make (both) ends meet

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make (both) ends meet

To earn just enough money to pay one's bills. To make ends meet, Phil picked up a second job delivering pizzas. After the large income tax hike, many people suddenly found it difficult to make both ends meet.
See also: end, make, meet

make (both) ends meet

Fig. to earn and spend equal amounts of money. (Usually in reference to a meager living with little if any money after basic expenses.) I have to work at two jobs to make ends meet. Through better budgeting, I am learning to make both ends meet.
See also: end, make, meet

make ends meet

Manage so that one's financial means are enough for one's needs, as in On that salary Enid had trouble making ends meet. This expression originated as make both ends meet, a translation from the French joindre les deux bouts (by John Clarke, 1639). The ends, it is assumed, allude to the sum total of income and expenditures. However, naval surgeon and novelist Tobias Smollett had it as "make the two ends of the year meet" ( Roderick Random, 1748), thought to go back to the common practice of splicing rope ends together in order to cut shipboard expenses.
See also: end, make, meet

make ends meet

COMMON If you find it difficult to make ends meet, you find it difficult to pay for the things you need in life, because you have very little money. Many people are struggling to make ends meet because wages are failing to keep pace with rising prices. He has trouble making ends meet because he can't find work and his government check is barely enough to cover the rent. Note: Originally, this expression was `make both ends of the year meet', which meant to spend only as much money as you received as income.
See also: end, make, meet

make ends meet

To manage so that one's means are sufficient for one's needs.
See also: end, make, meet