tighten the purse strings
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- (idiomatic, colloquial) To decrease spending or disallow increased spending; to increase control of spending.
- 1894, New Zealand Parliament, Parliamentary debates, page 710:
- ...would have the opposite effect entirely, and would tighten the purse-strings of capitalists and the employers of...
- 1989 July 24, editorial, “Companies still backing the efforts of net managers”, in Network World, volume 6, number 29, page 28:
- It's hard for upper management to tighten the purse strings on a project that promises to save money, boost productivity and enable employees to respond better and faster to changing competitive situations.
to decrease or cause to decrease spending