the price not being inside your range, it lies outside of what you can pay. It would set you back too much money. Picture this: You are interested in buying a new sofa. You plan to spend no more than $400 on it. You go to the furniture store and see a beautiful leather couch, but the price is $490. Unfortunately, this leather couch is outside your budget! Here is an example sentence:

Even though the TV was outside my budget, I still bought it. I will have to plan my purchases very carefully next month to avoid becoming overdrawn.

9. Cost a fortune

This English saying means something costs a bomb. The price is unrealistically high. A fortune means a lot of money. It also has other meanings, why not have a look at them here. A good way to learn new vocabulary is to practice synonyms. So, what is a synonym of cost a fortune? You could say cost a bomb, cost an arm and a leg, or very expensive. For instance:

My new house cost a fortune. I don't regret it, though!

10. Cost an arm and a leg

clipart, pc, office worker, thumbs up, glad, macbook, using a computer
My new PC cost and arm and a leg, but it was worth it!

This is a very figurative English saying. It means the price is unrealistically high, and the cost is over the odds. Your arms and legs are incredibly valuable! Therefore, when something costs an arm and a leg, it means something costs an absolute bomb! Here is an illustrative sentence to better understand the context:

David’s new computer cost an arm and a leg. It was worth it though, as he can now do his work efficiently.

Table of idioms for all budgets: Expensive, rich, wealthy, or a state of poverty

Here is a table of the idioms for expensive things (and more) that we covered today. What is a good way to describe expensive things? What about the things wealthy people buy? How about if you or someone you know is suffering in poverty? Here are some phrases to help you explain these diverse situations. Also, there are a few bonus idioms that also refer to price, poverty and luxury. The ones covered in today’s tutorial are highlighted in purple! There are 15 idiomatic sayings in total. I hope they can go towards improving your English ability! If you would like further help and advice on improving your English, have a look at some of my other posts here at Daniel's English Club.

Daylight robbery

Cost a bomb

Price yourself out of the market

Why am I always skint?

Beyond my budget

Not within my budget

Prices start at

That's a little outside my budget

Cost a fortune

Cost an arm and a leg

​Not affordable (too pricey)

Exorbitantly priced (so costly)

For a price (this thing comes at a high cost)

Fork out (need to pay a lot for something)

Unaffordable (unrealistically high cost)