live from hand to mouth

live from hand to mouth

To be extremely poor, having only enough money to provide food and shelter each month. I had to live from hand to mouth during most of college, since I could only get part-time jobs that paid minimum wage.
See also: hand, live, mouth

live from hand to mouth

Fig. to live in poor circumstances. When both my parents were out of work, we lived from hand to mouth. We lived from hand to mouth during the war. Things were very difficult.
See also: hand, live, mouth

live from hand to mouth

or

live hand-to-mouth

COMMON Someone who lives from hand to mouth or lives hand-to-mouth always struggles to afford the things they need. I have a wife and two children and we live from hand to mouth on what I earn. I just can't live hand-to-mouth, it's too frightening. Note: Hand-to-mouth is also used before nouns to describe a situation where someone struggles to afford what they need. Unloved and uncared-for, they live a meaningless hand-to-mouth existence.
See also: hand, live, mouth
References in classic literature ?
We live from hand to mouth, most of us, with a small family of immediate desires; we do little else than snatch a morsel to satisfy the hungry brood, rarely thinking of seed-corn or the next year's crop.
They live from hand to mouth and can't wait for a month before being paid.
But since they live from hand to mouth, they cannot afford to supply cooperatives or big private investors, who take months to pay for deliveries.
He was of the view that Batswana are poor and highly indebted, as most 'live from hand to mouth'.
OUR parliamentarians are so poorly paid that after retirement they live from hand to mouth. That is why when they need honey and oil, they ask the servant to go to a kabadia shop to buy old bottles that are washed and cleaned first.
Kilonzo's tax deductions is a grim illustration of just how President Uhuru Kenyatta's fundraising measures is forcing the poor and the not so poor to live from hand to mouth, unable to build up any savings.
Formerly solid working-class jobs no longer pay enough to make saving possible; people live from hand to mouth and have nothing left over for a nest egg.
Abo Mohammed : "They live from hand to mouth relying on growing some leaves in small gardens created at their homes.
We don't save and we live from hand to mouth. Even those of us fortunate enough to have a regular income.
And people, who live from hand to mouth, have been also affected.
They live from hand to mouth and often have a couple of kids at home to feed.
Romantic notions of happiness coming from within and the spiritual loftiness to transcend dire, excruciating circumstances have no place in the lives of those who live from hand to mouth, whose very humanity is challenged every single day.
Especially, the poor classes living in the rural areas and suburban areas of cities who live from hand to mouth can hardly manage to purchase gold and other costly things used in marriages.
Chelsea and Manchester United are world class sides built on money and shrewd planning, while Newcastle live from hand to mouth.
We Israelis live from hand to mouth, as in the diaspora.