English Idioms Daily Blog

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Beyond One's Means

Today’s idiom is beyond one’s means. It means more than one can afford. If you are living beyond your means, you are living a lifestyle that is more expensive than that which you can truthfully pay for. No, this blog entry hasn’t be sponsored by your husband or wife as a reminder to you to reduce your spending (!); it is simply a look at the common English idiom, especially in these times. Here are two article titles using the phrase beyond one’s means:

Eventually, We Must Pay for Living Beyond our Means
- lvrj.com, 26 July 2011, Steven Kalas
Are U.S. Households Living Beyond Their Means?
- imf.org, March 2004, Chris Faulkner-MacDonagh & Martin Mühleisen

Living beyond your means is no laughing matter; however, this quote from Peter Ustinov is funny, isn’t it?

The only reason I made a commercial for American Express was to pay for my American Express bill.
- Peter Ustinov

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