pay as you go

pay as you go


  • a payment system that allows you to pay right before a service you use rather than later.
  • to pay for the cost of something, only for what you have used.
  • a method of paying for services before they are utilised or meeting costs as they emerge.
  • a pay-as-you-go system is one in which you pay for a service in advance and are not permitted to use more than the amount paid.
  • to pay for the cost of something only when it occurs, instead of paying it later.

Example Sentences

  1. When it comes to mobile phone contracts, seven out of ten customers opt for pay-as-you-go plans.
  2. In terms of implementation, it is a pay as you go feature.
  3. Pay-as-you-go services such as gas and electricity are available.
  4. He urges lawmakers to abandon their belief that the existing pay-as-you-go pension system is unsustainable.
  5. The combination of pay-as-you-go finance and an older population magnifies this worry in many nations.
  6. The economy remains stable during Period 1, as expected of a pay-as-you-go social welfare system.


Evidence suggests that this term originated in the United States around 1820. If Thomas Jefferson did not coin the phrase, he was among the first to use it to describe the government’s decision to finance expenditures with current funds rather than borrowing. It was published in 1855 as part of Henry George Bohn’s proverb collection titled “A Hand-Book of Proverbs—Henry G. Bohn.”


  • pay-in advance
  • pre-pay

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Idiom of the Day

shed light

Meaning: to explain something in order to make it easier to understand

Example: Due to the complicated equations, we thought it is best to hire a private tutor to shed more light on the topics. Read on


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