As a student from an ordinary family, or an office worker that doesn't make much money, you must have been in a situation where you need money in an emergency, such as giving in a hongbao, paying off your credit card, etc., but you're stone-broke! In these circumstances, you'd better know how to talk about it in Chinese, if you are learning the language.
1. 身无分文 shēn wú fēn wén
wǒ mǎi bù qǐ xīn qún zi, wǒ shēn wú fēn wén
I can't afford to buy a new dress. I'm flat broke.
2. 手头紧 shǒu tóu jǐn
wǒ měi gè yuè dōu huì cún xià yì diǎn qián, suǒ yǐ wǒ cóng lái méi yǒu zhēn zhèng shǒu tóu jǐn.
I put away some money every month so I have never been really hard up.
3. 穷得叮当响 qióng de dīng dāng xiǎng
zhè wèi nián qīng rén wèi le lái dào zhè zuò chéng shì huā diào le zì jǐ suǒ yǒu de qián, tā xiàn zài qióng de dīng dāng xiǎng
The young man used all his money to get to the city so he hasn't got a penny to his name now.
4. 拮据 jié jū
yóu yú xué fèi shàng zhǎng, yì xiē jū zhù zài dà chéng shì de dà xué shēng huì gǎn dào shēng huó jié jū
Some university students living in major cities find themselves strapped for cash due to the rise in tuition fees.
5. 一文不名 yì wén bù míng
wǒ xiàn zài yì wén bù míng, gū jì wǒ men bù néng qù fǎ guó dù jià le.
I'm completely skint. I guess we're not going on that holiday to France anymore.
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