feel the pinch

feel the pinch

Meaning

  • experience financial hardship
  • be affected by a drop in income
  • find it hard to survive on the income you have
  • have to make do on less money, food, clothing, etc. than usual, or less than what is needed
  • experience suffering due to a loss of money coming into the household
  • of a business which is struggling financially, or experiencing a decrease in profits.

Example Sentences

  1. Since Farrokh was made redundant, we’ve really felt the pinch. We can’t even afford to buy the kids new shoes.
  2. Everyone’s going to feel the pinch in this new financial year. Profits are down and the company can’t afford to pay any bonuses for the foreseeable future.
  3. All the major companies are feeling the pinch this year. It’s the worst financial downturn we’ve seen for a decade.
  4. Since the benefit cuts have been introduced, a lot of low income households are feeling the pinch.
  5. You’re going to feel the pinch if you give up your second job.

Origin

The saying comes from the mid 1800’s. It  probably refers to the “tightening of the belt” that is required when there is less to eat. The pinch is the pinching in of the waistband. Or it could mean the pinch that the children would feel when their shoes are too small because new ones cannot be bought.

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