tighten belt

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tighten (one's) belt

To reduce, restrict, or limit one's budget; to live more modestly or make financial sacrifices. A: "I don't know what we'll do now that you lost your job." B: "Don't worry, we just need to tighten our belts for a while. Living on my own during college taught me how to tighten my belt and get by on not very much.
See also: belt, tighten

tighten one's belt

Fig. to manage to spend less money; to use less of something. (See also take one's belt in (a notch).) Things are beginning to cost more and more. It looks like we'll all have to tighten our belts. Times are hard, and prices are high. I can tighten my belt for only so long.
See also: belt, tighten

tighten (one's) belt

To begin to exercise thrift and frugality.
See also: belt, tighten
References in periodicals archive ?
The findings make encouraging reading, with many small businesses suffering a in demand in industrial and consumer sectors, as businesses and people look to tighten belts.
This, when we are all told to tighten belts, and cuts will be inevitable.
But Souness has been made fully aware of the need to tighten belts at Ewood Park.
Schumm's analysis of the successful effort to hold down costs for operating commercial buildings underlines the industry's resolve to tighten belts until better times arrive.
The approach adopted in the US has been to stimulate the economy rather than to tighten belts as the Chancellor has done and Prof Minford was critical of that approach.
Drivers have got to the point where they can't cut back any more on petrol consumption so they are going to have to tighten belts elsewhere.
Sir Michael said the moves were necessary to help tighten belts at the Beeb and restore trust in how taxpayers' cash was spent.
This is still a year to tighten belts and to not take on any new contracts unless necessary.
Capital Economics economist Vicky Redwood said:"We expect consumers to tighten belts considerably further in coming months.
Among these is the anticipatory Pre-Safe system which constantly monitors chassis dynamics and in milliseconds anticipates a crash, tighten belts, closes windows and moves the passenger seat into the optimum position for airbags to work.
Now fighters must tighten belts and lower expectations.
Fashion chain Next has warned of increasing sales pressure for the year ahead as struggling shoppers tighten belts.