Talking about money in Spanish is very important if you’re planning on visiting a Spanish-speaking country. You’ll likely encounter this topic on a daily basis.
Even though there are many Spanish-speaking countries and, therefore, many currencies, in this article, we will focus on how to say money in Spanish in general, referring to any currency.
Of course, there’s tons of slang related to money. You probably know these from English or your native language. Naturally, the same thing exists in Spanish — and there are always local variants.
We will also share the many idioms and expressions about money in Spanish you can use so you can sound like a true local!
The Most Common Ways to Say Money in Spanish
This may surprise you, but the regional variations of how to say “money” in Spanish differ widely.
Let’s first start with the general, most widely used ways of saying money in Spanish.
Let’s start with the reason you’re here: how to say “money” in its most basic form. In most countries, people use the word dinero .
While this is definitely the safest option, it is a little formal and isn’t used much in conversation. You’re more likely to hear the regional, dialectical terms for money.
However, dinero is definitely a safe option and everyone will know exactly what you mean.
Tengo dinero suficiente para comprarme dos libros.
I have enough money to buy two books.
If you’re traveling around Latin America, plata is the word you’re going to need to know.
The word plata is the most widely adopted way to say money in Spanish in Latin America. Some countries that use plata to mean money in Spanish are: Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela.
This word can also mean “silver”, so be careful not to give room for confusion in countries where people use dinero instead of plata.
¿Cuánta plata ganas al mes?
How much money do you make in a month?
In Spain, people use pasta to talk colloquially about money.
Ese tío tiene muchísima pasta.
That guy has a lot of money.
Yes, pasta means “pasta” in English. But it also means “dough”, which is also slang for money in English.
How to Say Money in Spanish (Slang/Colloquial) by Country
Spanish is an ever-evolving language, and every country develops its own way of saying things in everyday life.
Here are the colloquial and slang ways to say money in Spanish in different countries. These are the words that you’re most likely to hear in everyday life.
Because these are quite slangy, I wouldn’t dish these out at the first instance, but rather wait until you feel comfortable with what’s common. They’ll all differ in popularity by region. As time goes on, words go in and out of fashion, too.
|Country||Money in Spanish Slang|
|Mexico||Feria, lana, camarón, marmaja, bolas, baros, varo, biyuyo, billete, morraya, tostón, pachocha, clavo, eschivo|
|Spain||Panoja, pasta, pelas, perras, duros, guita, parné, jurdel|
|Argentina||Plata, guita, lana, mango, quivo, luca, chelines, hornero, chirola, cobre, gamba, guitarra, mosca, sope|
|Bolivia||Boliviano, pesos, plata, quibo, lucas, lana, mango, quivo, guitarra, guita, luca, peso, suelto|
|Chile||Plata, luca, kina, chaucha, gamba, arturito, morlaco, mosca, billuyo|
|Colombia||Plata, billuyo, ficho, lucas, la guaca, marmaja, la liga, barras, pepas, los ñoños,|
|Costa Rica||Plata, harina, billuyo, menudo, rojos, tejas, mosca, lana, ema, chapa, tuco|
|Cuba||Baro, money, cuquitos, juaniquiqui, lulas, melón, pasta, astilla, baro, cañas, guansa, piticlinie, plata, magua, billetaje|
|Dominican Republic||Baro, cuartos, tabla|
|Ecuador||Plata, cushqui, sota, gamba, guiso, yankee, latas, quina|
|El Salvador||Pisto, mosca, bolas, feria, papa, money|
|Honduras||Pisto,marmaja, luz, dinerito, pistillo, billete, biyuyo|
|Nicaragua||Chancheros, oxígeno, money, peso, luz|
|Panamá||Plata, chenchén, salve, pesos, palos, biyuyo, chimblín, lana, plata, billuyo, chimblín|
|Paraguay||Plata, pire, efectivo, mosca, pira pire, efectivo, guita|
|Perú||Cash, chavos, los chibilines, mangos, guitas, lecas, menudo, tolete, la china, fichas, el ferro|
|Puerto Rico||Cash, tolete, chavos, menudo, cholta, cheles|
|Uruguay||Plata, guita, teca, mangos, chapas, biyuya, mosca|
|Venezuela||Biyuyo, cobres, luca, muna, plata|
Other Useful Vocab About Money in Spanish
Here are a few other words that you might find useful talking about Money.
|Cambio||1) Exchange/changing money (for smaller bills) |
2) Small bills
|Dinero suelto||Loose change|
|Billete/billetes||Bills – as in dollar bills, notes|
Useful Sentences About Money in Spanish
Below are a few sample sentences you’ll hear or say often.
|¿Pagarás en efectivo?||Will you pay in Cash?|
|¿Puedo pagar al contado?||Will you pay in cash?|
|Quise pagar con tarjeta pero no pude.||I wanted to pay with my card but I couldn’t.|
Useful Idioms and Expressions about Money
Finally, you might be interested in the following idioms and expressions related to money.
These are just common ones — there are other ways of talking about money that are more colourful, too.
|Spanish Expression||English Translation|
|Llegar a fin de mes||To make ends meet (Lit: “to make it to the end of the month”)|
|No llegar a fin de mes||To not be able to make ends meet|
|Tener una mano delante y otra atrás||To have nothing (Lit: “to have one hand in front, and another behind”)|
|No tener (ni) un duro||To not have any money|
|Estar forrado/a||To be loaded|
|Costar un ojo de la cara||To cost an arm and a leg (Lit: “Costs an eye from the face.”)|
|Ser tacaño||To be stingy|
|Ser agarrado/a||To be stingy|
|Ser rata||To be stingy|
|Tirar la casa por la ventana||To spend a lot of money (Lit: “to throw the house out of the window”)|
|Época de vacas flacas||Lean season (Lit: “the season of thin cows”)|